Fitbit adds support for GPS and heart rate data export; Surge now earns 9/10 rating

Fitbit is rolling out bike tracking and multi-tracker support soon. You can also export your data in TCX format and upload it to your favorite service, making the Fitbit Surge an even better mobile device.

(Image: Matthew Miller, CBSInteractive)

Back in November I stated that data accessibility is key to a successful activity tracking system and over the past couple of months selected Fitbit as my preferred ecosystem.

Yesterday, Fitbit announced GPS bike tracking and multi-tracker support. I now have a beta version of this software loaded on the Fitbit Surge and will be taking it out for a bike ride soon.

Fitbit Surge bike tracking is good news and has prompted me to grease my chain and add bike riding to my exercise regime. Even better, I just found out you can export your GPS data as a standard TCX file and back it up or upload it to another service, I prefer RunKeeper, where you may have a long history or network of friends.

Fitbit added this export capability just a couple months after launching the new Fitbit Surge and while I plan to keep using the Fitbit ecosystem to challenge and motivate friends, I will also be exporting my GPS data to RunKeeper where my running friends hang out. Data accessibility is important for those of us who run or ride while using GPS for record keeping and training programs.

Now that the Fitbit Surge has the ability to capture GPS and heart rate data while also tracking daily activity, including sleep, and providing the means to export and archive your GPS data, it is a solid GPS sportwatch available at a reasonable price.

If you enjoy listening to music while you run, you can also strap on or pack along your phone and control music playback from the Fitbit Surge. I don't mind strapping a phone in an armband, but can't stand trying to control music when it is secure and mounted in the band. The Fitbit Surge will let me control this music and I may have just found my new workout companion.

As I pointed out in my review, the Fitbit Surge also provides caller ID and text message notifications so you get a bit of basic smartwatch functionality with the Surge as well. It doesn't provide all the app support of an Apple Watch, but at least you can take it running or biking without a phone and capture GPS data.