Loveable animated critters have tricked you into leaving the house. Now it's time to put a number to that coincidental exercise.
Across America (and Australia, and New Zealand, and other places unofficially), gamers are being coaxed into exploring the real world in pursuit of Pokémon. Pokémon Go is relatively unique in that progressing and capturing the eponymous critters (mostly) involves leaving the house and moving around.
Twitter is full of stories about players racking up insanely high step counts while out and about hunting Pokémon — tracking down Pokéstops or gyms and in the process getting an unexpected amount of exercise. So if you're not already onboard with a fitness tracking service, it's a great tie to get started in between Pokémon tracking and training.
Let's dive into some simple step tracking Android apps that can let you track the basics without totally overwhelming you with numbers.
Google Fit recently got its biggest update ever, bringing a new design and making it easier to see your daily stats. Like most fitness apps, you can use Fit to keep track of much more than just how much you're walking, but it's also easy to set it and forget it. Simply set Fit up, set a goal (if you want) and check back later to see how you're doing. Alternatively if you have set a goal, you'll get a notification when you reach it.
You might not be able to track down that elusive Charmander, but you might just feel a bit better about your health.
Samsung's fitness app, now open to all devices running Android 4.4 KitKat and above, has also undergone a major overhaul lately, adding new competitive features and making it easier to track your step counts across different devices. S Health can track as much or as little as you want, and while there's a lot of detail to drill down into — and competition to be had through the leaderboard — it's also possible to use the app to keep a casual eye on your day-to-day activity.
S Health isn't limited to Samsung phones anymore, so when you're not leveling your Bulbasaur you can grab it from the Google Play Store.
As the name suggests, Pedometer by tayutau is a simple app for tracking the number of steps taken over time. It's got a simple, clean interface and features which let you see how many calories you've burned on any particular day, as well as giving you an overview for particular weeks, months or years. If you don't want to get super-involved with one of the more complex fitness tracking apps, Pedometer is a great entry-level option.
Take a break from swimming Scroog McDuck-style in your vast reserves of pokécoins, and hit up Google Play to check out Pedometer for free.
Noom Walk Pedometer
Another great step-tracking app that focuses on simplicity, Noom Walk Pedometer gives you a simple, clean UI to keep track of your weight loss goals and the number of steps you've taken from day to day. You can plug in Facebook and Google+ to connect with friends and family, and add notes to specific days to remind you of where you've been and what you've done. (Can be Pokémon-related or not, your call.)
Let Noom's pedometer app worry about tracking steps — while you deal with that nasty-looking Fearcrow.