Following last week’s quality-focused update to its Wear OS app approval guidelines, Google today announced a major redesign of its Google Fit activity tracking app — its largest update since 2014. The redesign, which introduces several major health-focused features, is the product of collaborations between Google, the American Heart Association (AHA), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
If you’re already using Google Fit, you’ll find the core functionality intact: It can still track walks, runs, and bike rides using your phone or watch, as well as over 120 different workout activities. But now the app will focus your attention on two key metrics: Move Minutes and Heart Points.
You earn Move Minutes by staying in motion rather than sitting, and Heart Points for activities that get your heart pumping — one point per minute of moderate activity such as walking briskly, or two points per minute for intense activities like running. In addition to its internal tracking, Google Fit integrates with Strava, Runkeeper, Endomondo, and MyFitnessPal so you can earn credit for Move Minutes and Heart Points accumulated elsewhere.
In addition to tracking your movements, the app is designed to offer customized tips and coaching to help you improve your activity. The app can also adjust your goals over time to keep you motivated.
Google’s premise is that encouraging people to walk briskly for 30 minutes, five days a week will enable people to meet AHA and WHO recommended physical activity levels — minimums associated with improved mental well being and sleep, as well as a 40 percent lower rate of type 2 diabetes, a 35 percent lower rate of heart disease, and roughly 20 percent lower rates of colon and breast cancers.
The updated Google Fit features will be rolling out this week for Android and Wear OS devices. A new flagship Google-branded wearable is expected to debut ahead of the holiday season.