As a lot of you are aware from the heavy comment traffic on our last post, we’re doing a quick beta test to stamp out the last few remaining bugs.
Here’s where things stand
Fitbit firmware and desktop sync software. This is the software running on the Fitbit itself and the desktop software which uploads data from your Fitbit to our website. There’s 1 nasty firmware bug remaining and a bunch of lesser ones. We’ve selected 10 people to receive hardware to help us stamp this one out.
Earlier today, I think we came up with the fix for the nasty bug. The greater number of testers will help us get some better confidence that the issue is solved, but we probably to have these units running for at least a week, since we’ve found that it can take up to a week for the bug to come up. Sometimes, it will pop up within hours, but other times it can take a while. For instance, I currently wear about 5 Fitbits simultaneously and the bug only hit hit 1 of them after 6 days of use.
Also, the Mac desktop software needs a lot more banging. There’s only a few macs in our company, so it’s not gotten the coverage that the Windows version has. And hopefully, no one finds another major issue. Anyways, we’ll be Fedex’ing Fitbits to our hardware testers on Wednesday and I will probably add 2-3 more people who own Macs to test the hardware as well.
Again, these are free units you’ll be receiving. No need to return them (unless you manage to break it in a novel way, in which case our engineers will want them back to look at it; but you’ll get another test unit) and you’ll receive your actual Fitbit later.
Fitbit website. We’re also opening the website to testers. I didn’t want to state a date before we got all our production servers up and running. Now, we’re pretty close to finishing that task and so we’ll be opening up the site to 25-50 beta testers on Thursday morning 10am PDT. I’m just going through the previous commenters in sequential order and selecting people, while also making sure there’s a good selection of Mac users in there. I’ll be emailing site testers Wed night and if I can’t find your email, I’ll post a comment. I *think* we’ll gradually add more people over the week, but I’m not sure, yet. In any, case, I know a lot of you are eager to help us out, but I think we should be all set for now based on the existing commenters. We think the site is pretty stable, aside from minor bugs and known usability issues that we are addressing, but testers will help us shake out any last minute issues.
Some people have been curious about the stated specs and how the actual hardware is performing. Battery-wise, things look pretty good…between 5-10 days depending on your usage pattern. If you compulsively turn on the display 50 times an hour all day, then it’s going to be around 5 days, otherwise, it’s closer to 10. Wireless performance looks pretty good. While we stated 25-50 feet originally, we’ve found that the device can connect at that range, but to transfer large amounts of data, like 7 days worth of minute by minute data, you actually have to be a bit closer, like 15-20 feet with clear line of sight. That said, every time I sit at my desk, it auto-connects to the base and transfers pretty much immediately. It’s pretty cool. I have a hard time trying to prevent it from auto-syncing when I sit down.