There is a new wrinkle to Android today, as a fitness API has been discovered. It gives a glimpse into future plans from Google, but doesn’t necessarily tip its hat to a new piece of hardware. It could be as simple as Android understanding the shifting market of wearables, and acting accordingly.
The API is pretty simple, and really only asks that data be gathered. The line of “Fitness data from sensor on your Android device” is telling, but only in that Google wants to gather info for you. It doesn’t note a specific device, so we can’t say it tells us a wearable from Google is coming, even though many believe one is.
For the sake of argument, let’s explore that “Google smartwatch” idea for a minute. We’ve long heard rumors of a wearable from Mountain View coming, but nothing has arrived yet. Several I/O sessions have come and gone, with no wearable being announced. That’s not to say there isn’t one, we just haven’t seen it yet. This line of code could be meant to give a solid back-end solution for a proprietary wearable, but we don’t think that’s the end result here. That's not the typical Google M.O., as is evident by the recent Drive API, which also opens things up for other cloud storage solutions. That was a good foundation to be used as a Developer saw fit.
The wearables market is bursting at the seams, a point made clear in our trip to CES this year. Everyone has a sensor, but few can make sense of it. Over at SlashGear, we named the Jaybird Reign our best wearable at CES, based heavily on the fact that in addition to gathering data, it digested it for you. At this point, everyone can get the data, it’s doing something with it that matters.
We hope this API does just that, and provides a solid back-end solution for doing so. If there were a central hub within Android that took the data, and made sense of it for us, the wearables suddenly become entirely useful, rather than being the pedometers of the 2010s. Perhaps this I/O will give us a better idea, considering Google has bowed out of MWC, but we’ll not get ahead of ourselves.
VIA: Phone Arena