Jumpy Cat - a free, inclusive Fitness Coach app that designs personalised workouts

Forum
iOS & iPadOS

Hi everyone,

We're a couple of indie creators from London, and we have built a simple fitness app that uses AI technology to design personalised video and audio workouts on demand. Jumpy Cat was built out of our frustration with wasting time to search for workouts online. We also wanted to make it minimalist so it can be used as audio workouts only.

Here's a link if you want to skip reading the rest of this post, and just try out the app: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1519669458

We've got lots of great feedback from blind people about the app, and we're working to make the audio guidance even better. We realised that blind and hard of sight people are generally a neglected group when it comes to fitness, and we're striving to make the app as inclusive as possible (also for seniors, people with injuries etc). We're doing this by focusing on creating the best audio guidance possible: currently it includes drill cues, tips on good exercise form, and exercise variations. And we'll be adding even more instructions soon.

How it works: You pick your options such as duration, level, body area, and training style, and the algorithm designs the workout for you in a few seconds. The whole workout, including the audio, is unique every time. In total, our algorithm can create more than 15,000 different workouts.

All of this is completely free, and we've made more than 75% of the content free, for everyone. We only ask one small favour: please leave a review of your experience on the App Store to support the app so more people can find and use it. Currently, it costs 3-4 dollars per ad click on the App Store for this kind of apps, and we really can't afford to spend this amount on marketing for a free app, sadly.

There are just a few advanced paid options that you can get for 1.99/month if you'd like to support us, but even without those you've got literally thousands of unique workouts on-demand. If more people support us with purchases, we plan to give back by gifting the subscription to those who can't afford it.

If you're interested in trying it out, you can download JumpyCat for iOS here: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1519669458

If you know individuals or communities who can benefit - please message me, or simply share with them!

P.S. The app is named after our very playful kitty :)

Options

Comments

Submitted by gailisaiah on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Hi Silvia, I will give this app a try! Thank you.

Submitted by Cliff on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Amazing! This app might just as well be exactly what I need! :)
I downloaded it and took a quick glans, and so far this app looks really promissing!
Ionly wish this app would be able to sync workout data to Apple Health... By a quick look within the app I couldn't find any setting to do that. It's very nice to be able to have all my health goals populate at the same place and to keep track of my activity in the health app both from my Apple Watch and from other workout apps. But perhaps that will come in a future update.
I'm looking forwards to testing this app out tomorrow! If the time wasn't past 11 o'clock in the evening right now here in norway and my kids weren't asleep, I'd jump right on it and do a workout session at once, but then I have something to look forwards to tomorrow :)

Submitted by Silvia on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

In reply to by gailisaiah

Thank you for trying it out!
Please support us by leaving a review about your experience on the App Store, so other people can find the app.
Also please share with your friends and family!

We're just a couple of indie creators, and, sadly, we can't afford the 4-5 dollars per ad click for Apple ads. We're fighting against very big Chinese companies with giant advertising budgets...

Reviews and word of mouth is the best way to help other people find the app so we can provide free and accessible fitness resources for everyone! Thanks in advance for all your support.

Hi Cliff!

Thanks for trying it out!
We'll be adding lots of new features, integration with Apple Health is coming soon!
The top of our backlog is: 1) Add more detailed instructions for every exercise - useful for all beginners, and especially for blind and hard of sight people; and 2) Apple Health integration.

Please support us by leaving a review on the App Store, even if you find that the app is not exactly your cup of tea.

I want to be honest and tell you straight up that we can't afford an advertising budget, so reviews and word of mouth is the best way to make sure the app can be discovered by people in the App Store. We really want to keep the app free, with some optional small purchases, so that everyone can access fitness resources and stay healthy. We really need your help, so please tell everyone you know, who can benefit from this!

I hope you don't mind the directness, and thanks so much in advance for all your support! :)

Silvia

Submitted by gailisaiah on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Hi Silvia, I am still very interested but I did not have good success after downloading this app. I chose my workout, the video came up, but nothing happened. I'm sure it must be operator error. So any suggestions would be welcome. I went in to my settings but the app didn't show there. Thank you for any suggestions. Still very interested.

Submitted by Silvia on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

In reply to by gailisaiah

Hi,
Everything seems to be fine on my devices.
I can think of 2 possible issues: 1) there may be an issue with your Internet connection and 2) the workout starts paused, so maybe the VoiceOver for starting it failed?

Maybe try again, and let me know how it works for you?

Submitted by Adaria on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

This is an awesome idea. I really hope to see more instructions on how to do some of the exercises mentioned, even a section listing them with brief audio or text descriptions of how to do each would be really helpful.

