No need to launch the app to start your workout. Google’s got your back.
Saying that plenty of people use their smartwatches to help them with their fitness goals is a no-brainer. Between running trackers, food trackers, and Google Fit, there are plenty of ways to use Android Wear to stay in shape. It’s something Google has been aware of for a while now, and at their big Android Wear session at Google I/O they revealed a fitness feature they’re hoping developers jump at immediately.
Google doesn’t just want you to have access to a bunch of fitness apps, it wants your watch to be able to launch those apps when it seems like you need it.
The big activity tracking push with Android Wear 2.0 came from just about everyone doing anything with a smartwatch asking for exactly this. That means developers and consumers, which is how we got a new slew of real time tracking updates. Now instead of having to launch Strava before you start your run, when you start to run the app will launch from your smartwatch.
It means that even spur of the moment activity can be accurately counted and measured for you
This is a huge leap forward, and it isn’t the only one. Android Wear 2.0 includes APIs for seeing real time data updates, real time gym activity recognition, and real time recognition of bicycling, walking, and running. Instead of having to remember to engage your fitness or activity app, it will launch because it knows that you are running. This is doubly excellent, because it means that even spur of the moment activity can be accurately counted and measured for you.
It’s not yet clear how it’ll be able to do that, but the preview at Google I/O 2016 looked fantastic. Motion happens, app launches, everyone is happy. It seems a bit like magic, and that could well be because it isn’t finished yet. It could also be an extension of the highly accurate gesture tracking Google added to Wear in the last big update. If Google is able to track the motion accurately enough to detect repeating activity within seconds, apps would indeed launch with no loss of activity measurement.
Your apps can now share information with each other as well. Don’t get creeped out, this is a good thing. By sharing information, all of your fitness apps work together to keep you on track. It means that when you finish the 4 mile long run, your watch will remind you that grabbing some water is probably a good idea. Or, if you had a big breakfast, it can adjust your fitness goals for the day to keep you on track. You still have to admit to your watch that you had a big breakfast, but the rest should happen automatically with the right apps installed.
You’ll be able to easily add a complication to your watch face to keep an eye on the fitness info that matters the most to you.
As we’ve already seen in our hands on, the addition of complications to watch faces also means more data can be added to a watch face. In Android Wear 1.0 keeping track of your water consumption, or steps taken that day was slightly more difficult because not all watch faces included them as options. Considering there are over 4000 watch faces on the Google Play Store, it isn’t that surprising. In Android Wear 2.0 that won’t be a problem, and you’ll be able to easily add a complication to your watch face to keep an eye on the fitness info that matters the most to you.
While there is a developer preview available now, we won’t be seeing Android Wear 2.0 in action until the Fall. That gap in time gives developers time to get on board, which hopefully means a whole lot of interaction and auto-launching goodness when this update starts hitting watches. Are you excited about the future of fitness with Android Wear? Let us know about it in the comments.