Fleetly delights users via Health Graph integrationPosted: November 2, 2011 | |
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Geoff Pitfield (@gpitfield) of Fleetly (@fleetly) about his company and their new Fleetly app release which now includes support for RunKeeper users via Health Graph (@healthgraphapi) integration. Here’s an inside look at how one developer keeps their users happy and healthy with the Health Graph.
Bill Day: Please tell us about yourself and your company.
Geoff Pitfield: We’re currently an angel-backed team of two. I’ve been making mobile stuff since the days when that meant doing your own hardware, and have been working on Fleetly since early 2010. I’m a Product Design grad and MBA, but I’d never really coded so I taught myself in order to build Fleetly, which has certainly been interesting. Fleetly’s the first app that lets you check in on your fitness and evaluate your overall Fitness Level, based on all the exercise that you do, from weight training to long distance running. I got started on the app when I couldn’t find anything fun to use that supported the variety of activities I was doing to train for a triathlon.
BD: What’s the “elevator pitch” for why someone should use your app?
GP: It’s a fun, social way to stay motivated about your fitness *and* get meaningful insight into what you’re doing. When it clicks for people, they end up doing things like an extra 20 pushups or running another mile just to pass their friend on the leaderboard. That’s a great thing.
BD: How did you get started using the Health Graph API?
GP: Our users started vigorously and repeatedly demanding RunKeeper integration!
BD: How will using the Health Graph benefit your business?
GP: We think it will both increase our user base and increase retention, because Health Graph integration makes it much easier for people to use – they no longer have to enter their data into multiple applications.
BD: Which portions of the Health Graph API do you use, and why?
BD: What do you like about the Health Graph? What would you like to see changed?
GP: It’s fairly easy to use and is comprehensive. It would benefit from better delete tracking, and should also support an identifier for originating source on entries. Otherwise, you run into problems if someone has cross-linked multiple services. For instance, we already integrate with Health Graph partner Withings (@withings). If someone’s linked their Withings account to the Health Graph, there really should be a way to tell that a given weight entry originated as Withings ID XYZ to avoid duplication. (Editor’s note: De-duplication today falls on the app developer.)
BD: If you could request any new feature from the Health Graph, what would it be? How would you use it?
GP: Off the top of my head, I’d rather see continued focus on making the API as robust, useable, and open a platform as possible. I don’t have any blindingly great feature ideas, per se, other than what I mentioned above which I think is really important. A push update service would be nice to reduce the need for polling.
BD: Can you share any future plans for your app? What’s coming next that your users will be excited about? Does the Health Graph play a role in that, and if so, how?
GP: The really cool stuff has to remain secret. 🙂 We’ll soon be introducing some new types of challenges that we think are going to be great, and very much focused on the same Fitness Activities we’re linking via the Health Graph. Also, we’ve always had our own little API but never done much to promote it, and we’re eager to help anyone who’s interested. The second most requested thing after RunKeeper is an Android app if anyone wants to play!
BD: Is there anything else we should know about you or your application?
GP: We’ve been doing a cool challenge with Lifehacker (click to access), and also have a badly under-promoted startup challenge (click here for startup challenge), both of which might be of interest. And the app’s available at www.fleetly.com/ios, so check it out!