Google gets ball rolling on fitness wearables with Fit preview SDK

Google promised that developers will be able to launch fully-fledged versions of their apps when the SDK goes into general availability later this year.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Following up on one of the many promises presented at Google I/O in June, the internet giant is getting the ball rolling on its Android strategy for fitness apps and devices.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company released the Google Fit SDK in preview mode for developers on Thursday, handing out the initial tools for collecting activity data generated by fitness apps and sensors on Android mobile devices.

These devices include, but are not limited to, smartphones, tablets and the evolving category that is becoming colloquially known as "wearables."

In terms of health and fitness, Google provided examples such as heart rate monitors or connected scales.

The preview SDK consists of a trio of APIs centered around sensors, recording, and history for running operations and syncing information back to the cloud.

"This means that with the user’s permission, you can get access to the user’s fitness history — enabling you to provide more interesting features in your app like personalized coaching, better insights, fitness recommendations and more," remarked Angana Ghosh, a product manager for the Google Fit team, in a blog post.

Developers will need to download the updated version of Google Play services, which now includes the Google Fit APIs for Android in the Android L Developer Preview Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 system images. They can then start working with local fitness history on the device immediately; cloud backend access is supposed to follow soon.

With the SDK now available, Google promises that developers will be able to launch fully fledged versions of their apps when the SDK goes into general availability later this year through Google Play services for handsets, Android Wear and the web.

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