Google’s revamped fitness app tracks ‘move minutes’ and ‘heart points’

Google Fit adds new tools to entice you to exercise

Google Fit update focuses on upping your heart rate with your phone or Wear OS watch

But Google Fit hasn't really caught on like that.

Google says the service will work best if you use it with a Wear OS watch as it will be able to record your heart rate easily from your wrist (assuming your watch has a heart rate monitor), but the update is also coming to Android phones, where it will use your phone's accelerometer, gyroscope and more to monitor your activity.

"We're delighted to be working with Google Fit and others to harness the power of technology to maximise the impact of WHO's evidence-based recommendations for healthier living".

Google Fit now includes features called Heart Points and Move Minutes.

Like the name implies, Move Minutes is a simple stat that tracks how often you walk around, with the goal of encouraging people to move more and sit less.

As for functional changes, Google Fit will no longer pester you for getting X amount of steps, stairs, miles, etc. tracked during the day. People will earn credit for every "move minute" they log, which tracks lower-intensity movement like walking. Google Fit's newest updates will be available through the Google Play store, and users can attain said updates by heading in through Google Fit as well. A lower-key workout such as a brisk walk generates one point per minute, while an intense workout counts as two.

To estimate the number of Heart Points, Google Fit automatically detects the activities you're carrying out using your phone or watch's sensors. People can also manually tell the app if they're doing activities that are more hard to detect, such as Pilates or gardening.

All this physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, improve sleep and improve mental well-being. It also lets users score points regardless of what activity they prefer, like rowing or pilates, and integrates with popular fitness apps like Strava and Runkeeper. "Google Fit will automatically detect these activities using your phone or watch sensors - like the accelerometer and Global Positioning System - to estimate the number of Heart Points you earn", Hollendoner said. The interface pictured above on an iPhone is part of the Wear OS app.

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