Google Fit wasn't much to write home about when it first appeared in 2014, which made the subsequent lack of updates all the more frustrating. But finally, in 2018, Google has overhauled the platform with a new look, and some new features.
Google wants to improve Fit alongside the next wave of Wear OS smartwatches, and one of the ways it's doing that is in how it presents your health data: The new Google Fit puts less emphasis on steps, and more on Move Minutes and Heart Points – new metrics that grant better insight into how those steps are actually impacting your body.
Read this: The best Wear OS smartwatches
But still, Google Fit is mainly focused on collecting stats – activity, sleep, weight, and so on – rather than providing a comprehensive, all-in-one overview of your health and medical records, as Apple Health is trying to do, and as Fitbit is aspiring to. It collects these stats by sucking them in from a bevy of services and apps.
Getting started with Google Fit-compatible apps and services can be a bit tough though, so we've sifted through them to pick some of our favourites. And don't forget, the Google Fit app on Android is free and uses the sensors in your phone or wearable to track your progress. While you can add activities manually, plugging in the following apps or gadgets can also get the job done.
Any questions? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Best Google Fit apps
Nike+ Run Club
The app previously known as Nike+ Running, this latest incarnation continues the tradition of being one of the best and most versatile run trackers out there for Android, and thankfully the Google Fit integration has been kept. It works well with friends too.
The running and cycling tracking app is one of the best social fitness experiences you can get, and its data can be automatically shared with Google Fit. Set up the connection inside the app to see details of your workouts next to your step data and activity logs.
If MapMyFitness is your running app of choice then you'll be pleased to hear that it's also fully compatible with Google Fit, sharing stats on your runs, improvements in your fitness, calories burned and all the other vital statistics supported by Google's health platform.
Running app Runkeeper covers all the statistics you want to record at any speed from a walk to a full-on sprint. Having all of the key data backed up in Google Fit as well makes the app an even more appealing choice.
Runtastic is compatible with nearly everything going, so Google Fit support is no surprise. It's also where Adidas is focusing all its energy now that the miCoach service is dead and gone. The Runtastic Me app can also suck in Google Fit data obtained from other sources.
FitWell Personal Fitness Coach
Save yourself some time going back and forth to the gym by cramming a personal fitness trainer into your phone – though you only get a limited number of lessons for free. You get a ton of video tutorials to work through, plus advice on healthy eating and more.
Another personal trainer-type app, but this time focused more on specific workouts and building up your strength or your aerobic fitness. It's easy to get started and to customise the app to suit your level, and new content and exercises are added to the app regularly.
Instant – Quantified Self
If you want to quantify pretty much every aspect of your day-to-day life then look no further than Instant, which is able to track everything from how much sleep you've had to which smartphone apps you use the most, and give you ideas for living more healthily.
You're no doubt familiar with Google Calendar already, but we're including it here because the app recently added Google Fit integration for its goals feature – so if you set an exercise goal (like a daily run) in Calendar, you can then automatically track your progress in Fit.
7 Minute Workout
An app that does exactly what it says on the tin, providing customised, step-by-step workouts that last for seven minutes (and now Google Fit integration). If you want to get fit but you're not sure how to go about it, then 7 Minute Workout is a good place to start.
Out of India comes this fitness app dedicated to helping you get in shape for that 5K or 10K run you've foolishly signed up for. You can also target smaller goals to begin with, and with Google Fit integration, all of your runs get synced back to Android's default fitness app.
If you're looking for a swimming app that works with Google Fit then MySwimPro is just about the best (if not the only) choice out there at the moment. The app gives you hundreds of pool workouts to tackle, which you can customise to suit your requirements.
And… relax. Calm focuses on meditation, sleeping and relaxing to make sure your body is running at its optimum level for most of the time. There are a choice of meditation guides to choose from as well as some premium options if you don't mind paying a little extra.
The most obvious option if you're looking to keep tabs on periods and ovulation on Android, Glow is a well-designed app packed with features and has been developed with help from fertility health experts. The Google Fit integration is a welcome bonus.
