App Review: Google Fit

You can find Google Fit here on the Play Store:

Android Website


 

 

I was really excited to see Google Fit released.  For a while now I have been an Android user and was happy to see an exercise app that hopefully will become a native part of the phone.  Overall Google Fit does many things right.  It all starts with Google fit having a very simple and easy to read homepage that is still motivating.  The main thing that Google Fit tracks is time spent active each day and that time appears in a wheel and as you get closer to your goal the wheel fills up.  This is a great method of tracking your activity because I want to fill up the wheel and I don’t want to spend time trying to find the wheel.  I want it to be right there when I open the app.

Screenshot of the main page of Google Fit as viewed on a Google/Motorola Nexus 6.
Screenshot of the main page of Google Fit as viewed on a Google/Motorola Nexus 6.

Where the app starts to let me down is in the tracking.  I feel that most of my walking activity isn’t tracked by Google Fit.  It is always at least 2,000 steps or more less than my Fitbit and I have counted out steps then looked back down at my watch only to find that it hadn’t updated.

What is nice, though, is that different types of activity will show up differently on the wheel.  For example, if you run during the day it will appear purple and bike rides will appear blue.  I like this because it will help me determine what I should do more of and it helps me keep better track of what I have done that day.

Unfortunately, Google Fit will not display the wheel from past days.  Instead it displays lines of data that aren't as helpful.
Unfortunately, Google Fit will not display the wheel from past days. Instead, it displays lines of data that aren’t as helpful.

Another major issue that I have with Google Fit is its ability to sync with its own website.  As can be seen in the picture below the Google Fit website does not sync data continuously.  In the case of today, I can see yesterday’s data but there have been days where I haven’t been able to view data for the last couple of days via their website.  Google spent a lot of time making the app use as little battery power as possible, but I think that it isn’t unreasonable to ask it to sync every couple of hours at least.  It shouldn’t use too much battery and it would probably only use a small amount of data.  I am not a battery expert nor a network expert though so feel free to correct me on that.  I have yet to be able to find a way to force the app to sync with the website.  At the very least Google should provide its users with a force sync option so that you can choose when the app uploads information.

GoogleFitWebsite

 

Those who use an iOS device will have to settle with using their website to track activity or using a third party app with Google Fit.  According to Google’s developer website the API for Google Fit, is available for the iOS but without an Apple device I have no way of testing out apps that may work.  Apple is probably working against Google in this arena because Google Fit is a direct competitor to Apple’s Apple Health.

Instead of using my phone to record my steps with Google Fit I have a Moto 360 that I wear.  I will do a review on that at another time.

For the gripes that I may have with Google Fit the app is pretty good for only being several months old.  With more time, it will probably develop into something richer with improved accuracy and uploading.  It would also be great to see Google release a feature that allows users to compete or compare steps similar to that of Fitbit.  I will post an update should anything major change with the app, Google has a good start.

 

Leave a Reply