Walking Route Calorie Estimator Removed From Google Maps After User Criticism

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 17, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Google is removing an experimental calorie estimator from its Maps iOS app, following criticism from users that the feature amounted to unsolicited health advice and could do more harm than good (via TechCrunch).

    The feature began rolling out to some users last week and shows an estimate of the calories that would be burned if a selected walking route was taken.


    The calorie estimator not only displayed the potential number of calories burned, but also how many "mini cupcakes" they were worth. "The average person burns 90 calories by walking 1 mile," the app states. "To help put that into perspective, we've estimated how many desserts your walk would burn. One mini cupcake is around 110 calories."

    Some users reportedly welcomed the feature, but it sounds as if a good proportion of them didn't, as Google has taken the decision to roll it back "based on strong user feedback".


    Some user criticism related to an inability to disable the feature, while others questioned its usefulness, given that rates of calorie burn vary widely from person to person, and no context is given about how the estimate is calculated.

    Critics also noted that an excessive preoccupation with calorie counting is a symptom of anorexia and other eating disorders, therefore getting calorie estimates every time a route is looked up could have a negative impact on sufferers.

    Google Maps can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link] For those who found the calorie estimator feature useful, other calorie-counting apps are available, such as CityMapper and MyFitnessPal.

    Article Link: Walking Route Calorie Estimator Removed From Google Maps After User Criticism
  2. Stella, Oct 17, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017

    Stella macrumors G3


    Apr 21, 2003
    Nice idea in practice.

    It’s a guide based upon an average person. There are various ways to calculate calories too... This is just a basic measure. This can be useful just use this correctly.

    Some cupcakes have calories of over 500!! No 45 minutes walk will cover two!! LOL!

    People do need more exercise, eat healthier. Costs due to overweight costs health services significant amount of money. Just walking or cycling even for 30 daily minutes can make a ton of difference
  3. 2268473 Suspended

    Sep 20, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Some people are too precious to be allowed out by themselves in this world. People need to move more - if they can get somewhere by walking for 10 or 15 minutes, they'll probably feel better for it.
  4. 576316 macrumors 601

    May 19, 2011
    That seems really inappropriate as a feature within Google Maps. Hmm.
  5. Prabas macrumors 6502a


    Sep 14, 2010
    Muh condishuns!

    People are getting triggered by such things?
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    On paper, it sort of makes sense, but in practise, its useless. People's pace, weight, metabolism all factor in how much calories are burned up. I think overall, its a useless feature.
  7. JosephAW macrumors 68000


    May 14, 2012
    People have more anxieties about remaining battery life with iOS 11 than cupcakes.
  8. eiprol macrumors 6502


    Jan 20, 2009
    And what is the problem with this feature exactly? Are people really getting triggered by this? Not sure if it's a US-thing, but I'm astonished with all that criticism, and even more with the fact they had to remove it.

    And for those saying "it's nor reliable nor precise", let me tell you something: your daily trackers are not either. It's not about that.
  9. gabriel193755 macrumors member


    Jun 17, 2014
    It's 2017. People will get triggered by this comment of yours.
  10. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Jeez Louise. Why are people so unable to view something for what it is? It's just twisted people are upset that a notation of calories in combination with food and exercise somehow leads to people opting to become anorexic rather than maybe a better understanding of how much exercise is required to burn off food. Anorexia is a disorder that is triggered by something far worse than an app, an app that probably could encourage more people to walk to destinations if they have the time. Anorexia is a serious issue but so is obesity and the general lack of exercise.
  11. Jimmy James macrumors 601

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008
  12. Verita macrumors regular


    Mar 15, 2011
    This question just triggered me
  13. decimortis macrumors 6502a


    Aug 28, 2007
    I'm all for experimental features in apps, but for the love of god add the ability to disable it.
  14. ILikeAllOS macrumors 6502


    Jul 28, 2011
    Tampa Bay
    Look at the horrible design of that Google Maps app!
    The bottom and especially the thick top border must waste at least 50% of the screen estate! :eek:
  15. Nagy Dávid macrumors member

    Oct 1, 2014
    I am triggered by people who are triggered by the smallest things. Can we get rid of them as well?
  16. JohnApples macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2014
    People here still get triggered every time there’s an emoji or watch band article. This doesn’t surprise me in the slightest.
  17. Verita macrumors regular


    Mar 15, 2011
    Hypersensitive America, but Europe led the way here!
  18. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    I like the idea, just put in a toggle for people.

    But then again it’s Twitter. People complain about how fast their own hair grows on that service.
  19. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    I like the feature. Just make it a toggle that is default off. The “unsolicited” complaining goes away and I still get to use the feature.
  20. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    Removed for now. They're still testing it though and it will very likely return.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 17, 2017 ---
    All types of devices make assumptions. Nearly every machine in the gym does. It may have you enter your weight but without entering height, BMI, and other information, it's only guessing at calories burned. We have studies showing all personal fitness devices aren't totally accurate (including the Apple Watch, though it was the closest to reality).

    Total accuracy isn't the point. It can be a totally arbitrary number like Nike Fuel Points. The purpose is to encourage people to push a bit and reach a goal. To get some exercise and do something positive for themselves. The exact numbers don't matter. The activity itself does.
  21. jezbd1997 macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2015
    Melbourne Australia
    I can tell you that people with an ED or recovering from one will be very easily triggered by this.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 17, 2017 ---
    I think it's more an issue for someone WITH an ED or someone that's recovering.
    I can tell you that it would be very triggering for those people!
  22. Keane16 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 8, 2007
    I like this feature.

    It's was a guide - if we want to get picky about accuracy, the estimated number of minutes it displays can be classed as "useless" as we all walk/drive at different speeds. I also imagine obesity costs society way more than anorexia/EDs do.

    I guess a simple calorie estimate would've been better than the whole cupcake angle they tried though.

    I also wish they would also take note of the "strong user feedback" for AMP and get rid of them too.
  23. KillerScoregasm macrumors newbie


    Oct 17, 2017
    Definitely not accurate since I eat cupcakes and walk at the same time..
  24. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Fair enough. But it's a big world with lots of people with lots of issues that trigger them. We can't cater to everyone's issue or we'll end up with nothing. Furthermore, there are far more food and weight related "triggering" billboards and TV ads in open view than this app. I mean seriously every time I see that Marie Osmond ad *I* feel the need to barf.
  25. indyandy macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2016
    Baden, Switzerland
    CityMapper had this feature for years. Too bad it had to be taken down.

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