Amongst the 2022 Apple Store Awards winners, Gentler Streak emerged as the Apple Watch App of the year. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, the app — designed for iPhone and Apple Watch use — is a workout and fitness tracker that comes with a twist: a self-compassionate approach to exercise.
Gentler Streak is the first product of Gentler Stories, a Slovenian-based mobile app studio that specializes in solutions for a sustainable lifestyle. The women-led company was founded in February 2021 by three Apple Entrepreneur Camp alumni and one alumnus of Y Combinator, a startup accelerator.
The app was launched in September 2021, and although it’s been out for a little over a year, it has been steadily gaining popularity.
In essence, Gentler Streak is a fitness app, which means it helps users track workout activities, distance, heart rate zones, and activity stats, among others.
But what’s really unique about it is its gentler approach that also focuses on recovery time.
Unlike Apple’s Workouts app for instance, rest days on Gentler Streak don’t break your exercise strike. In fact, the app’s goal is to promote a healthy activity level without causing pressure to compete against day-to-day goals that don’t really correspond to the body’s actual needs or daily circumstances (injury, or sickness for example).
According to research by the University of Galway, fitness apps can be a double-edged sword, as some users may develop obsessive tendencies or maladaptive perceptions of exercise and burnout in the long run.
Gentler Streak aims to transform types of maladaptive fitness behaviors into viable lifelong habits.
To do that, it responds to the users’ individual fitness status and proposes optimal exercise levels through a personalized Activity Path. Users can also make use of the Go Gentler feature which monitors workout intensity and alerts them to step up or slow down, taking into account rest and active recovery sessions.
Since its launch, the app is being continuously tweaked with some of the latest updates including social media sharing and the addition of the Spanish language.
Commenting on the app’s quick rise to success, Tom Henriksson, General Partner at early-stage European VC firm OpenOcean, noted: “Gentler Streak emerges from a strong tradition of software startups from smaller European countries punching above their weight.”
As he explained, this corresponds to a wider trend in Eastern Europe, which has emerged “as a hotbed of technological innovation” — where numerous brilliant ideas and tech founders can be found.
“Gentler Streak looks to have won over the judges with its solution-oriented approach to development,” Henriksson added.
“Instead of trying to battle larger competitors on performance or design alone, the developers have fashioned a highly rated Apple Watch fitness app that understands users’ readiness and balances nicely between training and rest.”
The app is free to download on the App Store, but requires a subscription to take full advantage of it. The premium monthly price is $7.99 and the premium yearly is $24.99.