Brilliant battery but is your app UP to shit Jawbone?

Jawbone UP24

So I have had my UP24 for 3 weeks and I am impressed, BUT the app really stinks. Here is why:

Impressed (the wearable not the app):

  1. Great design
  2. Good comfort
  3. Unbelievable battery life. It doubled to 14 days after upgrading to the new firmware. Good job Jawbone — read here for more.

Not impressed (mainly with the app):

  1. I believe any wearable should be waterproof. The fact that I have to take it off to bath, shower, swim, surf (not that I surf) is a pain and makes trackability of your activity more manual and therefore less accurate.
  2. The app (Android on Kit Kat and Lollipop) frequently (multiple times a day) crashes. A firmware update did improve this, however it still crashes (multiple times a week) and I have to force quit the app and relaunch it in order for it to sync with the band.
  3. The app seems to require an online connection and stores all of the data in the cloud. This is very bad as it makes opening and interacting with the app extremely slow. Just launching the app to check your step count takes ages. If the data was stored locally it would launch immediately and give you the status while syncing in the background. The same applies with logging your food and even switching days.
  4. The food logging is a joke. Who says that eating only an apple slice and drinking a glass of water the whole gives you 9 out of 10 because there aren’t many calories. Surely you need 8 glasses of water for a person my height and weight like they taught me in school? And you need at least 3 healthy meals? I really expect this section of the app to be smarter. It should remind you to drink water, it should allow you to log food for the previous day if you forgot to add something (which you currently can’t). It should recognise what your ideal calorie intake is, based on your fitness and BMI etc.
  5. How about connecting you with a trainer to determine a meal/fitness plan for you. How about a marketplace connecting you to health services, trainers, similar people around the world, other apps that could work with your device.
  6. If the device or I forget to log sleep, which has happened more than once. Then, when I manually try to log sleep in hindsight, I cannot change the start and end sleep times as the app crashes, rendering manual sleep logging almost impossible. You have to just accept whatever the start and end times are which may be highly inaccurate.
  7. The step count does not accord with the fit Android app which immediately makes me doubt both in terms of accuracy. I was pushing my kid around in a pram for over an hour and the number of steps registered less than half of what the Android Fit app did on my phone. I gave up trying to add this manually as the app thought that I took 61 steps in an hour and playing with the intensity and duration did nothing to fix this. Even without pushing a pram the step count did not match the Android fit app. I guess it may improve after further calibration, I will let you know when I get some time to calibrate.
  8. Which brings me to my next point — The UI is crap. I really expect ease of use and intuitive design. You can definitely tell that not as much effort was put in to match the beautifully designed piece of hardware.
  9. Lastly — The smart coach has hope.

I could go on and on, but I do expect that a now third generation device comes with a third generation app with a design and UI to match, and not something out of a bad sci-fi film that seems early beta.

I can tell you that I am looking forward to the UP3, but only hope that with more sensors (temperature and heart rate monitor) and the fact that you can now “surf” with it makes it more intelligent and simpler to use and not more complex.

Time will tell…

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