Withing’s Health Mate App Gets Update

Withing’s Health Mate App Gets Update

Jan 9, 2016

Health Mate, Withing’s comprehensive companion utility that ties into its suite of stylish and functional hardware, is getting an update.

– Turns your smartphone’s camera into a heart rate sensor
– Follow your calorie intake alongside your activity (thanks to a MyFitnessPal partnership)
– S-Health integration and Google Fit improvements for in-app steps tracking
РInstall the new Activit̩ Steel
– Install and synchronize your devices with Android 6
– A brand new menu and settings screen
– Many other improvements and bug fixes

The added functionality and interoperability definitely makes the Withings slate of products feel much more complete.

Withings Companion Health Mate Android App Gets Update

Withings Companion Health Mate Android App Gets Update

Nov 19, 2014

Health Mate, the companion app to Withings’ set of connected devices, has just received a pretty big update.

First and foremost, the app now takes a leaf from Google’s Material design playbook. Excerpts from the blog post detailing the update:

We’ve managed to pop the sweeter side of health right into your phone with bright colors and a new design interface! The menus are tutti frutti, the sliding effects are sweeter – and it’s all calorie free!
Enjoy this new design! You can even browse it sideways!

Every step counts
We know that there’s a link between activity levels and weight management. Instead of counting steps in your head, let Health Mate do it for you! Your smartphone can now count your steps for you if you don’t have a Withings Pulse or if you forgot it at home: simply turn on the step counting and enjoy the ride!
You’ll be able to check your activity level on the fly, and browse through your step count history. For the first time, you will be able to see how your steps are adding up, and make decisions based on this information. Will you reach the recommended 10,000 steps a day? How many badges will you unlock? Will you be first in your Leaderboard after you’ve challenged your friends? We can’t wait to see how the new update helps you and hear your feedback!

Your lifeline
The Timeline is like a new home. As soon as the app launches, you can scroll through a history of all your data. The Timeline also works as a coach providing insights, badges and weekly recaps. The Timeline is constantly updating with new content to enrich your experience and to help you improve your health. What’s not to love?

The app remains free on the Play Store.

[Source: Withings Blog]

AR Health Series: Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor Hardware Review

AR Health Series: Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor Hardware Review

Oct 30, 2014

I had the misfortune of having some serious health issues a short while ago, and, without getting overly conversational about it, it changed me. It made me take health more seriously, and one fringe benefit is that it allowed me to take a longer, more appreciative look at the burgeoning area of connected health devices.

“Burgeoning” is somewhat of an understatement; the category is exploding. As part of my personal fitness odyssey, I’ve had the privilege of trying out interesting connected gear. The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is one of them.

Personal blood pressure monitors are not new; I have had a generic one for quite some time. While convenient, the one drawback is the collation tool is not self-contained. I used my smartphone to collect the data via my all-round app HanDBase, and while the solution worked, I’d like a more homogeneous fix.

The Withings Wireless BP Monitor isn’t new either, but it’s a product that has continued to improve and is still defining the product category years after its inception.

bpm3

The review piece Withings sent us shows the hardware in its retail glory; it’s in the familiar white and green (with chrome-ish accents) finish that Withings is familiar for. It has a prominent pre-formed cuff capable of fitting arms ranging from 9″ – 17″ and has a velcroed end that helps corral the extra strap that is part of the monitor. There is also a prominent bar that runs the vertical length of the unit that houses the batteries and presumably the bluetooth module that the unit uses to connect to devices; on this bar is an on/pairing button with LED. The unit comes with batteries already installed; the box also continues documentation.

Using the device as one getting acquainted with the companion Withings Health Mate app. When connected to the device (via Bluetooth/Bluetooth LE), the device preps to take a reading for a user registered to the device (or, a guest), and tapping “Start” does it. The cuff automatically tightens, and the cuff takes a reading; it promises accuracy within 3 mmHG on either side of a measurement, and also notes WHO systolic grades.

The companion app also serves as a health hub, allowing users to connect other Withings devices to it (like the Withings scale, and consequently allowing for a better health portrait to be created.

One thing I think the monitor could do better is be more like the Scale in its ability to gather seamless readings; as it is, it can only be initiated from within the app, unlike the scale, which can take readings with auto-detect capabilities that can be confirmed later. Also, the connection can be stubborn at times. I also would appreciate the ability to share batches of data via the app rather than single readings.

All in all, it is still a relevant piece of hardware. It isn’t the cheapest investment ($129 on Amazon), but does have the benefit of being relatively well thought out.

AR Health Series: Withings Smart Body Analyzer Review

AR Health Series: Withings Smart Body Analyzer Review

Oct 15, 2014

Health tools with a mobile component are especially compelling, and as such, we jumped at an opportunity to check out the Withings Smart Body Connected Scale.

The black (white is an option) review unit Withings sent us is pretty much ready to go. At first glance, the first thing that comes to mind is that somehow, the product pictures do not do it justice. It looks like a chiseled dark colored slab. frankly, it look dashing, managing to be modern without being Jetson-silly. The full dark look is accented, and the silver center piece highlights the whole package. The expected display is digital in nature, and still manages to effect art. The battery compartment is at the bottom of the unit, and there is a tab preventing the batteries from cycling; beneath that are two buttons for syncing and selecting units. It looks like a “traditional” scale, but clearly wants people to know it has an extra trick or two up its sleeve. Officially, it comes in at 12.8 x 12.8 x 0.90 inches and 4.62 lbs

The review (retail) box also contained four optional carpet feet which help prop the unit off the floor/ground, and it comes with the four AAA batteries needed to power the unit, and documentation.

with5

This thing begs to be used. Removing the tab allows the unit to get power, and this is confirmed by the welcome display. Getting on it gets it going, and it immediately starts measurements, but a big part of the health solution is the Withings Health Mate companion app; the app connects bluetooth-enabled Android devices seamlessly to compatible Withings products, and the Smart Body Analyzer is foremost on the list. Pairing (via Bluetooth) is done via the sync button on the bottom of the unit. The app prompts for readings and recordings; based off of profile information with1(like height and age), it measures weight and heart rate, computes BMI, gauges air quality, and otherwise tracks these metrics over time.

The app is the window to these results, and presents them in easy to understand formats, most notably graphs. Overall, the app is bright, with a nice design feel, allowing color to rebound off the white background. The app allows interface with other programs, like RunKeepr, BodyMedia and MyFitnessPal; it imports the stats from these apps. The app also collates data from other connected Withings products, and can be used for multiple people, and even can collect data in guest mode. Data can also be shared from the app, and with a Withings account, one can access data on the web.

I especially like the automatic user recognition, and the advertised four sensors are fantastic in practice.

It gets streaky fast, and that is almost to be expected with such a glossy finish. Data can only be sent singly; I would love the ability to send stuff in batches or ranges.

When it comes to accessories that enhance living, it’s hard to find better stuff on the market than this one. It works well, really partners with one health-wise and looks good doing it.