Fitbit still has not fully integrated into the Google ecosystem since Google’s $2.1 billion acquisition of the fitness tracker company. But the latest news from Google shows that change is coming soon.
First reported by 9to5Google (opens in new tab), Google announced on a Fitbit support page (opens in new tab) that it will start to require Google accounts for Fitbit devices. For new Fitbit users, this will begin sometime in 2023. For existing users, the ability to move from a Fitbit account to a Google account will start at that same time.
Google plans to still support Fitbit accounts until at least 2025 — though with some caveats. While support will continue during this time, some Fitbit features will require a Google account, likely forcing existing users to make the switch.
At this time, we do not know exactly which features will be locked behind Google accounts, though Google says more information will become available as the 2023 launch date nears.
Fitbit by Google
Currently, Fitbit users use their Fitbit account and Fitbit to manage their Fitbit fitness tracker. You can log into your account using your Google account as credentials, but it is still a Fitbit account.
This is because — for now — Google treats Fitbit as its own ecosystem. They are Fitbit branded devices running Fitbit apps; the Fitbit Sense 2 even has Alexa built in as a voice assistant — not Google Assistant. While you get some Google apps like Google Maps and Google Wallet, the operating system is Fitbit OS, not WearOS 3.
However, this update from Google indicates that this could be changing, if slowly. The purpose of Fitbit devices won’t change; they will still be health and wellness-focused fitness trackers, even the ones with a smartwatch form factor like the Sense 2. In fact, most of the language about these changes seemed to be focused on improving security for Fitbit users.
Plus, with the Google Pixel Watch possibly coming at the October Google Event, it would be potentially odd to have multiple operating systems for Google’s smart wearables. Perhaps WearOS will be the next integration following Google accounts taking over from Fitbit accounts.
The state of Fitbit devices
Fitbits should not be confused with smartwatches, at least not completely. While there are some Fitbit devices on our list of best smartwatches, they are still predominantly fitness trackers. The Fitbit Versa 3 and Sense 2 do give you some great smartwatch features like contactless payment and a built-in voice assistant, but it is the fitness tracking features that are the Fitbit selling point.
Even the base level Fitbit, the $99 Fitbit Inspire 3 provides a ton of value for those looking to start tracking their daily activities. For less than $100, users get some useful health metrics, automatic workout tracking and surprisingly accurate sleep tracking insights.
This is why it is currently number two on our list of best fitness trackers despite its budget price point. No, it won’t cut it for those looking for a Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 competitor, but if you’re just trying to improve your fitness, Fitbit continues to be a great option.