Sunday, September 25, 2011

Food and nutrition tracking applications for BlackBerry smartphones and PlayBook

Posted By Ray Nicolini  
Via CrackBerry.com
BlackBerry Nutrition Apps

At my day job, we recently had a nutritionist come in to assess our staff to determine how well they are taking care of themselves. There were mixed results; I was pretty much spot on for everything that she measured; my minerals, vitamins and meridians, though I was slightly below average for my zinc and vitamin D3 cholecalciferol (that was expected since I’m a redhead that gets sunburnt easily). There was one colleague who scored dangerously low in every aspect. His diet regularly consists of energy drinks…ALOT of energy drinks. I quipped that he was actually dead, but his body kept moving due to the residual energy drink ingredients in his body.
I noticed that the nutritionist had a BlackBerry (obviously a wise choice), so I asked her what type of applications she used. She sadly informed me that she wasn’t much for applications, but her clients would email her their food intake logs. What do you think I did next? I went online to see what type of apps were out there that would help BlackBerry users accomplish this. Out of the dozens upon dozens of apps available, several of them stood out to me.


Food Diary
Food Diary
Dear Diary, guess what happened today. I did it, I ate the whole thing. I’m so glad I wore my comfy pants. Instead of gushing about what you did today, this app wants you to gush about what you consumed. Food Diary includes two types of tracking; Predefined and Basic. In Basic mode, you manually enter in everything you drink and eat. Once set up, predefined mode may be quite the time saver. Initially, predefined mode has 80 types of food, 40 drinks and 50 restaurants in 60 cities already set up for you. Of course, you can edit, delete and add items as you go, making it completely personal. Now on top of this you can also record your height and weight. Once you have collected your logs into monthly/weekly reports, you can send the info off to your nutritionist.

Food Intake Tracker
Food Intake Tracker
Nom nom nom. How healthy do you think your eating habits are? Do you still think donuts are a food group? Tapping into the Food Guide from Health Canada, Food Intake Tracker helps you see the big picture. By taking specifics such as your age and gender, the application uses the food guide to chart what you should be eating. The chart is separated by your four basic food groups and your actual consumption can then be matched against the recommendations. If your grocery bill fails to tell you what your habits are, then maybe the charts within Food Intake Tracker will.


Food Journal
Food Journal
Another diary type option is Food Journal. Not only can you record your meals, but also tag it by what type of meal it was. When recording food items, the application can store information such as; portion, calories, protein, fat, sodium and fiber. Once you have filled your belly for the day, you can flop on the couch and go over what you have eaten. Food Journal will also let you see what you should be eating by using BMR and BMI calculators.
http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/29859?lang=en

Brio Calorie Tracker
Brio Calorie Tracker
For a more well rounded option to a less rounded you, Brio Calorie Tracker is designed to track caloric intake, as well as exercise history. The menu makes it extremely simple to record values and see how your calories burned stacks up against calories ingested; results can be viewed numerically or on a graph. Records can be modified, so in case your significant other found an old receipt of yours which happens to prove a double cheeseburger you conveniently forgot about- you can add it in to shame you forever. Brio Calorie Tracker supports desktop synchronization for backing up and restoring calorie history and records.
http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/1228?lang=en

Daily Diet Tracker
Daily Diet Tracker
This one is an extremely simple, one screen application for your BlackBerry PlayBook. You remember being told about the four basic food groups. You’re pretty sure that someone tried to let you know how many servings of each you were to have each day. For some, it’s hard to remember and they assume that, if they have a couple of things from each food group they should be ok. That’s where Daily Diet Tracker comes in; it remembers the number of servings you have, while you only have to check them off as you eat. Simply tap on an icon to tick off a consumed serving. The applications give example of serving sizes, so there no way you can get away with claiming you though a tub of ice cream was a single serving. It also give recommended servings of each food group per day, based on age – of course, you should always consult your nutritionist first. For a record of your day, you can always take a screen shot as well. Once the day is done you can hit the reset button to clear your selections. Daily Diet Tracker is free from BlackBerry App World.

Calorie Tracker by LIVESTRONG
Calorie Tracker by LIVESTRONG
LIVESTRONG is a vast online community that embraces a healthy lifestyle. An extension of this is the Calorie Tracker application which grants access to a vast data base of food and nutritional facts. Just imagine looking at information on over half a million restaurants and food items. The information you require, such as weight loss charts, is synced with your LIVESTONG account, so it can be accessed online and made readily available for your nutritionist.
Now there are many more excellent food tracking applications available at both BlackBerry App World and the CrackBerry AppStore. Of course, for these to actually work for you, you have to be truthful about what you eat. To make it easier, why not just opt for healthier food? How are you tracking your carrot sticks? What apps are you using? Let us know!

