As important as drinking water is, I still have a hard time with the idea that anyone will pay a couple of bucks to help them track their habit. But if you’re ever going to do so, the Absorb Water iPhone app does enough right that it might be the app to use.
The main layout of Absorb Water is a screen with a counter at the bottom that looks sort of like a glass thermometer. Instead of taking your temperature, however, the "fauxmometer" actually tracks your daily water intake.
If you only enter in caffeinated beverages or beer without adding any water, your bar will dip well into the negative, suggesting you’re quite dehydrated. If you select one of the hydrating options, you’ll then get the bar closer to its 12 glasses a day optimal level.
Absorb Water has 12 different options to select from, from glasses and bottles of water, to tea, fruit (that contains over 65% water), coffee, beer, wine and soda. Once you click one of the main options, like water, you get to select what size glass or bottle you’re drinking out of. From there, you can click "add," and whatever you’ve selected is added to your fauxmometer.
Actually adding items to chart is where things go a bit sour for Absorb Water. You’re able to add more than one option at a time in the individual categories. So, if you drank a bottle of water and a glass, you could conceivably add them both. But you can only add one of each at a time.
What’s more, if you accidentally click on something you didn’t mean to add, you can deselect it before you click to actually add it to the total, but the colors used for shading the borders of your selections are often so similar to the background in the app, that it’s completely unclear what you’ve selected or deselected. It also seems strange that you could add a bottle and a glass of water simultaneously, but not just two glasses of water.
What might serve to make the experience more user-friendly is a simple plus or minus next to each selection, along with a counter displaying how much of each item you’re selecting. The way the app is designed now, you’ll spend almost as much time revising your selections as you will making them. If your app has basically one function and doesn’t perform it gracefully, it’s incredibly frustrating.
To be fair, the app does actually have a second function – tracking the color of your urine. Yes, each day you can select from several different shades of yellow, what your urine looks like. Although it’s meant to show you how well you’re hydrating yourself, it seems just a tad off-putting to chart that on a daily basis, much the same way I wouldn’t really want to track my bowel movements.
Overall, Absorb Water is a generally useful way to track how much water you’re drinking, but is currently bogged down by a rather irritating system for adding in what you’ve consumed. Being that I wouldn’t be crazy about paying for such a lightweight app, it’s hard to recommend it unless you’re incredibly serious about hydration.