Till January of this year, the Wahoo Key for iPhone ($80) dongle pwned fitness on the iPhone. Why? Because the tiny, ubiquitous dongle gives the iPhone access to dozens of ANT+ sensors, and more fitness apps than any other system — turning your iPhone into a fitness-tracking powerhouse.
Then in January, Wahoo one-upped itself and introduced the Wahoo Blue Bluetooth heart-rate strap, which completely bypasses ANT+ and instead communicates via low-energy Bluetooth v4.0. Does this mean the Key is obsolete? Not by a long shot.
Every conceivable fitness-related measurement — heart rate, bicycle pedal cadence, power output, stride, you name it — has an ANT+ sensor to measure it, and can theoretically be paired with the Key (you can also purchase a variety of ANT+ sensors directly from Wahoo, like the HR strap and bike speed/cadence sensor we tested here). But the Wahoo Key is not only exemplary because how many sensors it’s compatible with — it also shares its collected data with more apps than any other system. The ever-popular Runkeepeer, and our favorite cycling app, Cyclemeter, are just two of the many apps the Key is compatible with.
Heck, even Wahoo’s own fitness app is fantastic. It’s well-designed, easy to read, comes with a wide choice of readout pages that can be selectively included and includes everything you need for a wide range of activities. About the only thing that disappoints is that the modules themselves aren’t customizable for each screen.
Range for the key is pretty good. I was able to shove my iPhone in a jacket pocket, or strap in onto my arm with an armband (Wahoo sells one that has a slot for the dongle) while still receiving signals from the speed/cadence and heart-rate sensors.
Both the Wahoo HR strap that came with the package, and an older Garmin strap that came with my well-used Forerunner 405, paired remarkably quickly and painlessly (though only one strap can be paired at a time, of course) using the key’s utility app.
For now, Wahoo’s use of Bluetooth is limited to its HR strap; everything else requires ANT+, which means the Fisica dongle is still king. For now.
I’m not sure why, but I actually had a little trouble getting Cyclemeter to wake up to the fact I had a heart-rate monitor attached; I’m assuming this was a fault of the app, not the hardware though.
Dongles are easy to lose or accidentally wash after being left in a pants pocket (ahem).
An essential piece of kit for any even remotely serious athlete with an iPhone.
The cadence/speed sensor fit well enough on my Titus Racer-X’s massive stay (note that I suffered a brain fart and installed the sensor on the drive side; don’t do this).
From left: The Wahoo Fitness App’s HR zone screen, main screen and the utility app’s HR strap pairing screen.
More from Cult of Mac:
from Cult of Mac http://www.cultofmac.com/146010/wahoo-fitness-dongle-the-sharpest-fitness-tool-in-your-shed-review/
RunKeeper’s Latest App Update Will Help Prevent Your Heart From Exploding
When I, through sheer exertion of will, lift this moribund pile of musky flab out of the desk chair to which it transhumanistically is trying to absorb, put on my sweatbands and take myself out for a wheezing, gasping “jog”, RunKeeper is my prefered app for tracking the whole ordeal.
The free app is already pretty great. It uses your iPhone’s GPS sensors to track your running speed, distance and route; additionally, it allows you to program different run templates, calculate calories burned and share your favorite runs with other.
But today’s update makes RunKeeper even better, with a host of new features that widen the distance between all the other jog-tracking apps out there.
The first (and, in my opinion, best) new addition to RunKeeper is auto-pause. On my runs, I have RunKeeper programmed to tell me to run for, say, five minutes, then walk for two, then repeat. If I smack into a red stop light in the middle of my run, or collapse to the ground weeping, or stop for a moment to mash a Butterfinger brand energy bar into my mouth, RunKeeper continues to count down the run timer. No longer! Now, the app will detect through its GPS radio that I’ve stopped, and pause the counter accordingly.
The other new functionality takes advantage of those wireless heart rate monitors that are all the rage with joggers these days. RunKeeper already supported these devices, but now the app displays the heart rate data in real-time, as well as supports targeted heart zone training. Useful if, like me, you like to keep your heart rate needle just south of the “Cardiac Explosion” side of the spectrum.
In addition, RunKeeper’s new update allows you to set a workout countdown timer that will let you cram your iPhone in a pocket before you take off jogging, and some GPS updates that improve accuracy of exercise tracking.
If you’ve got an iPhone, you can grab the new update here.
from Cult of Mac http://www.cultofmac.com/127150/runkeepers-latest-app-update-will-help-prevent-your-heart-from-exploding/