Posts Tagged ‘mobile applications’

Unidev’s Favorite Fitness Apps of 2013

On January 1, 2013, I grabbed a notepad and (like most) began scribbling down goals for the New Year. Eat healthy, workout more, drink more water.  My first two weeks were great. I hit the gym and cooked healthy meals.  By week three, I began feeling burned out. Not wanting to quit, I turned to my trusty iPhone for some much needed motivation. There were so many fitness apps, that I didn’t know what to pick.  I asked around the office and researched a few of the Unidev Favorites!

 

CaitlinCaitlins Favorite App

Favorite App: Fitocracy: The Fitness Social Network 

Price: Free

Fitocracy is an application that helps you track your workouts and compete head-to head with users around the world.  Need to find a new workout? Never fear. Fitocracy has them preloaded. If you are up to the challenge, you can master one of their many “quests,” to “level up,” and earn points. While friends keep you accountable, the countless workouts make sure you are always challenged.  For a real calorie burner, try the Widowmakers under the “Quest” Function.

 

 

Amanda: 

Favorite App: MyPlate by Livestrong.comAmanda's Favorite App

Price: $2.99

Livestrong.Com currently has a calorie tracker, that helps you track your fats, carbs, and protein intake with just a click.  According to the iTunes stories, this app boasts over 1.3 million food and restaurant items.  MyPlate comes with functions to track your weight and water intake, and also allows you to join support communities for extra motivation!

 

 

JamieJamie's Favorite App

Favorite App: My RunKeeper

Price: Free

 My Runkeeper is a GPS Personal trainer that tracks your runs, walks, bike rides, and hikes using the GPS on your phone.  With a dual function, it allows you to still listen to your music while you are running. When you finish it allows you to post a map of your run  Facebook as well as take notes for next time!

 

 

Chelsea

Favorite App: MyFitnessPalChelseas favorite app

Price: Free

Why she loves it: My Fitness Pal is an application that allows you to track your meals and exercise.  The function ensures you are eating the optimal amount of calories for a healthy lifestyle.  With a “calories in versus calories out,” model, you can gain extra calories to use for eating out or after work happy hours. Accessing your meal plan is easy on-the-go and Chelsea finds it essential as she plans her upcoming wedding!

Mobile Payment Movement Leads to Concerns Over Security

Earlier this month, Starbucks bet big on mobile payment company Square, investing $25 million in the rapidly growing startup and adding its CEO Howard Shultz to Square’s Board of Directors. August also brought an announcement from Google that their mobile payment solution, Google Wallet, now works with any major credit card. These major changes indicate the rapidly growing mobile payment movement, an industry some experts predict to reach $74 billion dollars by 2015.

Google Wallet Mobile Payment

Google Wallet interacts with the Mastercard PayPass system.

But the convenience of mobile smartphone payments have many concerned over security issues with the new payment platform. Both technical and personal concerns have arisen, and the companies heavily invested in mobile commerce are making efforts to ensure consumers stick around.

Many personal concerns stem from a fear that easy payments mean easy money for criminals who get their hands on consumer smartphones. However, most mobile applications that process payments have built in features to make them possibly more secure than traditional credit cards.

First, most mobile commerce apps require a pin number to activate the NFC (near-field communicator) antennae. Coupled with pin-based locks screens on smartphones themselves, consumers often have two layers protecting their digital wallets. Also, stolen smartphones can be tracked with the built-in GPS capabilities and shut down remotely. While these features aren’t universally true of all mobile payment applications, major players like Google and Square lead the market with these security features.

From a technical standpoint, things get more interesting. With a new transactional platform, new methods of exploitation arise. Indeed, Square has already been hacked twice since 2011. However, it seems that these breaches in card security aren’t significantly different from fraud issues facing credit cards.

Some experts even feel that mobile payments are safer from exploitation than traditional 16-digit credit card accounts. Because credit cards have been in use so long, much more developed and sophisticated methods for cracking these accounts exist. Mobile payment systems may have the added security benefit of simply being new.

While valid concerns surround this new method of payment on the go, the security issues currently facing mobile payments seem manageable at this point. With the continued rapid growth in market share, it seems that the mobile payment movement will continue to march onward.

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