Getting Fit With Google Fit Has Become Way Cooler, Thanks To Calorie And Distance Tracker


Google Fit becomes more formidable force in the connected health field, now that it has been updated to estimate calories burned and distance traveled.

To take advantage of the new features, found in Google Fit version 1.52, users will need to specify their gender, height and weight, according to a blog post from Allyson Gale, Product manager and runner-in-chief for Google Fit.

"We'll let you know how far you've gone and estimated calories you've burned off throughout the day and during your workouts," Gale stated.

Google Fit version 1.52 also includes a new Android Wear watch face and a Google Fit widget and an update to the layout of fitness history.

"As you scroll down your timeline you'll be able to look at your activities grouped by days, weeks or months and get a sense of how your activities impact your fitness over time," said Gale.

While an Android Wear watch may offer optimal tracking of an individual's activities, Google Fit also works without a fitness band or smartwatch -- all that's needed is a smartphone running Android 4.0 or higher.

The update to Google Fit comes a few weeks after Google announced improvement to the Google Keep app for the Android Wear platform. With Keep, smartwatch wearers can use their wrist-worn computer to review notes and rely less on their smartwatches.

"Swipe up and down to browse through notes, tap to view a particular note, or just tap the plus sign and speak to create a new note," said Ranna Zhou, Product Manager and Chief Notetaker for Google Keep back on April 23. "You can also add reminders to notes directly from your Android Wear watch. With this update, Keep will support recurring reminders too!"

The updates to Android Wear platform comes as the competition in the wearables market continues to intensify. The impact of the Apple Watch has yet to be adequately gauged, but there is other competition in the wearables market.

Last week, Fitbit filed its initial public offer and laid out its aim to raise $100 million. While Google's capital dwarfs the smartband manufacturer, the wearables market is FitBit's primary focus -- and that could eventually present a serious challenge for Google, who some would argue hasn't been giving wearables enough attention.

Fitbit understands the threats to its existence and noted them in its IPO filing. Fitbit faces challenges from "many large, broad-based consumer electronics companies either compete in our market or adjacent markets or have announced plans to do so, including Apple, Google, LG, Microsoft, and Samsung," said the company in its IPO filing.

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