Interest in health tracking using smartphones, watches and bands is growing and some of the biggest companies around are developing hardware and software for this market. I looked at Google Fit not long after it was launched and found it to be an interesting app. Since then, it has grown into a hub that other apps can connect to and store health and activity tracking information and this makes it even more useful.
Go here to see a list of the apps that work with Google Fit. The number of apps is growing and could be even larger by the time you read this. As you might expect, there are lots of running apps like Nike+ Running, Map My Ride GPS, Runtastic Running and Fitness, Run with Map My Run, Strava Running and Cycling GPS, and RunKeeper – GPS Track Run Walk.
There are also health related apps like Lifesum – Calorie Counter, Noom Coach: Weight Loss Plan, and Calorie Counter by FatSecret.
One I have been trying is Instant Heart Rate by Azumio. There are lots of heart rate measuring apps in the Google Play Store and they typically work by measuring your pulse in a finger. The phone’s camera flash is turned on and you put a finger over the camera and flash, which is next to it. This highlights the blood vessels in your finger and your pulse can be measured through the camera.
There is nothing to the app really and it just measures your heart rate and stores the most recent five in a list (unlimited in the Pro version). What makes it useful though, is that it works with Google Fit. Go into the app’s settings and there is an option to link to Google Fit.
Now you can open Google Fit and use the link to Show graph details. Tap it, tap Add chart and you can add your heart rate chart. This shows the heart rate measured in the Instant Heart Rate App.
It is difficult to take your heart rate when exercising, but you can take it before, after, and during any breaks in the exercise. It can be a useful indicator of fitness and the fitter you are, the quicker your pulse will return to its normal rate after exercise.
There is something odd about the link between Google Fit and Instant Heart Rate. It worked for a while, then it stopped and would not record anything. I noticed a comment or two on another app that was supposed to work with Google Fit saying it would not record any data. A third app said that it only worked if you log in using Google+.
Instant Heart Rate does not offer a Google+ log in, but after firing up Google+ and switching to Instant Heart Rate, it started saving heart rate data in Google Fit again. That is strange, but it is worth trying if you are having problems with an app working with Google Fit.
Google My Tracks works fine with Google Fit as you might expect from two apps from the same company. My Tracks is a GPS tracking app for outdoors and it records your route, such as for cycling, running, walking, driving, and so on. It is a useful general purpose app for seeing where you have been, how high you climbed, how long it took and your speed, but specialist apps do more.
I’ll be trying some of the other apps that link with Google Fit over the coming weeks, such as the running and diet apps.
Title: Instant Heart Rate
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Created: 21 January 2015