Google Challenges Apple’s HealthKit with New Google Fit
After overcoming a few hurdles along the way, Apple’s HealthKit is making its way into mainstream slowly. However, Apple is not the only one to tap on potential market of health related applications and hardware. Yesterday, Google released Google Fit, a standalone app and fitness platform designed to compete with Apple’s HealthKit, in the Google Play store.
The app, which connects to your existing Google account, functions as a central dashboard for tracking fitness and health goals. Like HealthKit, Google Fit taps into the sensors in your smartphone to keep tabs on daily activities like steps and active minutes. Users can also manually add exercise and other activities like biking and walking.
According to Google, the newly launched app includes your run-of-the-mill activity tracking features, supports third-party integrations and Android wear devices, and enables users to “set goals based on either duration or steps.”
To help enable third-party app integration, the company also rolled out full versions of its Google Fit APIs for developers. Google released a preview version of its software development kit for Google Fit earlier this year, and announced a series of early partners, including Nike, Runtastic, RunKeeper, who will be among the first developers to make their apps Google Fit-compatible.
Google Fit also has a web-based destination at Google.com/fit which doesn’t appear to be live just yet, and it’s likely we’ll see more features introduced to the app as developers begin to explore and work with the platform.
Although this fitness app follows Google’s new Material Design guidelines and was announced alongside Android L (now known as Lollipop), Google Fit is available to all users running Android 4.0 and newer. This is also another reminder that Android 5.0 Lollipop’s release is just around the corner, with the first consumer devices sporting the OS coming next week.