1. cjvitek's Avatar
    Tap and Track, by nanobitsoftware.com
    $3.99, ****


    • Guided process to figure out daily allowances
    • Lots of items in the database
    • Easy to enter daily food and exercise

    • Searching for food items took some time (not guided)

    Its that time of year again holidays, gift giving, eating too much, New Years resolutions. With that in mind, I decided to review a couple of apps that may help with the most common New Years Resolution losing weight. I took a look at a couple of apps (Tap & Track as well as Nutrition Menu) to see how they compare and how they will assist you in losing weight. Each is reviewed separately, letting you decide which you might want to use.

    Tap and Track is an app that is centered around a diet plan as opposed to simply tracking caloric or nutritional intake. When you start the app, you are prompted to input your profile your weight, age, height, goal weight, how fast you want to lose weight, etc. From this information, the app gives you a daily allowance of calories for each day. The idea is you simply tap to enter your food items, tracking how quickly you reach your goal.

    Entering food is remarkably easy. On the main page, you simply tap the green add food button, and then can choose to search the database, browse through restaurants, use previously used items, or simply enter calories (not other nutritional information). When choosing something from a restaurant, you can also choose your portion size, a nice feature that doesnt assume you always eat one portion. You can also add your own food items, including as much nutritional information (or as little) as you like.

    Looking through their database, it is pretty complete. I tried looking for a couple of common restaurants (Jack in the Box and Olive Garden) and they were both listed. I tried finding a less common restaurant (RJ Gators, a regional chain in Florida) and it wasnt listed. I also tried looking for some common food items in the database (3 Musketeer Bar and Lipton Chicken Noodle Cup-O-Soup) and they were both there, although I must say it would have been nice to be able to lookup food items the way I did restaurants (rather than searching the database). The database claims to have 80,000 food items, so chances are you will find what you are looking for.

    Also on the main screen you can enter any exercise you do. Whether it is in a gym, playing a game, or some other activity, you can choose the intensity with which you participated, and the length of time. This will then be converted to a number of calories burned, which gets added to your total allotment during the day.

    You can add daily weight measurements, check you daily or weekly log for calories (and other nutritional information) or be specific and check for food and/or exercise. The information is easy to access and view, and also includes some nice graph options to view the data graphically. You can export the data via email, although it is difficult to find the setting (it is through the information button on the first screen), but there is no way to import any data.

    All in all, I found this app straightforward and easy to use. The adding food feature is both easy (just tap a button) and somewhat time consuming (having to search the database) but presumably the more you use it, the more foods you can mark as favorite or recently eaten. It tracks weight loss graphically, and also includes information about nutritional data and exercise. At $3.99, it is not overpriced, and if you dont mind typing to search for food types (instead of having them presented in categories) this app is right up your alley. Four out of five stars.

    Rating scale:

    * = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
    ** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
    *** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
    **** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
    ***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.

    Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.
    12-23-2009 03:32 PM