App

Three notable apps just fell to Facebook’s cutting room floor

Popular activity-tracking app Moves has been shut down by its parent company Facebook, along with interesting but lackluster experiments Hello and tbh.

“We know some people are still using these apps and will be disappointed,” said Facebook. “We’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support. But we need to prioritize our work so we don’t spread ourselves too thin.”

This is sad news for the 13 million users who rely on Moves to automatically track their every waking step, but after a year of no updates and flagging interest in the app, Facebook has decided to move on. That doesn’t mean you have to, though – here are some alternatives to the app that could stand to be useful for anyone, Moves fan or not.

What did Moves do?

First up, here’s a reminder of the core features of Moves, based on its cached App Store page.

• Automatic Tracking: Records daily walking, cycling and running.
• Places: Recognizes places in your daily life.
• Storyline: Visualizes your day in an easy-to-read timeline.
• Routes on map: See the paths you took.
• Pedometer: Counts your steps, so you can set simple goals.
• Connected Apps catalog: Use your Moves data with other apps.

Part of the charm of Moves was how it amassed and presented so much information automatically

So, which other apps offer similar features?

Health & Activity

The easiest replacement for most of the stuff Moves does best is the stock iOS Health app. It comes pre-installed on every iPhone and it automatically tracks all kinds of data for you – most notably a daily step count that will be familiar to Moves users. When paired with an Apple Watch’s Activity app it becomes even more powerful, vacuuming up data after exercise and monitoring your heart rate throughout the day. And like Moves, the app plays nice with other health-based services you might regularly use.

Even if you’ve never set up Health, open up the app and you’ll find a wealth of data waiting for you

Runkeeper

For even more detailed tracking of regular exercise like runs, walks, and bike rides, Runkeeper is one of the best in the business. It can map your activity manually or – like Moves – automatically using GPS, and will show you a slick map of your route when you’re done. It also brings to the table lots of tools for setting goals and improving your exercise habits, and it too works nicely with wearable fitness trackers.

See exactly where you’ve been, and how fast you got there

Foursquare Swarm

What about the location tracking aspect of Moves? One of the best things about the app was that it recognized everywhere you’d been and got to know your favorite places. Well, the big name in the location tracking game is Foursquare – a company which has evolved over the years but whose side project Swarm maintains the simplicity of the original. This app allows you to quickly “check in” everywhere you go, creating a personalized map of the places that matter to you. Like Moves, you can check back through history to find the name of that amazing deli you found in San Diego three years ago.

The soul of the original Foursquare lives on in Swarm

Hello & tbf

As for the other apps Facebook sent packing? We don’t think you’ll miss them. Hello was a failed attempt to bring communications tools to emerging markets, while tbf‘s sole purpose was to help teens to send each other anonymous compliments. But Moves left a dent in the App Store that might just need filling.