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.
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 noshortageofoptions. 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.