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THE FITBIT BLOG

Get Cooking with Fitbit and IFTTT for a Chance to Win!

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fitbit-IFTTT

Ever want a little nudge if you haven’t hit your steps goal, like an SMS reminder? Or perhaps you’d like your Fitbit stats logged in a Google spreadsheet?

Well, now you can!

Just activate the Fitbit Channel on IFTTT (If This Then That).

IFTTT is a service that lets you create “if this then that” connections, called “Recipes,” to automate interaction between over one hundred applications, called “Channels,” including Facebook, Twitter, SMS, Box, Gmail and, now Fitbit.

After activating the Fitbit Channel, you can create your own Recipes by setting “Triggers” to initiate “Actions” on other applications.

Here are a couple examples to get you thinking:

IFTTT Recipe: If daily step goal not met by 3 PM, then send me an SMS connects fitbit to sms

IFTTT Recipe: Warn friends if I haven't slept well connects fitbit to twitter

We’re even having Fitbit Recipe sweepstakes!

Here’s how to enter:

Create a Fitbit Recipe, then go here and submit your recipe, we’ll send one random winner a suite of Fitbit products, plus five runners-up will each score one Fitbit Flex!

Don’t have a Fitbit? No sweat, just submit the requested contact details on the link above and click through to enter!

The sweepstakes will run until June 30th, so get cooking!

(No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Open to US residents only. Entrants must be 18 years of age or older. See the official rules here)

 

Introducing Fitbit MobileTrack

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mobiletrack[2]

If you have an iPhone 5s and the latest Fitbit app, you’re ready to experience Fitbit MobileTrack. With just an iPhone 5s, you can now track basic health and fitness activity including steps taken, distance traveled and calories burned.

Here’s how it works. MobileTrack taps into the iPhone 5s M7 coprocessor, letting you track your daily activity and see your fitness trends right on your smartphone: steps taken, distance traveled, and calories burned. With an iPhone 5s, download the latest version of the free Fitbit app and you’re ready to go!

In addition to basic activity, you can also log food and weight directly on the app, set goals, see progress and use easy-to-read charts and graphs to view activity trends and get more active. You get the same in-app social and motivational features as Fitbit trackers, including friendly competition with friend-to-friend messaging and community leaderboards. And MobileTrack increases the base of current Fitbit users, so you can invite even more friends and family to help reach their health and fitness goals!

With MobileTrack and an iPhone 5s, you get an introductory experience to fitness tracking. Take it to the next level with a Fitbit tracker to get the 24/7 benefits of Fitbit activity and sleep-tracking when your phone is not on you.

The latest Fitbit app with MobileTrack is now available for free download in the App Store, and will be coming soon for use with select Android devices.

Android Update: Fitbit Now Syncs to the Galaxy S4

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GalaxyS4highresWe’re happy to announce that we now support Bluetooth 4.0 syncing to the Samsung Galaxy S4! Our team has been working hard to make this a reality after the recent release of the S4. Many of our users have already been requesting we try and work with this phone, and we’re excited to add it to our supported devices.

Every new phone we add Bluetooth 4.0 sync support for requires custom development. While many of the new phones coming out have Bluetooth 4.0 hardware, many of them don’t have the necessary software for third party apps (like ours) to access this hardware. Google recently announced that they will be standardizing support for Bluetooth 4.0 in an upcoming Android OS, which will allow us to sync to Android phones with Bluetooth 4.0 more easily in the future. We’re continuing to work with phone manufacturers and  with Google to try and get sync support for additional devices.

You can learn more about the Fitbit Android device support from our original Android blog post.

 

Hack Night at Fitbit

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Each month all San Francisco Fitbit employees are invited to join in a hack night project. This casual event is an opportunity for employees to tinker and participate in various fun projects. The first few hack nights focused on learning to solder using various kits from Adafruit and Sparkfun — some favorites were TV-B-Gone, MiniPOV and Electronic Dice. In another other hack night we added physical feedback to our automated build system. In the case of a failed build a robot voice speaks the engineer’s name and blinky lights are fired off.

