Not everyone has time in their day to spend hours at the gym, nor have the motivation to do so alone, anyway. Yet, most of the people who meet the aforementioned criteria probably understand the benefits of doing some exercise each day and that’s where Teemo comes in.
Teemo’s core concept is turning spare minutes you have throughout the day into time spent exercising, merged with an ability to do so with friends remotely and in a game-like, or fun, way.
When you first launch Teemo, you’ll be asked to login with Facebook. Now, while I can certainly understand why Teemo has opted to use Facebook’s authentication services (because you’ll be excersising with friends, so the social media connection catalyses the building of a list of friends), it would be nice to have alternative services to login with.
Don’t worry about Teemo sharing to your Facebook account all the time; it claims that it will only post with your permission and, even then, you can turn the privacy setting down to “Only me” during the authentication process if you really don’t want anyone seeing your Teemo activity.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll be presented with a brief introduction to what Teemo is: you pick a challenge, invite teammates and then go!
Your activity in Teemo is based around challenges which are like storylines to your activities. For example, you can pick “Climb Everest,” which will actually involve you walking up stairs. Obviously, you’re not going to Everest and climbing it, but you’ll be doing a similar activity in a different location. Certainly, “climbing Everest” is more interesting than just “walking up some stairs a bunch of times.”
In the case of the “Climb Everest” challenge, during your activity a beacon will move up a metaphorical mountain in the app to show you your progress. Again, this comes off as a lot more appealing to the casual exerciser than just “you’ve climbed step #104 out of 200,” or similar.
Other challenges include “Swiss Mission,” where you’ll play a character that’s been hired to track down a jewel thief, and “Bali Retreat,” where you head to Bali on a relaxing holiday. There’s not too many of them, but certainly enough to keep you busy.
Challenges can have varying difficulty, and you’ll be able to choose either easy, medium or hard before you get started.
Once your challenge is underway, it’s time to make progress. On the image associated with your challenge, you’ll see your route, complete with the intervals in which you’ll do the actual exercise. In the case of the challenge I picked, “Gold Rush,” this began with hitching the oxen, packing the wagon and then doing some elbow circles.
The exercises themselves are pretty short, measured in minutes, and come complete with a demonstration video so you know what you should be doing. When you hit Go, your screen will be invaded by a large countdown that instructs you when to do the activity, when to rest and when to stop.
When you’ve completed an activity, your beacon moves along the challenge route and onto another activity.
While it’s certainly possible to go through Teemo alone, the idea is that you’ll invite friends to join you in the challenges. This is done just by hitting the button in the top right of your challenge screen.
Teemo will pull in your list of friends from Facebook, and allow you to invite them to join you. Obviously, the social aspect is key and using Facebook to facilitate it is both good and bad. Using Facebook means that a lot of your friends will be easily reachable, but you have to be friends with them on the site in order to invite them. You can’t invite, say, your Twitter friends, or just connect two phones together for a local workout. Hopefully the developers will add more options in the future.
Design and Interface
Teemo is actually a beautiful app with some fantastic images. The challenge graphics look great and are significantly preferable to a list of data hosted in some stock SDK elements.
When deviating from the norm, app designs can go very bad or very nice. Fortunately, Teemo can be described as the latter, and you’ll appreciate its beautiful, intuitive design when in use.
Teemo is a great app with a really nice design and engaging concept. The challenges and their consequential rewards and contribution to statistics gamifies the exercise process into something that is both accessible and fun to even the most gym-phobic.
It’s great to see that you can use Teemo by yourself or with friends, so you don’t need to have other people on board if you’ve got a spare few minutes and want to use them more productively. However, as mentioned before, it’d be nice to see the ability to pull in friends from elsewhere, rather than just Facebook. Having more challenges wouldn’t be disappointing either, by any means.
Considering it’s currently available for the nice price of free, it’s definitely worth checking out and keeping on your iPhone for those moments when you have a few spare minutes and don’t know what to do with them.