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How to connect your Fitbit app to your Apple Watch

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Use the Strava app as a friendly intermediary

Apple Watch
Apple Watch
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Tech companies will usually do their best to keep customers from using their gear with a competing company’s software. Let’s face it, you’re probably not going to be using iMessage on an Android phone anytime soon. But sometimes, you can get around these limitations. If you recently acquired an Apple Watch but would like to use it with the Fitbit app, there is a way you can do that, even though the two companies’ ecosystems don’t acknowledge either other’s existence. It’s inconvenient and complicated, but it does work.

In this case, the Strava app acts as a friendly intermediary. Everybody talks to Strava and Strava returns the favor. So if you want to get your Apple data into Fitbit, it needs to run through Strava. Here’s how to proceed.

First, you have to install Strava. If you’re already using Strava, or you’ve read our article on how to sync popular fitness apps to your Apple watch, you can skip down to the next section.

  • Download the Strava app.
  • Create a Strava account. The app will immediately invite you to start recording your activity, but instead of rushing off to record, tap “Later” so you can set the app up. Here, you’ll be offered the opportunity to follow athletes, connect your Facebook account, and sync your contacts. You can also just skip the whole thing.
  • Next, you’ll see the “Getting Started” screen, where you’ll connect your Apple Watch.
  • Tap “Connect a GPS watch or computer” and you’ll see a long list of supported devices. Tap “Apple Watch.”
  • Get past an interstitial page, agree to a code of conduct, and allow access to health-related data. Tap “Finish.”

Now you can set up your Fitbit app so it will connect to your Apple Watch through Strava.

  • Log into your Fitbit app. Tap the “Account” target at the app’s upper left corner. Scroll down to the Discover section and tap on “Compatible Apps.”
  • Scroll to Strava and tap it.
  • Tap on the “Download” button (even though you’ve already set up Strava). The App Store will open to the Strava download page; tap “Open,” since you’ve already installed it.
  • Tap Fitbit from the list of devices that appears. (Note that the Apple Watch doesn’t appear on the list.) Then tap “Connect Fitbit.” Enter your Fitbit account information.

Strava is now a conduit between your Apple Watch and Fitbit, and data should be flowing in both directions.

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