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Google Fit just got a big update that includes Apple-like rings to track goal progress

Published Aug 21st, 2018 4:55PM EDT
Google Fit redesign
Image: Google

Google has begun rolling out what it says is the biggest update to Google Fit since its launch in 2014, taking the lid off a redesign of the Google Fit app for Android and the Fit section inside Wear OS.

Getting to this point was the product of Google working with the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization to, as the company puts it, “understand the science behind physical activity” and figure out how to spur people into getting more active. Which is why the new Google Fit is built around two pretty simple activity goals the update bases on recommendations it got from the AHA and WHO about how people can improve their health — those goals are called Move Minutes and Heart Points.

With the former, you track your progress based on how much activity you do during the week. This can track lots of different kinds of movements in a way that’s meant to be more than just a step-counter. Get your heart pumping, meanwhile, and “Heart Points” gives you credit for those activities — one point for each minute of moderate activity like walking your dog but making the pace a little more brisk. You get double points for more vigorous activity like running or kickboxing.

“It takes just 30 minutes of brisk walking 5 days a week to reach the AHA and WHO’s recommended amount of physical activity, which is shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve sleep, and increase overall mental well-being,” Google notes in a blog post today announcing the Google Fit update.

In some more detailed documentation, Google explains that “if you enjoy a different type of workout, select it from a list of 120+ activities like pilates, rowing, or spinning, and Google Fit will actively track the Heart Points and Move Minutes earned during your workout. Google Fit also integrates with your favorite apps such as Strava, Runkeeper, Endomondo, and MyFitnessPal to give you credit for every Move Minute and Heart Point you earn.

The update is rolling out to users who already use Google Fit on their Android phone or Wear OS by Google watch over the next several days.
Another feature of the redesigned Google Fit: you’ll get customized tips and actionable coaching like pointers on ways to rack up more Heart Points. The coaching will adjust goals over time based on your activity. Speaking of those goals — there’s a visible component to meeting them that includes closing activity-tracking rings, as users of Apple Watch are already familiar with.
In a statement provided along with today’s news, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that “Digital technologies offer limitless possibilities to improve health, from personal fitness to building stronger health systems for entire countries. We’re delighted to be working with Google Fit and others to harness the power of technology to maximise the impact of WHO’s evidence-based recommendations for healthier living.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.