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Moves

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Moves is quickly becoming one of my favourite apps. It’s one I installed as soon as I switched to my Nexus 4. I open Moves maybe once a day. Twice, at best. Moves does its magic in the background. I don’t have to do anything except carry my phone with me.

I hit a new record today! 18,784 steps AKA 3 hrs and 13 min of walking AKA 12.9 km.

No, these numbers aren’t monumental. However, they do a wonderful job of satisfying my curiosity, giving me a relative indication of my activity. I can feel the app slowly modifying my behaviour. I opened it today while I was heading to a train station, saw what I was at, and thought, “screw it, I’ll walk a few blocks to the next one.”

Moves does this on a daily basis for those “in-between” moments that largely make up a day, where I’m walking a few minutes at a time. I don’t think to open RunKeeper and measure those moments. I don’t wear a Fitbit or Jawbone or FuelBand. I don’t need to. Moves is doing just fine for now.

Battery life is a most-valued commodity. My two-year old Galaxy Nexus was a sickly specimen, always craving a power point. Even so, Moves was totally worth having. I’d see the location indicator blinking away more often than I wanted it to in the notification bar, yet the battery usage breakdown came in most days at 3-4%. I’m still sceptical whether this takes into account every time it polls for a location. Regardless, the Nexus 4 has made it a non-issue. I got a comfortable 13 hours today with frequent use of the browser, Instagram, Google Maps and Foursquare.

Moves is still in alpha for Android. There’s no weekly or monthly breakdown. Switching phones means you lose your previous data. There’s no calorie counter. Elevation isn’t taken into account. I’ll assume it’s all coming. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the positive reinforcement and gentle nudge Moves passively provides.

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