Pick up a wearable device and it will come with an accompanying app to help you track your steps, sleep, exercise and other vital statistics. Yet there are a growing number of third-party services that let you do more with your data, from comparing feeds against each other to digging deeper into patterns as they emerge over days, weeks or months.
Wareable picks: The best fitness trackers you can buy
We've tried out five of the leading online apps than can supercharge the way you're using your wearable data.
If you've ever wondered how your sleep patterns affect your music listening habits, then Exist.io is for you. Seriously though, it draws data from a whole host of services – Jawbone, Fitbit, Withings, Moves, Twitter, Last.fm and more – and gives you an intuitive way of tracking statistics over a long period of time and drawing correlations between different sets of data.
By manually entering your mood each evening you can start to work out the possibly relationships between exercise, sleep, productivity and your overall wellbeing. Some of the insights the service can produce are genuinely useful, and the web interface is very slickly designed too. Exist.io costs $6 a month but a 14-day free trial is available so you can see if you like it.
Like Exist.io, Fluxtream takes data from a whole host of services and mashes it together into reports, charts and graphs. You can plug in feeds from RunKeeper, Fitbit, Withings, Jawbone, MyMee, Moves, Evernote and BodyMedia as well as apps such as Twitter, Last.fm, Flickr, Evernote and even an SMS backup utility or two to build up a bigger picture of your quantified self.
Essential reading: Fitbit Charge review
It doesn't quite have the same kind of data analysis and correlation smarts that Exist.io does, but it gives you a few more options for digging into the data manually – in other words it's more comprehensive than Exist.io and a bit more difficult to get your head around at the same time. Fluxtream is free to sign up for.
Tictrac is another web service geared towards helping you keep all of your activity tracking in one place. How you use it and what you connect it to is really up to you, so you could monitor your progress with a weight loss programme or keep tabs on the growth of your baby. All of the major fitness tracking platforms are here and you can also connect accounts such as Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram, Goodreads, Twitter and Last.fm.
On a budget: Cheap fitness trackers round up
The site is based around projects: wellbeing, sleep, exercise, holidays, weight, day-to-day, blood pressure and many more. You can then control which bits of data appear in each one, and graph them against each other, watching out for patterns between sleep and exercise or blood pressure and weight (or, like Exist.io, the amount of music you listen to and how many steps you take). It's a free service currently in beta so you won't have to pay anything.
Zenobase may not have the stylish looks of some of the apps we've covered here but it can cope with a huge amount of data, from your Foursquare check-ins to your Fitbit steps. You can use it to record up to one event per hour for free (which should be enough to work out if you like it) while a personal plan (one event per second) costs $5 per month.
There is a steeper learning curve here than with something like Exist.io or Tictrac but the flipside is that the platform is more flexible and customisable. If you enjoy tinkering with data sources, charts and visualisations then you'll be able to get plenty out of Zenobase, once you get your head around the way that it works.
IFTTT is one of the most impressive free services on the web (and on iOS and Android) at the moment - essentially it lets you connect lots of apps up to lots of other apps, so you can save your Facebook photos to Dropbox or get text alerts if there's a bad weather forecast for tomorrow. It's all free to use, too.
Apps from Fitbit, Jawbone, Misfit and Withings all work with IFTTT, so you can take data collected by them and pipe it somewhere else: into a Google Drive spreadsheet, perhaps, or an Evernote notebook. You could even automatically tweet a message when you've passed your daily target or get reminders sent to your phone if you haven't been active enough during the week.
How we test