Our most recent project was a pair of office thermometers that graph real-time temperature readings using an online data graphing service called Cosm. Indoor office temperature tends to fluctuate throughout the day. Many employees are quite vocal (even dramatic) about their temperature experience, “My blood is boiling, I’m a goner for sure” or “Brrrr, I can’t type, I’m shivering too much”. Temperatures In the mid 70s °F seem to please the most people most of the time.

To get a bit of objectivity on the temperature discussion we decided to provide a reference for each of our two San Francisco locations by having real-time temperature readings posted to a place everyone can see, a web page. If you’re interested in trying something like this yourself, just keep reading.

Sample of the temperature data graphs

Geek alert: the rest of the article gets more into the nitty gritty details of this project.

The project parts list:

  • Analog Temperature sensor (TMP36)
  • Electric Imp + April prototyping board
  • USB cable A/MiniB (you probably have this)
  • Breadboard

note: all parts available from adafruit.com for ~$50

The two main components of this project are:

  1. get a continuos stream of temperature readings from the temp sensor
  2. send that stream wirelessly to the Cosm internet service via Electric Imp


(the small black nub in the picture above is the temp sensor)

The temp sensor utilizes 3V provided from April board and has an analog data pin that streams a voltage reading proportional to the temperature. Temp °C = 100 * (reading in V) – 50.

The Electric Imp quickly and easily pairs with your wi-fi network. Then you are linked to their cloud servers where the code that runs on the Imp is stored and edited via their online IDE. They have a nifty way to pair networks via an iPhone/Android app that simply translates your SSID/password into black/white flickering read by a photo sensor on the Imp. They call it the blink up process.

Once the Electric Imp is paired to your network and the breadboard wires are connected correctly, all that is left is to program the Imp in the planner IDE. Some pre-configured ‘nodes’ are provided in the planner IDE. One of these ‘nodes’ happens to be Cosm which made this project much easier to finish.

If you are ready to make this project, visit my post on the Electric Imp Forum. More details and complete instructions can be found on that post.

Finally! Wireless Sync (beta) on Android!

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We’re excited to announce that wireless syncing with Android has arrived! Our free Fitbit App for Android now syncs your Fitbit One and Zip stats directly to the Samsung Galaxy SIII and Note II. With our app, you can sync your stats wirelessly (beta) and see how you are tracking against your daily goals, with friends, and against historic averages. You can download the app from Google Play today!

Android dashboard

Android dashboard

We know how important it is for our customers to get real-time access to their stats. Those who’ve been able to take advantage of wireless background syncing already have been telling us how they’ve worked to get their extra steps in after receiving notifications that they’re close to their goal, or how they find motivation from the instant feedback right on their Dashboard. We are very excited to bring this feature to our Android users!

We began working on the wireless sync for Android and iOS at around the same time. It took us much longer to get this working on Android phones than it did with iOS, and we appreciate our Android users’ patience in the meantime. We know many of you may be curious about the development of this feature, and we’d like to share some insight into some of the challenges we’ve encountered and what they’ve taught us in the process.

  1. Currently, the Android OS does not provide apps with access to the Bluetooth 4.0 chips in newer phones. To work around this, some phones instead have custom software that provides access to Bluetooth 4.0. Since this software is different for each phone, our team has worked on developing a solution for each phone independently.
  2. Fitbit is among the first to try and use the Bluetooth 4.0 in Android phones, and part of being the first means we got to help find and document any problems with the software. We also spent quite a bit of time piecing together how the software works, since it previously hadn’t been well-documented. For many of the problems we encountered, we were able to create our own work-arounds. For others, we coordinated with phone manufacturers and carriers to get more permanent fixes in place.
  3. For phones we have yet to introduce syncing capabilities with, we’re working with phone manufacturers to see which phones will allow our app to work with their Bluetooth 4.0 capabilities. This process involves us individually checking each model of phone. There may be better support for third-party apps to access Bluetooth in the future, and once this is available we will be able to easily support all phones with this update.

