Set to launch today, the app will be able to pull activity data from Apple Watches and apps connected to Apple Health.

Google Fit comes to iPhones as standalone app

By Dave Muoio
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No longer bound to Android phones or Wear OS, the Google Fit app is coming as a standalone iOS download for iPhone users, according to a Google blog post published earlier today.

Since its big redesign last August, Google’s free exercise and heart health tracking platform already seemed to take a page from Apple’s own fitness offering with its fitness ring-like progress bars.

Now the app, which could already pull activity data from LG smartwatches or a handful of third-party fitness apps, will be able to speak with devices and services that connect to Apple Health — for instance, Sleep Cycle, Nike Run Club, Headspace and the Apple Watch itself. However, Macworld notes that this isn’t a full two-way integration, as data populating the Google Fit app from a non-Apple Watch source will not appear within Apple Health on its own accord.

Google’s app focuses on two main activity goals, which it calls “Move Minutes” and “Heart Points.” The former is earned during any kind of activity detected automatically through phone or watch sensors, or inputted manually by the user. The latter is accrued with each minute of “moderate activity” (such as a brisk walk) and is doubled if the app deems the wearer’s movements to be more intense (like participating in a sport).

Along with reward animations and congratulatory messages upon completing a predetermined fitness and activity goal, the app also houses a handful of educational features including a personal exercise journal and achievements.

According to the announcement, Google Fit will be available for download by iOS users starting today (although it does not appear to be live within the App Store as of this posting).

WHY IT MATTERS

It’s no secret that Apple holds a substantial portion of the consumer smartphone and smartwatch markets. With new health and fitness tracking functionalities coming to each on a fairly consistent basis, it makes sense that Google would want their app into the ring. If nothing else, the functionality will come as a major convenience for iPhone users with Wear OS smartwatches, whose fitness tracking needs would until now have been limited to the Wear OS app.

WHAT’S THE TREND

Google Fit was first launched in 2014 and has seen its fair share of updates and integrations in the years since. Today’s iOS release had been rumored and foreshadowed for some time, and seemed increasingly upon March’s news that Google was shutting down the Google Fit website to increase its focus on the mobile and smartwatch versions of the service.

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