Sharing is caring, as they say, and it seems the biggest movers and shakers in the world of health tech are taking note.
The likes of Garmin, Fitbit and Jawbone are all working on two-way integration with rival apps, offering out data and taking more in return. It's leading to some fascinating tie-ins, and the trend is undeniably catching on.
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Fitbit has been one of the biggest exponents of two-way integration, and it has hooked up with Strava to allow cyclists and runners to see the benefits of their training in their Fitbit daily stats. It's a win for both companies, both of which possess different strengths at either end of the fitness spectrum.
It's just one of a number of deals – many of which feature Strava – where wearable devices are being bolstered by third party apps. And fitness aggregating apps like Apple Health and Google Fit just widen the potential for two-way sharing further.
Apple Health already offers the potential for apps to read data as well as write information – and while it's of limited use right now, when sensors are more prevalent, aggregators like Health have the potential to democratise data like never before.
As usual, we rate the good, the bad and the ugly of two-way integration.
WEAR - Fitbit and Strava
Fitbit's a market leader in basic fitness tracking, but its credentials for running and cycling are fairly average.
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That leaves users in the unenviable position of having their hardest workouts not recorded in their daily Fitbit stats. This two-way partnership deals fixes that, as Surge users can also have their runs and cycles added to their Strava history too.
SQUARE - Jawbone and Apple Health
Jawbone is big on integrations, but this one confuses us slightly. While the app will register step and sleep tracking in the iPhone's Health app, it can also be set to take the same data and display the same data from other devices.
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Essentially, that means you can download the Jawbone UP app for free, and have step data recorded from the iPhone's accelerometer, skipping the need for the band at all.
NEARLY THERE - Garmin and Strava
Garmin's new partnership with Strava is a signal of promising things to come, yet falls short of epic integration. The Garmin Edge 520 can integrate with Strava, recording your times and tapping into other user's records from your route, laying down challenges as you ride to work.
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We'd love to see the same features across Garmin's range of running and sports watches, not just on the Edge range.
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