Feb 12 AT 9:47 AM Nick Gray 31 Comments

FitBit releases updated Android app with Bluetooth 4.0, NFC support

fitbit-bluetooth4

While Nike may think Android is not a fit for a Fuel Band app, FitBit seems to be fully committed to the platform. Today, FitBit has released an updated Android app adding Bluetooth 4.0 support to allow the Fitbit One, Fitbit Zip and Fitbit Flex to sync in real time throughout the day. Once the FitBit Flex is released this spring, users will be able to take advantage of the built-in NFC functionality, which can be used to launch the FitBit app when you tap your Flex band on your Android phone.

For now, FitBit is considering this release as a “beta” build since syncing can take up to 30 seconds, but that should change in the near future. Another update will bring the sync time down to 10 seconds. The FitBit app is currently compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Note II, but more devices should be added to the compatibility list in the near future.

If you own a FitBit product, download the latest app update and let us know what you think of the new Bluetooth 4.0 syncing functionality.

fitbit-1 fitbit-2 fitbit-3 fitbit-4 fitbit-5 fitbit-bluetooth4

 

Show Press Release
Fitbit, the leading innovator and market leader in the growing Connected Health & Fitness category, will release on Tuesday the latest version of its app for Android devices and adds Bluetooth 4.0 syncing. Fitbit is the first and only company in the space to offer Bluetooth 4.0 syncing on Android devices.

The Fitbit One, Fitbit Zip and Fitbit Flex wireless activity trackers will now sync in real time directly with select Samsung devices, allowing you to see your Fitbit dashboard wherever you are, get real-time updates, receive motivating notifications and engage in fitness competitions with friends all on your Android device. By giving immediate feedback and encouraging you to move more, Bluetooth 4.0 syncing now further helps Android users make fitness part of their everyday lifestyle.

The Fitbit app for Android is available for the Samsung Galaxy SIII and Samsung Note II, with more devices to come. Fitbit’s Bluetooth 4.0 will be available in the Google Play marketplace and for all international markets.

Fitbit is on the forefront of mobile accessibility, initially as the first and only company in its category to offer an Android app, Fitbit is now the first and only to offer Android Bluetooth 4.0 syncing.

Fitbit continues to invest in mobile platforms to create the most motivating experience for users on the go. This updated Android app joins Fitbit’s iPhone, iPad and Microsoft Surface Tablet apps that essentially turn your smartphone or tablet into your dashboard, giving you access to Fitbit’s rich graphs and tools (leaderboard, badges, etc.) when you’re on the go to keep you motivated throughout the day.

Also, new to this Android app update is NFC compatibility, making the app even easier to use for owners of Flex. Simply tap your Flex band on your Android phone and it will automatically launch the Fitbit Android app. Your fitness stats from Flex, which seamlessly sync throughout the day, will be immediately at your fingertips.

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. He started HTCsource.com (the first HTC blog) back in 2007 and later joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • halo0

    What I think about it is… nothing. Because it doesn’t support the Nexus 4. It is patently ridiculous that it only supports 2 phones. I wouldn’t hold your breath either for the “near future.” Near is a relative term when it comes to fitbit updates.

    • thekaz

      It supports Bluetooth 4.0, so isn’t really rally more a matter of Google updating Android rather than FitBit updating their software..?

      I am not trying to be a jerk, this is just the way I understand it, so if my understanding is wrong, let me know.

      And I do want to know, as I have had a Fitbit Flex on pre-order for a few weeks now.

    • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

      The Nexus 4 doesn’t support Bluetooth Low Energy Profile — just go google it, many Nexus owners complained about it (including the GNex owners because the hardware in the Galaxy Nexus also support that.) Google just doesn’t bother to put in the software to support it. Unfortunately, Samsung chose to add support for the missing Low Energy profile on top of Google’s barebone Bluetooth driver.

      Trust me, being a Galaxy Nexus user myself, I also want to see Fitbit supporting my phone, especially knowing that the hardware of my phone supports it. We only have Google to blame — it’s a shame not supporting the Low Energy Profile in 2013.

      • gpmoo7

        If the Galaxy Nexus (and the Nexus 4) have the Bluetooth 4.0 but it’s not enabled by Google, why 3rd-party ROM such as CyanogenMod don’t enable Bluetooth 4.0 on those devices?

    • EddyCJ

      The Nexus doesn’t support Bluetooth Low Energy, whereas the S3, Note 2, and iPhone do. It’s not Fitbits fault that Google have been so slow at updating Android to include Bluetooth 4.0.

      Samsung put in custom drivers, whereas Google didn’t on the Nexus 4. Please, check your facts before you complain.

  • directmatrix

    “If you own a FitBit product, download the latest app update and let us know what you think of the new Bluetooth 4.0 syncing functionality. ”

    What it should read is:

    “If you own a FitBit product, and one of the two support phones, download the latest app update and let us know what you think of the new Bluetooth 4.0 syncing functionality. “

    • iamXiV92a

      I also think it’s ridiculous that the new app’s Bluetooth 4.0 functionality is only available for 2 phones. I’ve stopped wearing mine because I often forget to sync it when I’m on the laptop… c’mon FitBit, add functionality for all phones using Bluetooth 4.0… :-/

      • http://www.healthytiger.com Healthy

        It is actually because most android phones don’t support the low energy comms in bluetooth 4.0. Good on samsung to have that support.

        the fitbit modules can’t afford a normal bluetooth level connection power wise, give it time.

