Back at Google I/O, Google announced a lot of things and one of the more welcome additions was the Google Fit platform; an open platform for developers to more easily build fitness apps that integrate with hardware and software, as well as making the data easier to share between other apps.
Google Fit provides a single API for apps and device manufacturers alike to store and access activity data from phones, sensors in devices and other devices like wearables, connected scales, and more. Instead of having fitness data stored in silos, apps will (with your permission, of course) be able to share it with each other, to develop a better experience overall.
For developers, there’s three sets of APIs available to meet your needs. Here they are, taken from Google’s post earlier today:
- Sensors API provides high-level access to sensors from the device and wearables—so with one API your app can talk to sensors, whether on an Android device or a wearable. So if you’re making a running app, you could register it to receive updates from a connected heart rate monitor every 5 seconds during a user’s run and give immediate feedback to the runner on the display.
- Recording API allows apps to register for battery-efficient, cloud-synced background collection of fitness data. For example, a running app could ask to store user’s location so it can map the run later. Once it registers for these data types, collection is done by Fit in the background with no further work needed by the app.
- History API allows operations on the data like read, insert and delete. When the exerciser finishes her run, the running app can query the History API for all locations during the run and show a map.
To start developing with the Android L / Google Fit platform, you’ll need a couple of things. Firstly, make sure you’ve got the updated Android L preview installed on your developer device. You’ll also need to update your Android SDK Manager to install the ‘Google Play Services for Fit Preview’ client.
At this stage, the cloud functions aren’t available, but developers can start building today for the local fitness history functions. As with other preview SDKs in the past, Google Fit apps can be developed today, but cannot be published to the Play Store until the software is finalised later this year.