Google has announced a number of key updates to Health Connect, with the platform progressing from beta to Android 14 later this year.
The company skipped over the developments during its two-hour I/O keynote on 9 May, but has since confirmed that the health hub will become a core element of all updated Android devices.
The platform was first announced during last year's I/O event, serving as a place to centralize health and fitness data from over 100 apps. Essentially, it's Google's answer to Apple Health, but with more cross-pollination from third parties.
When it arrives in full later this year, it will be accessible directly from the Android Settings app, giving users an easy way to control permissions from wearables and other health platforms.
Among those already integrated with Health Connect are Withings, smart ring maker Oura, Peloton, and MyFitnessPal, with several new partnerships announced as part of I/O 2023.
One notable one is between Oura and eating platform Lifesum, with the pair joining forces via Health Connect to highlight trends between tracked sleep and calorie intake, as well as to provide guidance on how to better manage the relationship.
Previously, this kind of feature would have required developers to establish individual API connections and share data between different apps, which created a bit of a minefield in relation to data sharing.
With Health Connect, this appears to have been made much simpler - and, with updates to the platform being provided through Google Play System Updates, it should mean more and more integrations spring up throughout the year.
Calorie and meal tracking giant MyFitnessPal is also taking advantage of Health Connect's powers, with those using certain continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) monitors able to see their data from directly within the app.
In the meantime, Health Connect will remain in its beta phase, but we're definitely keen to test it out in full once Android 14 arrives.
There's huge potential for Google to join platforms together here, and the initial partnerships look very promising.
How does Wear OS fit in?
Among all this, Google has also indicated that Health Services - its API for accessing sensor data on Wear OS devices - is also getting upgraded.
A new 'Batching Modes' feature essentially allows developers to adjust how this data is procured, with new capabilities like golf shot detection also added.
When Wear OS 4 lands later this year, Health Services will again be updated - this time to improve the background permissions of body sensors.
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