My search for the perfect quantified-self app

Hi guys. tust wanted to share with you my latest blog post (actually, 2 posts), in which I review tracking apps, using versatility, customization, data portability and mobility criteria:

Out of 185 tracking iOS apps that I found in the Apple Store, 2 qualified for being “perfect”. Hint: one of the winners has been listed for a long time in the QS Tools directory here on QS website :slight_smile:

Would love to hear if anyone else has done similar reviews (especially Android users!!)


Nice reviews and thanks!
Question - do any of the apps on your top 4 list support automatic tracking of location throughout the day using GPS?
Or any other apps that you’ve come across?

Would be nice to be able to review where i was on a given day in the past at a given time… Not as part of any exercise or experiment, just as an auto diary type of feature.

Hi Matal,

The only app that supports it is the Daily Tracker (you still have to manually activate the location ping). I am currently using OpenPaths app to track my location, and it fits your description. It runs “in the background”, does not drain battery, and you can access and download your location data via their web dashboard, in CSV/JSON or KML format (along with the image of the map with your tracks). Here is how data looks like in CSV format:

“lat lon alt date device os version
40.85565567 -73.93881226 76.69277191 9/11/2012 1:46 iPhone4,1 5.1.1 1.1
40.85562134 -73.93876648 79.34098816 9/11/2012 1:48 iPhone4,1 5.1.1 1.1
40.87106323 -73.94261932 76.90000153 9/11/2012 5:56 iPhone4,1 5.1.1 1.1
40.85562134 -73.93877411 76.90000153 9/11/2012 11:03 iPhone4,1 5.1.1 1.1
40.85123825 -73.94017792 90 9/11/2012 11:41 iPhone4,1 5.1.1 1.1”

So you can literally trace back your location at any minute.

Hope this helps!


Analytics just became personal! Can you express your everyday life in numbers? Can you improve your life by turning it into a series of games and experiments? Follow my personal “Measured Me” experiment to find out:

Thanks - trying it out.
Meanwhile, “PlaceMe” does almost exactly what I envisioned … great UI as well … except that it seems to be quite buggy. Doesn’t always pick up changes, freezes, etc. etc. It would be ideal if it was bugfree.

Does OpenPaths or Daily Tracker support reporting how it determined your location? If it is using GPS, the battery drain can be high, but you’re getting decent accuracy (usually within 50m, if you let it run, as good as 5m).

If using network tower triangulation, the power cost is very low but the accuracy can be off by up to 1-2km. That’s good enough for city or neighborhood-level locations, but not which business, for example, you were visiting at a given time.

The app I’m writing/using right now captures both location methods’ output as available, and reports which is more trustworthy for later analytics. I find that I prefer automating powering up the GPS for a minute or so and getting that location at regular unsupervised intervals. Slightly more battery consumption overall but I want to be able to trust my data well.

If anyone is interested in doing this via their own phone or browser, I (and others here, I’m sure!) can help point you in the right direction.

Just wanted to share one of the “built it yourself” tools available (actually its two but they are the same). I’m not affiliated with them except by location and that I’m considering becoming a customer. --For Apple – For Android

Basically its a “build you own survey app”. So measure whatever you like, however you like, monthly fee. Offline/Online doesn’t matter. Uploads results when you hit a internet connection. Brand-able too.

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Hi Carsten,

Thanks a lot for the links! You may check out the pricing first: it’s 89 dollars per month, which I believe is a steep price for an average self-quantifier. You can use it for free, but only data from 10 sessions will be stored on their website. In principle, it could work, if you fill out survey once a day and then download data at the end of each week.