I am absolutely a fan of this and look forward to further updates. I love the versatility in the types of fitness, length of time, etc etc.

Thanks for this and I hope you get more good feedback!

Submitted by mendi on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

I just took a look at the app and created a workout. That went fine, and the workout started. My issue was, it does not describe the exercises, and I must admit, I have no idea what a clam shell or a boxer shuffle is. And, those were low impact and level one exercises. What happens when they get more difficult? I guess my point is, either the exercises need to be described, or like was previously mentioned, there aught to be a list of the exercises so one can read the text of how to do them. I do like the idea though and would be interested in seeing this app be developed further.

Submitted by Silvia on Thursday, July 23, 2020

In reply to by Adaria

Thanks for your feedback! We're already working on adding more instructions about how to do the exercises.
I hope you don't mind my asking - would you mind leaving a positive review on the App Store? It really helps other people discover the app, and motivates us to keep working on it!

Thanks for your feedback, we're working on it!
Please consider supporting the app by leaving a positive review, and sharing about it with your friends and family. The more people use it, the more we can improve it.

Submitted by Adrianne on Thursday, July 23, 2020

I love this concept! I was just thinking I would love an audio described quick HIIT workout, and I saw this post!

I see in the above comments that you are already working on describing the exercises, so that takes care of my first recommendation. A separate section describing them would work, but it would be even better directly in the workout. In the one workout I tried, there was plenty of dead air to fit it in. Since I assume you have tons of moves, and there's no way to know which moves will be in a workout, it would be hard to know which ones to go look up in advance. Speaking of that, it might be nice to have a place that lists the moves in a workout so we would know what to expect. That way I could change the workout without having to do the whole thing first. For example, the one workout I made was a 10 minute HIIT, and it seemed like it just alternated 2 moves over and over. Because I was just testing it out, I didn't listen to the whole thing, but I wouldn't want that workout. Next time I will increase the difficulty level to see what else I get, but it will be annoying to have to listen to the whole thing first to know what I'm getting.

One other recommendation is to add a beat to the background to know the tempo of the workout. I had no idea what pace I should be going.

I will leave a review on the app store and tell my friends about the app, but not just yet since currently the app isn't fully usable for me. I look forward to updates soon!

Submitted by dezzi on Thursday, July 23, 2020

Hi not only did I try this app but I also paid for the in app purchase. I’m really enjoying this and I look forward to the descriptions of exercises I will be leaving a review on the App Store. For someone who has arthritis, I love the versatility of these workouts. Again thank you

Submitted by Tina on Friday, July 24, 2020

I think this app has potential, but as I review it, I can see some major weaknesses.

On the plus side, the app is indeed very accessible. The interface is clean and uncluttered.

It sounds like your working on how to describe the exercises, so you're already addressing that concern.

But, Houston, we have a problem.

Your use of a text to speech voice to guide the user during the workouts lacks the engagement I'd expect from a personal fitness trainer. The prompts sound cold, dry and impersonal, and I'd likely lose interest after a while. Even though the words might be motivating, the voice puts me to sleep. Also, some of the prompts need to be checked for clarity. One of them says something like, "You're at the half point." Did you mean halfway point?

I'm not sure that having a single voice for all workouts is a good idea in the long term. Right now, you have the same voice regardless of the type of workout.

You might wish to find some voice artists who can make the workouts more personal and engaging, and maybe vary it up depending on the type of workout. Also, please add music, since as of this release, there's too much dead space between the prompts.

Thanks for hearing me out.

Submitted by Silvia on Friday, July 24, 2020

In reply to by Adaria

Thanks for your feedback, we're working on it!
Please consider supporting the app by leaving a review on the App Store, and sharing about it with your friends and family. The more people use it, the more we can improve it :)

Thank you for the detailed feedback!

If you're like me and looking for variety, try changing the "Variety" setting, it gives you 3 options:
- Stamina reps - this will give you 4 to 5 intervals per exercise (not necessarily one after the other!). Choose this to train for endurance.
- Balanced reps - this will give you 2 to 3 intervals per exercise. It's a good balance between endurance and variety.
- No repeat exercises - this will never show any repeated exercises, so it's perfect if you get bored easily. Note, this last one of the advanced options with the 1.99 USD monthly pass.

Also, before the video starts you should be getting a screen that sums up the workout.
For example, "Your Workout Today: 15 minute Agility and Mobility for the Lower body".
3 groups of 4 exercises. 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off per exercise. Warm-up included. Cool-down included.

Are you getting this?
I'm thinking that might be a good place to mention also the number of reps per exercise, so you can decide if you like the workout.

