It’s the information age, and more people are learning how to live healthier lives. Those seeking to improve their diet, lose weight, or just get into the habit of exercising can find help from three leaders in the information technology space: Apple, Microsoft, and Google. Each company has launched its own version of a health suite that lets users gather data about their lifestyle and find ways to improve. For app developers, these new projects present exciting opportunities to break into the health and fitness market. Read on to learn about the features and differences between these health apps.
Apple’s new Health app lets you view and manage your personal health and fitness information. You can input data about yourself, such as age, weight, measurements, and underlying medical conditions. All your data is encryped when your phone is locked and can be backed up to your iCloud account.
Apple Health also lets you:
- View graphical displays of your weight, calories burned, and other information.
- Access multiple categories such as sleep, nutrition, vital signs, and heart rate.
- Create an emergency card with information for doctors and parademics.
- Determine which third-party apps are allowed to access your health information.
Apple Health includes a developer toolkit, HealthKit, that allows other app designers to integrate their fitness apps with the data stored in your Apple Health dashboard. You can also easily share information with your doctor, helping streamline checkups. It helps create a more expansive network of information that keeps you focused on your goals.
Like Apple Health, Microsoft’s Health app offers cloud support and the ability to keep track of your health and fitness data. However, Microsoft’s new project uses data gathered from external devices such as smart watches, Microsoft Band, and integrated apps like MyFitnessPal and MapMyFitness. When you use these devices while running or working out at the gym, data such as calories burned and heart rate are sent to Microsoft Health via the cloud. While it sounds promising, the project is still in its early stages. Microsoft claims that in time their Health app will be able to pull and analyze information from an array of sources to help you live healthier.
Google Fit isn’t a health app by itself, but a platform to help developers build their own apps and sports equipment companies manufacture smarter gear. It this regard, it’s similar to Apple’s HealthKit.
- View data transmitted through sensors from integrated apps and equipment.
- Integrate sensors and apps with Google Fit.
- Manage current and historical data stored in Google Fit.
Google Fit has support from over a dozen multinational companies including Adidas, Asus, Intel, LG, Nike, and Strava.
Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all aiming to create a full-featured health suite that connects to other apps and health monitoring devices. Apple Health stands as the most complete app, while Microsoft’s variation is in its infant stages. Google Fit boasts the most integration of the three, and can help developers reach a huge market. Where app quality is concerned, all three projects are by no means complete, and we’ll likely see improvements in functionality and compatibility in the future.