Google Fit users, it's time to get off your butts and update the activity-tracking app. Version 1.52 has rolled into the Play Store, and it's ready to hit the gym with a new set of clothes and one of those fancy wristbands.
For starters, Fit can now track distances and calories. Fire up the app to see how far you've gone and how much you've burned in the process. Google has tweaked the look a bit, and you can now group your fitness history by days, weeks, and months.
So many companies are invested in activity tracking and fitness right now, why not make a game out of it? So seems to be the thought process behind Atari Fit, a multiplayer exercise-oriented experience from the publishers of the oldest video game console most people care to remember.
How do you gamify fitness? The same way you do anything else. Atari has added ways to up your level and earn coins.
Android Wear devices come with accelerometers, gyroscopes, and heart rate monitors so that when wearers do active things, the devices can at least attempt to track what's going on. Jump Rope Wear Counter is an Android Wear app that tries to count your jumps while jumping rope, display how many calories you've burned, and sync the information to Google Fit. For the most part, it works.
There isn't really much to Jump Rope Wear Counter, but after trying it out for a bit, I can confirm that it's mostly accurate.
Microsoft Health is that tech giant's preferred way for people to track information pertaining to their fitness and, well, health. The app serves as the companion to a $200 arm band that is worth a look thanks to its support for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone alike.
Following through on an earlier promise, the Android app plays along with MapMyFitness, one of the more popular workout apps to be found in the Play Store.
Under Armour is a well-known fitness brand, but despite its ubiquity on wristbands and sweat-wicking clothes, it isn't the first name that comes to mind in the digital realm. How does a company go about changing this? Buy the brands that are. So here we are, Under Armour announced today that is has purchased MyFitnessPal and Endomondo.
Towards the end of March, Fitbit announced the Charge HR and Surge, new additions to its activity-tracking family. The Charge HR is an enhanced version of the Charge, just with a heart rate monitor added on (clever). The Surge is the Cadillac version that comes with a giant, black and white touch screen. The former goes for $149.99, while the latter goes for a hundred bucks more. Both are now shipping in North America, which a global release soon to follow.
Quick, imagine the typical Under Armour customer. Go ahead, I'll wait. Now imagine which phone he or she brings with them to the gym. Are you imagining an HTC One M8? No? Well both companies would probably like you to, at least after their joint announcement at CES. HTC has joined up with the well-known clothing brand for a cross-promotional program centered on Under Armour Connected Fitness, a health tracking service that's comparable to Nike Plus and other competitors.
You might not know it if you don't regularly peruse the less-traveled sections of your local electronics store, but Garmin and its competitors have been making impressively sophisticated GPS watches for years. They only escaped the "smartwatch" label because the buzzword hadn't been invented yet. Now Garmin, like Timex, is approaching the smartwatch from the other end, adding more and more features onto a design that's been present for quite a while.
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.