On Android, there are dozens of fitness apps you can use to track your steps, goals, and exercises throughout the day. Google’s new Health Connect app promises to sync fitness data from various Android apps including Fitbit, Samsung Health, and more.
In recent years, Google and Samsung have been closely collaborating on projects related to fitness and wearables, with the latter company contributing to the development of Wear OS 3 which is still surprisingly exclusive to the Galaxy Watch 4. At Google IO 2022, the two companies are teaming up once more to create “Health Connect,” a service and accompanying developer API on Android which is designed to make your fitness data more portable.
In short, fitness apps will be updated to share their data with the Health Connect app on your phone. Once saved to Health Connect, any other fitness-related app (that you give permission to) will be able to read that data and potentially use it to have a more complete picture of your day.
For example, perhaps you have a Samsung phone and like to use the Samsung Health app, but your tracker is made by Fitbit. In theory, Fitbit could soon save data from your wearable into Health Connect, and Samsung Health could then read it and save it to your day.
In addition to its own apps – Google Fit and Fitbit – Google has already announced Health Connect partnerships with a handful of other apps including Samsung Health, Leap Fitness, MyFitnessPal, and Withings. But that’s just the beginning, as any aspiring Android developer can make an app that requests permission to read or write fitness data to Health Connect.
At launch, Health Connect is designed to cover a few key metrics about your health and wellness:
- Activities like running, exercising, or sleeping
- Body measurements like weight and metabolic rate
- Cycle tracking for menstrual cycles and ovulation tests
- Nutrition info like your water intake and food data (calories, sugar, etc.)
- Sleep details including length and type
- Vitals such as blood glucose, body temperature, and blood oxygen levels
Of course, your health data is incredibly private, which is why Health Connect is built to protect your health information. Health Connect readily shows you what apps currently have permission to read each individual metric of your fitness data, and you can easily revoke access to any of them. Beyond that, your health info is protected from potential attackers as it’s encrypted on your device.
Health Connect is available now in early access via the Google Play Store, for devices running Android Pie or newer. For now, however, none of the announced partner apps seem to have been updated to connect to it yet. Instead, it currently seems more primed to be a developer playground than a fitness data syncing suite, but there’s no harm in installing it early to be ready.
This article and its headline have been corrected to read “Samsung Health,” not “Samsung Fit.”
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