By: Mary Liz McCurdy, Health & Fitness Lead, Google Play
(Originally published on Android Central)
It’s an exciting time to be a health & fitness app developer. With people
shelling out on fitness more than ever before, we’re seeing record high levels
of gym memberships and attendance, the rise of boutique fitness, and an emphasis
on connected devices.
Paramount to this growth is the integration of smart technology. Whether it be
through streaming video, wearables, or mobile apps, technology empowers us with
instant access to high quality workouts, sensor biofeedback, and endless
on-demand inspiration. At Google Play, we’ve seen this growth reflected by the
incredible popularity of health & fitness apps. In fact, this is one of Google
Play‘s fastest growing app categories, boasting the most engaged 30d active
As the resident health & fitness expert on Google Play, I had the opportunity to
speak about what’s driving the category’s growth at the recent Wearables Technology Show. Here are the top
three recommendations I shared with the audience to help coach developers
towards building more valuable app experiences:
#1: Be invisible
We all know how painful manually logging activity and biometrics is- be
it calorie tracking, workouts, moods, or hormone cycles. Manual logging is
actually the number one reason users drop off.
What you should do: Minimize distraction with automation
wherever possible while maximizing value at the appropriate moments. Remember
that you are in all likelihood a companion experience to the main event.
It! makes food tracking easier by using your phone’s camera and image
recognition technology to identify foods and their nutritional information.
Goodbye manual calorie counting!
uses auto pause detection, recognizing when you are resting during exercise so
you don’t need to fiddle with your device and can stay safe and in the zone.
#2: Be personal
Investing in robust personalization has been the driving factor in
improving app engagement and buyer conversion among many of our top developers.
What you should do: Personalize the experience for each user or
distinct user cohorts by leveraging technology like the Awareness API, Fit API, Google
Sign In, and Facebook
Login to intelligently pull in relevant user data. Think about your
first-time users, power users, high value users, etc. and treat them uniquely.
personalizes onboarding and the overall app experience based on gender and
fitness level leading to a 58% increase in weekly active
Trainer by Skimble increased user engagement by 30% through
personalizing training programs based on user fitness assessments, goals, and
#3: Be assistive
The rise of smartphones, wearables and IoT have left us swimming in data
and dashboards and left many consumers wondering, so what?
What you should do: Offer insights and suggestions, not just
raw data. Users are not engineers and generally do not want to process complex
data or dashboards. In most cases, they want you to tell them what to do in the
moment or provide digestible summaries after the fact. Keep it simple.
gives personalized daily tips to improve your sleep and wellness by analyzing
sleep cycles, resting heart rate, respiration, room temperature, and more.
At the end of the day, changing health and fitness habits is hard. Make it
easier for your users by seamlessly guiding them on what they
personally need to do to achieve their goal. It’s that simple
We encourage you to experiment with these exercises to get your app fit for
the millions of Android users looking to live a healthier, happier life.