Google released the Pixel Watch last week with a deep integration to Fitbit and the Fitbit app, leaving Google Fit in an interesting place and possibly marking the beginning of the end for Google Fit.
Google Fit vs Fitbit
Google Fit is Google’s somewhat equivalent to Samsung Health or Apple Health. While Google Fit allows you to track steps, exercises, and all the other basic health data you expect it doesn’t support wearables in the same way the Samsung’s or Apple’s offerings do.
Rather than connecting to wearables, Google Fit connects to third-party apps, such as Strava, Oura Ring, and Fossil to collect data. In a way Google Fit is more of a health data collection hub.
On the other hand, Fitbit is a full fledged fitness tracking app, comparable to Samsung Health and Apple Health, with support for wearables, along with all the manual data you can be expected to add, such as weight, water intake, etc.
Google Health Connect
A few months ago, Google released Health Connect on the Google Play Store. An app that allows you to sync a number of fitness apps together. This is potentially the way Google wants users to connect Fitbit and Google Fit together, while allowing all other fitness apps on Android to connect as well. This seems more of a short term solution as Google plans to force all users to use a Google account, which would likely mean all Fitbit data would already flow into Google Fit.
Google Fit + Fitbit = Google Fitbit
Based on the heavy integration of the Pixel Watch with Fitbit and the lack of presence of Google Fit, we think Google eventually plans to keep Fitbit and toss Google Fit away.
Google is known to close down duplicate services aggressively, think Google Duo and Google Meet. For now, the two apps will likely remain separate, but will same the same fate as Google Duo. We think Google Fit will eventually force all users to download the Fitbit app in a similar way to Google Play Music did with YouTube Music.
Google Fitbit is the way forward
In our opinion, we think Fitbit is the way forward. Fitbit is the better known brand compared to Google Fit, it has a long and proven track record when it comes to fitness wearables, and it makes sense for Google to leverage the existing brand rather than trying to get everyone onboard with Google Fit.
A good take we recently heard from the Waveform podcast is to combine both the apps and call the new app Google Fitbit. This is 100% the best way forward, allowing the familiarity of Fitbit to remain, while pleasing Google Fit users as the app’s name is pretty much the same with the addition of bit at the end.