Fitbit solved a big annoyance with wearables; why won’t Google or Apple follow?


Jimmy Westenberg /

The bane of my lifestyles as a techie is switching my number one telephone. I’ve to put aside a whole day to get issues finished correctly since I at all times do a blank set up — no backups or restores. I wouldn’t need to elevate over any residual worm or factor from one software to any other and thus unfairly pass judgement on the brand new telephone.

Between putting in apps, logging in and putting in personal tastes, (*10*)moving WhatsApp, ensuring my Bluetooth headset and buds are paired, configuring any (*15*)sensible house device that calls for geolocation or native keep an eye on, and extra, there’s such a lot to do… till I hit one ultimate roadblock: my wearables.

Switching to a brand new telephone is already time-consuming, earlier than you issue within the annoyance of re-pairing your smartwatch or tracker.

There, Fitbit does issues proper. It lets in me to pair my job tracker or watch to a brand new telephone in a couple of mins. Samsung, Google (and all Put on OS watches), and Apple don’t. They require me to wipe my smartwatch earlier than pairing it with a brand new telephone. Why?

How Fitbit handles pairing to a brand new telephone

That is how issues move with Fitbit. On my new telephone, I open the Fitbit app and log into my account. My knowledge is right away visual there and my band — now an previous and crushed Encourage HR — displays up however isn’t paired. I faucet its title and allow the Within reach permission to let the app scan Bluetooth gadgets. It reveals my Fitbit, asks me to pair it, and after a few faucets, it’s all finished. The six screenshots above display all the drift, which takes five mins. At maximum.

Fitbit provides a unbroken transition between telephones. No backups, resets, or restores.

My Encourage HR is now synced to my new telephone and all the settings and knowledge have carried via as a result of not anything has modified at the tracker itself. I don’t wish to again up, reset, repair, or take some other further steps. It’s a quasi-seamless transition and it really works the similar approach for any Fitbit job tracker or smartwatch I’ve used.

So far as I will inform, Garmin handles issues rather in a similar way to Fitbit save for one further step; you simply need to unpair your band or watch from the previous telephone first earlier than pairing it to the brand new one, however you don’t wish to reset it.

How Samsung, Apple, and Google do it


Rita El Khoury /

With the Apple Watch or the latest (*13*)Samsung Galaxy Watch fashions, this identical transition is far more tedious. I’ve to enter the watch’s app on my previous telephone and again up my knowledge. Then I grasp the watch, reset it, and regularly wish to undergo setup as though this used to be a brand spanking new smartwatch. After that, I will pair the watch with my new telephone, undergo the entire menus there as neatly, and when issues are after all settled, I will select to revive my backup.

Shifting a Galaxy Watch, Apple Watch, or any Put on OS watch to a brand new telephone is convoluted and an utter waste of time.

All in all, I’ve to put aside any place between ten mins and an hour to try this. One YouTuber mentioned the primary step of the restoring procedure (*9*)took 56 mins on his Apple Watch. And as I’m penning this, I’m going via it on my (*11*)Galaxy Watch 4. It’s been caught at 33% of the watch face repair step for ten mins and counting (see symbol above); how lengthy it’ll keep there may be someone’s bet. If it doesn’t paintings, I’ll need to reset the watch a 2nd time and take a look at once more.

The entire procedure is unnecessarily convoluted, time-consuming, and doubtlessly buggy. It feels just like the overdue ’90s or early ’00s when any Bluetooth device needed to be reset earlier than being paired to a brand new software. We’re two a long time previous that now.

It feels just like the early ’00s when any Bluetooth device needed to be reset earlier than pairing once more. We are two a long time previous that.

And let’s no longer even point out different Put on OS watches. Google doesn’t come with a backup/repair procedure via default in its platform, so watchmakers need to do it themselves. And plenty of clearly don’t. Which has compelled me to arrange the whole thing — watch faces, apps, shortcuts, settings — from scratch on a lot of my watches over the previous couple of years. (I do know there’s an (*8*)ADB workaround to pair with out resetting, but it surely regularly ends up in problems down the road.)

Will the Pixel Watch repair this?


We’ve such a lot of questions in regards to the upcoming (*14*)Google Pixel Watch, and that is one of them: How will Google’s new smartwatch maintain the transition between telephones? Will Google borrow Fitbit’s seamless method? In any case, it owns Fitbit now, in order that wouldn’t be a lot of a stretch. Or will it keep on with its tried-and-true “simply set it up from scratch” method? Once more, it’s Google we’re speaking about, and the corporate took a decade to (just about) grasp the artwork of backups and restores on Android telephones. It would as neatly take any other decade to do it proper for different product classes.

Do you wish to have the Pixel Watch to seamlessly transition and pair in your new telephone?

34 votes

I assume I’m additionally serious about the way forward for Google’s ecosystem. We all know that producers should construct their very own apps for Put on OS 3.0 watches for the reason that replace isn’t appropriate with the prevailing one-size-fits-all Put on OS app. So some makers would possibly make a decision to put in force a quick and easy transition to new telephones whilst others don’t. Best time will inform.