Submitted by Silvia on Friday, July 24, 2020

In reply to by dezzi

You totally made my day! :) I'm so happy to hear your feedback.
We're working hard to release the next update that will make your experience even better.

Please share with your friends and family who may also benefit!

Best,
Silvia

Thanks for your detailed feedback! :)

You definitely described the level of sophistication we're striving to achieve with the app. Having said that, we're a couple of indie developers, so unfortunately right now we don't have the budget to hire voice artists.

I totally get your point though, and will think about how we can improve the experience with the resources we currently have.

I'm not sure what the specific prompt issue was. The audio guidance is generated on the go, so even for the same exercise the guidance will be different from workout to workout. We'll be adding some feedback mechanism after each workout, so people can report such issues in the future, and we can debug.

Submitted by Tina on Friday, July 24, 2020

I was saying that I can't see how music and a synthesized voice would match up in a workout environment. That's why I feel that voice talent is so critical to the long-term success of this app. Thanks.

Submitted by Tina on Friday, July 24, 2020

I'm pleased you've reached out to this forum, but if you haven't done so, I'd get in touch with the RNIB, since they might be able to help you find ways to describe the exercises. I'd also get in touch with a university or something like a community college to find fitness instructors and students who know how to train people.

Please understand that in my view, voice talent is critical for making these workouts engaging. Since I can't see the trainer, I need to hear encouragement or reassurance in the trainer's voice, and with any synthesized voice, I'm not getting it. I'm just getting words, and after reviewing some of these workouts, the voice started to sound flat. So I'd urge you to think seriously about finding someone who can record prompts for you at little or no cost, but in the long term, please don't stay with the text to speech voice. I understand some people are trying to find ways to make text to speech voices more expressive, but I doubt they're going to be able to do so for a few more years. You could try to program these voices, but I don't think it's going to sound the same. Plus, even if you gave the voice a name, I'm not sure I could relate to it. Any attempt to do that in this environment can still come off as fake, and I'd see through it.

Bottom line: Even if you tried to make the synthesized voice try to sound expressive, I'm not sure everyone will be convinced. I realize you're using it in the short term, but voice talent will be more effective in the long term for making this app more engaging for an audience who depends on voice.

Also, I'd look at that university or community college for any musicians who can write workout music for you. Someone noted that pacing the workout without music is challenging.

And that's also why I'm serious about encouraging you to find voice talent. Upbeat music with a cold synthesized voice is not a good match.

Please pardon me, but I feel this is important for you to think about. It might take some funding, which is why I might suggest finding a sponsor who can help you with that. But whatever you do, please seek out help. Thanks.

Submitted by Tina on Saturday, July 25, 2020

Thanks for your reply. Based on what I've seen, I'd encourage you to work on the following.

Work with RNIB and any other blindness organizations for guidance on how to describe the exercises. Also, get in touch with some of those fitness instructors at a university, community college, or local fitness center. I know you're working on that, so please keep doing it.

I can't emphasize enough the importance of finding voice talents. As I said in my last message, using the same electronic voice throughout the app turned me off. I'd encourage you to find both male and female voices to create variety and hold interest. Your audience needs to hear someone who can motivate and encourage them, which is why voice talent is so important. That's why I think fitness instructors could be a resource, whether at a university, community college or local fitness center. These people know some things about how to train people, so they know how to motivate and encourage them.

Someone noted that without music, they can't really pace the workouts. Please find someone to write the music for you. And remember that upbeat music combined with a voice that lacks emotion is bound to send the wrong messages to an audience who depends on voice.

If you need funds, please look for someone to sponsor you. Maybe the RNIB could be a sponsor for you, so I'd talk with them over Zoom or some other conference call app to explain your concept to them. They might also be able to hook you up with some blind/visually impaired musicians.

Finally, keep working on health app integration.

I think your app has potential, but with these suggestions, I think the app will go over much better. I'll be checking this forum for updates and hearing what others think. Thanks, and good luck.

Submitted by Adrianne on Thursday, July 30, 2020

In reply to by Silvia

Yes, I did get a workout summary like you said. However, mine said "1 groups of 8 exercises," which actually wasn't correct. There were 2 different exercises. So I wasn't sure exactly what that meant. Thanks for explaining about stamina vs balanced variety. It would be useful to put a short description with those choices, since I didn't know what that meant either. I just picked one to see what happened!

Here are a couple of other things. I went back to that workout to see what the summary said so I could reply here. But that screen only had a start button, not a cancel or back button. It would be nice to have a way to go back if I wanted to choose another workout.

