Do you use your phone to stay healthy?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| June 13, 2014

While the mobile industry has been focused on the wearable market as a whole lately, especially when it comes to trying the find the perfect smartwatch, there's been another side of the wearable conversation that's been receiving almost as much attention. Actually, depending on who you ask, it may be getting just as much attention -- maybe even more.

There's an easy reason for this, of course. Watches have been around a very long time and serve a very distinct purpose, even if you throw in the whole fashion statement aspect of them, too. While some watches out there are super expensive, they usually offer the technology inside, and the looks on the outside, to make those price tags worthwhile. Smartwatches, on the other hand, are trying to shove a lot of technology into new designs that just don't really match what we've always seen. They're trying to provide the solution to a problem that many people haven't even admitted they're facing.

It'll happen eventually, especially with Android Wear around the corner, and with companies putting a bigger focus on releasing their own wearables. The focus we're starting to see, though, is the gadgets that put a bigger focus on fitness and health, rather than just being a "smart" watch.

Samsung announced two new smartwatches earlier this year, the real star of the show was the Gear Fit. A wearable that could very well tell you the time, as well as provide you with notifications from your smartphone (as long as it's a compatible device, mind you). The biggest focus of the device, though, was fitness and staying healthy. It even looked more like a fitness band, rather than a smartwatch. So would it be any surprise if companies like HTC, Apple, or others continued this trend, and just made sure that your fitness tracker could show you notifications and tell you the time?

Is that still a smartwatch?

Not according to the market. The two are distinct, and we're going to continue to see companies launch distinctive devices. Even as our smartwatches start to share some of those fitness aspects, there's still going to be the smartwatch and (fitness) wearable markers at retail locations.

The big push for fitness from the companies that build our favorite smartphones (and they're hoping your favorite wearable, too) is a step in the right direction, as far as I'm concerned. These devices have made it easier than ever before to just stay home, so it's good that these companies are promoting the idea of getting up and staying healthy.

Apple's showcased their new Health and Health Kit with iOS 8, which is designed to bring in all of your fitness information from any of the fitness tracking devices you may use. And Samsung's already outlined their own S Health movement, so you can track all the information you need while you wear their Gear Fit and use their apps. And now Google's reportedly set to unveil Google Fit, their response to Apple's own health-focused apps and services.

My question to you is this: Are you using these functions/devices/apps/services at all? Have you tapped into the fitness tracker in yourself, to help with the physical device that you've attached to your wrist (or wherever)? Or is this trend for the physical and fitness something you can't wait to see pass? Let me know!

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