Thursday , August 24 2017

Fitbit looking for Beta testers for new app to allow syncing of device directly to your phone

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I just started using a Fitbit, I`m late to the so-called fitness device game but I received a Fitbit Aria scale for Christmas and thought it was a pretty cool concept and decided to get further into it so I went and grabbed a Fitbit Zip from DSE.

Overall, I love the device and the information it can give you, the only drawback I’ve found is that as an Android user the only way to sync your Fitbit device is by using the BLE(Bluetooth Low Energy) dongle supplied with your Fitbit that plugs into a USB port on your PC, while iOS users have the luxury of syncing their Fitbit directly to their iPhone. Well, Fitbit have announced that they are looking for Beta testers for the new version of their Android app that will support sync with Android phones but it comes with a caveat, it will only be available for owners of the Samsung Galaxy S3 or the Samsung Galaxy Note II.

I asked Fitbit why this was and was advised by Barry Burton, Mobile Engineering Lead at Fitbit that the reason phones such as my Nexus 4 cannot be included in the trial is that Android still does not have support for BLE in the native code but has been scheduled to be added at a later date. Matthew Xie a Software Engineer at Google advised that BLE will be the next major feature that is added in this Google Groups post. Samsung however has provided Fitbit with a custom, proprietary way to access their BLE Hardware enabling Fitbit to move ahead with the new app for these devices at least.

If you have a Fitbit One or Fitbit Zip and a Samsung Galaxy S III or Galaxy Note II then you can sign up here to become a Beta tester. The Beta Test will run from January 13th-25th and will require anywhere from 1-3 hours per week of your time to provide data on any problems you encounter with the test. They also require that you sign an NDA stating that you A)you do not work for a competitor of Fitbit B) you will not share a copy of the app with anyone and C) you will not share any comments about the app with anyone outside the Fitbit team.

Unfortunately the limited release is an issue for me but hopefully BLE support can be added swiftly with the next update of Android to enable more Android Fitbit users to access this excellent way to sync their device but for those of you who do own an SGS III or Galaxy Note II as well as a Fitbit Zip or One go and sign up for the trial.

 

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

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2 Comments on "Fitbit looking for Beta testers for new app to allow syncing of device directly to your phone"

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Joe
Valued Guest

How does the Zip compare with other models?

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