Apple's HealthKit won't track fitness data from Android Wear

Google's Android Wear won't share fitness data with Apple's HealthKit platform, company spokespeople confirmed today. Instead, fitness data, such as step count and hear rate, will only be tracked through the Google Fit dashboard, rather than Apple's health dashboard. From Buzzfeed News:

An Apple spokeswoman confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Android Wear won't integrate with HealthKit, Apple's platform for developers of health and fitness apps. She also said that decision was entirely Google's.Google also confirmed that Android Wear–gathered fitness data would bypass HealthKit. "That said, Android Wear on iOS absolutely supports the mass majority of Wear features we see our Android users using and loving," a company spokeswoman said in an email.

While this news doesn't come as much of a surprise, it does point to a problem for those who would prefer to keep their fitness data within the confines of Apple's ecosystem. However, Google also isn't alone in this decision, as Fitbit has foregone sharing fitness data with Apple's HealthKit as well.

Android Wear made its debut on iOS yesterday, opening up the wide array of smartwatches based on the platform to iPhone users for the first time. However, it remains to be seen whether this will help Google gain any ground with its wearable platform.

Source: Buzzfeed News

Dan Thorp-Lancaster
  • Much as I hate to say it, if I had an iPhone, there would be ZERO reason for me to go with an Android wearable. It just make sense that you'd go with an Apple Watch. I guess there are some that may would do it based on price. However, I'd save my lunch money for a month and just buy an Apple Watch, that makes the most sense. Google is getting like Samsung just throwing everything out there and lets see what will stick even if its half-ass done.
  • That's your choice, but is by no means the end-all choice. Watches are a fashion statement, meant to be personal to the person wearing them. Some people like big watches, some people like small watches, some people like round watches, some people like square watches. The Android Wear platform, much like the Apple Watch (didn't Apple use to have creative names?), is still in its infancy, and very much changing (take the major change to watch face functionality in Android Wear that just happened). Both platforms will continue to change, probably by quite a lot, as time goes by, and we have to keep that in mind as we buy our smartwatches. At this point, however, I'd say Wear has the advantage because the Apple Watch missed the mark on battery life (there are a few Wear watches that have as well). Is this going to change? Absolutely. Both platforms are in their infancy, and frankly, they have to be out there so developers know which direction to take the platform.
  • The only advantage that Google Wear has is the pure number of folks with Android phones. I don't disagree that everyone has different styles and desires. However, why would I want to get an Android watch that cannot take full advantage of the phone I have, along with the apps and ecosystem.? I just don't see those with iPhone flocking to buy Android watches. Apple has done very well with this first gen watch and as you said they will get better and battery life will improve. Missed the mark, so you say, but I think Apple would say different considering the sales and profit they have made, not to mention this thing has yet to be sold in many countries, they are still opening that up. I do think it was smart of Google to do it, but they have a bad habit of pushing stuff out that partially works (which harms the experience) but much of that is Apple's fault because they have a locked down platform. Apple on the other hand is ALL about the overall experience (which you pay for dearly). Two different philosophies!
  • I agree, but I do insist on a few things (what else would one do on the internet, after all?). Most people aren't flocking to smartwatches yet, so we can assume the platforms will progress significantly before they become "average joe" devices the way smartphones have. The interoperability between Wear and iOS in terms of fitness data will improve, either through Fit, or if Google changes their minds, through HealthKit. The platform is just so capable of change. I said missed the mark on battery life, not sales. Pretty big difference there.
  • Even the sales missed the mark, which is why they aren't really in a hurry to release that data. And that isn't just an Apple issue. It's an industry issue. People are not flocking to these devices. The pricing of the Apple Watch just served as another significant barrier to artificially keep its sales down. And who knows, maybe Apple wanted that to happen, to limit the amount of units they had to manufacture and eliminate the risk of production/supply issues. In any case, Fit or HealthKit. If I can get even a decent Android Wear device for $200 that doesn't look like ass, I'd totally get it just to "try out the tech" way before I'd spend $350+ on an Apple Watch. Price matters more when it's new tech and you don't even know if you're really going to find it useful at the end of the day (cause right now, these things just aren't that useful... we always have our phones on us and these watches basically depend on our phones to function, which sort of hurts their viability for a lot of people at the end of the day).
  • They haven't released sales data yet you know that sales missed the mark. Yeah, ok.
  • Umm, some Andorid Wear wearables costing half the price of an Apple Watch + the fact that many of their users already have a Google Account because of their fragmented account system is a pretty significant reason for a lot of people, considering they're often saving $150+ over the base Apple Watch SKU. That's not an ignorable amount of money.
  • Definitely agree with you. I would rather spend twice amount of money on a great quality manufactured product I know I will be able to use in my satisfaction than save a few bucks but would have a lot of issues along the way. My friends who bought Android phones/wearables always say the same reason why they used Android as " I bought Android's because it's way cheaper than Apple's." I really haven't heard them saying "Because Android has higher quality than Apple." which is obvious I guess, anyhow.
  • That's pretty much been Google's MO forever, though. Release services as quickly as possible, and if it sticks, fix it up; if not, let it decay. For every Gmail and Chrome, there's a Wave and a Buzz. That said, I'm not getting an Android Wear device, and I wouldn't get an Apple Watch if I were an iPhone user. For my personal use case, battery life's way more important than aesthetics, so I'll stick with my Pebble Time.
