footPATH a social pedometer with accuracy issues...

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Describing itself as 'a complete pedometer with a gaming kind of environment', the glossy footPATH's heart is in the right place, the idea being to challenge your Facebook friends in the batte to be more active and get fit. Unfortunately the concept's flawed by requiring your friends to also use Windows Phone (which would be nice, but probably doesn't represent reality) and also by wildly varying sensitivity to your phone's accelerometer. Plus, for best results you have to leave the app (and screen) on all the time. There's got to be an easier way to get fit - and there is, get a Microsoft Band(!)

From the Store description:

footPATH is a complete pedometer with a gaming kind of environment that lets you compete your WALK with the world. Every STEP counts and every WALK is challenged and you race in a virtual walking environment to become the CHAMPION. An active competition motivates you to walk more and more and more, and you become more HEALTHY and FIT.

  • Accurate count of every step you walk or run with lockscreen support
  • Differentiates between walking and driving, footPATH intelligent enough to count only the steps you walk not drive
  • Two different modes, GPS mode and Accelerometer mode. The later can be used while working out on Treadmill
  • Not just steps, you can track Calories Burned, Distance Travelled and Speed at which you travel
  • Thrilling statistical analysis about your walk with stunning charts to make you walk more
  • First of its kind, GLOBAL and FACEBOOK Friends Leaderboard to keep you engaged, motivated and ready to challenge
  • Add your friend as your virtual WALKMATE and challenge him/her in realtime
  • Animated slideshow to show the location, lifestyle and other stats
  • Built in MUSIC PLAYER for easier access to your favourite songs while walking

Here's footPATH in action:

footPATH screenshotfootPATH screenshot

The interface is dark and very Star Trek - which is good. The banner along the bottom is for motivational and stat info, but can also be used for music control; (right) in strict pedometer mode, using the accelerometer, there's no background support, so you have to exercise with the screen on all the time, potentially a power issue. At least the app disables the usual display time-out.

footPATH screenshotfootPATH screenshot

Again very Star Trek in its interface controls, the main choice is for GPS tracking or pedometer; (right) online leaderboards keep track, in theory, of who's got the most steps under their belt.

footPATH screenshotfootPATH screenshot

footPATH keeps track of your pedometer data and can report on trends; (right) it also detects if you're cheating by (ahem) hopping in a car in order to increase your GPS-tracked mileage!

The biggest problem in real world use is the buggy use of accelerometer data. I did 100 steps and found that only 20 had been tracked. I then left the phone on the desk and it racked up another 10 while going nowhere. Hmm.... 

With some work (and take-up by your friends), this has potential, but it does need work. You can grab footPATH in the Store here.

Source / Credit: Windows Phone Store