So I hit start just to test some more. I tapped play to see what would happen if I tapped the other buttons, like forwards and backwards. But once I got in the workout, I couldn't get to any other buttons. I switched to a different app and then back, and then I was able to see a close button and a pause button. There were no backward or forward buttons like I saw before I started the workout. After a few moments, the close and pause buttons went away again. Possibly it went to full screen or something? Maybe this is how it was supposed to be, but I just thought I'd let you know.

I really do like this app, and I hope all of the feedback helps!

Submitted by Yvonnezed on Saturday, August 1, 2020

Hi.

I gave this a try too, and I really like it. As someone who's written my own workout system in Shortcuts, I always find the different ways people do this interesting.

First, I don't actually mind the electronic voice, my own system does this through Voiceover, the problem for me is that you can't seem to adjust it. For example, I could use the speed to be a bit faster. I agree with the music suggestion, my own method which is to play something else at the same time I'm having Voiceover read my workout moves obviously doesn't work here, since you can't play more than one audio track at once. It's an interesting puzzle, since I imagine you'd have to add the music server side when you create the workout.

The descriptions are an interesting problem too, since I'm imagining the more you used the app, the more the same moves would come up, particularly if you replayed a workout you'd already generated. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't need the description the tenth time I'd done the same exercise.

I'm going to give this a try for my next workout and see how I go doing not just listening.

From what I can work out, the forward and back buttons seem to reappear if you pause the workout, which you can do with the standard two finger double tap VO pause gesture. I think the way to think about the workout is as a list of short videos in a playlist.

Submitted by Silvia on Saturday, August 1, 2020

Your feedback's very helpful!
The summary screen does have a close button to cancel the workout, so I'll look into why VoiceOver doesn't pick it up. I'll also change the description in the summary - in your case it was 1 group of 2 different exercises, 4 reps each, for a total of 8 exercises. So, I see how it saying "1 group of 8 exercises" didn't make sense.
One question I have is would you like to know also the format of the workout? For example, the algorithm may create an ABAB format, or an AABB format or an AAAABBBB format. Does it make sense to also include this information on the summary, like so: "1 group of 2 different exercises, 4 reps each, in an ABABABAB format"?

Regarding your second question, all the buttons disappear as the video goes into full-screen. So it's basically like Youtube, you need to tap anywhere (or your equivalent gesture) to get all buttons to appear again. However, I'm confused that it was only happening for the pause and close button but not for the forward and backward one, so I'll test again. Also, I'll see if we can add a setting to use the app as audio-only while keeping the buttons on screen the whole time, for people who prefer that.

Thanks again for your feedback! Please consider leaving a review on the App Store if you have a minute, it helps a lot! :)

How interesting! It never occurred to me you can devise a system using Shortcuts! If you don't mind sharing, I'd be curious to hear how you've set it up :)

We've got lots of feedback from people asking about adding music, and I know it's very nice and motivating to have when working out. We're trying to figure out how to do this. Companies like Spotify allow us to play music only in their own player, which makes sense, but then there's also the iOS restrictions about how many audio tracks you can play at the same time, and how they coordinate with each other, and so on. We're brainstorming about it!

Please let me know your thoughts when you have a chance to do a workout!

Submitted by Tina on Saturday, August 1, 2020

It sounds like we're bound to run into some complications, and I can't help feel that we might have a disconnect somewhere.

Based on the feedback we've all been giving, I just can't see how you can use an electronic voice and make if as adaptable through these workouts without compromising the intelligibility. These voices just aren't as adaptable in terms of pacing, because once you've set it, you have to go back in and change it. So if the voice is client side, the only way for the user to change it is to stop the workout, that is, unless there was some programming in there to make it possible for the voice to adapt on the fly. If the voice is server side, the programmer would have to control its pacing. Face it, as it is now, the voice is too slow, and while it's possible to speed it up, how would you do that without sacrificing intelligibility? Also, you have to be careful not to cut off prompts.

Bottom line: The current crop of electronic voices just isn't organic enough to take the place of voice talents. Also, since the tone of the voice you're using doesn't vary, it still feels strange. I especially feel this, since all your workouts right now are cardio or strength. There's no yoga or meditation programs, and since the voice sounds exactly the same, how is someone to tell the difference just on the voice alone? It just seems like we have a disconnect somewhere.

If you do add music server side, you'd need to have enough so it's not too predictable. Also, you'd want the music to fade when the app needs to read out a prompt. Also, I'd suggest that the music be instrumental.

It sounds like you have a lot of challenges you need to deal with, so I'd add some people in the gaming community to your resource list.

I'm not sure how you'll be able to add descriptions, but the only way I can see that was if you added a kind of "learn the exercises" section to the app. .

I'd also add a Settings tab to the app to do such things as clearing your history, choosing between audio and audio/video, and other controls.

