UP by Jawbone (Free) by Jawbone is a new version of the original UP app (now renamed to UP – Band Required) that now integrates with Apple’s HealthKit, so no UP band is required. UP by Jawbone is similar to other apps that we’ve covered, such as FitPort, MyFitnessPal, and more.
Health is important to me, as it should be for you. But to be honest, I didn’t care a lot about this stuff prior to having access to all of this technology that now helps us keep track of everything. I’ll admit — I kind of just winged it before — probably not the best thing I’ve done. But thanks to wearable fitness trackers and now our own iPhones, managing your own health has never been easier, and I’m grateful for that.
Several years ago, I bought an UP band from Jawbone, and I was amazed with how it was able to keep track of my steps and even sleep. Sure, it wasn’t the best implemented as far as syncing goes (you had to plug it in to the headphone jack to sync), it was useful to have around. I’ve since abandoned that UP band for other things, such as the Fitbit Flex and Force bands, and I’ve been happy ever since. However, with Apple unveiling HealthKit and the API for developers to integrate with their apps, I’ve been excited to give them all a try. And now, thanks to UP by Jawbone, I no longer need a new UP band to get back into the UP world.
The interface for UP by Jawbone is bright and colorful, so it feels welcoming, especially for new users. That was one thing I missed from the days when I used the UP band — Jawbone’s colorful, easily recognizable sections for each piece of data that it was tracking. It’s user friendly and intuitive. The main screen will feature bars that represent your sleep, steps, and food, so you have everything in a single glance. Underneath that, you’ll find a timeline of your activity as well as any friends (also called teammates), and you can view any section individually with the side panel navigation menu, which can be accessed by swiping from the left edge of the screen or by tapping on the “hamburger” button in the corner. The interface is simple and easy to understand, but it does take a bit of getting used to, especially if you’ve never used the app before, or are just coming back to it after many years.
Before you can use UP by Jawbone, you will need to register for an account or sign in with existing credentials. If it’s your first time, don’t worry — sign up is fast and easy. Once you have that set up you will want to grant the app permission to access your HealthKit data. UP by Jawbone will keep track of your steps automatically if you have an iPhone 5s or higher. The app can also keep track of your sleep data, food intake, and workouts.
To log your sleep, just tap on the iPhone button in the top right corner, and then select “Log Sleep.” This gives you the option to select the time you went to bed and the time you woke up. Unless you have an UP band, though, you won’t be able to see when you were “restless” or “awake” during your sleep. For this, I’ll still keep using my Fitbit Force.
I did encounter some kind of glitch as I input my sleep for today, though. I entered it once, and yet the app saved it twice, so it looked like I had 14 hours of sleep instead of seven (I wish!). I’m not sure why this was the case, but I had to manually delete one to correct it.
If you need to log your food for the day, just tap on that fork and knife icon near the center of the main view. This brings up a library of your previous entries (if you used UP before), or you can manually search for items to add. Photos can be attached if desired, and once you save it, UP will give you a food score so you can see how healthy or unhealthy your meals are. Tapping on the score will give you a breakdown of fiber, carbs, fats, sugars, and more.
UP can also record your workouts, which is done by swiping from the right edge and then selecting “Log Workout.” Here, you can choose activity type, effort level, start time, and the duration. There is also the option to set activity alerts throughout the day for your progress, and reminders if you are using the UP band or just want push notifications.
A tap on the steps bar can also bring up a breakdown of your activity too, including active and idle time, calories burned, and more. The same can be done for sleep, but unless you have the band or can track times when you wake with another HealthKit app, then there probably won’t be much to see here.
Pulling the screen down on the main view reveals a timeline of recent activity. You can also navigate to different areas of the app from the main side panel menu, such as your profile, goals, lifeline, trends, and team activity. The default settings for goals is based on the average UP user, but you can adjust them to fit your needs with sliders. Trends is a good way to see your progress, and the Lifeline is a timeline so you can see all of your activity for as long as you’ve been using the app (it also gets past step data from your device’s M7 or M8 chip).
I’m enjoying the fact that I can now use UP by Jawbone without a new band, but I still found the app to be a bit glitchy when I attempted to manually log data, such as my sleep. I’m not sure why this is, but just be warned.
Also, after taking a look at iTunes reviews, it seems that this version of the app does not work with the UP band itself, so if you are have the UP band, or plan on purchasing one, you will still need the UP – Band Required app. This seems to follow the trend of companies splitting up their apps for no logical reason (Facebook and Messenger, Foursquare and Swarm), which results in a frustrating user experience overall. I’m not sure why Jawbone did not just integrate HealthKit into the main app, similar to how Fitbit’s MobileTrack feature makes it so users can use the app without a fitness tracker.
If you have never used UP by Jawbone before, or want to try to come back to it after switching to something else, then this app is worth a look. But if you have the UP band, just stick with the original app.