Fitbit scored a victory in a trade dispute against Jawbone this morning.
The judge ruled that some of the Jawbone patents at the heart of the dispute were invalid. Jawbone had been seeking to block Fitbit from importing its products into the U.S. based on the patent claims, but after today’s ruling, that looks less likely.
The fitness and health market is a big market and one where more battles are sure to be fought over time.
A few days ago I mentioned I was going to try and see whether using the Apple iPhone 6S with the Apple Watch or Fitbit Charge HR would work as a better solution for fitness.
This is an interesting exercise as my wife is using her iPhone 6S and I am using my iPhone 6S Plus. We are both testing the Apple Watch and Fitbit Charge HR to see which one works best.
We are both syncing data from the Apple Watch to the Apple HealthKit app which in turns syncs the steps to MyFitnessPal. My wife noticed that MyFitnessPal under the home tab showed the correct step count value synced across from the Apple Watch. In the Diary tab at the bottom, the number of steps shown was up to 50% inaccurate meaning the total number of extra calories created that day were down by a fair amount. This can make a lot of difference if you needed extra calories for a snack in the evening.
So as I had the same issue, I did some investigation and noticed in the Apple HealthKit app it displayed my wife’s Apple Watch twice. So a call to Apple Support and I was advised to wipe the phone clean and restore from iTunes. What was scary was the guy from Apple Support did not know the to save your HealthKit data you need to backup to iTunes using encryption. Restoring a backup from iCloud will not bring back historical health data. This is not good as not everyone uses a PC/Mac so therefore backing up to iTunes is impossible.
I also emailed MyFitnessPal re the inaccurate steps showing in the Diary tab and whilst I have not had an email back yet from MyFitnessPal it now shows different text in the Diary tab. My wife opened the app on her phone, and it had the previous text entry under the Diary tab. MyFitnessPal had done something to my account.
So how is the FitBit Charge HR going. In one word, it just works and really well. For pure fitness it is far simpler and easier to use. It also syncs really smoothly with MyFitness Pal.
So how does the Apple Watch compare? To be honest it is a totally different device that can do so much from paying for goods, controlling my weather station and more. As a fitness device is works fairly well but it is not perfect. Activity is minus the GPS map tracking. After a workout you can’t read your heart rate scores taken throughout the time exercising. All you get is a heart rate summary. On the other hand I do like how the Apple Watch makes you stand up every hour and also displays your activity.
If I had to choose just one device for fitness, currently the winner goes to FitBit.
It is also worth noting that FitBit has just had a Class Action lawsuit taken against them that alleges that the heart rate tracking in the Charge HR and Surge, are inaccurate and by a significant margin.
Fitbit has announced that they now support Bluetooth 4.0 syncing to the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Fitbit mentioned that every new phone that adds Bluetooth 4.0 sync support, 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.
Fortunately, Google has announced that they will be standardizing support for Bluetooth 4.0 in an upcoming Android OS, hopefully jellybean 4.3.
Apart from a number of Apple devices, Fitbit also supports the S3, Note 2 and Note 10.1 .