Google is one step closer to establishing a fitness empire as its Health Connect platform enters public beta.
A collaboration between Google and Samsung, Health Connect first appeared in May with the aim of, according to the developer team (opens in new tab), which provides better insight into a person’s health through a platform that aggregates health data from multiple sources in one location. To make this easier, Google is also standardizing data sharing so fitness apps can talk to each other more easily. This way, third-party developers are no longer forced to establish and maintain multiple API connections for their apps.
For now, Health Connect only works with 10 health and fitness apps (opens in new tab) including Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, Peloton, Oura, and Tonal. You can download the beta app (opens in new tab) now from google play store but there is no app icon on home screen. To access it, you need to find Health Connect in the Settings menu of your Android phone.
When launching the platform, you will be prompted to allow the supported third-party apps to access their fitness data for Health Connect. There are also detailed controls for narrowing down what each health app shares. In our testing, we linked the Peloton app and saw that you can offer data about your heart rate, but not provide information about total calories burned. You can revoke the sharing of data or delete all collected data at any time. And certain features found in other apps work together through Health Connect. For example, you can sync MyFitnessPal with Peloton and get “credit” on the latter’s workout plans.
Google states that its platform supports more than 40 different data types, which it displays everywhere six categories (opens in new tab): Activity, Body Measurement, Cycle Tracking, Nutrition, Sleep and Vitals. This allows you to check how much consistent sleep you are getting and even your basal metabolic rate, based on the information you enter.
We’ve reached out to Google to see if the company can tell us when Health Connect will officially launch. So far, nothing, not even a rogue leak, has suggested a release date. When Health Connect is released, we think the platform will be a game changer. Health and fitness apps often require people to jump from app to app to get the full picture. Under a Google colored banner, we could see this clunky process fading away.
Since Fitbit is one of the first 10 apps supported, we were surprised to see no support for fitness trackers or smartwatches. This is especially odd considering that Google recently launched a new Pixel Watch (which has been discovered to be a bit of a stretch) too generous with reporting how many calories people burn). Device support may come in a future update, but nothing is official at the moment.
However, we recommend leading the way if the platform supports something like the Pixel Watch or Oura ring. Be sure to check out our list of the best fitness trackers of the year to find the right gear for you.