Top 5 Google Fit Android Apps, Fit or Kit?

We recently covered the new Apple HealthKit ecosystem for health data. It’s finally time for us to cover Google Fit, the Android equivalent.

First, Some Background

the Apple HealthKit vs. Google Fit rivalry is bound to become an epic business showdown. So, a little background on this digital matchup is in order before we get to the top apps.

What is Google Fit?

Google Fit is is the Android equivalent of Apple HealthKit.  In essence, it’s a standard for recording health data so that different apps and services from different providers can be combined, shared, and presented to the user in meaningful ways. The user gets a central database of all their health data.  Given access, a doctor could see your daily weight fluctuations, heart rate, sleep cycles and so on that all the different apps and devices connected to the standard have collected.

Format or OS Wars?

At first glance, Google Fit vs. Apple HealthKit is similar to a format war just like VHS vs. Betamax (Sony lost) or the more recent Blu Ray vs. HD DVD (Sony won). There’s no way of predicting the winner of a format war, so which standard will win out in the long run is impossible to say. But as long as each standard stays exclusive to its respective operating system it’ll remain more of an OS war.

Android Is Much Bigger Than iOS

If market share is most important, then Android wins out by a long shot.  With 85% market share, Android is the behemoth of the OS wars.  On the other hand, if user engagement and revenue is your thing, then iOS blows Android out of the water.

Pushing For Partners

Both Google and Apple are promoting their health data standards and signing up partners left and right.  Apple seems to have focused on partnering with thought leaders in the health industry like Mayo Clinic, Mount Sinai, and UCLA Health; while Google has focused on hardware providers like Intel, Asus, and Motorola.  Google aren’t really in the hardware business so they need hardware manufacturers to back them up, while Apple aren’t really in the data business and sees the need to focus on establishing themselves as a data service provider.

Top Five Google Fit Apps

Yes, it’s finally time for the top five Google Fit apps.

#1 Runkeeper

This is my own go-to fitness app.  I’m a runner, and I’ve rarely strayed from Runkeeper to keep track of my runs while I listen to some tunes.  Runkeeper is an official Google Fit partner.

#2 Withings’ Health Mate

Withings is another official Google Fit partner.  Their app Health Mate can keep track of your weight and physical activity either manually or automatically  through their many hardware devices.  It can even pull your runkeeper data into it’s health tracking system.

#3 Strava

Strava is good for the multi-sport jock as it tracks your cycling and running as well as your step count and heart rate.

#4 Noom Coach

This app focuses on weight loss.  Noom Coach has you fill out some questionnaires regarding food and workout habits. Then it it coaches you through your weight loss regime and tries to keep you motivated to stay on track with both your diet and your workout.

#5 Polar Beat

This app requires that you own Polar fitness tracking hardware to be of any use.  Polar Beat keeps track of your running data and heart rate data for you while letting you set goals and all the standard things that fitness apps help you with.  Polar is an official Google Fit partner.

Fit or Kit – Where Will You Go?

Many companies won’t have the capital to invest in both the Google Fit and Apple HealthKit ecosystems. It’s unlikely that either of these ecosystems will die out any time soon, but they may go in different directions and have different benefits to both users and service providers alike.  So the big question is, which system is right for you or your business?


Will Robots Take Our Jobs? Probably. Should we worry? You bet.


CC 2.0 “Cyborg Girl” by Raíssa Ruschel resized and cropped

Yesterday I wrote that the robots are here, because some people at the office have said autonomous vehicles will be the single most disruptive invention this century. But, if you live in a European city like me, you probably don’t own a car and don’t see what the big deal is. If you’re my colleague Jenn though, you’re crazy depressed at the idea of not being able to drive like a maniac (not that she ever does that).

From my perspective, cars that drive themselves are a MacGuffin. It’s really that automation more broadly will change a wider variety of things than we can imagine.  It is technically feasible that most of our jobs will be automated in the not-so-distant future.

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Where Are All the Robots?

robots and automation technology are hereCC 2.0 Image: “future car” by Luke Jones, cropped and sharpened.

Screw the Jetsons, driving yourself around in a flying car is for chumps. Flying cars are still only the stuff of science fiction, but autonomous cars – ones that drive themselves – are a reality. Yes, cars that can sense the environment around them and respond accordingly by accelerating, decelerating, or swerving, are already with us.

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Television’s Second Screen: bridging the gap

Television is dead, long live TV!

Streaming television is gaining viewers while advertisers are beginning to demand the accurate and wide-ranging metrics of digital advertising. These are some of the reasons why traditional television is either dead or dying.

Alternatives streaming video services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Instant video are poised to replace traditional broadcasting. As much as 72% of American millennials watch streaming television on a weekly basis.

The second screen

Another growing television trend is the use of a second screen while watching television programs. Forty-nine percent of tablet owners use their tablet while watching TV to look up information directly related to what they’re seeing (nielsen).
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