Google is revamping its fitness tracking app, Google Fit. It’s getting an all-white redesign in line with Google’s new Material Design guidelines and new metrics for fitness tracking based on guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The main new display is a set of circles that fill in as you reach your goal. Before, Google Fit would only track a single “active” goal, which broke down to doing any kind of movement for a certain number of minutes a day. The new design features two circles that track “Move Minutes” and “Heart Points.” Move Minutes are just the old step counter over time, but now separated Heart Points are earned for more vigorous workouts, as detected by accelerometers, speed, manual logging, and the heart-rate monitor of a Wear OS smart watch. Third-party app integrations will be able to log Heart Points, too. The ring system looks a lot like Apple’s activity tracking, but in addition to tracking normal movement and more vigorous workouts, Apple has a third ring that tracks standing.
Any minute of moderate activity above normal walking speed will earn a Heart Point, and Google says you’ll get double points for “more intense activities like running or kickboxing.” Before, Google Fit let you set any goal threshold for your activity, but with the redesign it is now more guided and is based on the US government’s physical activity guidelines. The basic guidelines call for 150 minutes of moderate activity a week (more than just walking), and the new Google Fit will explain these guidelines and push users to meet them.
Google’s blog post says, “It takes just 30 minutes of brisk walking five days a week to reach the AHA and WHO’s recommended amount of physical activity, which is shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve sleep, and increase overall mental well-being.” This more-active movement offers greater health benefits than just incrementing a step counter.
The new Google Fit is rolling out “beginning this week” on Android and Wear OS. iOS users with a Wear OS smartwatch will be able to track their Google Fit progress through the Wear OS app.
Correction: There is no iOS Google Fit app. The interface pictured above on an iPhone is part of the Wear OS app.