I was an early adopter of Fitbit and have to say that is honestly paved the way for fitness bands and apps we have today. There are plenty of things about Fitbit as a physical product that bothered me from its silly short USB charger that I couldn’t charge overnight at my bedside to the band that caused rashes and a product line recall. There are however some things that Fitbit is doing better than Google Fit and Apple’s HealthKit so far and one of those things is it connects you with your friends with a common goal of improved fitness and coaching each other along. Neither Google Fit or Apple’s HealthKit have this social feature and even when they do I imagine Google will tie it to Google+ which means few friends could connect with me.
That being said Google Fit is really the underdog feature wise right now as it tracks a very limited amount of activities and does not have the full health picture that Apple HealthKit is going for. Also it seems like Google Fit is behind on partners and services to connect Google Fit with. For instance, I cannot connect Google Fit to Walgreen’s Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices or a number of other services that support HealthKit and Fitbit.
But the reason I have stuck with Google Fit is simply put I think there is more potential for Google Fit to become the best fitness/health platform and kick HealthKit and Fitbit to the curb. Android has millions of users worldwide outpacing iPhone so that’s millions more users that Google Fit can collect movement data from and make their accelerometer algorithm better than HealthKit or Fitbit. Even more, Android has tons of location data and amazing machine learning (Apple is far behind) it can throw behind Google Fit to help us better understand our health and fitness metrics.
All of that said I am sticking with Google Fit but would love to see the following implemented in the near future:
- Support for Walgreen’s Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices, MyFitnessPal, MyChart (Epic Systems), WebMD
- Add Features: Track Sleep, More Body Measurements, Dominant Hand, Vitals, Glucose, Medical ID (Accessible from Lock Screen), ResearchKit like Medical Research Feature!
- Fine Tuning: Improve Step Count Accuracy, Eliminate Android Wear/Phone Double Count
- Support iOS (Not for me but being multi-platform is great!)
- More Info: More blog posts from the Google Fit team on what they are working on would be great like other Google Products.