First announced at Google’s June developer event, Google Fit now has a preview SDK available. Developers can download the early take at Google’s health platform and create apps for Android phones, Android Wear devices and the web, according to a Google blog post introducing the SDK on Thursday.
Google says the SDK will give developers tools to access sensors and fitness data captured from those sensors:
“Google Fit provides a single set of APIs for apps and device manufacturers to store and access activity data from fitness apps and sensors on Android and other devices (like wearables, heart rate monitors or connected scales). This means that with the user’s permission, you can get access to the user’s fitness history — enabling you to provide more interesting features in your app like personalized coaching, better insights, fitness recommendations and more. “
There are three main APIs in the preview SDK to help developers create their apps: One for high-level access to sensors, one to record and upload fitness data and one to access historical fitness data.
The Recording API leverages some of the smarts that will come with Android L, the next major release of Android. Instead of recording all data in real-time, Google says apps using this API can “register for battery-efficient, cloud-synced background collection of fitness data.” This ties in with an effort called Project Volta in Android L that will help extend battery life by managing data synchronization more efficiently.
Does this mean that Google Fit will be tied specifically to the next version Android, leaving millions of phones running older software out in the cold? Not likely. Google Fit is part of Google Play Services; a suite of functions that Google updates once every six weeks or so for phones running Android 2.3 or better. By ripping out certain features from the main version of Android software — something Google started last year to minimize version fragmentation issues — older Android phones get many of the same functions as the latest and greatest hardware.
Google says the new Google Fit platform and apps will go live later this year with a full SDK available. For now then, developers can begin creating their apps to test the waters so they’ll be prepared for when the final SDK launches; likely alongside Android L this fall.