Google today released a preview SDK of Google Fit available to developers. The tool provides APIs for apps and device manufacturers to store and access activity data from fitness apps and sensors on Android and other devices (like wearables, heart rate monitors or connected scales).

Google warns that the preview release contains the Google Fit APIs for Android, but does not contain the REST API or the Android Wear APIs, which will be included in the official release. Furthermore, while it will let you develop and test fitness apps, they cannot be published to Google Play until official release.

By releasing the preview SDK, Google is asking developers to see what they can do with a user’s fitness history, such as personalized coaching, better insights, fitness recommendations, and so on. It is broken down into three sets of APIs:

  • Sensors API provides high-level access to sensors from the device and wearables—so with one API your app can talk to sensors, whether on an Android device or a wearable. So if you’re making a running app, you could register it to receive updates from a connected heart rate monitor every 5 seconds during a user’s run and give immediate feedback to the runner on the display.
  • Recording API allows apps to register for battery-efficient, cloud-synced background collection of fitness data. For example, a running app could ask to store user’s location so it can map the run later. Once it registers for these data types, collection is done by Fit in the background with no further work needed by the app.
  • History API allows operations on the data like read, insert and delete. When the exerciser finishes her run, the running app can query the History API for all locations during the run and show a map.

To use the SDK, you’ll need to grab a special version of the Android L Developer Preview system image with Google Fit support, available for the Nexus 5 and the Nexus 7 Wi-Fi version 2. Next, use the Android SDK Manager to download the Google Play services client labeled “Google Play services for Fit Preview.” Google says you can start developing today using local fitness history on the device, while the cloud backend will be “available soon.”

At its I/O conference in June, Google announced Google Fit and described it as an open platform designed to help people keep track of their fitness goals. Google Fit is slated for official release this Fall.

Google Fit Preview

Top Image Credit: Johannes Eisele/Getty Images