FitnessPlanner iPad App Review.
Ok, perhaps that is a harsh title, but I was so excited to get my hands on a 4.5 rated app for the iPad that promised that it was all I needed to make my weight loss resolution happen that only the disappointment that followed after using the app could match it. But after just a few minutes spent with FitnessPlanner, the All-Inclusive Weight Loss Management System for iPad, I started to get the feeling that I might lose weight just by reading through the app’s documentation.
The FitnessPlanner System
The idea behind FitnessPlanner will surely appeal to you, as it has to me. It’s an app for the iPad that will empower you to lose weight and stay healthy by helping you understand your dietary needs and physical exercise requirements and based on your current age, weight, height and BMI (Body Mass Index) plus your goal weight.
The equation is fairly simple. The app promises to help you get from your current weight to your goal weight, by giving you both nutritional and physical advice that you can put to good use in a series of planning calendars. You can quickly plan your daily physical routine and manage your eating habits, develop a healthy fitness plan and ultimately see results. Guaranteed.
The FitnessPlanner iPad App
The first impression you get after opening the app for the first time is that you don’t know what to do next. There are buttons up top and to the right. There are arrows and boxes in the middle and text all around. This is a feeling that’s sensible throughout the app.
Once you decipher what you need to do next, the journey can start. Naturally, the app will let you set your current age, current weight, current height and it will calculate how much you should be consuming daily and how much physical exercise will be needed to get to your goal weight in a set amount of time.
But if you expect the above to be straight forward, you’re in for a big surprise. There’s even more text to go through, there are graphics and infographics and pie charts and sketches. At first, I didn’t even know I could actually manipulate the graphics themselves and modify aspects of my plan.
FitnessPlanner will make you go through four main steps, each with about 4-5 substeps, so a grand total of 17 screens filled with informative text, descriptive graphics and settings before you end up in the same place as you would have without going through most of these steps.
And that’s the Food and Activity Planning, where you need to set the diet and the physical exercises. The screens will look like a daily calendar, with all the days of a week in there. You get breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and two evening snacks.
You’ll need to fill each of these with information based on what you read previously. At the end, the app will generate a shopping list and a master schedule for you to keep. The deal is that the app won’t fill anything for you. Instead, based on your settings, it will spit out text that you need to decipher and calculate every meal you want through the day throughout the week.
The app’s UI made me feel lost and like I didn’t know what I was doing. I tend to feel that I’m a fairly good designer and that I’ve seen my share of apps. None that I’ve evaluated gave me this feeling of anger mixed with indecision.
On how the FitnessPlanner made me lose it
There’s an absolutely enormous amount of information you need to consume in order to understand everything the app does, so plan for more than a couple of hours to learn the basics and walk through all the steps of the app.
For me, this app can be easily replaced by a piece of paper and a few Google searches. Everything the app will teach you can be easily picked up through a couple of Google searches and the master schedule it generates at the end was as useless as a one legged man in a butt kicking contest.
After I took my sweet time to fill in all the things I want and should eat at any give point during the time of the day, for each day of the week, the master schedule shows me only the specific times I should be having breakfast or dinner or what-have-you. There’s no mention of what I have to eat, so I had to find the up top button that takes me to the Food Planning and then find the right-side vertical button (how out of style are these?) to show me the planning I had previously done.
Sure enough, that schedule isn’t complete either. It only shows you quantities and you need to tap again on one of the quantities to find out what the quantity is for.
I was expecting sooo much more out of this app. The All-Inclusive Weight Loos Management System. It sure is all inclusive, but it takes a lot of work, a lot of stress to get it right and after reading through the tons of valuable information, you still have no clue whatsoever of what you should be eating and how much of it.
With FitnessPlanner, it’s like being your own nutritionist and your own trainer. And that’s not what I was expecting to get out of this app. Too bad, because I also need to lose weight, but I doubt that by setting my own meals and reading about how the mind works will get me there. Neither will complaining, for sure, so I’m off to the gym now to punch a few holes in a punching bag before going truly mad.
Developer: Useful Tablet Apps
Category: Health & Fitness
Version reviewed: 1.1
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