Talking Tech: Health Apps That Are Always Recording You
How we are taking advantage of health tracking apps to connect you to more recreational opportunities
When we launched our OpenSports integration with Apple Health and Google Fit (built in fitness trackers on your smart phone), we realized that most people do not know that these apps have been tracking their movements since the day they got your phones!
I was excited to learn this! Being able to retroactively check how much walking I have been doing seemed like a treat, since I do not have a wearable fitness tracker, and I don’t have an issue with my step count being logged every day. So how does this work?
- The Google Fit app is pre-installed on your phone, but does not automatically track your fitness data (go to the Google Fit app and turn it on).
- The Apple Health app is also pre-installed on your phone, and does automatically track the following fitness metrics: step count per day, distance running or walking, cycling and flights of stairs climbed.
- If you want to automatically merge other data onto your main Health portal (such as rowing data), you must synch Apple Health or Google Fit with other apps such as Garmin Connect cycling app, Strava, Map My Ride, or Runkeeper. This way, everything is on one main portal.
Adding your Apple Health/Google Fit Activity onto the OpenSports App
Just released: You can now sync your fitness data from Google Fit and Apple Health on OpenSports (make sure you have the most updated version of the app). This means you can display the distance you walk / run / cycle, on your player profile (See below).
How will this positively impact you?
The vision we have is for you to use your smartphone to gather objective data on your health and physical activity, and to use that data in a meaningful way, through the additional features that OpenSports has to offer. A user can see an overview of their fitness information (i.e., steps taken) as well as the last time they joined an activity like a pickup soccer game; suggestions on how they can make their distance travelled shorter (i.e., with suggestions about closer games); and suggestions of games they may like. By using technology to curate this information to the individual, you can have a full view of what your physical activity behaviours are like, as well as how to make them better, in your city, in real time, according to the current opportunities available.
What does it mean when I synch Apple Health or Google Fit with OpenSports?
When you authorize OpenSports to access the Apple Health or Google Fit data, OpenSports collects data on the number of steps you’ve taken, the distance you’ve walked or run, and the number of flights you’ve climbed, so that you can view and share this data with your friends who use the app and compete to be the most active💪💪.
What about data about me playing sports? Can that be synched back to Google Fit/Apple Health?
Eventually if OpenSports users join a game on our platform, we can log that back into their Apple HealthKit/Google Fit. In order to track the energy/caloric output of sports games, which is more difficult to accurately track, players will be able to put in activity type, duration, and intensity.
How reliable are the built in pedometers on my phone?
Less reliable that other wearables. If you want a very accurate read, you might want to synch Apple Health of Google Fit with a more reliable wearable, such as the Apple Watch or Garmin Fitness tracker.
Should I be worried about what happens with my data?
Not at all — The data is shared within the OpenSports user community and may be used anonymously to help OpenSports make recommendations to improve heath research globally.
What health related information will OpenSports share about me?
Understandably, health data can be sensitive, and OpenSports users get to select which metrics they wish to share in order to maintain their privacy and control over sensitive data.
Can I stop sharing my data on OpenSports?
Yes, just go to Settings within the OpenSports app and disconnect the integration (See below):
I am only at 2,000 steps today so I think I’ll go take a walk now 👀🚶🏻. If you have any questions/concerns about any of this, reach out back to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading ✌️:) Alicia