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Protect Your Health w/ FDA Recall Watch

Posted on Jan 10, 2011 in Health, Top Rated Apps | comment

FDA Recall Watch allows you to stay up-to-date with the latest recall advisories from the U.S. FDA.

  • Version: 1.2
  • Size: 185KB (no apps2SD)
  • Category: Health
  • Price: Free



This health and safety Android app offers a simplified way to keep yourself and your friends/family informed of the latest warnings from the FDA. The app’s main page features a chronological list of advisories which provide the company involved and the date issued. Each recall can be clicked on to view specific product names and a detailed description of why the warning was issued. Furthermore, for applicable cases, symptoms of illness/contamination due to a recalled food item are also listed to determine if you may have been affected. Each recall also comes with a link to the FDA.gov website for the complete alert.

Pros:

  • Up-to-date recall warnings from the FDA
  • Share alerts via text message, Twitter, or Gmail
  • Simple, easy-to-access layout gets straight to the point



Areas for improvement:

  • Ability to clear alerts that have been read
  • Add Facebook share option



Conclusion: An Android app that will help you avoid health or safety issues with foods, drugs, or medical devices.

[AppBrain Link]

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Top Android App: RunKeeper Pro

Posted on Dec 30, 2010 in Health, Top Rated Apps | 1 comment

RunKeeper Pro uses GPS to track your fitness activities and the stats that go along with them.

  • Version: 2.5.0.3
  • Size: 2.22MB
  • Category: Health
  • Price: Free through Jan. (Reg. $9.99)



Important note: the pro version is normally $9.99 but is free through January!

This fitness Android app provides real-time feedback on a variety of activities including running, cycling, walking, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, skating, swimming, biking, wheelchair, elliptical, and more. When ready, click the large, green “Start Activity” button.

The main feedback screen offers activity time, avg. min/miles (for running), calories burned, current pace, total miles, and Google Maps tracking.

One of the benefits of the pro version app is the support for audio cues that motivate you during your workouts. These cues can be set to activate depending on a specific time or distance. Additionally, the pro version offers customized interval workouts, integrated RunKeeper FitnessClasses, and no advertising.

Click the large, red “Stop” button to complete your workout. Then, add any notes before saving. All of the details will then be stored in the “Activities” tab on the app’s main screen. You can even choose to share your results on Twitter or Facebook.

Pros:

  • Intuitive interface makes activity tracking simple
  • Support for a long list of activities
  • Most features don’t require a RunKeeper.com account
  • Currently free!



Areas for improvement:

  • Activities and maps shouldn’t be automatically set to share publicly



Conclusion: An excellent Android app for anyone looking to track and document their physical activities.

[AppBrain Link]

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Soothe Yourself to Sleep w/ Lightning Bug

Posted on Nov 18, 2010 in Health, Top Rated Apps | comment

Lightning Bug is a “visual sound machine” that will help you relax and fall asleep.

  • Version: 2.4
  • Size: 1.92MB
  • Category: Health
  • Price: Free



Lightning Bug is an extremely customizable Android app that enables you to choose and combine sounds that will soothe you to sleep. Some of the conventional sounds include rain, waves, and thunder storms. Options for more unique sounds are also available, e.g. clothes dryer, ceiling fan, and fireplace. Long-press the sound’s icon to adjust individual sound volumes and their timing.

If you’re going to use this app while you fall asleep, enable the sleep timer (kind of like the sleep button for your TV), to tell the app when to fade out. You can even have the app close itself after your phone goes to sleep, along with resetting the phone’s volume too.

This app provides additional features to those that you’d find with similar apps like SleepTimer and Relax and Sleep. You can also set a background scene in addition to displaying the time. There is even a plug-in manager that allows you to download supplemental packs of scenes and sounds. Some of the other settings you can choose to personalize include the font, clock color, time & date format, and the alarm.

Pros:

  • Add and customize sound combinations
  • Set the sleep timer and fall asleep worry-free
  • New scenes and sounds from downloadable add-ons



Areas for improvement:

  • Improved integration/navigation between original vs. plugin add-on scenes/sounds



Conclusion: An Android app packed with options to help you sleep.

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Top Android App: JEFIT – Workout, Fitness, GymLog

Posted on Nov 15, 2010 in Health, Top Rated Apps | comment

JEFIT is a workout planner with hundreds of exercises and advanced tracking tools.

  • Version: 3.1
  • Size: 683KB
  • Category: Health
  • Price: Free



JEFIT is a comprehensive weight training Android app that was designed and developed by serious bodybuilders. If you’re like me, you’re always looking for new exercises to really target and isolate specific muscle groups. This app does a great job of organizing these muscle groups, specifically for shoulders, back, biceps, triceps, chest, forearm, abs, upper & lower leg, and glutes. Even so, textual descriptions of exercises can sometimes be hard to visualize. Luckily, this app includes an additional animations package which you can download and save to your SD card. Then you’ll be able to view how each exercise should be performed (to learn proper technique and avoid injury).

Starting a gym routine isn’t always easy, especially when you’re not sure where to start. Included in the JEFIT app, there is a sample “beginner’s routine” to get you set up with when to hit the gym and what type of workout you should do. This routine planner is fully customizable and let’s you adjust the schedule and exercises to fit your goals. Additionally, there is a tab for your personal stats (e.g. height, weight, BMI, body fat %, etc.) as well as a daily log so you can track your progress. Documenting results is a great way to keep you motivated.

Pros:

  • Routine planner & workout tracking/stats
  • Ability to sync all data online
  • Large exercise database (and option to add your own)
  • Supplementary animations



Areas for improvement:

  • Ability to search exercises is needed



Conclusion: A great Android app to help you get (or stay) healthy. Make your gym visits worthwhile!

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Top Android App: Epocrates Rx Drug Reference

Posted on Oct 22, 2010 in Health, Top Rated Apps | comment

Epocrates is an informative, comprehensive, mobile drug reference app.

  • Version: 1.191
  • Size: 0.94MB
  • Category: Health
  • Price: Free



This health Android app will keep important drug information at your fingertips. To use this app, you will have to create a login and password (which is easy within the app itself) and download the resource information package.

The first great features I found were the Interaction Check and the Pill ID. Interaction Check lets you list up to 30 drugs to determine whether there may be any adverse affects with their combination. The Pill ID lets you identify an unknown pill by providing its physical characteristics like imprint, shape, color, etc. You can also look up any drug by it’s name or classification (e.g. allergy, dermatologic, psychiatric).

There are even calculators for things like Body Mass Index (BMI), dosage, and unit conversions, as well as informational tables pertaining to topics like cardiology, dermatology, and emergency medicine.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive Rx and OTC drug resource
  • SI and English units
  • Drug interaction analysis



Areas for improvement:

  • Improve initial information download speed
  • Enhance user-interface



Conclusion: You’ll definitely take advantage of this app if you have kids, are studying for nursing/medical school, or want to be well informed about your health.

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