Fitbit solved a giant annoyance with wearables; why will not Google or Apple comply with?


Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The bane of my existence as a techie is switching my major cellphone. I’ve to put aside a complete day to get issues completed correctly since I all the time do a clear set up — no backups or restores. I wouldn’t need to carry over any residual bug or situation from one system to a different and thus unfairly decide the brand new cellphone.

Between putting in apps, logging in and organising preferences, transferring WhatsApp, ensuring my Bluetooth headset and buds are paired, configuring any good residence gadget that requires geolocation or native management, and extra, there’s a lot to do… till I hit one remaining roadblock: my wearables.

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

There, Fitbit does issues proper. It permits me to pair my exercise tracker or watch to a brand new cellphone in a couple of minutes. 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 cellphone. Why?

How Fitbit handles pairing to a brand new cellphone

That is how issues go along with Fitbit. On my new cellphone, I open the Fitbit app and log into my account. My information is straight away seen there and my band — now an outdated and crushed Encourage HR — reveals up however is just not paired. I faucet its title and allow the Close by permission to let the app scan Bluetooth units. It finds my Fitbit, asks me to pair it, and after a few faucets, it’s all completed. The six screenshots above present the whole stream, which takes 5 minutes. At most.

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

My Encourage HR is now synced to my new cellphone and all the settings and information have carried via as a result of nothing has modified on the tracker itself. I don’t have to again up, reset, restore, or take some other further steps. It’s a quasi-seamless transition and it really works the identical manner for any Fitbit exercise tracker or smartwatch I’ve used.

So far as I can inform, Garmin handles issues comparatively equally to Fitbit save for one further step; you simply need to unpair your band or watch from the outdated cellphone first earlier than pairing it to the brand new one, however you don’t have to reset it.

How Samsung, Apple, and Google do it

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 next to Google Pixel 6a showing the restore process on the watch

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

With the Apple Watch or the newest Samsung Galaxy Watch fashions, this identical transition is far more tedious. I’ve to enter the watch’s app on my outdated cellphone and again up my information. Then I seize the watch, reset it, and sometimes have to undergo setup as if this was a model new smartwatch. After that, I can pair the watch with my new cellphone, undergo all of the menus there as nicely, and when issues are lastly settled, I can select to revive my backup.

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

All in all, I’ve to put aside anyplace between ten minutes and an hour to do that. One YouTuber mentioned the primary step of the restoring course of took 56 minutes on his Apple Watch. And as I’m scripting this, I’m going via it on my Galaxy Watch 4. It’s been caught at 33% of the watch face restore step for ten minutes and counting (see picture above); how lengthy it’ll keep there may be anybody’s guess. If it doesn’t work, I’ll need to reset the watch a second time and check out once more.

The entire course of is unnecessarily convoluted, time-consuming, and doubtlessly buggy. It feels just like the late ’90s or early ’00s when any Bluetooth gadget needed to be reset earlier than being paired to a brand new system. We’re twenty years previous that now.

It feels just like the early ’00s when any Bluetooth gadget needed to be reset earlier than pairing once more. We’re twenty years previous that.

And let’s not even point out different Put on OS watches. Google doesn’t embody a backup/restore course of by default in its platform, so watchmakers need to do it themselves. And lots of clearly don’t. Which has compelled me to arrange the whole lot — watch faces, apps, shortcuts, settings — from scratch on lots of my watches over the previous few years. (I do know there’s an ADB workaround to pair with out resetting, nevertheless it typically results in points down the road.)

Will the Pixel Watch repair this?

New Google Hardware Pixel 7 Pro Pixel Watch

We have now so many questions on the upcoming Google Pixel Watch, and that is one in every of them: How will Google’s new smartwatch deal with the transition between telephones? Will Google borrow Fitbit’s seamless method? In spite of everything, it owns Fitbit now, in order that wouldn’t be a lot of a stretch. Or will it stick to 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 (practically) grasp the artwork of backups and restores on Android telephones. It’d as nicely take one other decade to do it proper for different product classes.

Would you like the Pixel Watch to seamlessly transition and pair to your new cellphone?

50 votes

I suppose I’m additionally inquisitive about the way forward for Google’s ecosystem. We all know that producers must construct their very own apps for Put on OS 3.0 watches as a result of the replace is just not appropriate with the present one-size-fits-all Put on OS app. So some makers would possibly determine to implement a quick and easy transition to new telephones whereas others don’t. Solely time will inform.



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