Google Fit’s web client will be shutting down on March 19, according to a large banner splashed across the top of the site. From that point on, the only way to keep track of your Google Fit data will be through the Google Fit app. All of the same apps that work with Google Fit will continue to do so, including on wearables. All of the same data and controls available on the Google Fit website are also available in the app, so this is unlikely to be a big deal for most users.
Google Fit’s website shutting down is part of a rash of changes that have hit the app’s ecosystem lately, with a focus on making the service as intuitive and easy to use as possible. Since Google’s official message regarding the closure is that it wants to focus efforts on the mobile and wearable Google Fit portals, the most likely scenario is that there just wasn’t enough traffic on the Google Fit website to warrant all of the work required to maintain and upgrade it.
Google Fit got a mostly service-wide overhaul last year that added a few new capabilities, refined the user interface to be more friendly and intuitive, and changed up the design to adhere more closely to Google’s new Material Design principles. The web client did not get any of those changes, and is actually missing a couple of features compared to its mobile counterpart, such as Move Minutes and Heart Points.
Two things that Google Fit’s web interface did well were showing long-term views and helping users log activities and statistics that aren’t recorded automatically by their phones and smartwatches. Naturally, you can do all of this on the mobile version, but the larger screen afforded by a computer is naturally more suited to a large data set.
This change helps to bring more of Google’s product portfolio in line with its recent design shift, and, obviously, it makes sense to shut down a service that’s taking development hours away from a more used counterpart with the same capabilities. One other subtle bit here is that by axing the most common way to view long-term stats on the big screen, Google is subtly encouraging consistency.
If a quick glance into your Google Fit data shows you a short-term view by default, you’re less likely to spot patterns, and more likely to see any recent dips in activity. Thinking in the short term when it comes to activity, at least if you have certain goals in mind as most Google Fit users probably do, can help spur you to do more.
That may be an unintended side effect, of course. In any case, Google is by and large moving to make its mobile ecosystem as complete and coherent as it can, and has been streamlining its portfolio and folding in capabilities across apps to make that happen. The web version of Google Fit is just the latest thing caught in the crossfire as Google fights to declutter its ecosystem and appeal to an ever-wider user base.