Google today updated its Wear OS iPhone app [Direct Link] and Google Fit Android app with a new redesign that emphasizes closing a set of rings, similar to Apple’s Activity app. Every day, Google Fit will task users to close one ring based on “move minutes” and another ring based on “heart points” (via The Verge).
“Move minutes” is a metric that is intended to be better than measuring daily steps because it can capture multiple activities, and walking “might not be a great option” for some users, Google Fit senior product manager Margaret Hollendoner explains. “Heart points” differs from “move minutes” by requiring users to engage in activities that will get their heart rate up but not require heavy physical activity (although it will reward more points for intense workouts).
Hollendoner says that it can be “as simple as picking up the pace when you’re walking.” Both of these metrics are measured when wearing one of Google’s Wear OS watches, but there are other options available as well. You can import health data from other devices compatible with Google Fit, although the company points out that the metrics might not be as accurate.
Similar to the Apple Watch, once personal data is input in Wear OS and Google Fit, the apps can offer up goals that it believes are appropriate for each individual user. The apps can also suggest that you might need another 20 minutes of exercise to hit a weekly goal, even if you slacked off earlier in the week.
Google collaborated with the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization to build the new rings and activity tracking. In the apps, users will be able to read more details about heart points, which AHA senior vice president Patrick Wayte sees as an “opportunity to get people oriented around the science,” and eventually “align them to the guidelines” the AHA recommends for daily physical activity.
As a comparison, Apple Watch’s Activity rings measure Move, Exercise, and Stand metrics, related to calories burned, high-intensity workout time, and time spent standing throughout a single day. For Google Fit, the company notes that it will still measure all of the basic stats as well, including daily steps and miles completed, and calories burned.
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