Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Weight Watchers and iOS 8 Health app integration not ready for prime time?

It sounded great in the press release
NEW YORKOct. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE: WTW) is announcing new features for its subscriber app that make the most of the new iOS 8 and HealthKit capabilities to improve the member experience in the Weight Watchers app for iPhone.
One of the reasons Weight Watchers works is that people can track what they eat and how much they exercise in their goal to achieving long term weight loss.  The features implemented with iOS 8 and HealthKit make both food and activity tracking easier as well as allowing members to easily see where they stand for the day compared with their target.
Without opening the Weight Watchers app, members who are using an iPhone running iOS 8 will now be able to:
  • See their PointsPlus® value totals for the day simply by swiping down from the lock screen to view a dashboard in the Today View, which helps them to make smart food decisions in the moment.
  • Read nutrition and fitness data in the Health app with user's permission to calculate the PointsPlus value. For food purchased through an app, members will benefit from automatic tracking. For activity, the Weight Watchers app will be able to read Steps data captured in the Health app and automatically track.
"When our team learned about iOS 8 and HealthKit, we were eager and determined to be among the first to use the new capabilities to improve our digital tools, " said Dan Crowe, Chief Technology Officer at Weight Watchers International. "A successful, seamless and engaging member experience is at the core of our technology platform. Integrating with Apple on these updates provides a powerful combination of efforts around innovation, science and technology."
So when iOS 8.1 became available today, I decided to give it a try. I was in a bit of a slump with WW, so I thought trying something new would help re-energize me. Since Health has no way to enter food directly, I connected LoseIt! It didn't take me long to see some problems.

At first, WW customer support seemed eager to help.  I supplied screenshots of my LoseIt! and WW data, and even hand-logged all my food for the given time period.

Then they seemed to give up on me.
And the brick wall went up.

I was really surprised to hear that they were going to integrate with other apps and devices in the first place, since WW is normally so proprietary.  I have no doubt that Weight Watchers will get this straightened out, but I was disappointed that they didn't seem interested in troubleshooting it with me, since I had the data and was willing to help.

"Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose."

Edited to add: To be fair, the problem may be with Apple's Health Kit App, There is a whole thread in the Apple Support forums about Health Kit problems.


  1. 6:10 PM

    This is good to know. Another thing I've been hearing from my members is that they've been having a lot of glitches with the iPhone and iPad apps since the last upgrade. Most of the time it can be straightened out be de-then-re-installing the app but this will probably throw another wrench in the works. Thanks for the heads-up!

  2. 10:04 PM

    Yeah, they should wait until the bugs are worked out to really push members to try this.

    1. 4:31 PM

      Agreed. I have been having continual problems with the app intermittently logging me out and then when I try to log back in, it won't accept my login info. I have to hook the phone to my computer and uninstall then reinstall and then it works for one day and I have to do it again! I have contacted customer service on six occasions. Finally the guy refers me to Apple Support!! Thanks for the "help"!!!

    2. 4:34 PM

      Agreed. Customer Service has been little help. I have contacted them 6 times regarding problems with the app logging out on its own. Then, I can't log back in because it won't recognize my login info!! The only temporary fix is to uninstall and hook up to my computer. This fix lasts less than a day.

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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07