Apple’s HealthKit vs Google Fit: How do they compare against each other?
Apple and Google are battling directly on various fronts. Whether it is in terms of wearables, IoT, mobile apps or mobile OS — there is huge competition between both.
Health apps have been on demand these days, and hence both Apple and Google are on their way to enter the health care domain with their respective platforms. Mobile app developers have been attempting to build apps that make sure that the patients and their families can avail the benefits of emerging technologies.
Apple recently launched iOS 8, the latest OS for apple devices. It comes with a Health Kit framework that works alongside its health apps.
Similarly, Google has come up with its healthcare platform ‘Google Fit’ that utilizes its APIs to track the fitness activities performed by the user.
Apple HealthKit and Google Fit have a standardized format that facilitate in development of apps that can help users share health data. Healthcare startups have already come up with a variety of apps that benefit people with chronic health conditions. The manufacturers of healthcare monitor and tracking devices want to integrate with Apple HealthKit or Google Fitso that mobile apps can read data from user’s device with their permission.
Well, integrating Google Fit or Apple HealthKit is a big step, as they overlap in general sense. There are some noticeable differences between Google Fit and Apple HealthKit, in terms of features, type of data, security and functionality.
In this post, we will compare Apple HealthKit with Google Fit before coming to a conclusion.
Apple HealthKit vs Google Fit
With the increasing fitness tracking craze, users want their devices to collect data that can help them analyze their health trends. It makes sense to carry out our health information with us. Both Apple HealthKit and Google Fit made it easier to address the issue of compiling data and making it accessible on mobile devices.
Both these are phone based fitness trackers that allow users to track their fitness regimen. Using the GPS sensor and accelerators in the phone, the apps will keep track of standard activity based on height, weight, type of activity, distance travelled, calories burned etc.
It is worth revisiting how well these platforms are doing and how far they went. Are both these platforms ready for action? Let’s start the comparison using different factors like — features, functionality, platforms and apps.
Well, Google and Apple have come up with different platforms to accumulate fitness data. Though Apple HealthKit is much popular than Google Fit, it has gained traction in the recent months. The primary difference between Google Fit and Apple HealthKit is their focus on the type of data. Apple is targeting on digital health, while Google is focusing on medical data.
The 3 products of Apple, namely — HealthKit, CareKit and Research Kit form the ecosystem of different types of medical data. On the contrary, Google Fit has sensor, record and history based APIs that help iPhone app developers to build apps that collect data using device sensors.
Healthcare industry is vast and users are more interested in the apps that change the established ecosystem. Apple HealthKit and Google Fit can be used to develop apps that can share health data between users without worrying about transferring data. Though their main objective is same, here is a significant difference between the way they record data and their functionality.
Recently, Google Fit teamed up with reputed brands like — ‘Adidas’ and ‘Polar’ to create fitness apps that would integrate Google Fit platform. Apple HealthKit also partnered with fitness companies like ‘Fitbit’ and ‘Nike’ to enable users to share their health data with reputed doctors via their app.
Both these frameworks provide a user friendly design. The users just need to swipe the screen to access a new bit of information. The information provides all the details, allowing users to track their goals separately. Data can be viewed from past day, week or month on both the app and website. Users can even scroll to bottom to see additional details on a graph. There is an option for weight and heart rate to add a secondary chart.
Many users prefer not to exercise with their device in hand. Google Fit allows users to do workouts without their phone. All you need to do is click the menu button and select the activity. Google Fit adds it to your profile for the selected activity.
In terms of features, both these apps are slightly different. Google Fit and Apple HealthKit are user-friendly frameworks that allow users to track their weight, activity and heart-rate over time. The basic activities like — walking, running and cycling are added automatically, while other activities should be logged manually by the user.
The data is presented in a clean and clear format with support to daily goals. However, users can only specify a certain number of activities per day. Google Fit has a web interface that can be accessible from anywhere. On the contrary, Apple HealthKit keeps all the data on the iOS device. However, as an app — it reaches further than Google Fit.
Apple’s HealthKit allow users to track everything from the amount of fibre in their diet to the temperature of your body. Google Fit can’t provide these details. HealthKit is designed to provide complete picture of your health, whereas Fit is concerned about your fitness goals.
There are some supported data sources that allow users to connect to the tracking apps. There are some fashionable trackers that made their apps compatible with Google Fit and Apple HealthKit. Some trackers are compatible with Apple HealthKit, while others are compatible with Google Fit. FitBit tracking device is compatible with both Apple and Google framework.
Based on the reviews and forum posts, users are not having smooth ride with neither of them. Some users are switching to a much stable and established hub that collates all the tracked data. Both Google Fit and Apple HealthKit are expected to offer more features in the coming months.
Google Fit can do a lot from recording health data to heartbeat calculation. However, the data collect nowhere calculates medical data such as glucose or blood pressure. Apple HealthKit collects data from medical apps such as — lab results, nutrition data, medication, sleep data, vitals etc.
On the Contrary, Apple HealthKit offers well-designed security features and works only on iPhones. The later versions of iPhones have fingerprint sensor security that determines the identity of the user. All the medical apps in USA are controlled by FDA guidelines, and the information is stored in protected data centers with multiple backups. Users who signup for HealthKit can access their personal information using username and password.
In short, HealthKit provides detailed information about the user’s health, whereas Google Fit supports devices that focus on fitness goals.
Based on the above comparison, which one you think is right for you? Both platforms have their own features and advantages when it comes to track fitness activities, and it seems that there is no clear winner.
However, if I have to give my personal opinion — I feel Apple HealthKit is the winner, as it is engineered towards overall well being. Apple’s HealthKit may revolutionize the health industry in the coming years. If you are one of those who are more concerned about achieving fitness goals, Fit is the best option for you. Google Fit could provide a way to access basic healthcare services in coming years.
What do you think is better: Apple Health Kit or Google Fit? Leave your comments below!
Disclaimer: This article was first posted at https://www.promaticsindia.com/blog/apples-healthkit-vs-google-fit-who-is-winning-the-next-important-domain-invaded-by-technology/