We’ve been working hard to improve the wireless sync experience, but the feature is still in beta. Syncing your stats will typically take about 30 seconds. In some cases, especially where there are issues with network connection, it may take longer. We’re working hard to provide the best user experience possible, so improved syncing speed is just one thing you can look forward to seeing in future updates of our Android app.

Fitbit is dedicated to making connected devices that fit seamlessly into your everyday life, and we fully believe that incorporating Android phones in all of our future efforts is a huge part of that. We truly appreciate our Android users’ patience as we continue to work on supporting additional mobile devices. We’re closely collaborating with phone carriers and handset manufacturers to try to support more phones. There’s a number of phones we’re actively working on, but we don’t yet have an ETA on when we might be able to release updates to include them. For now, you can see a list of all of the supported devices here. If your device is not on that list, we encourage you to contact your phone carrier to ask that they work to build out further Bluetooth support. Your feedback could help us speed this process along!

Happy syncing and logging — wherever you go!

–The Fitbit team

Our Android App is Here!

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Our free Fitbit app for Android has arrived! Of all the digital fitness device companies out there, we’re happy to announce that we’re among the first to offer both an iPhone and Android app. You can download the Fitbit app for Android for free from Google Play.

When we released our iPhone app last October and saw the warm reception it received, we started working on our Android app.  We made a point to design our app specifically for Android phones, rather than just try to make the existing app work on Android. We hope you’ll be happy with the results.

With this app, you can log your food, activities, weight and water while on the go, as long as you have a wireless connection. Everything syncs to (and from) your Fitbit.com account, and you can view up to two weeks of data for easy access when you’re away from your computer.

The updated Food Plan is also on the Android app, so that you have all the information you may need to make smart decisions about your calorie intake throughout the day; to learn more, check our earlier blog entryFor our iPhone users, the updated Food Plan will be available with our next iPhone app update at the end of the month.  We’ll be adding new features and updates to both apps, so keep your feedback coming and make sure you keep your Fitbit app up to date.

And a special thank you to all our Android users for your patience! The app is only available in the US, Canada, and the UK right now, but will be expanded to further countries as we expand our direct international sales. Happy tracking and logging — wherever you go!

Food Goal Update: Meet Food Plan!

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After our release of Food Goal, we got a lot of great feedback and suggestions from our Fitbit fans about it. We’re excited to announce our answer to those suggestions with a large update to Food Goal. In fact, we’ve changed so much that we completely renamed it to Food Plan.

What’s changed? Quite a lot, actually, though the Food Plan has kept the same general look and feel as it had before. Everything that was in Food Goal is still available, like the gauge to show whether or not you’re in the “calorie zone”. But now, we’re providing a lot more information right at your fingertips, and the Food Plan has become even better at helping you manage your calorie intake each day.

Smarter calorie estimates: Your Food Plan sets each day based on your historic activity levels. It will calculate how many calories you burn each day on average, and base your suggested calorie intake on this. As you wear and sync your Tracker throughout the day, your Food Plan adjusts dynamically based on whether you’re exercising more or less than that average, so that your goal remains as accurate as possible. And as your activity trends change over time, your Food Plan’s starting estimate will adjust to your new activity levels as well.

Calories in vs calories out: Additionally, many of you wanted a way to judge how well you were doing at any one point of the day. You can now view your total calories burned compared to your total ca lories eaten, and see whether or not you are currently within your plan’s deficit goal zone. So if you’ve just logged your lunch and wonder how you’re doing for the day so far, you can see how your total calories burned so far for the day measure up against the total calories you’ve eaten. There’s no more guessing if you’re behind or on track so far for the day. With this meter, it’s always clear where you stand.

