Google has launched a new app designed to take a broader view of fitness tracking, using the sensors in Android phones to track their activities, with Basis, Adidas and Motorola signing up as initial partners.
Google Fit goes live this week and rivals the likes of Samsung Health and Apple’s Health Kit.
Users can set goals and check their progress from within the app on their smartphone, as well as on the web, tablets, and Android Wear smartwatches.
Google Fit is available for devices running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above.
Whether Google Fit catches on likely depends on the number of integrations it will support with other apps, and how well it presents the combined data.
It’s unclear if other popular apps from device makers like Fitbit or Jawbone will be integrated with Fit, and Google didn’t immediately comment.
Apple, meanwhile, had some problems last month with third-party app launches for HealthKit, due to a bug that has since been fixed.
In addition to it being an app, Google Fit is a software development kit. Its APIs aim to let developers access data from other sources to make their own apps more powerful. Fit, therefore, could be a win for Google by strengthening the broader ecosystem of health apps, and then weaving them into Fit.
“You can also connect your favourite fitness devices and apps like Strava, Withings, Runtastic, Runkeeper and Noom Coach to Google Fit and we’ll surface all of the relevant data in one spot, giving you a clear and complete view of your fitness,” said Sabrina Ellis a director of for Google Fit, in a blog post. “No need to check one app to see your weight and another to review a run – with Google Fit, that data will all be surfaced in one, simple place.”
Google’s Fit app first appeared in a very basic form built into Google’s Android Wear smartwatches such as the Motorola Moto 360, LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live.
It is capable of tracking steps, recording them through the day and giving a basic history of steps through the week, as well as heart rate for those watches equipped with heart rate sensors.
Google Fit was first announced by Google in June at the company’s I/O developer conference, following Apple’s announcement of its Health Kit for its World Wide Developers Conference earlier that month. Apple’s Health app launched with iOS 8.1 in September and automatically tracks steps in a similar fashion to Google’s Fit.
View the Google Fit preview here: