The update brings a very white UI with clear text and minimal colour to the mobile app, while WearOS devices’ software will gain new Tiles to let you start certain workouts quicker.
In a blog post detailing the update, Community Manager Zak P. admitted that user feedback had pushed Google to integrate step counts with Heart Points and scale back Move Minutes.
“We listened closely to our users and now both Heart Points and step count will be paired together as goals at the center of our app. This change allows users to keep track of their general movement with steps, while also knowing when to increase their intensity to earn more Heart Points. Move minutes won’t be going away though and you’ll still be able to track the time you’ve been active in the app. Whether you track steps or Move minutes, the important thing for your health is to remember to keep moving throughout the day,” he said.
Google’s Heart Points measurement is built around guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation and the American Heart Association, and the app is designed to help you reach a goal that shows you’re giving your heart enough exercise.
Given Fitbit’s success and that company’s mystical 10,000 step goal that it’s drilled into casual exercise circles, it’s a little surprising to realise that both watchOS and Google Fit didn’t easier surface step counts.
Part of the reluctance is that they are often not accurate signs of exercise, but Google here has at least acknowledged user feedback and changed something.