Gadgets

Jawbone’s Up health wristband finally comes to Android

Android owners now have one less excuse against getting healthy.

Jawbone has finally released an Android app for its Up health wristband, which has so far remained an iPhone-exclusive device.

Jawbone recently re-released its Up wristband ($129) after a disastrous debut in 2011. Just like the previous model, the device tracks your daily activity and sleep patterns — but its far better built, so it shouldn’t die off as easily as the first Up. The Android app allows you to synchronize with the Up, log your food, and keep track of your moods, among several other features.

It offers all of the features currently on the iPhone app, except for the recent ability to share your updates to Twitter and Facebook, according to Travis Bogard, Jawbone’s vice president of product management and strategy.

“Right now we’re focusing on supporting Android well,” Bogard said. “There’s a lot of variety out there, this is why many people in this space have either declared they won’t support Android [referring to Nike's Fuelband], or will only support one or two Android devices.”

Specifically, Bogard tells me that the Jawbone Up now supports more than 26 different Android smartphones, which includes most of the popular models you’d expect. The company has spent the past year developing the application in parallel with the iOS version, but it took a while to test it on a decent amount of Android phones.

Additionally, Jawbone is releasing an updating iPhone application today which includes support for more international languages. Basically, plenty of people who’ve wanted to get their hands on the Up will finally have a reason to do so.

“What’s cool is that people who have friends in the [Up] system move around 10 more miles per month and have 20 percent longer workouts,” Bogard said. “Being able to touch more people really helps create that encouragement and support.”

I’m a huge fan of the revamped Jawbone Up (so much so that I prefer it over the Fitbit One in my dual review), so it’s nice to see it finally reach Android. Unfortunately, you still have to plug in the Up device to synchronize it with your phone (that won’t be fixed until an entirely new model is released), but at least Android users now have the option to use it.

San Francisco-based Jawbone has raised $202 million in funding so far from Kleiner Perkins, Andreessen Horowitz, and others.