An upcoming update to health features for Android will allow apps to have access to and sync new kinds of data, and do it faster than before.
On select smartwatches with Wear OS 4, apps will be able to detect your golf swings. It can determine the number of swings made and the type (short, putt, or full). It was reported earlier this month that Wear OS 4 was in the works, with a planned release this fall. We also learned it would incorporate the ‘Material You’ design language.
On smartphones, the new Android 14 OS will include a health update. Two new features have been highlighted. First, users will be able to track maps of their exercise routes, then share them between apps. Second, Health Connect will include functionality to store more complicated data about users’ menstrual cycles, which may be impacted by other aspects of their health.
Google is also adding new permissions as a part of Android 14 so that users will have autonomy over which apps get access to their health data.
It should be noted that after the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the United States, concerns rose about electronically tracking menstrual cycles, even in Canada.
In 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported that one popular app menstrual cycle tracker, Flo, was selling user data (about users’ cycle and intentions to get pregnant) to Facebook. After Roe v. Wade was overturned and controversy about Flo increased, the app rolled out an anonymous mode in September 2022. Even if the data is not sold to third parties, there’s some concern that your usage of a tracker could be used in a legal case to prove the intention to get an abortion.
Other updates to health on Android are behind the scenes but will allow developers to do more with their apps. For example, developers will now be able to adjust the batching rate of fitness metrics. The only metric right now to be delivered is heart rate, though that may change. They will be able to get information at a frequency they choose, not just at predetermined intervals.
The video from Android below goes over the changes in full detail:
Source: Android Developers Via: 9to5Google, Android Police