Sex & Health

Holloway: Phone apps cater to maintaining healthy habits, advancing sexual needs

As a child, my nightly assault course to reach the cupboard containing the biscuit tin always drew the same response from my mom: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

But that was 15 years ago on the West coast of Scotland. Today, being a flight across the Atlantic Ocean and having a five-foot-something frame more than capable of navigating the kitchen, there’s a new mantra in town: “Where there’s no will, there’s an app.”

According to research by technology analysts Gartner Inc., the mobile application market was worth $9 billion in 2012. Given the number of smartphone-related on-campus collisions I’ve witnessed, it’s clear students live their lives through a touchscreen. When old-fashioned will power or inspiration fails them, students turn to their smartphone.

Here’s a rundown of some kicking-cookies-to-the-curb apps, with fitness and sex apps to boot:

Juice: On Monday, Mashable reported on an app that monitors energy, sleep and nutrition levels. Users input their energy levels on a scale of “awful” to “great.” The app collates the data, gives you a weekly report and bugs you to death if you forget to input your data. It’s a pretty cool app if you want to see how your energy or sleep levels varied throughout the week, although the scale is a bit arbitrary.

The Eatery: Need to be forced into healthy eating because you aren’t ashamed that you’ve already eaten your sixth Chipotle burrito of the week and it’s only Tuesday? With The Eatery, you are obligated to upload photos of your meals, only to be judged on a health scale of 1-100 by complete strangers. You’ll get you-were-61-percent-healthy-this-week feedback, which may keep your hands out of the cookie jar, to some extent.

BigOven: This app hasbeen getting big licks for being the most comprehensive cooking app around. BigOven has a massive recipe database, but it also generates a shopping list in aisle-order, so you know exactly where to go in the grocery store to buy ingredients.

RunKeeper: It’s a classic as well as a keeper. RunKeeper, an Android and iOS app, makes use of your smartphone’s GPS to track workouts. It compares stats, helps set long- and short-term goals, and offers customized training plans. CEO of RunKeeper Jason Jacobs told Techcrunch.com the app has more than 14 million users.

Lift: This iPhone app allows you to trawl a “most popular good habits” inventory before deciding what behaviors you’re going to focus on improving. Behavioral changes can be anything, ranging from improvements in fitness to being more productive. Lift breaks every targeted behavior into micro-habits, and lets you know consistently how you’re getting on in your quest.

MyVibe: Prudes, stop reading. Everyone else – still reading? Cool, because you can turn your iPhone into a vibrator with this app. MyVibe manipulates the vibrating function of the phone and is more effective if you take your phone out of its case. According to the Daily Beast, it’s better over clothes, a slight relief given how many friends’ iPhones I’ve held.

Spice Dice: Durex dreamed up this app. Users virtually role the dice to see what sex act they have to perform thanks to Spice Dice. There are some cool position ideas, complete with stick figure illustrations.

Girlfriend Keeper: This app generates text messages for your significant other based on the seriousness of your relationship and the communication expectation level. Texts are sent automatically on a schedule, from every two hours to once a month. An example on Girlfriendapp.com reads: “Did you know we started dating 37 days and 8 hours ago?” Try to tell yourself that that message, followed by a semi-erotic Snapchat wouldn’t make you melt.

It makes me wonder how humans ever lived without app assistance. With that said, I’m off to use Cookie Doodle to make and bake a technological treat.

Iona Holloway is a senior magazine journalism and psychology major. She was recently ridiculed in Newhouse as the sole class member who didn’t have an iPhone. She used her Samsung to flip everyone off. Email her at ijhollow@syr.edu and follow her on Twitter at @ionaholloway.

  • christopher_kimble@hotmail.com

    Brilliant article. Already looking some of these apps up. I can see the headlines: “Apps made me loose 100lbs”

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