So you’re the owner of a brand-new Fitbit Versa or Ionic smartwatch. Congratulations!
If you’ve never used a smartwatch before, you may be (understandably) overwhelmed. If you swipe left from the home screen, you’ll see that there are dozens of different things to click on: Spotify, Wallet, Weather, and more.
But those apps are only a fraction of what Fitbit has to offer. There are hundreds of third-party apps available for your smartwatch, which you can use to really make it your own. Fitness enthusiasts, for example, can download any number of apps tailored to their workout needs: Strava for runners, MySwimPro for swimmers, Mindbody for yoga, or FitStar for personal training. Meanwhile, smart home enthusiasts can load Alexa, Nest, and IFTTT; shoppers can compile their store membership cards; and travelers can set up Uber, Find My Car, and more.
A couple of things to note before we get into the process of downloading apps to your Fitbit.
First, Fitbit apps aren’t as fully fledged as Android and iOS apps are. For example, they usually can’t access Wi-Fi. Instead, they communicate via Bluetooth with a proxy version of the app on your phone. (Some apps, such as Starbucks and Uber, will require you to create an account and log in on your phone before you can use them on your watch.)
As a result, Fitbit apps can’t update if your phone isn’t nearby, and their interfaces are fairly bare-bones. They can still be very functional and handy, but don’t expect a full-featured experience.
Second, you can’t download apps onto your Fitbit directly. Instead, you download them through the Fitbit app on your phone. This may seem like a hassle at first, but it’s easy once you’ve gotten the hang of it.
The first thing you’ll need to do is download the Fitbit app to your phone and pair it to your smartwatch. To do that:
- Download the Fitbit app from the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, or Microsoft Store. You’ll be prompted to create a Fitbit account.
- In the Fitbit app, tap your profile icon in the top left corner, and select “Set Up a Device.” Follow the prompts from there; you should be paired in just a few minutes.
How to add apps to your Fitbit
Once your device is paired to your phone, you’re ready to download apps. To do that:
- Tap your profile icon in the top left corner of the app. Select your device.
- Hit “Apps” > “All Apps.” This will put you in Fitbit’s app store where you can browse the offerings.
- To install an app, tap its icon, and hit “Install.” You may need to agree to some permissions to proceed. (Quick caveat here: when Google purchased Fitbit last November, many users were spooked about the company’s potential uses of their personal health metrics. Google stated that it would not sell Fitbit customer data or use it to inform Google ads. However, if you’re concerned about privacy, it is worth reading through and considering the permissions each app is asking you for before you download.)
- Once your phone confirms that the app has downloaded, swipe all the way to the left from your smartwatch’s home screen. You should see that the new app has appeared.
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