      • EddyCJ

        See my comment above; Google doesn’t support 4.0 in Android. Google’s fault, not Fitbit.

        • Ian

          They do now in 4.3

  • Droid Sam

    Could the lack of supported devices for FitBit be the same reason why Nike pulled the plug on an Android app? It’s easy to code for iOS since there are only a few devices to support. Is Andorid so screwed up that an app like this needs to be coded for individual devices?

    • Jank

      Nike’s got a great Android app in Nike+. Use it most days to run.

  • Ninja

    Swipe n Share phone were you can transfer just by swiping, and it comes for $75!

    http://phonemaya.com/News/Android/micromax-a27-ninja-goes-on-sale-for-rs-3399.html

  • fletchtb

    maybe I should start exercising now?

  • http://muddypa.ws/blog nportelli

    Hmm So the latest and greatest Android OS doesn’t support BT 4.0? But it says NFC too, Couldn’t it use that?

    • EddyCJ

      NFC isn’t good for transmitting large quantities of data. An NFC credit card (or data on a phone) is mere bytes, whereas the sync requires kilobytes of data, and you have to keep the two next to each other. Android Beam uses NFC to set up a WiFi direct network, it doesn’t actually send the data by NFC itself.

      NFC will be used on the new Fitbit Flex to establish a Bluetooth 4.0 link, so the sync can be made, but it would take too long to transmit all the data via NFC.

      • uberrob

        That’s not quite true – NFC actually excels in large data quantity bursts. Tapping two NFC phones together will transmit an 8M image in seconds. The amount of data that would come off of a Fitbit would be minuscule in comparison.

        It should definitely be enabled and work correctly

        • Johnny Prime

          If you read all the press release stuff more clearly, the NFC isn’t going to do anything but launch the app, which means it’s not even active NFC, it’s just a chip with a static code on it that launches the app, there will be no NFC syncing of any sort in my opinion.

          At first I was crazy excited, then I realized bluetooth sync, and nfc launch were listed separately…

  • http://mihai.discuta-liber.com/ tmihai20

    It’s still better than no support, like Nike. The second thing coming in my mind is battery consumption having bluetooth enabled.

    • martijn

      The idea of bluetooth 4.0 is that is drains almost no power compared to bluetooth 2.1 or 3.0

      • http://mihai.discuta-liber.com/ tmihai20

        I have to see (and we have to see) more phones adopting this new standard and I’ll believe it then :) We’ve always read about a new standard promising so many improvements. I believe what I can see with my own eyes.

        • EddyCJ

          Bluetooth 4.0 is proven time and time again to be low energy – there’s a whole new standard called Bluetooth Low Energy profile incorporated within Bluetooth 4.0.

          Basically, there are now 2 types of Bluetooth devices – the normal ones, and the new (like FitBit) LE ones. The normal ones are faster sync, but more power, and they will work as normal.

          However, the LE profile is not supported in Android. A quick Google would tell you how much lower the power consumption is. Why do you need to see it in your own eyes, when it takes mere seconds to look it up. It’s been tested time and time again.

  • martijn

    How about the One X it has Bluetooth 4.0 as well claims htc. But there are still no gadgets who support it. Cookoo watch makers said they tried but the HTC API is unstable. HTC keeps insisting it is stable though. Stuck with a one X with BT 4.0 and no gadgets.. bleh

  • gopher state

    turn da frown da odda way around

  • Watching people sell out

    This huge box of this fat guy with glasses trying to make money off of us makes me sick. Not only does this site have stuff 2 days after other sites the man guy is a sellout. You just lost a daily reader

  • donger

    Nice, might look into this.

  • ibap

    I’m a long time Fitbit user, about to replace mine because it is now failing to hold a charge for more than a day or two – or at least thinks it is.

    However, I don’t have a Bluetooth 4.0 device and won’t have one any time soon. I understand why they’ve gone this way, but it won’t do me a lot of good for some time.

    At least they’re supporting Android, which the Nike Fuelband is now acknowledged as not-going-to-happen, even though they said it would.

  • manitoba64

    Does anybody knows where to promote just released app?

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.manitoba64.vk

  • Tiuri

    I hope google fixes this and implements this BLE in upcoming android version, hopefully including 4.2.2. (though I doubt it)

    • EddyCJ

      Problem is, the chipset on most devices doesn’t support it to begin with. The worst bit, is that each proprietary driver is different, so the HTC One X has a different BLE to the S3. Google really does need to hurry up and standardise the drivers. I believe someone even worked out that the chip on the Nexus 4 does in fact support BLE, so maybe in Android 4.3/5.0 (depending on what they call it)?

      Due in May 2013, so not too long to wait.

  • JC005

    I was just looking into one of these, think this just convinced me to get it.