A very long-awaited update to Google Fit began rolling out earlier this week, but it seemed to focus almost entirely on improvements to the Wear micro-app while the main app was all but ignored. As it turns out, that was a mistake. A fresh update to the app started rolling out yesterday and it brings the rest of the features that were intended for this release – and what a list of features they are.
Note: Everything here was about to be part of a teardown, but the update stole that thunder.
It's been a while since we've seen a true update to Google Fit – about 6 months if you don't count a version that turned up in the final M Developer Preview. You might even say the app got a bit flabby over the summer. (Sorry.) The latest version began rolling out yesterday and it's featuring a couple of big changes for Android Wear, including a brand new watch face and a trainer mode to help you get in shape. The main app also went through a couple of changes, but they're nothing to get excited about. However, check back later for a pretty big teardown – some big things are happening.
Did you visit Google Fit's website back when the service first launched? It was a bare bones affair. The screen was mostly gray, and you were presented with the same information you saw inside the app, only tucked away on the left side of the screen. There really wasn't much reason to pay it any attention, so we didn't.
This update isn't just for the nutrition-minded among us. It also adds the ability to integrate your account with Google Fit. This way you can take workout data collected in Endomondo and share it with Google.
I hope this news was worth taking a pause in your workout. Feel free to check out the changelog before hitting play on your music app and returning back to your sweat-inducing routine.
Google Fit is, like most things Google publishes on the Play Store, popular by necessity. The fitness and activity tracking service debuted around the time Android 5.0 did, and people were understandably excited. After all, a built-in fitness and activity tracker app only makes sense on a smartphone full of sensors, and Google is well-renowned for its number-crunching and algorithm-refining prowess. But reviews of the Google Fit app on the Play Store are pretty brutal.
While the app maintains a 4.0 overall rating, even Google's polarizing Inbox app manages a 4.2, and it's clear that many users of Fit are having significant battery drain issues since installing the app.
How do Androids sleep? Why do Androids sleep? I wouldn't know. I do know, however, that if you want to sleep like them, you can get the help of an app that rises (or lays down) to the task. Sleep as Android helps you fall asleep with lullabies, tracks your sleep cycles, and wakes you up at an optimal time with nature sounds. And it just got a little bit better in this latest update.
Google Fit integration will let you sync your sleep data to/from Fit, automatically import your sport sessions from Fit, and grab your night walking into the app. The latter part should mark you as awake when you get up at 2am to drink or hit the bathroom.
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.
But staying active is more about the present than the past. To keep you motivated, Google has created a widget that you can slap on the homescreen as a constant reminder of your activity (or lack thereof).
Google Play services 7.3 started rolling out to Android devices a little less than 2 weeks ago, making some small, but much needed changes in the process. It turns out that wasn't the only purpose for that release, as it also brings some cool new capabilities developers can use in their apps. Now that the rollout is finished, Google has released an updated Play Services SDK with new capabilities for Android Wear, Google Fit, and Location Services. There's also an improvement to the GoogleApiClient class to handle situations when APIs aren't available on a given device.
Magnus is back!
We learned last week from an update to the Android Wear app that support for connecting multiple watches – and possibly other devices – had become reality.
Early this month, Google announced a major update to its Play services framework, which brings the version number up to 7.0 and adds several great new APIs. The SDK for this update was held back until the corresponding apk had time to make its way out to Android devices everywhere. The wait is now over, and the SDK is live. Developers are now free to incorporate all of the new APIs into their apps. For a quick summary of the new features in Play services 7.0, check out the DevBytes video below. Fair warning, the video is hosted by Magnus Hyttsen, so make sure you've had your morning coffee.
The Android ecosystem –as most of us think of it– is built on more than just an operating system and a marketplace for independent apps. It's largely shaped by dozens of services that have been built by Google, allowing developers to add rich features to their apps without building out expensive infrastructures. The Google Play services package is the core element in this equation, and it's getting a pretty major update to version 7.0 over the next couple of weeks. Google just announced that it's about to give developers access to important new features including a Places API to get surrounding businesses and landmarks, and a new Nearby Connections API to make it easier for phones and tablets to act as a second screen to your Android TV.