Review of LifeCycle smart phone application

July 10, 2017

Taylor Carre-Riddell

Usually, I’m not one to reflect on my life activities- I’m too busy just living through them! Just like most of the world, if I’m going to adapt a new habit, I need a simple routine and structure to follow. I need to see a purpose and a reward factor.

With this Health and Fitness app (available on iTunes), LifeCycle (by Northcube AB), you can track all your activities and locations over the day, months and year. The app runs in the background, uses 1% battery per day and is fully compatible with Apple Health

You can also access Premium features that include backing up your data to a device, and connect with the sister app Sleep Cycle to track your sleep trends. You can then see how your daily habits impact your sleep score. You can also compare data trends in easy to read graphs. These go beyond the standard ‘donut’ graph you receive in the Standard features.

The highlights of this app include the customizable graphs which were easy to read, and very colourful! The data of your activities (ie. when and where you do them) are presented in a way that allows you to scope how you spend your days and months in a unique cumulative function. So, for example, if you walked your dog from 10-11am and then again from 2-3pm, the app will report that you did 2 hours of dog walking, and then you tap on the segment of the donut to see the various time frames. This way you can see, at a glance, how much of your day you spend dog walking, without being pestered with specific details first.

The premium features of being able to back up and securely save your data prove useful and worth the $9.99 yearly subscription. You could integrate with the sleep data from Sleep Cycle take this data to a doctor, personal trainer, or any kind of health guru. The app is highly individualized, as you can add your own activities alongside the basic ones and even associate different location with different activities.

Most importantly, however, the app is very user friendly. Location tracking is automatic if your Wi-Fi is turned on. All you have to do is enter the activity or activities associated with the location once, and then ‘auto fill’ takes over. You can of course edit the data as you see fit, however.

The drawbacks of the app are few and far between: the layout design is simple with a focus on multi-purpose visuals. Of course, there is lack of the Standard (free) features compared to the Premium features.

I just use the app for general use, I found the Standard features very suitable. Premium features are better suited to statistical analysis and to help track any medical condition. The only other major letdown was the reliance on Wi-Fi/data for this app to run in the background. If your Wi-Fi isn’t turned on, or the phone or data is turned off, the app can only track your location (and thus activity) with a lot less accuracy.

Personally, I found it frustrating when my data was jeopardized like this, especially since I’d been using the app for about 2 years. My data would be accurate, forming an infographic picture of my life as buzzing year 12 student to a far more mellow college fresher. However, because of the faults I described above, there would be a few chunks of data that would look disembodied and skewed in comparison to the fairly consistent data I’d curated.

Overall, LifeCycle outdoes its competitors such as Apple Health, Waterminder and Human (see link below for more information) in the sense that it is highly individualized, the utility doesn’t vary between Standard and Premium features too much, and the app format is very user friendly and has a broad functionality. I would recommend it.

Version: 1.7.0 reviewed here. In app purchases available. This application is compatible with the iPhone 5s and above. More information on this app and similar ones? Look here!

-Taylor Carre-Riddell

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