Fitbit is preparing to bring Google Assistant support to fitness watches
Late last year, Google announced its plans to acquire Fitbit for a reported $2.1 billion. The deal is still pending approval and we haven’t heard anything about it in a while. We still don’t know what the two companies plan to do, but it’s looking like Fitbit may be working on bringing Google Assistant support to its devices.
Currently, Fitbit supports Amazon Alexa on the Versa 2 fitness watch. The device doesn’t have a speaker for answers to be read aloud and there’s no hotword detection. The integration is rudimentary when compared to full-fledged smartwatches, but it’s better than nothing. Fitbit reportedly approached Google about bringing Assistant to the Versa 2, but the company was not super willing to make it happen. Strings found in a recent update to the Fitbit Android app seem to indicate things have changed.
The folks at 9to5Google found a few mentions of “Assistant” in the APK. These strings could easily be in reference to Amazon Alexa, but a few XML files clearly name “google_assistant.” The strings and XML files list basic things like activating Assistant, error messages, on-boarding, etc. The groundwork certainly seems to be in place for support.
<string name=”ga_activate_assistant”>Activate Assistant</string> <string name=”ga_activate_assistant_general_error”>Unable to process request to activate Assistant</string> <string name=”ga_deactivation_error”>Error deactivating Assistant</string>
Further digging into the Fitbit app, there is mention of only using one assistant at a time and being able to switch providers whenever you want. Users will likely get a choice at start-up between Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, but they’ll be able to switch on a whim. That’s a great option for users who may be invested in either ecosystem.
As mentioned, Alexa support is currently available on the Fitbit Versa 2, which makes it a likely candidate for Google Assistant support. It’s also entirely possible that Fitbit will save it for a new product launch. This is certainly an exciting development for any Fitbit fans in the Google ecosystem.