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'Fitbit' Articles

First Renders of Upcoming Google Smartwatches Emerge Online

Last week, we reported that Google is said to be working on its own branded pair of smartwatches, in a break from its traditional reliance on third-party manufacturers to come up with the hardware for its Android Wear OS. Given the continuing interest in rival smartwatches of the round-faced variety, some readers may be interested in the latest renders showing what Google's upcoming pair of wearables could look like. The image above published by Android Police, the site of the original leak, is described as an accurate "recreated image" of primary source material, used to preserve the anonymity of the source. The site also warns that the devices are still under development and therefore may ultimately differ from the design shown. With those caveats in mind, the larger watch render on the left is based on the 43.5mm "Angelfish", which is said to feature a heart-rate monitor, GPS, and LTE cellular connectivity for standalone use. The watch has three buttons, where third-party Android Wear devices typically have one, suggesting possible Google Assistant integration with contextual alerts. According to the report, the Angelfish will not be compatible with Android Wear Mode watch bands. The smaller 42mm device, codenamed "Swordfish", offers just the one crown button and is thought to lack the HRM, GPS and LTE smarts of the larger watch, but will be compatible with Android Wear Mode watch bands. The report states that Google avoided Motorola's flat-tyre design issue by adding a thick bezel between the display and ring, making the screen much smaller. Both displays

Fitbit's New 'Sleep Schedule' Combines 'Bedtime' in iOS 10 With Sleep Tracking

Fitbit today announced a new featured called "Sleep Schedule" as an update to its existing iOS and Android apps, aimed at guiding users into an overall more healthy lifestyle through the introduction of consistent sleep patterns. Users who wear their Fitbit devices to bed will gain increased insight into their sleeping schedules, as well as personalized sleep goals and reminders that are all aimed at encouraging a consistent bedtime every night. Interestingly, Fitbit's new Sleep Schedule appears largely similar to the new "Bedtime" tab in iOS 10. Beta testers have commented on Bedtime's disappointing sleep tracking functionality -- which lacks Fitbit's motion-sensing nighttime wearable technology -- but other aspects of the new Fitbit update fall largely in line with Apple's first party Clock app. These include a sleep goal, bedtime and wakeup time alarm, sleep history chart (although more rudimentary on Apple's part), and push notifications to remind users when it's time for bed. Still, for Fitbit fans, the new "Sleep dashboard" will be designed with a user's personal sleep data in mind, and adjusted to fit their specific needs. The app will now recommend a sleep goal, give you an ideal bedtime and wakeup target to get you on schedule, and send out push notifications to make sure you don't deviate from the plan. Fitbit hopes the new sleep tools help its users rest up and recharge to better take advantage of the workout and activity features Fitbit provides during waking hours. “What’s great about the new Fitbit Sleep Schedule feature is that it looks at your

Fitbit Continues to Outpace Apple Watch in Broader Wearables Market

The latest data from market research firm IDC reveals that the Apple Watch remained the most popular smartwatch in the first quarter, with an estimated 1.5 million sales and 46 percent market share through the first three months of 2016. Meanwhile, basic wearables unsurprisingly continue to outpace smartwatches. Samsung was the closest threat to Apple Watch among smartwatches in the quarter, with an estimated 700,000 sales and 20.9 percent market share, followed by Motorola, Huawei, and Garmin with estimated 400,000, 200,000, and 100,000 shipments respectively for a combined 18.6 percent market share. Apple finished third in the overall wearables market with 7.5 percent market share, behind lower-price fitness tracker vendors Fitbit and Xiaomi. Fitbit commanded a leading 24.5 percent market share off an estimated 4.8 million shipments, while Xiaomi had 3.7 million shipments for 19 percent market share. Apple does not disclose Watch sales in its quarterly earning results, instead grouping the device under its Other Products category alongside iPods, Apple TVs, Beats Electronics, and accessories. IDC and Strategy Analytics estimates place total Apple Watch sales at nearly 16 million from April 2015 through March 2016.Fitbit began 2016 the same way it finished 2015: as the undisputed leader in the wearables market. The launch of its new Alta and Blaze devices resulted in million unit shipment volumes for each, pointing to a new chapter of fashion-oriented fitness trackers. It also points to significant declines for its previously successful Surge, Charge, Charge

