I said nothing about NOT using the cloud. It's all **about** using the cloud as much as possible to simplify the devices and to avoid unnecessarily building the same kind of backend for every project, over and over again.
And to whoever said that people aren't still building custom backends, I offer examples: nest, fitbit, jawbone up, nike fuelband, automatic, WeMo, hue (light bulbs), whistle, Streetline (parking sensors), Sensys, (traffic sensors), various divisions of GE, Basis, etc. Advertising and datacenter management are the main places I know of where 3rd party analytics backends are widely used today.
Not too many years ago, one required a team of probably 5-10 developers-- EEs, firmware, web app developers, a TechOps team, etc., to just get this basic functionality. Now a hobbyist could follow a tutorial like this and do it over a weekend. And there are lots of other devices with switch-based sensors or basic analog inputs that could follow this pattern and build different kinds of devices, with custom dashboards. So no need to stick to pedometers.
At this point, I'm done responding-- the free flowing anger in this space makes it a tiring place to discuss anything, which is why I had previously not even submitted anything here. But I hope people have fun with this. And if you don't like something, add some missing functionality, or have an additional application, by all means send me a pull request so I can share them.