That cool little HDMI stick that Google released more than a year ago got more useful and more awesome when the Cast API became available for developers. And while there are now hundreds of apps with Chromecast support on the Play Store, Google keeps a small curated list of some of them, kind of like a featured selection. Every now and then new entrants are let into this special club, and the latest addition is a trio of interesting apps: musiXmatch, Lyve, and Fitnet.
For a long time, Google's My Tracks app was basically a niche app, if not just a novelty. However, the recent addition of Android Wear support started to get things to make more sense. Location tracking on a smart watch is more convenient and may render obsolete the GPS watches of yesteryear. With the new 2.0.9 update, My Tracks has Google Fit support, giving My Tracks some credibility as a fitness app.
Are you willing to exercise to get in shape? I see some of you nodding your heads, but others look like they need more motivation. What if missiles were flying towards you? What if the fate of the world depended on you throwing just five more punches or hanging in there long enough for three more of your best push-ups? If that's the kind of incentive you need to start burning those calories, then developer Six to Start has the app for you.
We've all seen it happen. A great technology, service, or platform comes out, but without a solid base of users and apps, it fails to gain traction. Google wants to see the Fit API work out, and developers have been called upon to help make that happen. If you know how to write an Android app, and you've got a great idea for something that will get people off the couch and into the gym, you're invited to join the Google Fit Developer Challenge.
If you want to wear something that can provide a rough estimate of how active you are each day, there are no shortage of options. Now Jawbone is giving consumers two more. The company has announced a couple of activity trackers that it hopes will appeal to different types of people, with one of them showing off some rather advanced tech.
For starters, we have the $49.99 UP MOVE, an entry-level alternative to Jawbone's fitness bands.
LG and Samsung got the Android Wear party started, releasing the G Watch and Gear Live, respectively. Those watches only need Google's Wear app to function, but Motorola changed the formula a bit with the Moto 360, tying the watch to the existing Motorola Connect app. For the upcoming ZenWatch, ASUS is beating them all (well, sort of) with three separate watch-focused apps.
The first new ASUS app is simply titled "ZenWatch Manager," and it's essentially a remote setup function for your watch on your phone screen.
The tech giants are all pushing out fitness platforms of their own these days. Apple has HealthKit, Google recently flipped the on switch for Fit, and now Microsoft is bringing us Health.
Microsoft Health can track your steps, heart rate, calories burned, and sleep quality. If this sounds similar to Fitbit, there's a reason for this. The folks at Redmond are introducing an activity tracker of their own called the Microsoft Band.
My love for Runtastic grows by the day. Not only is the service very useful to track my runs and hikes, but its Android app is almost always on the forefront of the latest Google and Android features and guidelines. Case in point: it was one of the first fitness apps to add support for Android Wear and it just got updated with Google Fit integration.
The first time you launch the app you'll be asked to give it access to your Google account (or you can find the option under Settings, Partner Accounts) so it can view and store activity information, location data, and body sensor data (presumably heart rate stats).
After reports of skin rashes pushed Fitbit to recall its Force activity tracker at the beginning of this year, the company is now ready to bring the product's replacement to market. It's called the Charge, and it's joined by two other fitness bracelets packing more features and a higher cost.
The Charge comes with largely the same look and capabilities as the Force it replaces, providing the ability to track steps, follow sleep patterns, count floors climbed, see calories burned, and know who's calling.
Google Fit is something Google has been working diligently on since before its announcement at Google I/O. The service itself doesn't seem to be very well-rounded yet, but with a preview SDK available to developers for a few months and an app in the works, it seems like things are headed in the right direction.
We've seen only glimpses of the Fit app so far from leaked product reviews and comparison videos, but now that the whole app has been made available in a leaked Nexus 6 dump that's floating around (we're not going to distribute test-keys signed APKs), we can finally take a quick look at the app itself.