Maps and GPS navigation
The UP app doesn’t create maps or have GPS navigation, but if you’re connected to another compatible app like MapMyFitness that does, the map will display in your feed.
The Jawbone UP3 is marketed as a fitness tracker, and it will remind you to move throughout the day, but exercise tracking is entirely manual unless you’re using it in conjunction with another app like MapMyFitness.
To manually log your activity in the app, choose from 18 activities, such as walking, running, biking, skiing, tennis, golf, weightlifting, or elliptical, then set the effort level anywhere from “easy” to “gut buster,” then enter the start time and duration. The app assigns estimated calories burned for that activity and factors it into your estimated total calories burned for the day. I’m extremely skeptical about the accuracy of guessing your own level of effort and manually logging your exercise.
The UP3 is sweat proof and splash proof, but not waterproof so you can’t wear it swimming (although you can manually log that activity) or in the shower.
There aren’t any options for interacting with the software on the device itself. I also wasn’t able to download the app onto my PC. It’s compatible with iOS operating systems only, so you can get it, but only on certain devices. The mobile app works with both iOS and Android operating systems.
I’ve read a lot of rave reviews about the UP app and I have to say I was unimpressed. One of the things I didn’t like about it was the “feed” concept. If I wanted to go back and look at something from two days ago, the only way to get there was to scroll down the feed until I found what I was looking for.
The feed is where you’ll see snapshots of your heart rate, sleep, activity, and food consumption data. You can tap on these and drill down a bit into the data. This is also where your “smart coach” tips appear. You can indicate thumbs up or down on the information to help train the app, or forward it using social media, text, or email. I think it would be better if these tips went away after you read them so they don’t clog up your feed, but they don’t.
I also didn’t care for the food tracking part of the app. At first it seems like it would be robust because you have the option of taking a picture, scanning a barcode, choosing from a menu, or manually entering food. While the picture option may offer some amount of convenience, you still have to manually enter the nutrition information. Alternatively, you can search for “apple,” which brings up a variety of options. Tap “apple” and it adds it to your food list, but you don’t immediately get an option for choosing a measure. You have to tap through two more screens to get to the one where you can adjust it from the default “slice” to something more useful like a “medium apple,” and it took me a really long time to figure that out. Figuring out how to change the measure is not at all intuitive, and nowhere in the available literature that I could find did it explain that detail. I also find it suspicious that you can select something as generic as 1 cup of “fruit” and the app will assign 72 calories, 19 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of protein.
If you’re looking for something that’s fairly easy to interact with and that may motivate you to pay attention to your general health and well-being, this may be a fine device for you. The apparent strength of the device is in the way it analyzes all of your data and provides you with suggestions and insights via the Smart Coach. Heart rate and sleep tracking are given much more emphasis than exercise or food tracking, but it seems the idea is to help people find balance in their lives. If you are looking for a robust fitness device geared toward inspiring you during a workout or providing coaching while you are at the gym or on a run, you will likely be disappointed by the Jawbone UP3. For more generic use, the UP3 may be useful in getting you to pay attention to your overall health and taking positive steps toward improving it.
Learn how you an upload and keep track of all of your fitness data and health information with the YourCareEverywhere My Wellness Dashboard.
December 19, 2017