  • Couldn't agree more. To save $200 people will buy a device that doesn't offer nearly the same experience. In reality that's like wasting $200.
  • LOL, true that! You did indeed say battery life and you are correct on that issue. Yeah it's too bad these guys can't all work together better, but like I said much of that is on Apple not Google. Google seems to be much more open when it comes to working with various platforms. Some folks I know with iPhones use more Google services on them than they do Apple, which is kinda of funny in a way! I remember hearing tech guru's saying the best Google Phone is an iPhone. LOL iPhone owners are a pretty loyal bunch though and trying to get them to crossover into buy Wear Watches, will be a hard sell at best because overall lack of total operability between the two platforms. I can only speak for me, but think most would feel this way. I'd rather have something that totally works with my phone than partially even if it was cheaper. They have clearly refined the looks of these watches though and that is good for consumers. You are also correct this is all in its infancy.
  • Someone will create an app soon enough to get around it. Something like SyncSolver for Fitbit because that doesn't integrate with Health Kit either. Sent from the iMore App
    Much as I hate to say it, if I had an iPhone, there would be ZERO reason for me to go with an Android wearable. It just make sense that you'd go with an Apple Watch." You are looking at where the puck is now, not where the puck is going to be. You say that you would never go with an Android wearable? Sure, if such wearables are mini-phones from Motorola, LG, Huawei, Asus and the other Android smartphone and tablet manufacturers that you know and hate. But what if the Android wearable comes to you from, say, Tag Heuer? Or Fossil? (Two WATCH companies that are confirmed to be releasing Android Wear watches.) Timex? Casio? Citizen? Rolex? Seiko? That - in addition to the wearable jeans that Google and Levi are working on - is what is almost certainly going to happen. Brands that have never been involved in this Google/Apple iOS/Android rivalry are going to start making products, and after a few years people are going to cease associating them with being Android products - because they are going to be manufactured by the same companies that have always made watches, headphones or whatever - and instead see them as products that you can pair with your phone. So instead of your sensible (to you) "I will only patronize Apple tech and will especially avoid Android's stolen inferior ecosystem" stance, which you can maintain because right now you are only avoiding products from manufacturers that are making the phones and tablets that you also have no use for, your position will be "I will never buy a Seiko watch, a pair of Levi's jeans or JBL headphones" because they will run the Android Brillo wearable OS. Which, of course, they will have to do, because Apple will not provide iOS for them to make their wearable and connected devices with. So yeah, there is ZERO REASON to choose the LG G Watch R over the Apple Watch today. But 5 years from now, when half the watches in the jewelry section of the department store - and several of the high end watches in the jewelry store - run Android, there will be at least 2 or 3! Especially since by then the tech will have evolved. Notice how the iPhone 6s will be a drastically different device from the first or even third generation iPhone? Well in a few years the smart watch components will be a lot smaller, much cheaper and consume a lot less power. The software however will be much more functional, useful, actually designed for watches (instead of being the shrunken smartphone/tablet apps that we have now) and mostly cloud-based. Meaning that they will be almost indistinguishable from regular watches on one hand (including on price, because just as you can get a decent smartphone for $100 from the likes of Motorola and Asus, plenty of "good enough" watches will cost as little as $30-$50) but almost as useful as smartphones on the other. That's the game that Google is playing: the long game from the software and services perspective.
  • To play devil's advocate, why would you ever buy a Tag Heuer Android Wear device (or a luxury watch brand smartwatch of any kind, really)? The aspect of traditional luxury watches that makes them so very expensive is the high-end, extremely precise, VERY long-lasting movement apparatus, which would be completely absent from a smartwatch. The Tag Heuer AW watch that was announced earlier this year is going to retail for $1,400, and internally, and it will be essentially the same as every other AW device out there. They'll be charging six times as much as most AW devices for a nice case and band, and that's it. Spend a few grand on a regular TH watch, and it'll hold its value for 20 years. Spend a few grand on a TH smartwatch, and it'll be junk in exactly the same amount of time as a Moto 360.
  • If high end watch companies are taking the time to design a smartwatch, I'd imagine they have a solution to that problem to avoid alienating their customers. I don't know for sure, but if I were in their shoes, I wouldn't go out on such thin ice without a... whatever it is you need to be safe on thin ice... What is it going to be? Who knows. Maybe a modular design that will let you replace components over time. After all, most of what we see as the concept of the watch is its exterior casing. If that remains the same, it will be to most people the "same watch". How do we know they will commit to this? We have no guarantee, but lets take a look at their target audience: people who are buying a nice watch they want to keep for a long time, and willing to drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on it. This is the audience they need to hold. They know that if they don't have some way to make the watch 'new' again, it won't sell very well. How are they going to do it? I have no idea. Are they going to? I'm guessing they know their market well enough to know they need to.
  • The headline of this article is misleading. It should be akin to "Google won't use Apple HealthKit." As it stands now, the headline indicates that Apple is taking an action, where it's google who made the decision (as spelled out in the body).
  • I agree. I can see a point in time where Fitbit and others will embrace Apples HealthKit, and produce models for times where the Applewatch is a bit much, or its being charged. For example, sleep data logging. You might be expected to pay a little more up front for the hardware, but all the data stays within the Apple Ecosystem, unusable to outsiders without your permission.
  • Sorry google,
    Cant give you my data.