Technology

Fitbit will require Google Account for new devices, more in 2023+

With the launch of Fitbit’s latest devices, the “Fitbit by Google” branding was introduced. The Sense 2 and Versa 4 already have a UI modeled after Wear OS 3, but the integration gets deeper from 2023 when Google accounts are required to use Fitbit.

At this time, “Fitbit will continue to offer its products and services separately from Google” and a Fitbit account is required to use the app and devices (smartwatches, fitness trackers, and scales).

However, Fitbit will “enable the use of Fitbit with a Google account sometime in 2023.”

Google accounts on Fitbit support a number of benefits for Fitbit users, including a single login for Fitbit and other Google services, industry-leading account security, centralized privacy controls for Fitbit user data, and more features from Google on Fitbit.

Several benefits are touted, with security being noteworthy for something as sensitive as health and fitness data. Fitbit currently maintains its own login system with two-factor authentication (2FA) via SMS. There is already a login with Google option and Fitbit removed the Facebook equivalent last year.

However, this change goes beyond the login process and consolidation into one set of credentials.

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After the change takes place next year, “some uses of Fitbit will require a Google account, including to sign up for Fitbit or activate newly released Fitbit devices and features.” The latter is noteworthy in the context of Fitbit working on a premium Wear OS 3 watch. New customers will need to use a Google account from next year, while porting features to the new backend will be similar to moving from Nest app/account to Google Home.

Once the change is live, there will be an “option to move Fitbit to your Google account,” while existing users will be able to continue using their non-Google Fitbit account “until at least early 2025.” But again, these users won’t be able to use any new devices or health features until they migrate.

Sometime in 2025, a “Google account will be required to use Fitbit.” More details to come next year:

We will be transparent with our customers about the Fitbit account termination timeline through notifications in the Fitbit app, by email, and in Help articles.

When switching account system/backends, Google will adhere to “binding commitments” it has made with global regulators to allow the acquisition to go through. This includes that “Fitbit users’ health and wellness data will not be used for Google Ads.”

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