As bloggers, one of the things that we like to do every now and then is to check out our statistics to see how users manage to find us, what they’re looking for, and which pages they look at the most. There’s always some little surprise you’ll find when you look at them, and you never know what kind of information you might be able to get by looking. Sometimes you find ideas for new posts from the search terms people find you with, sometimes you’ll see that a subject you thought nobody would really care about is your top post, and sometimes you just can’t help but wonder why in the world anybody in their right mind would search for that and even more mindboggling is how that led them to you.
What we found from our recent blog stat voyage is that our top page, beyond the home page itself, is the post I wrote last year titled Free Weight Watchers Apps (Droid). It’s always been a pretty popular post since I published it, but this year it’s consistently gotten twice as many views per day than any other post. That post covered three apps that Jenny and I used on our android phones at the time.
Today we’re going to take another look at the free Weight Watchers apps out there, but this time we’re going to broaden our search a bit by covering Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry devices. For the official Weight Watchers apps, I’m going to list every device download I could find, which will include the iPad and the Windows Phone 7. We’re also going to look at a few apps that aren’t actually Weight Watchers related, but that people have mentioned to me recently that have helped them with weight loss in one form or another.
I’ll let you know right now that I have an Android phone and I have absolutely no experience with any Apple devices, so my reviews come strictly from experience with the droid versions. Also, there are some differences between the US version of the apps and the Canada version, so if you’re up in the frozen north then you will not have all of the features in your version that we have down here (and no, I have no idea why).
Downloading the Apps
Each of the apps that I have listed below has icons after the names. Each of those icons will take you to the page where you can download the app for the respective device. If an icon is missing, it’s because I couldn’t find anywhere to download that particular app for the other devices.
Some of these apps also have special versions available for devices other than droids, iPhones, and BlackBerries. For those apps, I’ll put links in the descriptions following the app names to take you to those versions.
If there’s a missing icon, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the app doesn’t exist for your device or that there’s not an alternative, it just means that as of 02/16/2012 I could not find another option beyond what I have listed.
Official Weight Watchers Applications
|Weight Watchers Mobile|
There’s also a version that’s supposedly optimized specifically for the iPad which you can download here.
“Track and calculate PointsPlus® values, log your weight, get great food ideas, and much more. Get comprehensive access to weight-loss tools and info. If you’re not a subscriber, test-drive the App for free, and get recipes, articles and more.”
This app is basically eTools in your pocket. It’s has all of the major functionality of eTools built into it. We use this primarily for tracking our food when we go out to eat (so we don’t forget what all we ate by the time we get to a computer), but it has a lot more functionality than that.
Browsing through the app right now I see:
- PointsPlus Tracker
- Weight Tracker
- PointsPlus Calculator
- Healthy Checks
- My Profile
- My Friends
- Cheat Sheets
- Shopping List
- Featured Recipes
- WeightWatchers.com Articles
- Success Stories
- Meeting Finder
- Contact Weight Watchers
If you want to use all of the features of this app, then you have to have an active eTools subscription. Everyone that downloads the app has access to the daily recipe, shopping lists, cheat sheets, success stories, meeting finder, and friends.
If you have eTools or a subscription to WW Online, then you get access to the additional tools such as the tracker, calculator, 40,000+ recipes, weight tracker, and everything else in the list above. So if you really want to get the most out of this app then you need to be an online member or otherwise have access to eTools.
Special Note: This app is still in the Beta testing phase so there will be times that you have a little trouble with it. From our experience, if it seems like it’s taking a while or that something isn’t working right, just close the program down and restart it. If anything takes more than about 30 seconds, there’s probably something wrong. It doesn’t happen very often these days, but it’s a possibility so be aware.
This one also has a Windows Phone 7 version which you can download here.
At the Supermarket or a restaurant? Calculate Points Plus values on the go.
Only available to Weight Watchers Online and eTools subscribers – just use your valid username and password login to start to use the calculator. Works without a WIFI or internet connection, you will be prompted to login in every month.
While there is a PointsPlus Calculator built right into the WW Mobile app, Jenny and I both have this separate app as well just because it makes it simpler to pull up the calculator directly than to open WWM, pull up the menu, click the calculator, and then do what we want. It’s faster to just pull it right up and get started. It’s incredibly convenient, and we use it all the time when we’re shopping.
This app also allows you to calculate Activity Points. The drawback is that nothing you calculate on this app can be uploaded to the site (as far as I’m aware), so while you can calculate it, the number doesn’t really go anywhere and you’ll have to use your tracker app or the web site to get it tracked. If you’re not tracking online though, it does give you the number to use in your paper, monthly trackers.
One benefit to having this app is that you don’t have to have an internet connection to use it. You do have to log in once per month, which does require a net connection, but you won’t have to log in again until the following month.
Download the new Weight Watchers Barcode Scanner app to your iPhone or Android, then see how easy food shopping can be! Scan barcodes on food packages and get accurate PointsPlus values for thousands of additional brand name foods. You can quickly compare products, send to your Tracker and add as a favorite.
