Google Fit is an application that has been created primarily to measure the physical activity of the user by using certain parameters to know if exercise is being exercised or if more should be done. In addition this app is compatible with others that are oriented to monitor or help improve physical exercise, the applications can be consulted by clicking here
This application has three main features or functions: Home Page, Journal and Profile. The home page function is the one that is displayed when you launch the app so if you want to change the function all you have to do is click on the icons that appear at the bottom of the screen.
- Home page. This is the function that is displayed at the time the application starts and is distributed in four sections:
- The first one is shown in the form of a pie chart that will show the steps that have been given in dark blue and in green the Health Points with which those steps corresponds. To create these points, Google has collaborated with WHO and is an activity target that is based on the amount of physical exercise the institution recommends improving health.
- The second section is the sleep section where you can control the sleep schedules you have; however, you must enter the hours by hand.
- The third is the heart rate section that only works if you have a device connected like a smartwatch, this can be very interesting to know when you need to take a break.
- The fourth and final section is the weight where daily you must manually enter the user's weight to control it. Considering that older people will use this app more like a pedometer it is possible that the weight and sleep sections may not be usedmuch, although it can be done automatically if they have an electronic scale to control their weight or a smart watch to monitor their sleep hours.
- Diary. This section shows the exercises or activities that the user creates or that the app automatically records, whether it is sleep hours or exercise times.
- Profile. In this function you can modify the data thathas beenentered when starting the application (sex, weight, date of birth and height), the activity objectives (steps and cardio points) and access the application settings.
In the settings section, you can select the units of measure you want to use, manage apps connected to Google Fit, manage notifications, and change the appearance of the app between light and dark. From the settings you can access the help and suggestions section to be able to contact the developers in case of any failure.
To analyze and be able to carry out an evaluation of the application, a series of tests have been carried out to verify its operation. Testing has been performed on a Samsung Galaxy J7 device (Android 9 Pie) with version 2.31.22-130 and an iPhone 6S (IOS 13.3.1) with version 1.24.001023
To be able to use the application on both devices it has been necessary to install it through the respective application stores of each operating system.
Once the application is installed, at the time itstarts, it is indicated that a Google account is needed to be able to access the functions of the app, this should not be a problem since for the use of the device itself an email is needed, so it is quite possible that an account is already available. After creating or selecting the account to be used, you will need to fill in some data (sex, height, weight and date of birth), allow the app to use the device location, and finally select the daily step target. From that moment on, after finishing the previous steps, the app is already fully working.
For the app to start counting the steps you don't need to do anything as it does it automatically, however, if for example an older person decides that they want to go for a walk has two ways to record the activity: letting the app automatically register it when the person starts walking or registering it manually. To perform the latter you have to click on the button with the shape of + which is located on the bottom right and select the option to record training, once done this the screen will change showing a map in the top half and a message at the bottom that says "Start walking", the moment you press that message the application will start recording the activity showing in real time the route that is being followed along with the time and the steps performed.
Here is an infographic that teaches how to manually record an activity:
In this section we will measure the ease with which the user can use the application to achieve a specific objective, in this case is to have a record of the steps and routes followed in the walks.
The application is very easy to use, has a simple and friendly interface, it consists of four very simple buttons to recognize,so older people who want to use the application will not have difficulty understanding how the app works.
All this makes it very hard for the user to start using the application. This ease in learning usage also moves to the ease of remembering how to use if you ever uninstall the application.
As for its effectiveness, it must be said that the app is extremely effective because, once the data has been entered and the objectives set, the application itself will start working automatically without the need for the older person who is using it to worry about doing anything, just check the records.
About portability, Google Fit works on any type of Smartphone, whether Android or iOS.
Taking into account the analysis of each of the above criteria it can be said that the product has a considerably good usability in terms of achieving the objective taking into account the use that older people will give it since, as the features that they will use of the application work automatically, it makes it much easier for them to use it.
In this section, different criteria will be applied to assess whether the application can be used regardless of the capabilities of the user.
Cognitive Accessibility – As for the images and icons contained in the app, they all have a description that facilitates their understanding and, in addition, they are a reasonable size so that they can be correctly identified; however, on the iOS device only those descriptions are displayed when it isfromntro of the selected section. It should be noted that the description is the same size as the icon.
Accessibility for people with reduced vision – The application has a settings section where you can only change the theme, i.e. you can change white background with black letters to black background with white letters. The font size cannot be changed so depending on the dimensions of the screen that the device being used has it is possible that the words may be difficult to read, although it is possible to increase the font size in the overall settings of the device, causing it to increase in the app in turn. To complete this accessibility section it has been decided to do some tests with the screen reader systems available from Android and IOS devices. These tests have focused on checking the correct labeling of google Fit icons and buttons. Buttons have been labeled well on all devices where the screen reader has been used, both with Android Voice Assistant and IOS Voiceover.
Accessibility for people with hearing impairments – People with hearing impairments can use the app without any problem as it does not emit any alert sound.
In this section we will study whether the application has a correct functioning and has no critical failures that prevent its proper operation.
In the days that the application has been testing has not presented any outstanding or critical failures in its operation.
Privacy and security
As for privacy and security the application, when you launch it for the first time, below the login button are two links to the privacy conditions and policies to allow yourquery. They can also be accessed through the help and suggestions section of the settings menu.
The application works in an appropriate way, there has been no failure that has impaired its proper functioning.
It is a very reliable application in terms of measuring steps as long as you take the device over or a smart watch connected to the app, because if you leave the phone while you go out it will lose information. Step counting is performed in the same way as a smartwatch because it uses device balancing next to its location to calculate them. Ethis makes it one of the applications to consider because it is one of the most complete that is on the market since it also allows to record the hours of sleep, weight and heart rate, since conventional pedometers only focus on the step count. In addition, it can be of great help for seniors to plan a route to go for a walk where they do not get too far away from their homes, contributing to the compliance with the restrictions that are imposed in the de-escalation phase caused by COVID-19.
One of the strengths that the application has is that it automatically records the activities that are being performed, that is, it is not necessary for the older person to manually indicate that they will go for a walk so that it starts counting the steps and calories that they are going to burn. Another strength lies in your ability to connect with other devices or applications to be able to generate a better record of our data making it more accessible when viewed in a single application.
Finally, it must be said that to be able to use the application it is necessary to have an internet connection via mobile data to be able to show the route followed once the activity is finishedand so that the calculation of steps ismoreaccurate, since it relies on the location of the phone to do so.
Compatible hardware devices
- REPNHO scale.
- Bascula Xiaomi Mi Scale.
- Swing SPC Athena Fit.
- WearOS watches.
- Xiaomi Mi Bandwatches.
- Apple Watch watches.
- It is an application easy to use.
- It has good accuracy when displaying the routes that have been followed on a map.
- All icons in the app have description.
- Works perfectly with screen readers.
- It is totally free.
- You could consider adding an option to change the font size without changing the font size of the device itself.
- It would be interesting if the description of the icons in the iOS app was always displayed.