Google is one step closer to creating a fitness empire as its Health Connect platform enters public beta.
Collaboration between Google and Samsung, The Health Connect service first appeared in May to, according to the development team (opens in a new tab), offering greater insight into a person’s health through a platform that aggregates health data from multiple sources into one place. To make things easier, Google is also standardizing data sharing so fitness apps can talk to each other more easily. This way, third party developers are no longer forced to make and maintain multiple API calls for their applications.
For now, Health Connect only works with 10 health and fitness apps (opens in a new tab) including Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, Peloton, Oura and Tonal. You can download the beta app (opens in a new tab) now from google play store but there will be no app icon on home screen. To open it, you need to locate Health Connect in your Android phone’s Settings menu.
When you launch the platform, you will be asked to allow supported third-party apps to open their fitness data in Health Connect. There are also granular controls for fine-tuning what each health app provides. In our tests, we connected the Peloton app and saw that you can offer heart rate data, but not give up information about the total number of calories burned. You can revoke data sharing or delete everything you have collected at any time. And selected features available in other apps will work together via Health Connect. For example, you can sync MyFitnessPal with Peloton and get “credit” for the latter’s training plans.
Google says its platform supports more than 40 different types of data it displays six categories (opens in a new tab): Activity, body measurement, cycle tracking, nutrition, sleep and vital signs. Thanks to them, you can check how long you sleep and even your basal metabolic rate, based on the information you enter.
We’ve reached out to Google to see if the company can tell us when Health Connect will officially launch. So far, nothing, not even a fraudulent leak, has hinted at a release date. We believe that when Health Connect is released, the platform will be a game changer. Health and fitness apps often require you to jump from app to app to get the full picture. Under the Google-colored banner, we could see this unwieldy process disappear.
Given that Fitbit is one of the first 10 supported apps, we were surprised by the lack of support for fitness trackers and smartwatches. This is especially odd given that Google recently launched a new Pixel Watch (which has been discovered to be a bit too generous in reporting how many calories people burn). Device support may come in a future update, but nothing is official at the moment.
However, we recommend staying ahead of the curve in case the platform supports something like the Pixel Watch or Oura Ring. Be sure to check out our list of best fitness trackers of the year to find the right equipment for you.