Tips and Tricks: To get the most out of your Food Plan, make sure to log your food throughout the day. You can do this on the go through your smartphone on our apps, or by visiting our mobile website.

Overall, we’ve tried to make changes that provide you with the information you need to make smart, healthy decisions and be better prepared to achieve your goals. We hope you enjoy the Food Plan, and welcome any feedback you might have. “Like” us on Facebook to join the conversation there.

Let the Fitbit Aria Get You Where You Want to Be

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We’re excited to let you be among the first to learn about our newest product — the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale.  Aria will accurately track your weight, % body fat, and BMI over time and sync your weight data to your Fitbit.com account through your wireless network.  Online charts and graphs will track your weight and body composition over time to help you understand exactly what’s happening to cause any bumps in the road.

The Aria was inspired by you, our customers.  Many of you asked for an easier way to track weight.  We did just that and more.   Because the Aria syncs through your Wi-Fi, your data is automatically sync’d (no more numbers to input).   You can invite up to 7 other household members to create their own accounts with the scale, but only you will be able to see your measurements, even with those in your household.   And the scale is smart enough to recognize who you are just by stepping on it, so no need to worry about your information ending up in the wrong place.

Because the Aria is a Fitbit device, it’s integrated with all our online tools to create a complete weight management system.  Use Fitbit’s Food Plan and set your calorie targets; by logging food, you can plan and manage your calorie consumption throughout the day.  You can earn new badges as you work towards your weight goals, or share your information with friends and family to find the support you need.

Be among the first — and pre-order to reserve your Aria which will ship in in late April for $129.95.  Your credit card will not be charged until it ships.  Or click here to learn more about Aria.

Fitbit’s iPhone App is Now Available!

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You can now log as you go with the new Fitbit iPhone app!

Fitbitters have been talking about the power of logging food and activities when achieving and setting goals. With the new Fitbit iPhone app, the power of logging your activities and food can be carried around with you wherever you go — even when you are offline.  With the ability to log your meal while you’re out, you can keep track of every meal with no hassle and nothing gets forgotten.

The Fitbit iPhone app allows you to log food, water, activities, and your weight with a new, easy-to-use interface. Keep track of your last synced data while you’re out, and look back on the past 14 days of steps to compare. You’ll also be able to view your goals and see your progress with each one, including your Food Goal.

The new Fitbit iPhone app is completely free, and can be downloaded by going to the app store and searching for Fitbit or by going there directly by clicking here.

This is Fitbit’s first iPhone app and we’re excited to invest in creating the right tools to support all day fitness for our customers.  We’ll be updating and refining the app over the next few months, including adding Ultra support to the app, so be sure to “like” us on Facebook or check out our blog for the latest news. Let us know what you think by mailing us at welovefitbit@fitbit.com, or rate the app directly at the Apple app store.

Introducing the Fitbit Ultra. Now Track Stairs, and More!

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Our goal at Fitbit has always been to provide you with the most useful tools to meet and manage a healthy lifestyle, and it is with this vision in mind that we’ve released the new Fitbit Ultra.

The Fitbit Ultra comes with many new features, as well as everything that had already been included with the Fitbit Classic. It now contains an altimeter that shows how many floors you’ve climbed each day.  Stair climbing is one of the most efficient exercises that can be done, burning around four times as many calories as simply walking. With new online features comparing your floors climbed to different landmarks, we hope you find the motivation to take the stairs. Other new features offer encouraging messages when you pick up your Fitbit Tracker, allow you to add more personal touches to your Fitbit Ultra, and provide you with a clock and stopwatch to keep track of your exercises with even more information.

At the end of the day, it’s not about being filled with fancy gadgets just because they’re new. It’s about providing you with easy to use, fun, effective tools to directly fit your needs and provide you with motivation to keep going — whether you’re taking a walk rather than driving, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, or just getting out and moving. It’s about reaching your goals in the most efficient and fun way possible. And it’s about becoming as healthy as you want to be.

Here’s to happy stepping, and climbing!