Nike drops plans for Android Fuelband app, time for Jawbone and Fitbit to step up

Summary:Nike stated they would release an Android app all through last year, but now states they are only working on iOS development. Jawbone and Fitbit are working on Android sync apps, but so far no one has been successful.

Nike drops plans for Android Fuelband app, time for Jawbone and Fitbit to step up

I spent a lot of time last year with fitness trackers and found the Nike+ Fuelband to be a favorite due to the great design. When Nike launched the Fuelband they stated that an Android app was under development. A couple months later they told us it was coming in the summer of 2012. After the summer passed they again stated it was coming soon. As now reported, and confirmed by Nike, they are indeed NOT working on an Android app.

UPDATE: One of my Twitter followers, Robert Nelson, just informed me that a new update to the Fitbit app in the Play Store adds beta support for the GSIII and Note II. I just updated the app on my Note II and am taking it for a spin with my Fitbit One right now. Good job Fitbit, this work helps support my statement that the Fitbit One is THE life tracker to buy . I just posted a new article detailing the Android release.

Looking at the Jawbone UP and Fitbit One, neither of which has Android support for direct syncing either, it appears that there is some difficulty in developing the connectivity with Android. I read that Fitbit's Android client, they have one now that doesn't sync to the tracker directly, would likely be limited to the Galaxy S III and Note II at launch. This leads me to believe that the variety of Android devices running different versions of the OS may be causing the problem for these companies. With iOS, they can limit testing and development to just a couple devices with the assumption they all have the latest OS.

With Nike no longer a consideration for Android smartphone owners, it's up to Fitbit or Jawbone to step up to the plate and fill this gap. There is a huge potential client base here and I know they are both working on Android clients. Fitbit's upcoming Flex band product website clearly states that Android support is available for the Galaxy S III and Note II. The Flex is scheduled for release in the next couple of months so it's likely Fitbit will be the first to support Android. Jawbone stated they would have Android support with the first version of their UP, but that never came. I am wearing my blue UP again and hope they get Android support out sooner rather than later.

I no longer use my Fuelband, primarily because it doesn't give me enough information to be very useful. I also don't run with the Nike SportWatch because their Nike+ system is too closed off for me as I tend to occasionally run with other devices (MOTOACTV or smartphone) and there is no way to import data collected via other means to the Nike system.

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Topics: Mobility, Android, iOS, iPhone

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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