Bottom line: You have your work cut out for you. Thanks.

There are actually a bunch of Shortcuts based workout systems. The way mine works is that I write a workout in a certain format and send it to the app. for example,
plank:30
meaning plank for 30 seconds or
20 squats:-:pause
which then says 20 squats and pauses to let me do them. Obviously I then have to hit continue to go on. There are a couple of other commands, but that's the basics. Usually I'm just translating workouts from the net into this format, which is pretty easy.

I can set number of rounds or time, and it outputs how many rounds I did and how long it takes at the end and lets me add notes that then get sent to my journal or, if I include a path statement to say where the file is, append it to the workout.

Yes, it's complicated, and basically evolved as my fitness practice evolved. Aren't you sorry you asked? 😏

Submitted by Debbie on Sunday, August 2, 2020

Hi Sylvia
Having tried out a few workouts, this app really does show some promise - especially for blind people. As someone who is totally blind, I’m looking forward to further improvements with more audio, especially some description on exactly what & how each movement should be performed I.e. what is a “Monster Munch Walk”?!! Since its pretty clear that the workout programs have a set time to perform each exercise, personally I think it would be useful either to have some music or beat or Perhaps more of a heads up when each movement is shortly to end. Not knowing exactly what some of the movements involved and with no rhythms to work with, I floundered a bit In the silence between each movement.
I had to mention a Apple rival ie Amazon Alexa, but on there it has “The Body Coach Workout” with more audio driven instructions about how exactly each movement should be performed.
On the positive, I found the app very easy to navigate with voice-over and the selection to choose from is really good, even on the free version. It was really lovely being able to select the type of exercise I wanted & duration. If the audio description surrounding the actual exercises can be expanded on - maybe very descriptive for level 1 and reducing as levels get higher, then I reckon this will definitely turn into a 5* app!!
It’s staying on my phone, hoping for further updates and I would definitely consider buying the pro version if the audio can be enhanced further.
Well done with how much you’ve achieved so far & thank you for remembering us blind folk.

Submitted by Tina on Monday, August 3, 2020

I'm getting the impression that many people on this forum like the app. As I have stated before, thre app has a good deal of potential, but it also needs some work.

From my chair here, I think the biggest concerns seem to be finding some way to describe the exercises concisely and precisely so a blind/visually impaired exerciser can follow the movements. This has always been a challenge for which there is no easy solution. I know one solution would be to stop the workout to describe the next exercise. This makes me wonder: If there's a rest between exercises, can that period be used to give the descriptions? And what about a sort of "learn the exercises," section of the app?

Since there is a set time for each exercise, I'm wondering if anyone in the gaming community can work with our app developers to come up with ways to create music that matches the various types of workouts. Even in the days of classic video games, right up to now, that's what they do. While this app isn't a video game, I believe the gaming community has a lot to teach us in this environment.

Finally, the use of voice talent is, from my perspective, the best way to make the prompts feel and sound organic. I can't emphasize this too strongly, since if you tried to find ways to speed up or slow down the synthesized voices if they're server side, I'm not sure how it would work. I've seen some people try that with audio description, and it still sounds somewhat awkward.

I realize that voice talent costs money, but unless these electronic voices are able to adapt, I just don't see any other way. Maybe it might be a good idea to consult not only with the resources I've suggested, but maybe to partner up with Tyler Meren, founder of Revision Training here in the States. He's working on something similar, though it doesn't involve the artificial intelligence component. And don't forget about the usual crowd funding resources.

I think your idea of using artificial intelligence to design workouts is what makes your app stand out in this space, but finding ways to add audio description, the use of voice talents and the addition of music, not just a beat, but upbeat instrumental music, will go a long way to making this app shine. Thanks, and good luck.

Submitted by Tina on Monday, August 3, 2020

It never fails. Just when you think you've said everything, another observation comes to mind.

While none of your workout programs seems to run longer than a half hour, I can imagine what could happen if you ever go to a full hour. Using the single voice as you are now, I see a danger of the exerciser eventually losing interest and the voice almost fading into the background, especially if it sounds as flat as it is now. It makes me wonder about the possibility of all workouts having at least two voices, but if they're as detached as we have it now, I still feel uneasy. I've seen training programs where two hosts guide the workout if only to help the audience stay interested. But as I've stated before, doing it with two electronic voices just won't cut it if the aim is to motivate the exerciser.

I think this explains why it's easier to create a workout and package it up. Done that way, it's easier to record everything and give the exerciser a package of moves they can learn.

What you've done is unique, since the workout is designed on the fly. However, the people designing these electronic voices have a lot of catching up to do before we get the same on-the-fly adaptability we get from having voice talents in the studio. That's why I've been so vocal. If you're attempting to re-create the feeling of a personal trainer, the electronic voice just doesn't give me that feeling at all.

