Today was a busy day for San Francisco based Fitbit. The company announced three new fitness activity trackers – the Charge, Charge HR and Surge – all of which will be their next generation of activity trackers. All three look really impressive and will offer different levels of tracking based on your needs as a user and all three have multiple days of activity between charges which, particularly in the case of the Smartwatch-esque Surge, is important.
Along with this was the announcement from Fitbit and Microsoft of the new Windows Phone app which I highlighted earlier in a post. That update brings a lot of improvements and enhancements, particularly around SensorCore and Cortana support. It is the first one of those that is interesting in light of the recent decisions that Fitbit has made around iOS. It also makes me think that Fitbit is making a bet that Windows Phone, as a platform, is going to take off.
Let me lay a little bit of foundation for those who haven’t kept up with the state of affairs in iOS from Apple. With the release of iOS 8, Apple introduced Health Kit, an aggregation app if you will that allows you to pull information from the M7/8 motion processor built into the iPhone 5s/6/6 Plus. It also allows for integration of information from 3rd party apps such as MyFitnessPal and Jawbone’s Up. It’s this last part that is interesting as Fitbit stated multiple times in their user forums that they have no plans to integrate into Health Kit. Why is that interesting? Because during the keynote introducing Health Kit, Fitbit was the first shown. It seemed, by association, that Fitbit would be tied to Health Kit. In fact, the link to the user forums above were updated on October 8th with additional confirmation Health Kit integration, for now, won’t be happening.
So that makes the integration with Windows Phone and SensorCore very interesting because it effectively is saying no to iOS and yes to Windows Phone.