Meet Health Connect

wearables

(Image credit: Google)

At Google IO 2022, the company’s big showcase for all its new tech and software programs, we didn’t hear anything about Health Connect. That’s not a total surprise – we’d never heard of it before – but despite its small-scale announcement, this could be a huge new Android feature.

Announced in relative secrecy in the Android Developers blog, which is, according to the company, “a platform and API for Android app developers,” to let them “securely access and share health and fitness data across Android devices”. Or, in other words, it’s a way to let all your health and fitness apps work in harmony.

If you use health tech, you’ve probably got loads of health apps on your phone. You might have one for diet information, another for your fitness tracker, another for your running watch that you take on longer outings, another for your smart scales, and yet another to broadcast your run distances to all your friends.

A fitting change

This is especially an issue if you change your fitness gadgets – you end up having to start your records all over again. But not anymore.

In theory, Health Connect lets apps share all that information, so you can use just one app to see and monitor all your health stats and specs.

Sounds useful, right? Well, lots of developers have already agreed to it. Samsung’s Health app and two Google apps, Google Fit and Fitbit, are the first to start using it, as well as third-party apps like MyFitnessPal, Leap Fitness and Withings. So there are some big names on board already, which likely means more will follow.

It’s not a totally novel idea – Garmin Connect, for instance, is able to absorb data from MyFitnessPal, a plethora of smart scales and smart water bottles and more to build a robust picture of everything that’s happening in your health-based world. But it doesn’t allow all data to be sucked in – for most things, you’ll need a Garmin device.

This idea makes it all more universal, so all app developers can make their own rival to big titles like Garmin Connect.

Don’t expect to reap the benefits of Health Connect straight away. The Android Developers’ blog is for… well, Android developers, so Google is still clearly aiming to get new developers on board. This likely means that it’ll be quite some time before you get to share your health stats between apps.

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