Another comenter said that when they tried to do a workout, they had trouble pacing it without some kind of a beat. I could also see this, and I'm not sure if having the computer generate music is a good way to go. Plus, if you feel tempted to use so-called chip music, I'd be careful about that. I've heard a bit of chip music, such as the music found in older video games, and most of it leaves me cold.

If anyone can't wait, the only workable solution I see right now if you want to use this app in its current state would be if you have another device, whether it be a digital talking book player or another smart phone or tablet. You could create a few playlists and use one device to play your playlist while you use Jumpy Cat on the other. However, it could be a challenge if you wish to get the timing just right. That's why, from my chair, this is more a stop gap measurer until music is integrated into the app.

Also, if anyone on this forum is a blind/visually impaired musician, maybe you can get in touch with the developer and discuss this with them.

Whatever happens, I encourage the developer not to go it alone. If you try to go it alone, the result could be a mixed bag. That's why I've been suggesting resources so the developer can get help, advice and guidance. This is also why I've been running tests and helping the developer to see potential pitfalls and flaws in their plan.

Bottom Line: I believe this app has potential, but it could be better. Thanks, and good luck.

Submitted by Chris Gilland on Monday, August 3, 2020

First off, let me start by saying, this idea/concept is absolutely awesome; make no mistake in what I'm saying in that regard. Most apps I've found firstly are not accessible with Voiceover, or if they are, are not described, etc.

There was one app a while back developed and maintained by a well known person in the blind community, however, it didn't last.

The first thing that concerns me, is how do we know the same won't happen with this app as well? Again, I'm not meaning that rudely, nor is this to say "oh I of little faith," as much as it's just me trying to honestly be realistic. That said, I could make this argument with any app, OK, fair enough point. I'll give you that one.

Though I haven't yet downloaded this app, I definitely do plan to. Will I pay for the in-app subscription? Probably. I can't say yet for sure.

Might I make a suggestion though, again, just as some constructive criticism? Some may say I'm being a jerk, and nongreatful when I say this, so again, if you want to feel that way, that's your own ordeal, but I'm telling you now up front that being such is absolutely one million percent not at all my goal here, so do *not!* take this out of context and blow my response out of perportion as I have seen here many people do with my other posts/comments on other Applevis topics.

First, I agree that raising the bar a bit, no concept pun intended, by requesting people to leave reviews is a great way to further gain awareness to the app. So, please don't mistake me here. That however said, Silvia, it seems like in every single response you've given, you keep ending by repeating that people leave reviews. I get you're indi, and that you need that extra support, and frankly? God bless you guys for what you're doing! That said however, to me, it comes off a little bit snarky to keep over and over and over stating "leave a review." It kind of makes it seem to me that doing so is more important than productivity of the app design. I'm not at all saying nor meaning to imply that is what really is happening here. I'm simply stating that to some, I could easily see where it could come off that way. Just state the point, ask for a review, then trust that people will do so, if they feel inclined. The point has been made, your post asking to do so is now publicly reachable on the internet, so leave it there. We get the point, you really want us leaving reviews. And we will! Don't worry. But to keep pushing that over and over just seems to me a slight bit impersonal, with all due respect.

The second thing here I'd like to address is the concept of TTS voices/engines reading the workouts. I, too agree this is not a smart idea in the longrunb.

Let's be totally fair. You all are jut getting started with things. I can't possibly expect, nor do I by the way, you all to have everything in place right up front. You'd not be up here asking for feedback if that were the case. I get it! Trust me! And I also further get that if you want to stay with an A.I approach, this may be impossible to then offer regular narrated workouts.

I myself record voiceover narrations professionally as part of my job, and this is not just a little take a 20 dollar mike/headset and record you reading a script.

I actually go in the studio running either Logic, or preferably ProTools, with about a 2500 dollar mike, a treated space for the least amount of noise reflections possible, etc. My point being, the things I do are not half assed. For this reason, I get it with the whole getting physical humans to prerecord the workouts. It takes studio booking time, time for the narrator to learn the script, it takes a very very proficient reader who can sight-read on the fly, good audio engineering skills, and above all most, it takes money, which is something you said you all don't have much of. I get it. Really I do.

If you e-mail me privately, I'd be willing to work one on one with you, and show you some things I've previously recorded to see if it's up to par for you. If it is, I'd be happy to record a few workouts. I couldn't continue doing it for free, I'll admit that, but I'd be willing to do maybe 1 or 2 for you, and perhaps we could work out a deal, like, you give me a free subscription for life, I give you ridiculously discounted cost like, we're talking 98 percent off, for the recordings. Instead of paying $100, you'd pay maybe like, 3 or 4 bucks. We'd have to privately work out the details and legistics, but generally, I'm willing, if you're truly serious about this.

clgilland07 at gmail dot com

Now, on to my final thing i'd like to address.

