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Breeze: Finally, a RunKeeper For Those Who'd Rather Walk

Illustration for article titled Breeze: Finally, a RunKeeper For Those Whod Rather Walk

We really dig RunKeeper, the smart fitness app that keeps track of your jogs. But how's an anti-jogger supposed to get in on all the fitness tracking? Enter Breeze, RunKeeper's brand-new walk-tracking iPhone app for people who prefer a saunter to a sprint.

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Like RunKeeper, Breeze harnesses the activity-tracking power of the iPhone 5S's M7 processor. Unfortunately, for now that means Breeze is only available for the iPhone 5S—though RunKeeper says other platforms will be supported soon.

And true to its name, setting up Breeze is, well, y'know, a gentle gust of wind. Once installed, Breeze pulls in the last seven days of walking activity (automatically stored on your iPhone 5S's M7 chip), analyzing how you distribute your activity over the week to come up with a unique daily walking goal. The pre-release beta version I played with knew that I do a bit more walking on my days off, and generated daily goals that spiked on the weekend and dipped during the work week.

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Frankly, after hitting the "install" button, you really don't need to futz around further with Breeze. As you walk through your day, Breeze surfaces alerts telling you how close you are to your daily goal, harnessing your 5S's M7 chip to constantly keep tabs on your moves without slaying your battery. The app cheerleads you on when you've completed a significant stroll, and alerts you to how much further you need to walk to hit your daily goal, while there's still time in your day to get a walk in. And when you set off the next morning, it gives you a recap of yesterday's activity.

Breeze's promotional literature says its goal is to help bring context to your day, encouraging you to add activity to your routine whether it's with a purposeful walk around the neighborhood or skipping the elevator at the office. In the short time I played with it, it was stone simple and completely autonomous, informing me of my activity levels without requiring any input from me—the platonic ideal of fitness tracking.

I wouldn't say that Breeze is a RunKeeper replacement (in fact, integration with RunKeeper is promised in an upcoming update), but it's a sleek and handy way to keep track of the stuff you're doing when you're not running. Breeze is available right now, for free, on the App store for iPhone 5S users. [Breeze]

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DISCUSSION

I've read so many positive reviews of this app and .... I just don't get it. The basic Fitbit iOS app does so much more than Breeze, and given that RunKeeper already uses the M7 chip to track and save walks of more than 15 minutes automatically (their "Pocket Track" feature) I'm kinda baffled why the good folks at RunKeeper have decided to hive this limited functionality of step tracking into a separate app rather than just build it into RunKeeper. And I *love* RunKeeper and use it all the time, so I'm not just some random hater. I just don't get the reasoning behind designing and releasing Breeze.