Real Contact by Moobile Enables You to Have Real Contact With Your BBM Friends


Posted By Ray Nicolini

Real Contact is a free app available in the BlackBerry App World. The app integrates with BBM 6 allowing you to find your friends while on the go and set up alerts as well. I tried this out and I have to admit I found it to be very interesting. Check it out…
Real Contact is somewhat similar to Google’s Latitude in that it allows you and your BBM friends to share your location and availability. It allows you to set up alerts and all. It utilizes BlackBerry Maps which is really a great feature. Here’s the description from out of BlackBerry App World:
Just set the privacy settings on the app to share your location, availability, battery level and signal level with each BBM Contact. Never lose your pal again on a concert or split up in a mall. Get together again just by checking your phone screen. Let your BlackBerry® alert you whenever you get closer than 400 meters/a quarter of a mile from a BBM contact. RealContact improves meeting chances generating more Coffee Breaks around the world. Is privacy a concern? Just manage every feature on the settings panel and share only with who you want to. RealContact does not connect to any external server but only to the BBM infrastructure, protecting your privacy.
From the app you can do the following:
  • Invite friends to download
  • Invite friends to join
  • Notify me when…(Contact to set notification rules, Distance when contact is near from my location or address, Availability when available or busy, notify me when a call is initiated, when a call is finished, Battery is low, Signal is low, WiFi is connected, all of which are set off by default)
  • Disable 400 Notifier
  • Contact List
  • My Location
  • Provide Feedback
This could be a really great way of keeping in touch with each other, and no one has to share more than they want when it comes to privacy. Check it out and let us know what you think. I really thought it’s a neat way of sharing and keeping up with one another. And again, it’s another BBM integrated app that I’m really finding fun.

Start your path to wealth with The 1 Million Plan app


Posted By Ray Nicolini

Via BlackBerryOS.com


You might have heard this before, but a 20 year old who saves 200$/month in an account yielding 8% annual interest would have over 1 million dollars by the time he's 65. Yet, over 95% of Americans retire broke every year. The 1 Million Plan is a software that calculates exactly how much money you need to save per month, and how long it will take in order to reach your financial goals. 

Some of the features included are:
  • Ability to change the default $1,000,000 monetary target to any amount of your choice
  • Create and permanently save plans for later reference.
  • Ability to email plans to yourself or someone else
  • Ability to add monthly payments leading to your financial goal to Blackberry Tasks, and be regularly reminded of upcoming payments.
Buy Now: $2.99

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pinch Your Friends: A Cross Platform Messaging App for BlackBerry


Posted By Ray Nicolini

We have seen our fair share of cross messaging platforms in the past such as KiK, and Live Profile. We see services like these increase especially with people jumping from BlackBerry to Android and Apple products. Most users want to have a BBM like experience, or a way to communicate with family and friends who may live in other countries at no cost, or may not want to just pay for SMS charges from their wireless provider.
For those interested say hello to Pinch. Pinch has developed a cross platform messaging service with a little bit of a twist. You can talk to other friends or family across the world without having to pay international SMS rates, or having an SMS bundle; because Pinch uses data only, or will work when connected to WiFi. They have also made some pretty nice upgrades to their application (that is also available not only to BlackBerry users, but to Apple Iphone, and Android users) such as adding location and leader board concepts to their application. (something similar to foursquare)
When  getting started on Pinch, Pinch will go through contacts to see if their is anyone in your contacts who is currently using Pinch, and add them to your friends list in Pinch. You can invite more friends through facebook or through twitter. After inviting friends you cans et up a profile picture, set a status, and you are all set.
There are a lot of nice features that pinch offers. One thing that caught my attention is the message notification system. You can tell if your message was sent or not, which reminds me of the BBM experience. (D-delivered and R-received) Another feature is the ability to activity update. It lets your friends know what you are doing which reminds me of twitter. I have also notice that Pinch has a character limit of 139 characters. (looks like they will integrate with twitter in a future update) Also, Pinch has incorporated a point system for completing various tasks (similar to foursquare) such as: inviting friends, updating location, miles you have traveled, updating activities, and for “pinching” friends or receiving “pinch”es from friends.
Overall, I really enjoyed using Pinch. It is very easy to get started and to use. The point system, ability to update what you are doing really makes this app a lot of fun to use. Of course being able to communicate with family and friends outside of the country you live in is a big plus. However, if you are on a limited data plan you may want to watch your usage, so you don’t go over; but if you are on an unlimited plan you have nothing to worry about. So if you are using a BlackBerry head over here to pick up the app for FREE, and get pinching!
Via PocketBerry.com

A nice advantage BlackBerry App World has over Android Market


Posted By Ray Nicolini

I was helping a friend set up their Android device yesterday, and they were so frustrated. They had issues with the hardware and it was replaced. While logging into their Gmail and going into the market they could only install apps they paid for. Now this Android user had about 80 apps, and the majority of them were free. They had to remember which application it was they had and search for them on the Android Market.
Now some may argue with me that my friend could have rooted her phone (which voids the warranty) to back up all apps to the sd card, or if she is running Android 2.2 or higher she can back up some apps to the sd card (which the keyword is some apps). So why are so many people raving about the Android market? I’m not sure about you but to have my pick from over 100′s of twitter apps or facebook apps is a little ridiculous.
Having 100s of farting apps or worst of all flashlight apps to choose from is insane. Or even my personal favorite battery status apps (that give you an exact percentage of what your battery life is, which actually runs your battery life down faster because it pings your battery every 1-10 seconds to see where it’s at) is useless. Worst of all you can’t reinstall FREE apps. So why the android market, or an android phone for that reason? I understand simplicity but how simple is having to remember and search for all the free apps you had downloaded? (Especially for the consumers who aren’t tech savvy)
Now let’s think about it if she was a BlackBerry user all her applications FREE or PAID would still be available for her to redownload, even apps that were uninstalled.  Now I am not saying that AppWorld doesn’t have its fair share of useless applications but at least when I wipe my phone, replace my phone due to malfunctions, or because of an upgrade my applications will still be in My World waiting for me to download regardless of it’s status of FREE or PAID.