A.I is an awesome concept, but I'm just not sure I would recommend it in the long run for this type app, and here's why.

It's more a legal liability issue. You can say all you want in your terms screen when the app opens, that you do these things at your own risk, and though I'm not an attorney at law, I'd bet, even still, that doesn't totally most likely indemnify you all from all liability. Again, I'm not a lawyer, and cannot therefore give legal advice, nor will I, but somehow, I just couldn't see that disclaimer fully qualifying with some statutes, plus you get into a jurisdiction thing.

Normally, this wouldn't be any issue at all. But you're dealing with workouts, and with people's over all well-being/health, and that's a big deal! For instance, one person up here wrote saying they have arthritis. What if, just roll play with me here for a sec... let's just hypothetically say for sake of argument, this individual had a workout created based on their options within the A.I algorithm you all use. That's all good and all, but again... they have severe rheumatoid arthritis. Not saying that's what they have; I don't know. This again is just hypothetical, so indulge me here.

This workout tells them, do X thing, or Y thing.

Now, because of them doing this as the A.I suggests, they now unknowingly ahead of time carry out the move, and sprang a muscel, or worse, a tendon, or God forbid... worse.

Yes, this could happen with preprepared workouts, fair enough, however, here's the thing.

I agree that having a physical workout precreated is better, simply because then, you have someone who is a bodybuilder coach who has been trained on certain things who can customize things according to a persons' need. A.I is great, but it can, and at times will F*** up. I'm just being completely matter of fact here. Now, due to that happening with the A.I, you now have a lawsuit on your hands, as some libral would probably decide to sue, even though technically they may not have the most valid case, they'd try, oh trust me, they would, "well judge? Silvia and the devs used A.I. Random A.I." The judge would probably look at that and say, "Where's the bodybuilder trainer license? Yeah, you had a disclaimer in your app, but that's aside the point. This poor soul over here now's been long term injurred because of your judgement to have A.I do what a trained human should be doing to keep people safe. I hereby therefore command you to payment of..." fill in the blank... "dollars." Can you see where this potentially could get really bad? I'm not saying it will. I hope I'm hugely overthinking this! I really do, but, it's just something I'd like you to consider in the back of your mind as this app over time evolves. I'm confident that you've considered this possibility, and again, I can't stress enough, I'm no lawyer, nor do I pretend to play one on TV, LOL, but please promise me for sake of me caring and respecting you all, that you'll at least give this some consideration of thought.

OK guys, that's it for me. I'm out!

God bless, and again, amazing idea! Keep up the great work!

Chris.

Submitted by Chris Gilland on Monday, August 3, 2020

So, I, too, am an app developer. For that reason, I'm on the seed3 dev build of iOS 14. I can't go into much detail, but let me say this. After I designed my workout and saw the summary screen, I double tapped on let's begin. Once I did this, my phone went into landscape mode. As soon as I then tried flicking anywhere on the screen to start the workout/audio, the app is constantly 100 percent of the time crashing. Is this normal under iOS 14? I don't currently have a device on iOS 13 of any sort.

Submitted by gailisaiah on Monday, August 3, 2020

To Tina: I really like all your suggestions and hope they happen with this app. To Chris: The same crashing happened to me. So I deleted the app. I too chose my workout, my phone went in to landscape mode, and then nothing. But I will keep a watch on this app. And try it out again later on.

Submitted by Silvia on Monday, August 3, 2020

Many thanks everyone for taking time to write such detailed feedback. Please know I'm reading and noting everything, even if I can't respond to all points, because I need to get back to work coding :)

Let me just say that we're aware of the app crashing on iOS 14 - it's crashing in the Apple VoiceOver code, which we cannot access directly, so we're investigating how best to solve it.

One last point, about my asking for reviews (and also relevant to Chris's point about the longevity of the app). We've already built this technology - we've spent an estimated 4000 hours between the two of us on the development work, content processing etc. (not counting the time we also need to spend on marketing).

So, as you can imagine, we're very keen to see the app become widely used, for free, by more people. Scientific research shows that lots of health issues can be solved/prevented/mitigated by staying active, and we hope our app can help anyone have access to a free fitness resource like this.

If you'd like to support us and the app, reviews are the best - and free to you - way to do that. The reason is that, to the App Store's search, apps with few reviews are practically invisible, so un-discoverable.

