A Week With Argus

There are a bazillion fitness apps out there to help you track your activity levels and healthy lifestyle. This one caught my eye a few weeks ago, and I decided to spend a week with it and see how it went. So here is my week with Argus by Azumio software.

Argus claims to be a “life tracker” instead of just a fitness tracker. I installed Argus on my iPhone 5 from the App Store (link above). You’ll note that it is not free, but at $2 I figured it was worth a shot. After a brief registration process, you can begin to hook Argus in to your other existing personal sensors. I linked in RunKeeper and FitBit. Argus needs to keep running in the background so it can track your step count. The main interface is pretty slick:

Argus Main Feed

 

You hit the little plus hexagon in the upper-right corner to add additional metrics to your feed. It looks like this:

Argus Add Activities

 

It has more if you scroll down.

Things I Like:

  • I already mentioned I like the interface. I find the sliding hexagons pretty cool and refreshing as a news feed.
  • While again not free, I like the integration with Instant Heart Rate, also by Azumio, which can take a pulse reading using the phone’s LED light and camera. Very cool. I shelled out another $2 for the heart rate app.
  • Argus automatically pulls in the weather for the day. Over time that could be neat to run some metrics on (assuming I can get to the data somehow)
  • It has the ability to tie into a Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor (which I don’t own yet) and track your workouts in real time. It has quite a breadth of workout types available.

Things I Don’t Like:

  • If you keep Argus running in the background, it is a battery hog
  • Since I have the iPhone 5 and not the 5s, I’m assuming it is calculating step counts using the accelerometer. It is not very accurate.
  • Instead of ceding the step metric to a superior device, I have 2 step counts in my feed. The Argus count, and since I linked, the FitBit count. I don’t need both and would like to choose.
  • It nags. If I shut it down from memory to save my battery, it complains about being shut down. It also nags me about drinking water throughout the day. While some people might find this useful, I already drink a ton of water every day, and don’t always remember (okay, never…) to hit the little button to log it. I wish I could turn that off.

Overall

I think Argus is a pretty cool tracking app if you aren’t already invested in some other app or tracker device to quantify your fitness. For $4 you can get Argus and the heart rate app and have a really great platform to get started. For those who are more serious about their personal data, there are better choices out there. Personally I’m going to stick with FitBit and RunKeeper. FitBit tracks my activity without having to be told anything. RunKeeper has been my staple app for tracking my runs for over a year now, and I’m not likely to switch any time soon. Between the two of those, there is really little else I need. I’m going to keep tinkering with Argus for a while though, and see if it grows on me.

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