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Google’s Big Change: No More Third-Party Apps on Fitbit in Europe.


In a surprising move, Google has announced that it will be getting rid of third-party apps and clock faces on Fitbit devices sold in the European Union (EU) by June 2024. This means that popular Fitbit models like the Sense 2, Versa 4, and Ionic won’t support these apps anymore. While Google hasn’t given a clear reason for this, they mention “new regulatory requirements” as the main cause.

Why Is This Happening?

Google hasn’t said exactly why they’re doing this, but here are some possible reasons:

  1. Digital Markets Act (DMA): This is a law in the EU that aims to make competition fairer in the digital world. Some think Google might be breaking this law by controlling what apps can be on Fitbit devices.
  2. Data Privacy: The EU has strict rules about how companies handle people’s data. Third-party apps might not follow these rules, so Google might be removing them to protect users’ privacy.
  3. Security: There might be problems with some third-party apps that could make Fitbit devices less safe. Google might be removing them to keep people’s information secure.

Fitbit SenseFitbit-Versa

Image Credit: Fitbit

What Does This Mean for Fitbit Users?

Removing third-party apps and clock faces will affect Fitbit users in these ways:

  1. Less Customization: People won’t be able to personalize their Fitbit watches as much without these apps. They won’t have as many options for tracking fitness, listening to music, or checking the weather.
  2. Less Innovation: Without third-party developers making new apps, there won’t be as many cool features added to Fitbit watches over time.
  3. Missing Features: Some people rely on specific apps for things like tracking workouts or checking their sleep. They’ll have to find other ways to do these things without the apps.

What Might Happen Next?

Here’s what we could see in the future:

  1. Upset Users: People might not be happy about losing features on their Fitbit watches, which could hurt sales.
  2. More Rules: Google might face more rules from the EU because of this decision.
  3. New Apps: Google might make their own apps for Fitbit devices instead of relying on third-party ones.
  4. Partnerships: Google might work with certain app makers to make a small number of approved apps that follow the rules.

What About Outside Europe?

Right now, this change only affects Fitbit devices in Europe. But it makes us wonder if Google will do the same thing in other places too.

We Need More Information

Google hasn’t explained very well why they’re doing this. It would be good for everyone if they were more clear about their reasons.

What’s Next for Fitbit?

This decision by Google is a big deal. It could make Fitbit watches less fun to use without third-party apps. But Google might be able to make new apps that are just as good. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but one thing is for sure: the choices made now will shape how Fitbit is used in the future.”

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