In the not-so-distant past, we pretty much just used apps on our phones for playing a miniature piano (badly) and throwing a virtual ball of paper into a bin. But it felt, at the time, like the zenith of the technological age.
Apps got better, though – and fast. Now there’s an app for almost anything you can think of, and with the rise of connected tech, apps have got more to do with our everyday lives than ever. Check out our favourite of the latest smart app-controlled gadgets that put you in control of your life.
NutriTab Kichen Scale
NutriTab is your kitchen scale and wellness coach in one. It connects to a companion Wellness app on your smartphone to give you nutritional information about your ingredients as you weigh them to help you work towards a healthier diet.
With an online database of over 20,000 foods, and even a barcode scanner for packaged foods, NutriTab tells you the calorific value, fat and fibre content, and sodium levels of your ingredients based on portion sizes.
You can create a profile within the Wellness app that lets you track your nutritional intake, save recipes for later, and review your recommended daily allowance. More than one user can login to the account, so it’s great for families who are trying to commit to a healthier lifestyle.
NutriTab is £79.99.
Oral-B Connected Toothbrush
This toothbrush connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth to give you real-time feedback on your brushing habits.
You can use the app as a remote control for your toothbrush and set up a personalised brushing program using functions on the brush such as tongue cleaning, rinsing, and flossing.
There’s also a pressure sensor on the toothbrush that lights up if you brush too hard to prevent damage to your teeth and gums.
If all that doesn’t quell your teeth-brushing boredom, the app will even provide you with news, weather and oral care tips while you brush.
The Bluetoothbrush is £83.68.
This bedside device uses a combination of gentle light and sound to send you into slumber, gathering data about your sleep from a discreet sensor that tucks under your mattress and sending it to an app on your smartphone.
It tailors its light and sound pattern to your sleeping data to promote a good night’s sleep and help you wake as naturally as possible.
You can view your sleep stats in the morning on the app, including how deeply you slept, how many times you woke up, and the time it took you to fall asleep.
Aura also links to your Nest thermostat, alerting it to change to the best temperature to help you sleep.
Aura is $299.95 (£196) from Withings.com.
If you’re not ready to commit to a wearable fitness tracker just yet, the MyFitnessPal smartphone app is the perfect alternative to ease you into the groove – albeit a more fiddly, time-consuming affair.
The MFP app lets you create a personal profile based on your age, gender, weight, and other variables to calculate your recommended daily nutritional intake. Input everything you eat into the app, and it will calculate the nutritional stats. When you’ve exercised, tell MFP what you’ve done and it’ll keep track of how many calories you’ve burned.
MFP will keep you posted on your progress with simple graphs and charts that display your weight loss and nutritional intake stats.
MFP is free from the Apple app store.
Xiaomi Mi Band
This neat, durable, colourful band tracks variables like your activity levels, walking distance, and calories burned, and sends your stats to the app to help you set and reach fitness goals.
Mi even measures the quality of your sleep and wakes you up with a gentle vibration at the right time for your body, or lets you manually set an alarm at your preferred time.
If you’re about to miss a call on your phone, Mi will give you a nudge to let you know someone’s calling. It has a 30-day battery life, and it’s water-resistant.
What’s more, Mi is friendly on your budget, at just £8.