Google Fit

Google has announced a platform preview of Google Fit, a platform to help people keep track of their fitness goals, at this morning’s I/O conference in San Francisco. Google Fit comprises a single set of APIs to manage fitness data from apps and sensors on both devices (Android and iOS) and wearables.

The announcement follows the launch of Apple's HealthKit as part of iOS 8 at the beginning of June.

Google Play manager Ellie Powers outlined the current problem as Google sees it: There are many fitness apps and devices on the market, but they tend to do one thing. Some monitor exercise, some eating habits and others record weight, and for the most part, data from these sources is siloed.

By taking a platform approach, Google Fit intends to bring all the information together. The result is that developers can build more complex apps, pulling in data from other monitors. They have more context and can therefore make better recommendations to users. The users themselves get more convenient products.

Powers used the example of Noom, a weight-loss coaching app and early partner of Google Fit, to explain. Noom draws in data from WithingsSmart Scales, meaning that users can see their weight automatically updated in the same app they’re using to record what they’re eating.

With one eye (as ever) on privacy issues and accusations of data theft, Powers makes it clear that explicit permission is required from the user for this kind of data-sharing. That permission can be rescinded at any time and all fitness data can be deleted.

Google Fit has a brought on a number of partners for the launch. Adidas is opening up its smart sensors to developers via the Google Fit APIs while Nike is allowing apps to integrate with Nike Fuel. RunKeeper and Runtastic are also on board.

A launch date has not been given, but Google say the platform preview SDK will be available in a few weeks.