Google Fit arrives on iOS, but Wear OS smartwatches and Apple Health still won't play nice

Plus there's no standalone Apple Watch app.

google fit redesign

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When Google rebooted its Fit app last year as part of a new wearable strategy, it brought a new design, streamlined stats, and Apple Watch-like fitness rings. But it was missing one important thing: iOS and Apple Health support. While Fit was technically available on the iPhone as part of the Wear OS app, it required a tethered Wear OS smartwatch to record anything. And any fitness data logged on the go wouldn’t sync with the Apple Health app.

Starting today, Google has announced it will be offering a standalone Fit app in the App Store for the first time. Unfortunately, however, it won’t bring much fitness harmony to anyone living in both worlds. While the Fit app itself will sync data whether you wear an Apple Watch or an LG watch, all of your steps and stats will still only reside in the Fit app unless you're wearing an Apple Watch, with no simpatico with Apple Health for any Wear OS device.

Similar to Apple’s activity rings, Google Fit condenses your workouts and movements into two goals: Move Minutes and Heart Points. Move Minutes track normal movements, such as walking or taking the stairs, while exercise counts as Heart Points. Each minute of moderate activity gives you one heart point, and you get double points for intense activities.

While there won’t be a dedicated Google Fit app on the Apple Watch, Google says you’ll be able to track your activity and goal progress by using “devices that are compatible with Apple Health such as the Apple Watch.” It works both ways now, too: Activities paired with your Apple Watch will count toward earning daily Move Minutes and Heart Points in the Fit app. Furthermore, heart rate, breathing, sleep, and workout data that is tracked by third-party Apple Watch apps will all be available in the Google Fit iOS app. But all of that data will stay locked into your Fit app, meaning you’ll be jumping back and forth between Fit and Apple Health to get a full picture of your wellbeing.

The Google Fit app is available for free in the iOS App Store.

Why this matters: While the Apple Watch is certainly one of the best smartwatches around, Wear OS watches offer two things it doesn’t: a variety of cheap options and a more traditional circular aesthetic. Now that Google Fit syncs all of your fitness data to and from your iPhone, you won’t need to buy an Apple Watch to get an accurate reading of your fitness score. But without syncing to Apple Health, the Fit app isn’t nearly as useful as it could be. 

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