At the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year it was clear Microsoft had a problem: exciting new hardware like Pebble, Nest, and various fitness bands were not fully supported on Windows. Companies appeared to be ignoring Microsoft’s platforms in favor of iOS and Android. Thanks to Windows Phone 8.1, that might be about to change. Bluetooth support is greatly improved with the 8.1 update, and Fitbit is the first to take advantage of it with a new mobile syncing app for Windows Phone 8.1.
Fitbit’s Windows Phone 8.1 app will be available in the Store today, and just like its iOS and Android counterparts it will automatically sync Fitbit activity wirelessly. The app has real-time and historical data, with graphs and progress tracking. You can also log more than 350,000 different foods to keep count of more than just activity. The introduction of a Windows Phone app now means Fitbit supports nearly 100 mobile devices, with 72 Android, 9 iOS, and 17 Windows devices. You'll need both Windows Phone 8.1 and the Lumia Cyan update to use the Fitbit app fully, but both are rolling out to devices at the moment.
The Windows Phone app gap continues to close
Fitbit’s app follows the launch of Uber for Windows Phone, another high-profile release that helps close the app gap between Windows Phone and iOS or Android. Microsoft has largely struggled to close the gap convincingly, with some popular apps arriving without the same features found on iOS and Android. While the app gap is closing more and more, Microsoft faces a new challenge of ensuring apps are regularly updated and keep pace with iOS and Android. Either way, Fitbit’s launch on Windows Phone could be a sign that the improved Bluetooth support may tempt other fitness band manufacturers to create apps for Microsoft’s mobile platform. Until others launch similar apps, Fitbit is currently the best choice for those interested in using a fitness band on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.