If you’ve been wondering about Health Connect and what it means for your Android phone, then you are in the right place to get all your answer.
If you’ve ever used multiple health and fitness tracking apps on your smartphone, you’ll understand the frustration of tracking across multiple apps that appear to have no interconnectivity. Apps such as MyFitnessPal may be able to interface with other health apps to collect data, but it is up to individual developers to support other platforms.
MyFitnessPal, for example, doesn’t support Mi Fit but it does with Google Fit, so you connect Mi Fit to Google Fit and then Google Fit to MyFitnessPal. For anyone who uses multiple apps, this is a nightmare, but Google has a solution.
There are numerous health-tracking apps available for Android, but not every app will cover every vital that you may want to monitor. Apps can and do choose to share data with other apps on their own, but there was previously no single API that health apps could use to share data. Google’s solution is Health Connect, which acts as a middleman for these tracking apps to share data with one another.
Previously, MyFitnessPal had to interact directly with Samsung Health, Fitbit, and Google Fit in order to collect data. In this case, all it needs to do is connect to Health Connect, and it will handle the rest.
It was announced at Google I/O and is now available on the Google Play Store. It is made up of an SDK that developers can integrate into their apps and a user-facing application that manages permissions and data.
What apps support Health Connect?
Health Connect is still in beta, but there is a slowly growing list of apps that supports the API. The list below is the list of all apps that support Health Connect at the time of writing.
- Samsung Health
- Google Fit
- Proov Insight
Apps that use its API must also follow stringent data rules when handling and processing personal user data.
How does Health Connect work?
Instead of sharing data with individually supported applications, Health Connect works by creating a single SDK to which health apps must connect. Any app that supports Health Connect can understand data collected from any other app that opts into collecting data, as long as those apps have been granted permission to share and read data via the Health Connect API.
Because of Google’s own documentation at Google I/O, understanding how the API works are fairly simple.
Apps that collect data can interface with the app and allow it to control all of the permissions and data shared across other apps on the user’s phone. This means that you can use one app for sleep tracking and another for workout training, for example, and then combine that data in a holistic manner in a third app that gives you an overview of all of your vitals. It does not yet exist, but it is something that can now exist that could not previously.
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For example, MyFitnessPal says that it currently syncs the following information for other apps to be able to read and process, too:
- Calorie consumption
- Water consumption
For example, if you enter your cardio exercise into the app, MyFitnessPal will share it with Health Connect. If you enter your cardio exercise into another app, the data from the app will be shared with MyFitnessPal. With regard to Health Connect, all data is stored locally, and it is up to the apps that use the SDK what they do with the data afterwards.
When can I use Health Connect?
Health Connect is already available to users, and it can be used with any of the above-mentioned applications. It is currently in beta, but it works quite well. According to a recent Esper report, Google appears to intend to pre-install Health Connect on Android devices as soon as Android 14. Google has already stated that it will pre-install it on some Android devices, and a Health Connect stub package was included with Android 13 QPR2 on Google Pixels.
According to Esper, a commit discovered on the AOSP Gerrit suggests that it could become a Project Mainline module. This is supported by the discovery of “com.android.healthconnect” as an APEX module (the format used by Mainline) in the system server by a Googler. It’s unclear how Google will incorporate it into a future Android version, but it appears that it will be included in some form in Android 14.
How to Setup and use Google Health Connect
At the very least, configuring it within its various supported apps is simple. To get started, you’ll need to download it from the Google Play Store. Specific instructions for connecting some of the most commonly used platforms to it can be found below.
Connect apps to Health Connect
- Open the Health Connect app
- Click App permissions
- Select the apps you wish to connect, then select the data permissions you want to share
- Click Allow
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How does Health Connect work?
When you connect and grant app access, it gains the ability to read and write data to it. Once granted access, the connected app can access data from the previous 30 days as well as any new data written after that.
What is Samsung Health Connect?
Google revealed the system, which it co-developed with Samsung, at Google I/O 2022. It is an Android API and platform that can collect health and fitness data from apps or devices, securely store it, and share it with other apps or devices.
What apps work with health sync?
Google has already announced partnerships with a number of other apps, including Samsung Health, Leap Fitness, MyFitnessPal, and Withings, in addition to its own apps, Google Fit and Fitbit.
How much does Health Sync cost?
The Health Sync costs $3 USD and is a one-time charge.