Google Fit will be encouraging its users to focus more on the amount of time they spend a day exercising, rather than the number of steps that they accumulate. Photo: Google Fit

CAPE TOWN  - Google announced that it will be releasing a complete redesign of the Google Fit app for Android and the Fit section of the Wear OS app on iPhone.

According to Google, the redesign comes after health recommendations from the American Heart Association (AHA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) which are Move Minutes and Heart Points.

Margaret Hollendoner, the senior product manager for Google Fit said that these metrics are an attempt to “abstract away the complication” of fitness tracking. 

"When it comes to your health, it’s important to move more and sit less. Earn Move Minutes for all of your activity and get motivated to make small, healthy changes throughout your day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or catching up with a friend over a walk instead of a coffee", said  Hollendoner. 

“Heart points” is a little more abstract, but it’s designed to encourage people to engage in activities that will still get their heart rate up but don’t necessarily require a trip to the gym. “It’s as simple as picking up the pace when you’re walking,” Hollendoner said. 

Both metrics will attempt to use as many sensors that are available to it and estimate the rest.

Google Fit will be encouraging its users to focus more on the amount of time they spend a day exercising, rather than the number of steps that they accumulate.

"f you’re into a different type of exercise, you can choose other activities like gardening, pilates, rowing or spinning, and Google Fit will calculate the Heart Points and Move Minutes achieved during your workout", said Hollendoner.

Beyond the new metrics, the Fit app is modernised, and simplified.

A journal tab is also added to the app that can show maps of previous runs and bike rides, track heart rates over time, and more.

 Users will have a setup process, but Google will take on more of the work to help them set goals over time. 

The floating “plus” button on the app allows users to set up custom exercise routines.

Google Fit also integrates with other fitness apps like Strava, Runkeeper, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal, so users get credit for every Move Minute and Heart Point they earn.

- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE