Fitbit, the Google portfolio company that makes wearable products for tracking sports activities, has announced that it will soon force customers to opt out of its accounts. In place of the standard login will come login with a Google account, finally unifying the company’s services and hardware products under one umbrella. Of course, the transition will happen gradually.
Google bought Fitbit a few years ago, but the wearables maker still operates fairly independently
For starters, those already using Fitbit products won’t have to do anything. They will be able to continue using their products through their normal Fitbit account. These accounts will remain active until at least 2025, so there’s no rush to move to integrated accounts with Google. However, all Fitbit account users will have the option to migrate to Google accounts on demand in the meantime.
Those who won’t have a choice, however, are new customers who will be buying the company’s smartwatches and fitness bands. They will no longer have the option to sign up for a new Fitbit account, requiring them to either register a new Google account or log in with their existing one.
The advantages to switching to a single account are especially important on the security side, with Google having much more advanced protection for its customers’ accounts. Furthermore, all privacy and personal data sharing settings, including those related to sports activity, will be manageable from one place.
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Interestingly, however, Google is choosing to integrate only Fitbit user accounts for now, but not the company’s hardware. Fitbit remains a fairly independent entity, releasing the same products like the Versa or Sense watches based on Fitbit’s proprietary operating system. This decision is odd to say the least, especially given that Google produces WearOS, one of the most advanced operating systems for devices of its kind, and is soon to launch the Pixel Watch, a Google smartwatch that will compete in the market with Fitbit models.
Perhaps the account migration is just the first step, and in time, all Google Watches, whether from the Pixel or Fitbit range, will have more in common than the fact that money from customers of both brands is being paid into the same accounts.