Google’s wearable platform is seeing a big push in the coming months with more new devices expected to accompany the revamped OS. As part of this, a “Health Services” app for Wear OS is now available in the Play Store.

“Health Services” is a background component that end users don’t interact with. Featuring a heart with pulse readout on a green background, it’s officially “used to provide health and fitness functionality and metrics to apps.” 

This component provides core functionality like managing sensors, tracking workouts, and providing metrics like heart rate, step count, calories, distance, etc.

Health Services helps apps improve battery performance and establish consistent, higher quality health and fitness tracking.

In developer documentation, Google explains that wearable apps previously “had to connect to one or multiple sensors, configure each of them appropriately, receive raw sensor data, and use their own algorithms to derive meaningful information.” This new approach helps developers by giving them a one-stop intermediary that provides access to “powerful algorithms running natively on the platform,” and ensures data consistency across apps. It also allows for “activity-aware experiences.” 

Wear OS Health Services

Android on phones has a number of such background services that can be easily and quickly updated through the Play Store, including: Play, Support, Carrier, AR, and Speech.

Google warns that “apps may not work if you uninstall Health Services.” We’re seeing it installed on a Galaxy Watch 4 with Wear OS 3. Meanwhile, the app description says it is “for the next generation of Wear OS watches.” That said, the Play Store says it is installable on a Moto 360 running Wear OS 2.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com