Google Fit User Guide – What does it do, How to use it

by Chetan Bhawani 25

Google Fit App

From Apple, it was the Apple Health. Google had to answer to this, and it comes out to be called Google Fit. Accept the fact or not, it was more of a response than it was a useful revolutionary product from Google. They are known to make stuff that solves some purpose. It does here, for the fitness freaks. But is it up to the mark? Follow the Google Fit guide below, to check what it actually is, and how you can use it.

The description from Google says “With Google Fit, you can measure, track, and store your fitness information. It’s available on your computer, mobile devices, and Android Wear devices, so you can access it just about anywhere”. But, the most important part to note here, is that the service helps only if your smartphone has got the sensors for recording the data properly. If those sensors aren’t present, there is little Google Fit can do to accurately record how many steps you walked, or actually, if you walked or not.

Who can use Google Fit?

Google Fit is available as an app for Android smartphones that run Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later. You can edit the details, check out the stats on the web too, but for your Android phone, it should be running Android 4.0 or higher version.

What does Google Fit do?

Apart from tracking your activity, i.e. walking, jogging, running or cycling, Google Fit can become your diary to enter the daily progress of your weight and height, and if you are on a weight loss program, the progress of the same can be checked over the past few days, weeks or months.

The application doesn’t limit itself to recording the data, but there are apps (such as Runtastic, Runkeeper) that can be added and stats are synced. Also, if you are using an Android Wear smartwatch, the stats from there too can be synced with your Google Fit account. The Android Wear smartwatch users would already be familiar with this app, because it comes pre-loaded in the OS.

Google Fit Stats Chart

How do I setup Google Fit?

It is the easiest of the tasks. You need to download the Google Fit app from Play Store (make sure your phone has Android 4.0 or higher version running), and open the app to accept the terms of service. Once done with that, there is some basic information you need to provide, including your height, weight and date of birth. That’s it. To make things even more easier, go to the Google Fit website from your web browser and you can fill in the details there as well. You just need to select the Google account to which the Google Fit account has to be set up.

What can I do on Google Fit?

Set up Goals – One of the important and motivational things is to set goals for your activity. Without a proper goal, you don’t find the right motivation to walk, run or ride your bicycle for a workout. To set a goal, you will need to tap on the Menu bottom (top right) and then “Settings” to get into the settings, where the first option “Daily goal” will help you set the goal.

You may set the goal for the number of steps, or active time. Though we aren’t fitness experts, it is advised to set the goal to 10,000 steps, and being active for at least 1 hour 30 minutes is beneficial.

Add weight on daily basis – For those looking to control weight, checking it every day and keeping a log is again very beneficial to understand how well are you into it. In the Menu, you need to tap on “Add your weight” and enter your weight for that particular date and time.

Add activity manually – Although the phone does the calculation by itself if you carry it along while running, not everyone chooses to hold it while the activity is on. If you want to manually add an activity, you can do so by going to Menu > Add activity. Here, you need to mention the date, time, activity type (Walking, Running, Biking, other) and duration of that. You obviously weren’t counting the steps while walking/running, so based on the activity and active time, Google Fit will automatically add the number of steps based on an approximate conversion.

Google Fit Activity Detection

Start / stop collecting location data – This is where you phone battery can start acting weird, sometimes. Google Fit uses “Activity detection” where it checks the activity of your phone to understand whether you are stationary or are moving. After that, it is analyzed whether it was running, walking or biking.

Sync other Fitness apps with Google Fit – Although a limited number, if you are using one of these fitness apps and devices already for the fitness tracking, you can sync them up with Google Fit for the latter to get more appropriate stats. Apps from Strava, Withings, Runtastic, Runkeeper and Noom Coach can all get connected with Google Fit. This will again happen soon, but a good one for those who always felt those apps to be more accurate in fitness tracking.

If you, in case, have added any app and wanted to remove it from the connected apps list, you would need to go to the Google settings and remove it from there.

Viewing data on Google Fit

Google Fit Steps Walked

You can check out the fitness stats (includes number of steps, active time), on both, the Google Fit app as well as on the web.

