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.
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.
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?