Fitbit users: amended one-up your friends successful challenges while you still can. Starting March 27th, Fitbit will region each adventures, challenges, and unfastened groups from its app.
It’s a striking move. Before 2019’s Google acquisition (and closure successful 2021), Fitbit often touted its organization and societal features arsenic a awesome strength. Its challenges — competitions betwixt Fitbit users — person been portion of Fitbit’s level for complete 10 years and copied by astir each different smartwatch and fitness-tracking platform. Adventures were introduced later arsenic a type of immersive challenge, wherever users could return virtual tours of places for illustration Yosemite National Park while hitting measurement goals. Meanwhile, unfastened groups are precisely arsenic they sound: groups wherever anyone tin subordinate astir a communal interest. Many person respective 100 1000 aliases moreover millions of members.
After March 27th, however, users will only beryllium capable to create backstage closed groups pinch friends. To link pinch different users, they’ll person to do truthful connected Fitbit’s Health & Wellness forums. Meanwhile, immoderate trophies earned will besides nary longer beryllium available. Instead, members will person to interact pinch friends via nan Leaderboard and Community Feed posts successful nan app. Users will person until March 27th to download their data.
For developers, Fitbit is besides removing Fitbit Studio successful favour of its command-line package improvement kit (SDK). Fitbit Studio was for developers who wanted to create clockfaces, arsenic good arsenic third-party apps for nan platform.
The move is purportedly portion of a larger scheme to amended merge Google’s tech. In an email to The Verge, Fitbit said these features were of “limited use.” In nan lawsuit of nan SDK, it makes consciousness arsenic Google has been pushing its WearOS 3 platform, and third-party apps were removed from Fitbit’s latest Versa 4 and Sense 2 smartwatches. If, however, nan organization features were genuinely “limited use,” that’s a troubling motion regarding Fitbit’s personification base.
“Fitbit recovered that these prime features had a constricted number of progressive users compared to different offerings, but are incapable to corroborate circumstantial numbers astatine this time,” Nicol Addison, caput of communications astatine Fitbit and Nest, told The Verge in an email.
Last week, nan Fitbit app suffered a multiday server outage that near users unable to sync their data. But while nan timing of this news is curious, Addison says that nan determination to region older Fitbit features is “unrelated to immoderate caller server outage.”