Fitness Bands Continue to Outsell Smartwatches in Wearable Market

Three out of four wearable devices worn by U.S. consumers are fitness bands, over half of which are made by Fitbit, according to new statistics released today. According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech’s wearable tech report 2016, more than one in ten consumers in the U.S. own a wearable device (12.2 percent of survey respondents), yet despite smartwatch vendors like Apple promoting advanced features over and above health and fitness capabilities, fitness bands are showing no signs of wavering popularity. "For both smartwatch and fitness band buyers – brand, ease of use, and functionality are the top drivers of purchase, outweighing both design and cost," said Shannon Conway, wearable tech analyst for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. "Fitbit established itself as an early market leader, capturing 61.7 percent of the U.S. installed base by communicating a clear and simple value proposition to consumers." By contrast, Apple accounts for only 6.8 percent of the total number of fitness bands and smartwatches owned in the US. In the two months ending with March 2016, Fitbit claimed more than 50 percent of wearable purchases with the sales period only partially covering its newest releases, the Blaze and the Alta. Apple and Garmin trailed in second and third, respectively. In the same period, Fitbit's Flex continued to be one of the top-selling models among fitness bands and smartwatches combined, behind the Fitbit Charge and Charge HR. Overall sales of wrist-worn wearables were driven largely by online purchases (63 percent) and particularly through Amazon.com, which

iPhone 4s Inspired Fitbit to Redesign Fitness Trackers With Bluetooth 4.0 Support in 2011

In a wider piece on Fitbit and its efforts to escape from the shadow of Apple, The New York Times shared an interesting anecdote about the way the iPhone 4s influenced the features in Fitbit's line of fitness trackers back when it debuted in 2011. The iPhone 4s was the first iPhone to include support for Bluetooth 4.0 to allow accessories to connect to the device, and following the introduction of the new phone, Fitbit CEO James Park decided to re-engineer Fitbit products to support Bluetooth. It was a decision that set Fitbit's product releases back by six months. When Phil Schiller introduced the iPhone 4S in 2011, for example, Mr. Park had a realization. At the time, the new iPhone added a capability to synchronize with wireless accessories using the standard called Bluetooth. Fitbit trackers back then lacked Bluetooth connectivity, but Mr. Park wanted them to be able to synchronize data immediately with the iPhone. "It could enable a lot of possibilities in terms of real-time feedback," he said.Announced in 2012, the Fitbit One and the Fitbit Zip became the first Fitbit devices to support Bluetooth 4.0, syncing data like steps tracked, distance, floors climbed, calories expended, and sleep quality to iOS and Android phones. According to The New York Times, the two devices were highly successful. Since then, Park says Fitbit has made an effort to stray away from Apple's approach to product design, focusing on simple devices to make wearables more approachable."We look at it from a consumer point of view," Mr. Park said. Apple Watch "is a computing

Fitbit Announces New 'Alta' Wearable With Apple Watch-Like Move Reminders

Fitbit today announced the "Fitbit Alta," a new device in its fitness-focused wearable lineup that the company aims to be the intersection between personalized style and in-depth activity tracking. As with all Fitbits, the Alta will track a user's daily activities, exercise, and sleep, but now the band includes "Reminders to Move," which will push notifications to the wrist when you've been stationary for an extended period, similar to the Apple Watch's standing notifications. Thanks to Reminders to Move, the Alta will keep users active by encouraging the completion of a "mini step goal" of 250 steps every hour, or about 2-3 minutes of walking time. Additionally, the new band automatically tracks workouts without needing to tell the Alta when one has begun or ended, and all of your activity data syncs to the companion Fitbit app to keep watch over daily and weekly exercise goals. Fitbit's new wearable also has a few band accessories to choose from, including a $29.95 Classic Band, $59.95 Leather Band, and $99.95 Metal Bracelet. Each band surrounds the Alta's OLED display, which lets users tap through succinct readouts of their daily calorie burn, sleep stats, and recent notifications. The screen can also be customized with unique clock faces, similar to the company's "Blaze" activity tracker, which it announced last month. The Classic Band (left), Leather Band (middle), and Metal Bracelet (right) The Alta will be able to support call, text, and calendar notifications through vibrating alerts, and should last up to 5 days on one battery life, according to

Fitbit Announces New $200 Smart Wearable 'Blaze' With Touchscreen Display

During CES this year, wearable manufacturer Fitbit is showing off the newest addition to its lineup of fitness-focused devices with the $199.95 "Fitbit Blaze". The new product is the first Fitbit with a full color LCD display that includes a touchscreen for users to interact with various activity tracking features and notifications. Similar to the Apple Watch, the Blaze lets users pop out the case and alternate between different bands and styles for a more customized experience. But, in line with the company's other products, the Blaze has an activity and exercise focus with no other third-party apps available on the device. The wearable will be able to track daily sleep, exercises, steps, and calories burnt, and also includes FitStar workouts that guide users through regimens with step-by-step instructions. All collected data from the Blaze will be able to be shared onto an iOS, Android and Windows Phone device, as the company's previous products have allowed. The activity tracker will automatically begin detecting when its wearer is beginning activities like running or playing sports thanks to Fitbit's "SmartTrack" feature, taking some of the hassle out of gathering exercise data for Fitbit customers. The Blaze doesn't have GPS (although it can pull data from a connected smartphone), but includes a heart rate sensor and music controls. Fitbit says the device will give its users access to the traditional notification settings seen in most smart wearables nowadays, including calls, texts, and calendar alerts on the brand new touchsreen display. The company

