Android is an exciting platform to build fitness apps on. At MySwimPro we’ve learned a lot about building the best workout app for swimming on Android. We launched our mobile app in February 2015 and as we approach our two-year mark of being live in the Google Play Store, we’d like to share our biggest learnings with you.
Follow Material Design
Android users often put up with poorly designed apps that haven’t been updated in years. That’s why we’ve found it’s important to delight members of our community with Material Design UI and interactions. Material design is the concept of creating a visual language for users that synthesizes the classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science. You can learn more here.
In addition to working with Google to improve our app design card elements, we’ve also receive an overwhelming amount of feedback from our users. Our Google Play rating has gone up, and we stand out from the crowd of other fitness apps because we deliver an authentically Android experience.
Add Personalization and Integrations
Each swimmer uses their Android phone in a variety of different ways. The MySwimPro app allows for personalization and integrations, making our community members feel like the app is uniquely theirs.
Swimmers can customize their skill-level, pool-size, and gender to make sure they get the perfect workout for them. They can also connect to and share workout summaries to social platforms like Facebook or Twitter. We also built in the option to manage notifications.
MySwimPro is the only swimming app with an integration with Google Fit. It’s an open platform that lets users control their fitness data, developers build smarter apps, and manufacturers focus on creating amazing devices.
We integrated with Google Fit so our athletes can manage their swim workouts however they want and view all their workout data in one place. This is particularly helpful for our triathletes who want to view their swims, bikes, and runs in one place. You can learn more about the Google Fit SDK here.
Tell A Story
Application flow is one of the most important things to get right. We’ve learned that each athlete’s use of our app is a story – the most important story being the first use of the app.
It’s important to immediately show content and give the user something to do, from the very start. Upon opening the MySwimPro app, our athletes are greeted with content from our blog, and a helpful Card element that prompts them to log their first swim.
After logging a few swims, we prompt our community members with another helpful Card element that prompts them to explore the social side of MySwimPro and follow/invite friends. By thinking about our athlete’s story we can build a better, more engaging app.
Building fitness apps for Android is a challenging and rewarding experience. By following material design guidelines, adding personalizations and Google Fit integration, and telling a great story, we’ve been able to build a great app for swimmers.
We have some exciting new things in the works for this year! 😎 If you have any questions or ideas you’d like to share with us, feel free to contact me at email@example.com.