If you want an easy way to track your steps, to make sure you're meeting an activity baseline every day, your options are effectively limitless — from Nike to Fitbit to a litany of Kickstarter projects, fitness trackers are everywhere. Jawbone, one of the earliest entrants into the field, is trying to take things to the next step: not just telling you how you're doing, but giving you tangible, achievable ways to do better tomorrow. That's what Up24, the company's newest wristband, is all about.
Up24's one and only technological change over last year's model is wireless syncing — it connects to your phone using low-energy Bluetooth, meaning you don't have to pry off the cap and plug the band in every time you want to sync or charge. But it's much more than just a convenience: having your Up always connected to your phone allows Jawbone to use your real-time data to provide feedback and recommendations.
'Today I Will' finally get some exercise
A few days after I started wearing a new Up24, the updated Up app (now on version 3.0 for iOS, with Android coming soon) started suggesting what time I go to bed in order to get more sleep, or small ways to beat my average number of steps in a a day. These "Today I Will" prompts walk the line between motivational and confrontational, designed to make you feel just bad enough about your sleep habits to do a little better tonight. If the day is ending and you're almost to your step count goal for the day, your phone will let you know, pushing you to finish strong. And if you've gotten enough sleep a few days in a row, or hit your step goal, you'll see Streaks and Milestones on your timeline bragging about how healthy and active you are. All these notifications are completely customizable, and easy to turn off or ignore, but whether the Up24 is pushing you to drink more water or get more sleep, it seems to do it well.
Tracking your sleep remains one of the Up24's most impressive features, showing you exactly how much and how well you slept. The new band also has the same vibrating alarm clock that will wake you up at the exact spot in your sleep cycle where you'll wake up most refreshed; you can set alarms wirelessly, and even go back later and add data if you forgot to manually put the band in Sleep mode at night.
Jawbone says it's just getting started mining the data it's collected
The Up24 costs $149, comes in Onyx and Persimmon (black and orange), and is just the beginning for Jawbone, I'm told. The company has a massive trove of data after two years and two iterations of its Up band, and is only scratching the surface of how it can mine that data. Knowing when you have to stop drinking coffee or you won't sleep well, or the time of day you'll get the most out of a trip to the gym — that's all apparently possible. But even in this first iteration, the Up24 does what every fitness band ought to: telling me exactly how I'm doing, and exactly how I can do a little better tomorrow.