Fans of Android Wear have plenty to be excited about. A major update was just announced during the Google I/O 2016 keynote with many of the features users have been looking forward to. The headlining additions to the platform focus largely on more advanced watchfaces, improvements for messaging, and expanded integration and more automatic use of the Google Fit platform. A Preview program is also being launched for Wear, so developers will be able to work on new apps for the platform before official rollouts begin.
If you want a quick overview of what's new, watch our Wear 2.0 hands-on video.
One of the worst things about fitness tracking apps is that they often require users to tell them when an activity starts. This can be a pretty big inconvenience, especially for people that keep their phones stowed in closed pockets or an arm band without easy access to the screen. The latest update to Fit might save many people from having to reach for their phone at all. Wear users can now start and stop activity trackers directly from the mini-app.
The main phone app doesn't seem to have any notable changes, so this update is all about Wear.
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.