With thousands of health and fitness apps available for download, and new ones debuting all the time, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of choices. However, not every app lives up to its promises. Here are some health and fitness apps to avoid based on negative reviews, faulty features, and confusing interfaces.
1. BetterMe: Health Coaching
The idea of a virtual health coach to help meet your nutritional and fitness goals definitely sounds appealing. But how does this work out with the BetterMe app? To get started, enter information about your current eating, exercise, and sleep habits, as well as notes about what you hope to improve. The app generates a personalized plan with workouts, a water intake tracker, a calorie log, and even mental health audio components.
For the most part, BetterMe is a fine app with plenty of features. However, reviewers called for a greater ability to customize the daily to-do list. For instance, some noted that they would prefer a greater variety of workouts with modifications to make them more accessible. In addition, several reviewers note issues getting the app to sync with a fitness tracker, as well as bugs that prevented the app from working properly. The app’s experience would also be improved by making some of the content available offline.
Others reported issues with the food log component, which can require you to input everything manually. There is an option to scan the barcode of food items with your phone’s camera, but this feature is unreliable. There’s also a significant focus on weight monitoring and calorie counting, which is even mentioned in the mental health audio content. This may be helpful for some users, but it’s good to be aware of the pros and cons of calorie-counting apps as well. For instance, they may promote unrealistic expectations of weight loss goals.
The BetterMe app’s functionality may improve over time, but it doesn’t shine in its current iteration. You can give it a shot with the free trial, but there are many more highly rated apps for self-coaching to consider as well.
Download: BetterMe: Health Coaching for iOS | Android (Subscription required, free trial available)
The idea of ATLETO is great: create a social network for athletes to foster new connections and encourage one another in a chosen sport. At setup, you can choose to focus on a variety of athletic endeavors, from running to basketball to archery. You can also join in with local sporting groups, or opt to host your own event. In addition, much of the app is geared toward helping students connect in a college setting. This sounds perfect, right?
Unfortunately, glitches make it difficult to book events and additional issues cause the app to crash regularly. Tech problems aside, the app’s search functions don’t always make it easy to find other athletes in a given area, even in major cities.
With some bug fixes and search function improvements, the ATLETO app has the potential to be a helpful social media tool for connecting athletes. In the meantime, try out other social workouts apps like StepBet or Squaddy to connect with others.
Download: ATLETO for iOS | Android (Free)
The Sharecare app promises to do so much: help you get better sleep, reduce stress, and even find a great doctor when you need one. It offers a secure space to store all of your health data, including medications, lab results, and insurance information. In addition, Sharecare also offers a place to track your walking, eating, and stress levels each day.
However, the app’s approach to health isn’t perfect. For instance, one part of the Real Age test asks users to upload a selfie so that the app can estimate your height and weight. To be clear, this is a selfie that only includes your face, and the estimated measurements were way off.
The app asks for waistline measurements, which struck some reviewers as an out-of-touch means of measuring health. In addition, some of the questions, such as gauging your overall health against others your own age and deciding whether your meals for the day were appropriately healthy, are open to interpretation.
Next, the health tracking features require a lot of input from users. To track steps, for instance, you have to connect an external data source such as Fitbit or the Samsung Health app. Because there are so many excellent activity tracker apps in general (and well-rated pedometer apps in particular), this feels like a bizarre extra bit of work. If you have to pull all the information from your Apple Health app, for instance, why not just use that app?
Many reviewers also reported issues with the app not syncing well with fitness trackers or other fitness apps. Sharecare is a large app with plenty of features, but its many issues with activity tracking mean that it may not offer the most accurate or helpful data for people looking to make healthy lifestyle changes. Other apps that integrate a lot of data, such as Apple Health or Samsung Health, may be more helpful choices.
Download: Sharecare for iOS | Android (Free)
4. AI Nutrition Tracker: Macro Di
To be clear, AI Nutrition Tracker does have quite a few redeeming features. The app’s general layout makes a lot of sense, and you can view the day’s intake for total calories, protein, and fiber on the home screen. Plus, the recipes under the Recommended Meals tab look appetizing, with options for a fennel and orange salad, chicken quesadillas, and a turkey caprese sandwich.
However, the selection of foods is limited. There is the option to add something new under the Create a Food tab, but sometimes that slight inconvenience can be a major barrier to being consistent with your food tracking.
Further, some users reported issues with the app failing to sync with Fitbit. The amount of fitness content on the app might be baffling to some as well, because the app appears to be a standalone nutrition tracker. For the most part, the AI Nutrition Tracker app is an OK choice if you also want a tremendous amount of fitness content with a subscription-based food tracking app. Howver, you may want to consider other online nutrition tracker apps, such as MyFitnessPal, as well.
Download: AI Nutrition Tracker: Macro Di for Android (Subscription required, free trial available)
Avoid Frustrating Health Apps
Sometimes apps guarantee great health features or benefits, but they don’t fully deliver on this promise. With that in mind, you may want to take a pass on these wellness apps. Thankfully, there are also plenty of beloved health and fitness apps with millions of downloads and high ratings that can help you meet your wellness goals.