Wearable makers are always trying to get you to buy a piece of hardware, or pay for this and that, but Lark is something quite different. It requires no fancy hardware, just the same old iPhone you have any way and its freely available application. Using what is already available, could make Lark one of the most affordable ways to augment your fitness.
As an application and a free one at that, Lark is a little different from the average “wearables” we talk about. The hardware behind it all is your iPhone, which uses built in sensors like a gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetosphere, to track things like exercise, sleep, steps taken and calories burned based on your input stats.
However where Lark goes a step further, is that it’s designed to give you advice, warnings and reminders for different things to help keep you pushing yourself. For example, it will remind you to get up and take a break from your desk every so often. It will also remind you that today is work out day and give you little encouragement messages to get started.
If your sleep schedule is out of whack, it will suggest a bed time or dietary changes to help you sleep better.
On top of that, Lark has a natural interface, where instead of looking through data tables and charts, you can just ask it what your last exercise session was like, or comment on its ideas with a simple text input. Tell it something is good and it will learn that that’s what you like to do. The same takes place in reverse, with discouragement changing Lark’s behaviour and how it interacts with you.
At this time, Lark is entirely free from the Apple app store.
Unfortunately for now, Lark is a pretty limited app, because it only works on iOS handsets (requiring Apple Healthkit to work) and even then, it only works with iOS 8. On top of that, there have been some concerns that it starts to provide the same sort of advice and ask the same sort of questions after a few weeks, making it feel a little redundant once you’ve learned its tricks.
Considering its free status and limited impact on your phone’s battery life, Lark seems like a great tool for those looking to trial fitness tracking. However, I still think bespoke wearable hardware will deliver a better job in the long run and won’t mean you need to go for a run with your phone bouncing around in your pocket.