A circle shows your stats, with that being filled in accordance to the number of steps walked during the day. Just below to it, is a daily stat shown with the percentage achieved based on the set goal.

Graph Details” is an essential one where you will be able to see when you were very active and when you were not. Also, if you add weight on daily basis, that also helps in making you assess how well you were doing with the fitness.

Delete History

The history of activity can be deleted from both app and website, and you need to go to settings to delete all the stats. There is a confirmation needed before you are able to remove all the stats, but do note that deleting the stats on Google Fit won’t remove anything from the connected apps, if any were synced with your Google Fit account.

Chetan Bhawani

Chetan Bhawani is a dentist, a tech blogger and a passionate writer in the field of technology. He keeps himself connected to the web for the entire day, of course except when he's dozed off! Add +Chetan Bhawani on Google Plus for more!

  • thebrain

    This is very interesting. it looks like they want to put us all in sport πŸ˜‰ . But between S health and Google fit, which is the most accurate and easiest to use?

  • Shashank Chourey

    Great article.. not much of a fitness freak, but Google fit looks promising.. accuracy is questionable though.

    • Android

      accuracy from the reviews i got is good but S health seems to provide a better overall experience and it more accurate. Its a great first fitness app from google tho

    • Really? I’d like some insight as to why can you try it out and let me know?

  • Excellent article indeed! Just another example if market competition. Samsung apple and google are already bringing out the big guns with such great devices and technology during a great time for technology. Even in the smallest personal markets, these power houses are battling for every win. They all released their own health feature a health google fit and the health feature from apple. Consumers should have fun choosing the better program like they always do

  • Nebu Cherian

    Seems promising I’ll download it straight away.

  • Shashank Chourey

    endomondo πŸ˜›

    • thebrain

      HAHAHA. πŸ˜‰ At the moment I use Endomondo, but i have never try S health and Google fit made me wonder which one is best.

      • Suraj Racharla

        whats Endomondo? I never heard of it thats why

      • I use myfitnesspal but nothing compared to the accuracies of s health and g fit so it has to be paired with other programs

  • Suraj Racharla

    Amazing article and i have to say the app looks pretty good. The app is not on par with the S health app because in my opinion and the article i read the google fit app provides basic features and some good ones but the S health provides much more. Google’s try at a fitness app is amazing and a good first effort and i could imagine seeing people using in the months to come(Non Galaxy device owners).But if you already own a galaxy device i think they are better of with S health. When i look at this app it reminds me og LG’s health app. It looks almost the same but obviously there are some differences. The google fit app looks promising and has great features like setting up goals,graphs,intregating data from other apps and many more. In terms of accuracy which one is more accurate?

  • Shanky Yadav Jungly

    This is the best for devices other than samsung , i have just downloaded and happy with its results it traces all my activity and as i am runner it also shows me the steps …and the total distance i have covered..

    • Suraj Racharla

      Is it better than S health or any other stock fitness app you have on your device

      • Shanky Yadav Jungly

        it was my second app as the First one s health so it’s not good as s health

        • Android

          Oh okay thanks !!!

        • Suraj Racharla

          really!! Do you have the S5?

      • Ajanth Uthayakumaran

        this is definitely not better than S health!!

        • Suraj Racharla

          it could be, but people seem to appreciate S health better. Its up to their own opnion

        • Do you use s health personally if so what is your experience with it? And can you try google fitt and give us an idea of which was is better please?

        • Suraj Racharla

          You can’t judge like that. You never know some people prefer a Google.for over a health.

    • I would like to get this app but have no room and a lot of functions don’t work on my phone so the app would probably be useless. My phone lacks all the fancy sensors that others have.

  • Suraj Racharla

    can you tell me how it is and how accurate it is?!?!

  • Joshua Akinsola

    The fitness sync with other apps is nice.making the sync can be quite the breez as all info flows seemlessly from app to app

  • Suraj Racharla

    Anyone download this app yet. How accurate is it?

  • Suraj Racharla

    I had the same.question myself!!