Instant Heart Rate
You don't necessarily need an expensive chest strap or smartwatch to track your heart rate, because this clever little app can do the job using your phone's camera: it uses the lens to detect how fast the blood is flowing under the skin of your fingertips.
The popular weight loss app has fully integrated with Google's platform so details of your plummeting pounds and shredded stones can be recorded on the dashboard. It's satisfying to see workouts from other apps benefiting your waistline within Google Fit.
Sleep as Android
Sleep as Android is pretty much your best option for sleep tracking in Google Fit right now – Fit itself has only just been updated to accept this type of data, and Sleep as Android will pipe all of your logged slumber times straight into it to combine with your other stats.
Nokia Health Mate
The Nokia Health Mate app is fully compatible with Google Fit, which means you can suck in a range of fitness data from a variety of devices – smart scales, sleep trackers, blood pressure monitors and more. The app itself is tidy and well presented.
Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker
Different apps offer different levels of Google Fit integration: Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker, for example, can't send anything to Fit, but it can pull steps statistics from Fit, allowing you to see how your walks and runs match to your weight loss and diet program.
This rather aggressively titled app is dedicated to helping you lose weight as quickly as possible, helping you set calorie 'budgets' and track what you're eating every day. With Google Fit integration all of that useful data can be piped between the two apps as well.
Qardio Heart Health
Qardio is interested in your blood pressure and weight-related data and can send data to and from Google Fit so you get as comprehensive a picture as possible. It works with a pile of third-party apps and devices, or you can opt to enter your stats manually.
For those living with diabetes, mySugr can be an invaluable way of automatically tracking blood sugars, carbs and other data through a connected device. Thanks to the Google Fit integration, it can seamlessly record how much exercise you're getting every day too.
Lifesum boldly announces itself as a "health movement" and it's certainly comprehensive – you set a lifestyle goal (like losing weight or getting healthier) and the app tells you the diet and the exercise you need to reach it. The rest is then up to you.
Calorie Counter by FatSecret
One of the better calorie-counting apps available for Android, Calorie Counter is able to keep detailed logs of what you're eating and drinking and can even recognise foods from photos, so you don't necessarily have to manually input all of your meals into the app.
Want to do a little bit of yoga? Every day? Daily Yoga is the app for you, with more than 500 poses and over 100 lessons available (some of which you need to pay for). It's suitable for all levels of experience and of course works with Google Fit, which is why it's in this list.
Best Google Fit compatible smartwatches
For a long time we recommended the LG Watch Sport as the best Wear OS watch for fitness, but that smartwatch is edging onto two years old. The Ticwatch Pro has all the same features bar LTE: GPS, heart rate, NFC. Plus, it looks much nicer than LG's offering. If you're on the hunt for something a bit cheaper, check out the sporty Ticwatch S or the budget Ticwatch E.
Huawei Watch 2
If you're looking for a sensor-packed smartwatch that works with Google Fit, another good option is the Huawei Watch 2. There's the usual collection of gyroscopes and accelerometers, and there's also GPS, heart rate, NFC and 4G LTE support, so it's well and truly primed for activity.
Best Google Fit compatible fitness trackers
Huawei Band 2 Pro
Huawei's affordable Band 2 Pro fitness tracker is packed to the gills with features, including GPS and heart rate. So it's not only got reliable fitness and health tracking, it's got some good looks too. Plus, it's compatible with Google Fit on top of all that.
Xiaomi Mi Band 2
If you don't want to shell out a lot on a tracker then this wearable from Xiaomi will do the basics for a lot, lot less. Okay, the supplied app isn't the best in the world, but you can get around that by syncing all your data to Google Fit instead. We should mention that a Mi Band 3 launch is imminent, so that's something to be wary of.
Other devices that work with Google Fit
The great thing about the Polar Balance is that it supports up to 10 individual profiles, so if you've got a big household (or are running a hotel) you're in luck. It'll give you your weight and body mass index, and funnel them into the Polar Flow app, which you can connect to Google Fit. You can also link it to your smartphone or Polar Loop band to compare your weight to your activity.
If your favourite Google Fit compatible app isn't included, let us know using the comments below and make sure you check out our guide to getting started with Google Fit.