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In Google Fit vs. Apple HealthKit, Fitness Apps Stay Neutral

Posted: June 30, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Apple and Google are starting a race after your health and fitness data. Image: Mashable Composite, Apple, Getty Creative, studiogstock

By Samantha Murphy Kelly2014-06-27 12:48:42 UTC

The health and fitness tracking category is still in its infancy, but it's already getting crowded.

Google announced this week during its Google I/O Developers Conference an initiative called Google Fit for Android that will serve as a fitness and health tracking platform across various platforms and wearables. The news, of course, comes just a few weeks after Apple launched HealthKit for developers that will do something very similar: provide a hub for users to keep track of fitness goals and health-related information.

Third-party app developers say they couldn't be happier that Google and Apple are joining the race to capture and make the most out of aggregating fitness data. Perhaps learning from past iOS/Android platform wars, many health and fitness apps planning to support both platforms, rather choosing one over the other. That's good news, presumably, for consumers, but it does mean extra work for the developers. Health and fitness developers will now need to create their own app and also look at integrating that app with both Google Fit and HealthKit.

HealthKit opened up its platform to developers with a few key app partners such as Adidas, Nike and Withings. All three companies are also early partners with Google Fit. RunKeeper is among the apps joining the Google side and hasn't made an announcement to join HealthKit just yet, although the company told Mashable it plans to do so soon.

While apps clamor to integrate with both platforms, could they eventually pick sides and focus their efforts once the platforms are fleshed out? According to Mio Globals CEO Liz Dickinson, creator of the first wrist-worn heart rate monitoring technology brought to market (the MIO Shape), the answer is no.

"The whole point of open systems and interoperability is to give the user the most choice, freedom and flexibility," Dickinson said. "Picking sides would defeat that, and the Google vision is to allow data transfers from iOS apps to Google."

Although Fitbit isn't an official partner to HealthKit, Apple showed the company's logo on stage during the launch presentation and recently implied it's open to working with Google Fit too.

"We look forward to hearing more about Google Fit," a Fitbit spokesperson told Mashable. "We work with many partners to add value to our users experience to help them stay active, live better and reach their goals."

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In Google Fit vs. Apple HealthKit, Fitness Apps Stay Neutral

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