Yes, we could theoretically advertise on the App store. However, like I mentioned, the cost of ads has become prohibitive (about 3-5 bucks per click - not install!), so either we can run ads and charge people at least 10 bucks a month just to break even (which we don't want to do), or we need community support to get the same effect via word of mouth.

I'm a psychologist by background, and the reason I'm asking for reviews repeatedly is because I know that, realistically, many people are busy with other more important stuff in their lives to remember to leave a review for an app. In fact, very few people have left us reviews at this point, to prove my point :)

Please don't take it amiss - I'm an introvert myself, and I'm very self-aware when asking for reviews. Believe me, I'd really rather spend my time coding but if we, and people like you who use the app, don't spread the word, the app will just sit there on the store invisible. Our app, without the help of word of mouth/reviews and such, doesn't stand a chance against big Chinese companies that can afford hundreds of thousands in advertising.

Hope this brings some more context into my request - if you guys have any ideas about how we can solicit reviews differently, please do let me know.

Many thanks again, and please stay tuned, we're releasing the detailed exercise guidance this week!

Submitted by Tina on Monday, August 3, 2020

I'm pleased that you explained why you're asking for reviews.

Like one of your latest commenters, I have said all along that using a single TTS engine to narrate the workouts is not a good idea in the long run, because it lacks the emotional engagement from a human fitness trainer, whether live or pre-recorded.

It sounds like someone is offering to record narrations for the workout programs. If this means the person is sitting in the studio with a script in front of them and speaking it into a professional mike, that's what I'm after.

Having said that, I thought it would be good to think a minute about the role of the artificial intelligence technology being used to generate the workouts. I get the impression the AI is used to design the workout. I'm also somewhat curious about the prompts, since in my evaluations, I sometimes heard a prompt more than once during a workout. If the AI is drawing from a library of exercises, prompts and phrases, that makes me think it's possible to have prompts, guidance and announcements pre-recorded, and the software could draw on that library to play the right messages. If the AI is actually generating prompts on the fly, that's a different story. But if the AI is drawing from a library of prompts, I believe that the AI could still be used to design the workouts and grab the right recorded messages to keep the program flowing.

This, by the way, is why I suggested the developer talk with the gaming community. Many complex games let the player make moves and respond based on what the player does. A lot of them likely use music for the different worlds and based on the character the player controls.

It sounds like you're releasing the exercise descriptions this week. I think that's good to hear. So I'd suggest the next thing should be finding some people to record the prompts and write music for you. I'd also find someone to sponsor you and help you with funding, even if that funding is meant to pay for the recording. Thanks, and good luck.

Submitted by WellF on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

First of all, I love the concept of this app. Here goes my thoughts about it.
1: I'd like the voice thing to be optional. I don't feel the need to pretend I'm on the gym with someone guiding me, exercising at home is a lot more like meditation for me. It leads us to my second suggestion.
2: I guess there aren't too much exercises on the app's database, so why not make a system where you mark exercises as learned? I.E:
Today's workout has lunges, squats, planks, jumping jacks and burpees. Squats and lunges are on my learned exercises list so they aren't described anymore.
3: there's a Tabata paid app which uses some different clicks to warn you that the active time is ending and also the resting time is ending. That's a solution you could use.

I understand your take on the matter, and you actually do indeed make some very valid points. Do know, I wasn't out to attack you nor anyone in my comment. As I said, that was never even from the start my intentions.

Tina, I didn't even think about that with the A.I piecing together clipets of audio from an over-all library. That's not actually a half bad idea, if that indeed is partially how this thing is working. You make a really good observation there.

I really appreciate how you are listening and responding! To answer your question, yes I would like to know the format, like ABAB, AABB, etc. I still say I would like to know the included exercises, but maybe that's too much trouble. For example, 2 groups of 4 exercises, squats and lunges, ABAB.

I've been reading all of the other comments, and lots of people have interesting ideas. I'm not trying to contradict anyone, but I'd like to share an opposing opinion on the voice. The TTS voice doesn't really bother me. If I had music, or even just a drum beat, that would be enough motivation for me. I generally tune out people talking during a workout once I know what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm sure a professional human voice would be nice in the future, but I would totally be fine with waiting on that. I would use the app now with a TTS voice, and I'd be happy to wait until the app was successful enough to add that feature. I just wanted to tell you that so you would be encouraged - I think this app can be very successful even without fancy voices!

I'm really looking forward to the descriptions coming soon! I would be happy to continue using and testing the app for you, if it's still helpful. I only check this site once a week or so, so you are welcome to email me directly if that would be better - awroy@memphisaudio.com.

Great job and keep up the good work! And yes, I will definitely leave you a review!