Google launches Fit app, its answer to Apple Health

By Aditi Pai
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Google FitGoogle has released the fitness app for Android devices it announced in June, called Google Fit.

"When it comes to improving our fitness, every little effort counts," Android Director of Product Management Sabrina Ellis said in a blog post. "That’s why we’ve created Google Fit – a fitness app that helps you to start tracking your activity effortlessly and become more active, aware and motivated."

As expected, the app uses sensors in Android smartphones to track walking, biking, and running. The app also aggregates data from other apps and fitness devices including Strava, Withings, Runtastic, Runkeeper, and Noom Coach. Google Fit users can also manually track their weight.

Unlike Apple's HealthKit, Google's platform, at least currently, is focused solely on fitness.

Google Fit is not just available for smartphones. Google explained that the platform is available on Android smartphones, tablets, the web, and Android Wear devices.

In August, Google released a preview software development kit (SDK) for Google Fit. Google explained that the preview SDK contains three different APIs. The first, a Sensor API, allows a developer’s app to talk to sensors either embedded in an Android phone or in a connected wearable.

The other two APIs are a Recording API, which allows an app to work in the background of the phone to detect other kinds of data, like location, continuously without using too much battery, and a History API, which allows the app to access similar data after the fact. The History API pulls batch data from pre-existing apps on a user’s phone.

Other companies that partnered with Google for its fitness platform include LG, Polar, Basis, Asus, Adidas, and — somewhat surprisingly — even longtime Apple partner Nike.