Google (News - Alert) has just launched a new app for tracking fitness. All a user has to do with the Google Fit app is install it on a supported Android (News - Alert) device and carry it around with them during the day. The app will use the phone’s sensors to track things like number of steps.
Users can set daily fitness goals and track progress as the day moves on. If your goal was to walk an hour daily, the app would indicate how many minutes you spent walking for the day. Below would be a list of individual time segments spent walking. The app also tracks jogging and bicycling activity, and allows users to enter alternative types of exercise activity.
Several other fitness device makers have developed apps that take advantage of the Google Fit API. These devices can be used to track certain data elements that many smartphones do not track themselves. For example, if you wanted to include heart rate data, you could wear a Polar monitor during a workout and provide that information to the Fit app.
Business Insider predicts that the wearables market will grow from $2.5 billion in 2013 more than five-fold to $12.6 billion in 2018. With a big market that is only going to get bigger, Google could not afford to let Apple’s (News - Alert) Health platform go unchallenged. Way too much money is at stake.
So far, it has been a relatively fragmented market. Cyclists, runners and walkers can use apps like Strava to track their activity, but without a waterproof wearable, tracking swimming is a manual process. The Google Fit app tracks cycling, something that the FitBit Flex does not, but on the other hand, the Flex tracks sleep patterns. Whatever type of physical activity is available; someone has a wearable device and app for it.
With all the different types of physical activity one can do, no one vendor is going to easily be able to capture it all, except maybe Apple and Google. A health platform like Fit or Health is glue-like in its ability to centralize any activity and give users a dashboard to summarize it all in one spot. So whether you are a weightlifter, runner, triathlete, golfer or yoga student, you will not only have much less data entry in tracking your fitness, but also a system to help you make sense of it all.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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