True to its promise, Jawbone today is expanding its UP app beyond the confines of its own fitness band, turning the personal digital coach into a platform of its own. The timing is perfect, too, since the new UP will also tie in with Apple’s own ecosystem via the new M8 motion coprocessor on the new iPhone 6 and the newly unveiled Apple Watch.
Jawbone’s UP provides highly personalized health tips and suggestions based on a user’s own activity patterns and input. While hailed by some as the most complete digital health system, it was intricately tied to Jawbone’s own UP and UP24 fitness bands. With the rise of smartwatches and health-enabled smartphones, however, Jawbone is seeing an opportunity to spread its brand even further, even if it means potentially putting its own devices in a tough spot.
The new Jawbone app will now work with sensors and health API on any major mobile platform. That means Android, Windows Phone 8, and Pebble. Of course, now that Apple’s products are out of hiding, they too will be able to hook up with the Jawbone community. And it isn’t just smartwatches either. Even smartphones that have the necessary sensors and API can join in on the fun.
Jawbone is going the extra mile as well. It has announced that it will soon be releasing an open device connectivity framework for UP. This one is meant more for device manufacturers, particularly smartwatch and fitness band makers, to enable them to directly communicate with UP using Bluetooth or WiFi. This practically relieves manufacturers of the need to develop their own companion fitness app and leverage what Jawbone already has instead. That said, in doing so, Jawbone is opening the doors for even tougher competition for its own bands. Now the company will have to take its devices up a notch as well.
The new UP app will be available for free on Android and Android Wear, Windows Phone 8, and Pebble later this month. The version of Apple’s devices, also free, will land in iTunes once iOS 8 itself has launched.