Basis Launches Android App For Its Activity Tracker — Finally

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At this year’s CES tradeshow, Basis made news with the launch of its first activity tracker, the Basis B1.  Initial reactions to the device were mixed. The tracker itself was reviewed positively and including some cool first-to-market technologies. However, Basis got taken to task by tech writers over one glaring omission: the lack of an app on which to view activity data.

To many, an activity tracker is only as good as the app that supports it. What’s the point of gathering data if there is no way to view it, trend it, and extract meaning from it? It was clear that Basis jumped the gun on the product launch because it wanted to have something exciting to release at CES. The market has been pushing for an app ever since.

Basis has delivered. The company chose to launch an Android app first, promising an iOS version in time. This is an interesting decision for a few reasons, but primarily because it contradicts a general trend in the market to introduce a product to the iOS ecosystem first, the path many predecessors such as Nike+ and Misfit’s Shine took.

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Android is becoming a compelling alternative to the knee-jerk strategic decision to always put iOS first. Android now has a larger market share of smartphone operating systems, and with integrated core apps like Google Now and Galaxy’s sHealth app, the Android ecosystem has shown a stronger interest in being an active participant in mHealth’s market growth.

Basis may consider Android users more likely to convert to quantified health enthusiasts and potential customers. Alternatively, Apple’s more stringent and time-consuming app review process might have been a deciding factor, as the market was pushing for a solution, Basis may have looked to the quickest path to market and evaluated Android more favorably.

Activity Tracker users still have more options in the iOS environment than the Android environment. One deviation from that trend does not equate to a widespread market shift, but the reputation Apple and Android develop within the mHealth world should be interesting to watch as the market itself matures.

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