Google’s slow destruction of Fitbit is everything wrong with modern tech

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Poor Fitbit just can’t catch a break. Since being acquired by Google’s parent company Alphabet, the fitness tracker brand has suffered quite a few backend mishaps, difficult headlines, and big device launches that have received a lukewarm reception. Last year’s Fitbit Versa 4 and Fitbit Sense 2 struggled to rank highly in our list of the best Fitbit entries, receiving just three stars each in our reviews (you can check out our Fitbit Versa 4 review and Fitbit Sense 2 review here), although the minimalist Inspire 3 fared better.

Negative headlines abounded, from the Charge 5 frequently disconnecting from Bluetooth to disastrous updates making sleep-tracking graphs harder to read and convincing users they had health issues. In October, Fitbit ended the ability to download music files onto smartwatches such as the Versa 3 and original Fitbit Sense. A now-deleted message on its help page stated: “On October 13, 2022, we’re removing the option to transfer playlists to your Fitbit watch through your computer. You can continue to play personal music stored on your watch and transfer music to your watch with the Deezer app and Pandora app.”

It’s now about to kill those services as well. An email sent to Fitbit users who had used Pandora or Deezer in the last six months, reportedly said the following, according to multiple corroborative posts on Reddittea Fitbit community forumsand 9to5Google:

“Pandora and Deezer will be removed as of March 31, 2023. This means you will no longer be able to download Pandora stations or add Deezer playlists to your device, nor will you be able to play anything that you have previously downloaded. We’re sorry for any inconvenience! Please contact support if you need help managing your account.”

Fitbit Sense 2 review

(Image credit: Andrew Williams)

Fitbit Versa 4 and Sense 2 don’t have third-party app support. It does have the Spotify app but doesn’t support offline music playback or storage. The Fitbit Sense’s description has already been updated on the Fitbit website to state the watch carries “Spotify Connect & Control” only. After March 31, there will be no way to access offline music on a Fitbit, a real blow to people who bought a watch with offline playback as part of its selling point.

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