Total Score: 27
Shine is an app that lets you set goals for weekly activity and track your progress. There was an indiegogo project for a wearable device that will be the companion product to this app. The device, when available. will be the size of a quarter and introduce a new way to sync with your iPhone. Until that product becomes available, the Shine app can still help you plan and provide motivation.
Update 8/3/13 – at long last my Shine has arrived. I’ll begin testing and providing additional feedback as to ease of use. You’ll find that content at the end of this review.
Upcoming: Comparison of UP and Shine.
Price Rating = 5 Free. The cost will be in the wearable device. The cost is currently $99.95. It is line with other wearable devices.
Ease of Use Rating = 4 This app is easy to use once you understand how to use it. I am confident that with user feedback the instructions and FAQs will provide more information.
Readability Rating = 4 Some of the content is in large type and some is very small. It has a nice clear display, which is appealing.
Will You Use It Rating = 5 Part of developing a fitness regime is getting the motivation to do it. This app and device will help.
Downsides Rating = 0 It would be nice if it had more exercises, but it can be helpful with what exists now. I would expect more in the future. Since I received my Shine I have had two updates. The first added more activities and the second a bug fix (I think). What is clear, is they are committed to improving the app.
Consumer Review Rating = 4 Shipments of the device started in mid-July. The ratings, so far are very positive. One negative comment on the site indicated that it required a Facebook account. It is an option, but you can sign-in without it.
Why Do You Need This App Rating = 5 Setting goals and tracking them helps you achieve success.
How does it work?
- You have to create either a Facebook or email sign on to open the app.
- Your next task is to set your profile information. It is the standard US/Metric, gender, birth date, height and weight.
- The next step is to set your goals. You can choose from the recommended plans,(essentially not-active, active and really active settings). You can adjust your points up or down by using the up and down arrows on the goal screen. And, you can do that by pulling the down arrow underneath the “TODAY”, “YESTERDAY” or “WEEK” header.
- There is one more setting you should do before you begin. In the “MY SHINE” menu found under the “TODAY” header you will find three different activities – sleep, cycling, swimming. When you tap your Shine three times it tracks that activity specifically. You can, of course, change it several times a day depending on your activity. FYI – you know your Shine is tracking the activity when all the lights flash up and down.
- Then you start moving.
- As mentioned above there are three headers – TODAY, YESTERDAY and WEEK. These headers organize your progress. In the middle of the screen you see your total number of points and information to tell you how much more activity you need to reach your goal. Tiles at the bottom of the screen can be expanded to give you more information.
- In order to sync the device with your phone you simply place it on your iPhone screen and tap SYNC. It indicates exactly where it wants you to place it and updates your numbers. Note: You need Bluetooth on for this to work.
- Your Shine arrives nicely boxed and includes the device (about the size of a quarter), a device to open the battery door and a battery. It isn’t hard to install the battery, but you would benefit by watching this video on the process.
- You receive a wrist band – rubber – which is adjustable and quite comfortable and another rubber device that allows you insert the Shine and then attach it to any piece of clothing. The magnet on it is quite strong.
- Two taps on your device, brings up lights to show your progress and then moves to the time. This isn’t exactly intuitive, but it works. First four lights appear – at 12 – 3 – 6 and 9 to orient you (they are slightly dim), then lights appear to show the time and minutes. I am not sure I would use this as a daily watch, but while on a run or swimming, you could easily see the time.
- Tapping three times initiates special tracking for the activity you set in settings (see above.)
I chose this device primarily because it tracks swimming. It was the only waterproof tracking device on the market. The secondary reason this was my go to device is the fact that it is so small. I could wear it with anything and it wouldn’t scream out fitness device.
Now that I have the basics down I’ll begin my formal test period. I’ll try to update the post every couple of days to give additional information and my opinion of the device.
Day one: I dove into the deep end with the Shine – literally. About an hour after it arrived I wore it while I was swimming. I haven’t quite mastered the activity counter yet, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out. I might have disrupted it when I checked the time. Which reminds me, the lights don’t show up well in bright sunlight. It was simple to shade them, so I don’t consider this a drawback.
Day two: I have to comment that the Shine is extremely comfortable to wear. I had it on my wrist all of yesterday and up to about an hour ago today. I barely notice I have it on. I wanted to see if it recognized activity on a stationary bike so I attached it to the leg of my shorts. It worked perfectly. I had the Jawbone UP for a while and I could never get it to recognize that activity. It is extremely magnetic. I walked into the laundry room and it got close to the washing machine and it jumped over and attached itself to the washer. Now, it’s time to try one other fashion choice. I am going out to dinner tonight, so I just looped my Shine over a black cord necklace. It is quite attractive. On a more serious note, I have found out I am not moving enough. Too much time reading and writing. With inspiration from the Shine, I’ll work on that.
Day three through six: Sadly, my activity level has not been up to normal. Too much writing. My Shine reminds me of that and inspires me to move more. I find myself really enjoy the time keeping/watch-like feature of the Shine. Things have been going well until today. I’ll see what happens tomorrow. By I lost some data today and was not happy with that.
Day Seven: The device seems to be working well today. No lost data. I still need to move more.
Day Twenty-Two: I have been wearing it every day since the day it has arrived and I have mastered the two and three-tap commands. It has encouraged me to move more and I have had lots of comments about the device. I’ve worn it on my wrist, with the clip attached to my bra and with the club on a black necklace. So far, all have registered my activity correctly. Now, I just need to have more. With that thought. I’m heading out to swim.
Devices: This app can be used on either the iPhone (3GS, 4, 4S and 5), iPod Touch (3rd, 4th and 5th generation) or iPad. It requires iOS 6.0 or later. App developed by Misfit Wearables Corporation.