The Google Fit exercise app is getting a facelift this week with new activity and heart health tracking goals based on recommendations from leading health organizations, the tech giant announced today.
“There’s a lot of talk out there about how to stay active and healthy: ‘get your steps in,’ ‘sitting is the new smoking,’ ‘no pain, no gain.’ It can feel overwhelming,” Margaret Hollendoner, head of product for Google Fit, wrote in a blog post describing the changes. “So we’ve worked with the American Heart Association (AHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to understand the science behind physical activity and help you get the amount and intensity needed to improve your health.”
Google’s app will now focus 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).
Visually, Google Fit’s redesign is reminiscent of the fitness rings Apple includes in its own fitness app offering, as earning Move Minutes and Heart Points will draw the outlines of two concentric circles prominently featured on the app. Users will complete the circle when they reach the predetermined fitness and activity goals, triggering a reward animation in which the circles are transformed into a gem-like shape housing a congratulatory message.
“When you’re walking, running or biking throughout the day, Google Fit will automatically detect these activities using your phone or watch sensors — like the accelerometer and GPS — to estimate the number of Heart Points you earn,” Hollendoner wrote. “If you’re into a different type of exercise, you can choose other activities like gardening, pilates, rowing, or spinning, and Google Fit will calculate the Heart Points and Move Minutes achieved during your workout.”
Google Fit will also include a handful of features specifically intended to promote education and long-term wellness among users. Among these is a personal exercise journal showing activities, goal progress, and achievements logged in Google Fit or any of the other fitness apps for which integration is supported, which icludes Strava, Endomondo, and MyFitnessPal. Speaking to Engadget, Google representatives also described informational cards included within the app that will help teach users why certain activities may be good for their long-term heart health.
The redesign will be available to app users on Android phones and smartwatches, as well as to those with Apple Devices using the Wear OS versions, sometime this week, according to Google. Google Fit was first launched in 2014, and has seen its fair share of updates and integrations in the years since.