An update to how I use Exist.io (Android Edition)

Twelve months ago I wrote a blog post that explained how I used Exist.io with all the various services and hardware that I owned. That was iPhone centric, but I now use a Galaxy Note 8 so there has been some fairly major changes to my workflow. Read on…!

Exist Logo

The biggest change was obviously changing from iOS to Android. The Exist app on android is just as great as the iPhone version so this was no big deal. The big deal is in Android wearables. Android Wear is dire. I bought a Huawei Sport 2, and fairly rapidly replaced it with a Fitbit Charge 2.

Sleep tracking on the Huawei was terrible, Google Fit is a special piece of rubbish, and nothing ever synced properly as the watch tried it’s best to push me into their own Huawei Health system. No thanks.

I eventually decided to try Fitbit. Their app is great, the tracker is fantastic (maybe another post on that some other time) and it just works all the time.

I wear it 24/7 except for swimming (battery life is 4–5 days) and it feeds the following data into Exist. The fact it works all day and all night means that Exist gets quite a lot of tasty data to analyse.

  • Time Asleep
  • Time in Bed
  • Steps
  • Continuous Heart Rate
  • Workouts Logged

Recently, I started swimming at my local pool and was wondering how I would log this into Fitbit (without buying a new swim-proof fitbit…). Turns out the pool uses a service called Swimtag. You make an account with them, check out a wristband and go swimming.

When you return the band, your swim data is analysed and uploads to your account. This gives you lots of interesting stats, but most importantly it can post your swims into Fitbit. Perfect! It even supports challenges, but sadly doesn’t have badges…

I also started dabbling with meditation at the end of the day to help me wind down for sleep. Exist can store ‘time meditating’ but only reads this from Google Fit. Hmm… I found an app for this, ‘Meditation Timer & Log’ which is available free from Google Play. Just go into settings and connect Google Fit.

A few things I want to do in the future is looking at building my own integrations for Untapped (to record beers in Exist) and Monzo (to log daily spending). I think both of these data points would be interesting and could have some curious correlations to sleep, mood and others. These are on my list of things to do when I eventually get around to delving back into Python coding.

If you want to try Exist, please use my link to get two months free (and $2 off my next bill!)