The Fitbit Charge 5 launched yesterday, and Google has promised that the smartwatch and fitness tracker will be soon based on Google’s Wear OS, however that hasn’t happened yet. Fitbit may soon only support Android devices. This could restrict it to Android devices only, leaving the iPhone and Huawei behind. The CEO of Fitbit said that “We’ll be building premium smartwatches based on Wear OS that combines the best of Fitbit’s health and wellness expertise with Google’s ambient computing capabilities”.
Many Apple users use Fitbit’s devices to track their activities and check their health. Still, a lot of people have switched to Apple’s own Apple Watches as it offers much better integration into the whole ecosystem than Fitbit.
While Fitbit’s Versa and Sense lineup are categorized as “smartwatches,” they’re actually not as smart as other smartwatches. They lack a lot of functionality and integration – they’re essentially smartwatch-like fitness trackers.
Samsung announced its new Wear OS devices just a few weeks ago – the Galaxy Watch 4 series. The new smartwatches’ operating system was built in collaboration with Google. It showed what is possible when the two big software giants work together to make the OS more competitive. This, however, also meant that the new Galaxy Watch 4 watches wouldn’t work with iPhones and Huawei devices, and we wrote an article explaining why.
Anyhow, since Google now owns Fitbit, they seem to want to offer more tight integration of the whole ecosystem and apply some techniques to lock it down, although not fully. It’s clear that the new Wear OS versions will directly compete with watchOS. When Fitbit fully switches to Wear OS, it will likely only work with Android devices that support the Google Mobile Services (GMS) by default, so that’ll also mean that the likes of Huawei will be restricted and not allowed.
Apple used the lightning port for the majority of the Beats headphones after it bought the company, and it only offered the unique pairing features to work with iPhones. However, the company seems to want to switch and cater to both iUsers and Android users, including a USB-C port on its latest Beats Studio Buds earbuds.
It’s unclear how all of this will pan out, but we can see that Google is trying its best to convince Android users that its platform is better. It will try to prevent users from moving away, even if it could potentially hurt its sales, and help the competitors be slightly more popular amongst their own audience.