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Apple HealthKit vs. Google Fit: Matter of features or brand loyalty?

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Keeping fit and healthy has become easier these days thanks to technology. These advancements can lead to improvements in one's lifestyle and the prevention of various illnesses.

In the advent of the smartphone, the multitude of apps made available for iOS and Android devices have made health and wellness easier to achieve and monitor. But are all health apps created equal? Is Apple better than Google at helping people manage their health better?

Apple HealthKit and Google Fit are platforms for managing health apps on iOS and Android devices. But while the two have the same basic goal, they go about achieving this goal differently.

For starters, HealthKit compiles information by tapping into Apple's Health app, while Fit aggregates data from third-party health apps and fitness trackers.

In terms of compatibility with wearable devices, HealthKit will be mainly connecting to the Apple Watch, while Fit will team up with a wide array of brands whose wearable devices will help Google gather data.

For those concerned with privacy, HealthKit prevents data from health apps from being stored in iCloud, while Fit will not offer access unless the user permits it.

So which one can help people become healthier?

Both have their merits but the platform that will win out is essentially dictated by the kind of device a person uses regularly. If they have an iPhone, then it means they're likely to turn to HealthKit. If they rely on an Android device, then they probably won't look beyond Fit.

While health apps are quite popular, they are not important enough to sway an individual into switching to an iOS device from Android, or vice versa. A health app is also likely to have an iOS and Android version, completely taking away the need to cross over to a different OS just to be able to use the app. But even if it didn't, there would still be more than enough health apps from both camps to choose from.

Both Apple and Google announced their respective platforms earlier in the year, setting the stage for a competition in the health arena. HealthKit had an opportunity to get ahead of Fit by being released alongside iOS 8 but was unfortunately deterred by a bug. Apps created with HealthKit have been blocked as a result, but Apple has said that the platform should be ready by the end of September. A Fit SDK was released by Google last August but has not progressed from a developer preview since.

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