To find PointsPlus values, all you need is an internet connection. Weight Watchers Barcode Scanner gives you access to its own foods database with thousands of brand name foods. It still works with your Weight Watchers Mobile tracking app and your Plan Manager, so once you’ve scanned a food, you can add it to your PointsPlus Tracker and your Favorites. You can also compare multiple scanned products.
If you want to get even faster at your calculations, then I introduce to you one of our recent favorites – the barcode scanner. We’ve been using another app for this functionality for a while, which you’ll see down below (WW ScanCalc), but this one is a recent addition from Weight Watchers. Once again, this app does require you to have an Online membership or eTools subscription. If you don’t have access to those, and don’t plan to either, then the WW ScanCalc app down below is the one you want since it’s 3rd party and doesn’t have any membership requirements at all.
We’ve only had this app for a few weeks, but it’s been really useful and much more updated than WW ScanCalc was when it was new (which is completely understandable, btw). I’ve taken to using this one exclusively because I know it’s as up to date as it can be with a direct link to the Weight Watchers database.
It’s also extra handy because when you scan an item you can add it directly to your tracker from the barcode app. This morning Jenny and I tried out some new english muffins for breakfast with a creamy honey spread that we’ve never tried before, and it took about 5 seconds to scan both items in and add them to the tracker.
You can use this without an active internet connection, but if you do it will only be able to calculate items that you’ve scanned before. So it maintains some functionality without a net connection, but not much. Also, if you scan an item and it isn’t in the database, you can choose to add it to your phone’s database within the barcode app by entering the nutritional information.
|Kitchen Companion (iPad App)|
Explore healthy cooking like never before! The Weight Watchers Kitchen Companion gives you ideas for what to cook and how to cook it. We’ll take you through the cooking process, from planning the menu, to shopping for ingredients, to making the dish. It’s the ultimate interactive healthy cooking tool.
As I mentioned before, I don’t own any Apple products so I have no experience with the apps that go on them. This app is for the iPad only, but it’s apparently a cookbook app that lets you browse the Weight Watchers database for recipes, favorite the ones you like, add your own, and track what you’re cooking right now.
There’s not a whole lot of information on the download site, so that’s about all I can tell you. If you’re interested in having a cooking companion, then you might want to give it a try. (And then you can totally come back here and write a guest post review on it. *wink-wink, nudge-nudge*)
3rd Party Applications
I also wanted to cover some apps that aren’t official Weight Watchers apps because I know that not all of you who are reading this will have access to WW Online or eTools. I do not have personal experience with all of these apps, so in some cases I can only tell you what I’ve heard from others. I did a little bit of research to see if I could find a good points tracker but the three that I found that looked the most promising were all free trials that let you track for 3-5 days and then you would have to buy the full version.
First up we have WW ScanCalc which was is fantastic. We used this app for close to a year before Weight Watchers came out with their own (see above), and it worked great. Their database isn’t as big as Weight Watchers, so sometimes you will end up with items that you can’t scan for the points, but we’ve had that happen much less frequently in the last few months than when we first started using it.
It’s an incredibly simple program to use that turns your camera into a barcode scanner and uses a database to look up the items you’ve scanned to tell you the points value. The whole process takes about 3 seconds.
From my experience with scanner apps on your phone, as I work with them in my job as well, if you’re having problems getting the scanner to focus and pick up the barcode, you want to completely close down that program and reopen it. Sometimes things just get a little mixed up with the app and it will refuse to focus on something and you need to reboot the app to get it going again.
This is one of the apps that I personally have no experience with. However, I have seen at least a good dozen of my twitter friends mention using it. It doesn’t track your points or calculate your point, because it’s not actually a Weight Watchers app. Instead, it’s a calorie counter that also tracks your activity throughout the day and helps you keep those things balanced. There are other features as well, but again I have no experience so I can’t talk about them.
If you’re on Weight Watchers this app can still give you a good idea of how you’re doing in terms of exercise. While Weight Watchers doesn’t use calories in any of it’s calculations, the relationship between diet and exercise is that if you’re burning more calories than you’re taking in, then you’re going to lose weight.
This app is another that I have no personal experience with. I also am not aware of anybody that I know using this app. What I do know is that when I was looking for alternative apps to use, this one showed up repeatedly and it had good reviews across all three of the devices that I was looking at. I can only assume that it’s another calorie counter like MyFitnessPal, and likely has an exercise tracker in it as well since the point of counting calories is knowing how many you need to work off as well.
I put it on the list as another alternative for people who are trying to lose weight, who either don’t have access to Weight Watchers’ online tools, or those who follow our blog who aren’t actually doing Weight Watchers in the first place.
Hopefully this will give some guidance to all of you who are searching for easy ways to track your progress and your success.
If you have any other apps you would like to suggest to people for weight loss, please leave us a comment to share it with others. If you want to give us a link to the app, please leave links that lead directly to the site rather than using URL shortening services so that everyone knows exactly what site they’re being sent to before clicking on the link.
If you would like to share a review of one of these weight loss apps, or have another app that you would like to review for us, our doors are always open for guest posts. Contact us here, on twitter (@Psynister and @Fynralyl), or via email at ChubbyCoupleBlog@gmail.com.