Active folks who fire up the latest version of the Fitbit app will see a new section tucked away in the sidebar: Challenges. Contained within is a way to take the fitness-minded company's Android experience and make it more social. Users now have the ability to challenge up to 10 people and compete with them in any of three contests.
Fitbit wearers can compete to see who can complete the most steps in a single day, over the weekend, or throughout an entire work week.
Late yesterday, Google began rolling out an update to the Android Wear companion app. Despite a sudden growth of over 2 MB in size, the app only seemed to change the text of a warning, and there were no visible changes on our watches. We knew there had to be something great hidden under the covers, and we were right. The companion app certainly has some interesting changes of its own, but it also acts as the delivery mechanism for a Wear-customized version of Google Play services, and there's a bit to talk about in there, too.
The Samsung Gear Live launched with a built-in heart rate monitor, but unfortunately, it could only take measurements one at a time. There was no way to monitor a wearer's heart rate continuously, such as during a workout. Now developer Portable Pixels has hit Google Play with an Android app that makes this functionality possible, one that goes by the rather straightforward name of "Heart Rate Training."
The developer's previous creations skew more towards the amusing side, but that doesn't limit the capability of this app.
At Google I/O, we heard a little bit about Google Fit - Google's renewed effort at quantified, managed health data. We heard that multiple partners had signed on and got a taste of what Google Fit would be able to accomplish, but beyond that details were a little hazy.
We were however told a preview SDK would be made available in "coming weeks," (a dreaded phrase to any Google user) and today that promise has been fulfilled.
Kickstarter projects appear in any number of shapes and sizes. FreeWavs smart earphones come in at the small end of things. These wireless buds aim specifically at the more active people among us who are tired of cables getting tangled and holding them back, their adrenaline-pumping heavy metal music drowning out the environment around them, and having to carry around so many gadgets to monitor their fitness levels. Now the project has narrowly managed to reach its $300k Kickstarter funding goal with just a day remaining, gathering pledges from over 1,400 people.
The new Google Fit Platform is a set of cross-platform APIs that developers can use to provide consumers with the means to better keep track of their fitness goals. The product intends to blend together data from multiple sources, so users can get a better overall picture of their performance and health. It empowers apps by providing them with access to a user's entire stream of fitness activity, letting software tap into data that it didn't capture itself and provide better recommendations.
If you want an Galaxy S5 Active, your only choice is AT&T. Meanwhile, the newly announced Galaxy S5 Sport is a Sprint exclusive. Of course, these are pretty much the same phone with tiny aesthetic differences. Sprint is really pushing the fitness angle, though.
The GS5 Sport has the same trio of physical buttons on the front as the Active, and the specs are the same. You can get the gist simply by reading up on the Active, and pretending it says "Sport." It's IP67 rated for water and dust resistance, and it's got a beefier, more textured casing than the regular GS5.
According to a new exclusive from Forbes, Google is working on preparing a service called Google Fit. Forbes says the service will aggregate and manage health and fitness data collected from sources like wearables and fitness trackers, and it will offer new APIs to developers for integration with the service.
According to Forbes, it's unclear whether Google's HealthKit competitor will debut with the next version of Android, but evidently the company is set to unveil the service, along with new partnerships with wearable manufacturers, at this year's I/O conference (which for those keeping count is just under two weeks away).
The premise behind Zombies, Run! is pretty simple - there are some zombies, and you're probably not going to want them to catch you. Fire up the app, stick some earbuds into your ear, and run. No, run! You typically don't spend too much time looking at your phone while using this app, but (wait, why did you stop moving, run!) the new update to version 3.0 will make sure the app looks holorific the next time you do.
Back in the day, people used to go on runs with nothing but a loose pair of shorts and whichever shoes were comfy. Now such an idea feels downright preposterous without earbuds, music, podcasts, a fitness band, or an activity tracking app. Runtastic's offering is one of the first that comes to mind, and today it's getting bumped up to version 5.0. Runners, here's the promotional video.