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

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.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Android, iOS, iPhone
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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

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7 comments
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  • Makes sense given fragmentation

    The expense and support for developing for the different screen sizes, phone capabilities, OS versions, etc of Android has to hurt.

    And then if you get a user trying to use a Junktacular handset you're in for a poor experience.

    Best bet for consistency is iOS.
    itguy10
    • android apps scale automatically for different sizes etc

      it's better if you can bug test on multiple devices obviously, but generally just testing a few devices should be sufficient.
      theoilman
      • Must be a new development

        As there were many that didn't scale when I had my Droid X.
        itguy10
      • The problem here seems to be Bluetooth.

        And it seems to be substantial since Nike completely gave up on Android and it appears Jawbone has as well, Even Fitbit is supporting only two specific, closely related, devices.
        matthew_maurice
  • Seriously

    If Nike wants to limit their device to just iphones, who cares. If they want to market to just one segment of society which are known to pay extra for brand name goods, let them. Their products are just as over priced as Apple's.
    mrdt
  • Just use another device!

    I think limiting their market isn't going to help them in the long wrong despite them creating exclusivity that customers like to be a part of. I think the way technology is moving, companies should look into mobile applications that can be used on every mobile device - this creates a bigger market and more customers. At Seamgen, our developers are skilled in creating iOS and Android apps but are also experts in building applications that can be opened on device. There will be more devices in the future similar to the FuelBand and Fitbit that will be able to service users on any platform. http://www.seamgen.com/mobile-software-development/
    JhelenRamirez
  • The Basis band should be syncing next month

    I've got the basis band from MyBasis.com. They announced that BT syncing and the Android app should be released in March.

    Plus, it's tracks a heck of a lot more biometrics than the others. (Heart rate, skin temp, skin perspiration)

    I love mine.
    technical.angel