Apple Watch Sales Estimated at 3.9 Million in Third Quarter

The latest data from market research firm IDC estimates Apple Watch sales totaled 3.9 million worldwide in the third quarter of 2015, making it the second most popular wearable device behind Fitbit fitness trackers during the three-month period ending September 30. Apple posted a slight increase from the previous quarter, mostly the result of additional markets and channels coming on line. End-user attention has been going toward its entry-level and least expensive Sport line, to which Apple responded by introducing gold and rose gold models. In addition, Apple released watchOS 2, bringing native third-party applications to the device.Fitbit shipped an estimated 4.7 million fitness trackers for 22.2% market share in the third quarter, compared to Apple's estimated 18.6% market share. Apple Watch shipments grew over IDC's second quarter estimate of 3.6 million, but both Apple and Fitbit ceded some market share to Xiaomi and other vendors. Chinese rival Xiaomi remained in third place with an estimated 3.7 million wearables shipped in the quarter, representing 17.4% market share. Garmin and BBK rounded off the top five with 900,000 (4.1%) and 700,000 (3.1%) wearables shipped respectively, while all other vendors accounted for a combined 7.3 million shipments and 34.6% market share. IDC estimates that wearable shipments totaled 21 million worldwide in the third quarter, growth of 197.6% compared to the 7.1 million units shipped in the year-ago quarter. IDC said the average smartwatch price was around $400, while basic bands and trackers averaged $94. China continues

IDC Estimates Apple Watch Sales Totaled 3.6 Million in Second Quarter

The latest data from market research firm IDC estimates Apple Watch sales totaled 3.6 million worldwide in the second quarter of 2015, making it the second most popular wearable device during the three-month period ending June 30. Apple was within striking distance of market leader Fitbit, which sold an estimated 4.4 million fitness trackers in the second quarter. IDC estimates that Chinese electronics maker Xiaomi trailed in third place with 3.1 million wearables shipped in the quarter, representing 17.1% market share. Garmin and Samsung rounded off the top five with 700,000 (3.9%) and 600,000 (3.3%) wearables shipped respectively, while all other vendors accounted for a combined 5.7 million shipments and 31.5% market share. Last month, Strategy Analytics estimated 4 million Apple Watch sales in the second quarter, so IDC's estimate is within close range. Apple has not disclosed Apple Watch sales numbers since it launched in April, instead grouping the wrist-worn device with iPod, Apple TV and Beats Electronics accessories under an "Other Products" category in quarterly earnings reports. Apple CEO Tim Cook vaguely mentioned that Apple Watch sales have "exceeded expectations" during an earnings call last

Fitbit Adds Multi-Device Support and Extensive Bike-Tracking Analytics

Fitbit today announced a two-pronged update to its popular line of fitness trackers, adding support for in-depth bike-tracking on the Fitbit Surge and allowing users to easily switch between multiple Fitbit models with "Multi-Tracker Support." The company says the added support will grant customers more ease-of-use in switching amongst Fitbit devices throughout the day, or week, allowing them to choose "the right tracker for any occasion." The update lets any one user pair up to six Fitbit trackers - the maximum amount of Fitbit variants on the market - to their Fitbit account. After the initial pairing stage, Fitbit will automatically notice when a user switches trackers without needing to enter the Fitbit app. The company notes that as a user transitions amongst trackers throughout the day, for example wearing a "Fitbit One to work, Fitbit Surge for a run, or Tory Burch for Fitbit for a night on the town," the Fitbit app never pauses or hiccups in curating the usual array of steps and calories burnt as a single statistic across every device. Also announced today is an update specifically to Fitbit Surge, using GPS and "other advanced sensors" to provide a comprehensive overview of various bike riding statistics, including: distance, duration, average speed, heart rate, and calories burned. Already the beefiest Fitbit, with a 7-day battery life and on-board GPS tracking sensors, the company hopes to broaden its fitness-friendly device with the new cycling-specific features. “Our users are passionate about fitness and have consistently requested a way to