back to article Fitbit fitness fans furious following flummoxing flawed firmware float, fleeting feedback, failed fixes

Fitbit wearers are super-upset that a buggy software update has for the past month made their wearable exercise trackers unable to properly sync with their Android devices. A Register reader pointed us to this ongoing thread in the Fitbit support forums in which users complain they have had problems getting the wearables to …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "a full factory reset of their Fitbit device and re-installation of the app"

    My God, it seems that Fitbit owners are learning the hard way that you never auto-update your software until you've read about if it works or not for the rest of the population.

    Microsoft has educated us about that for decades now, you'd think the lesson would have been understood by now.

    1. BillG
      Facepalm

      Re: "a full factory reset of their Fitbit device and re-installation of the app"

      Garmin wearables force the update on your watch. They even do the same with the Windows program Garmin Express, you are forced to update whether you like it or not. Of course this occasionally turns reliable gear into malfunctioning wrist plastic. Sucks big time. Fitbit might do the same.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: "a full factory reset of their Fitbit device and re-installation of the app"

        There are a few companies and open projects that have managed, through repeated and thorough application of reliable testing and concern for user annoyance, to have every update they release work well under nearly all conditions. For those places, I am comfortable updating on day one and, when they eventually make a mistake, be a member of the public that others can learn from. And for everyone else, it'll be at least a month before I let their new thing onto my hardware.

    2. hj

      Re: "a full factory reset of their Fitbit device and re-installation of the app"

      Unfortunately Fitbit has also learned from big software companies and, as mentioned above, just forces the upgrade to you. I could keep it of for a few weeks and then it was just pushed onto my device. (app behaves, for me, not worse than before though)

  2. NotBob

    Mine had trouble syncing a couple of times, but resetting it and removing and re-adding the doohickey as a bluetooth accessory in the phone seems to have fixed it. Figured it was just mine being persnickety.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge
      Windows

      On an S7 running Android 8.0 with a Charge 2 and not having any trouble at all

    2. Gordon861

      I've had a lot of problems syncing with my phone for a while (Xiaomi M1A1), now just sync with my tablet and the phone gets the info from there.

      But not at all impressed with the new layout of the software.

  3. zephyr

    Fitbit has really dropped the ball on these issues. There is another isuue that has been going on. Ever since version 3.0 of the Android app was released at the begining of July, alot of users have only been getting the sender for text notifications. They are now on version 3.5 and still no fix. What's worse, many of us no longer get the sender name and phone call notifications display the wrong contact.

    Fitbit has provided no support other than to say they are aware of the issue. Some of us downgraded to version 2.95 and everything worked again. Eventually even that stopped working. Many installed a third party app called Fit Notifications that works great. Fitbit wouldn't even provide the 2.95 version until they sorted it out.

    Alot of very unhappy users!

    Here's the thread in the support forum: https://community.fitbit.com/t5/Android-App/Text-Msgs-only-show-Sender-s-name/td-p/3637357

  4. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Sounds like every Internet/cellular device when it is 1 year old. The last person out the door creates a software update pushing the last code check-in. Tech support is told to pretend like more updates are coming when customers complain about the update not working.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      ”Sounds like every Android Internet/cellular device when it is 1 year old“

      FTFY.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Downvote all you like, you know it's true. Android device manufacturers have a shocking reputation for shoddy updates - from landfill right up to top tier. Apple on the other hand, doesn't.

  5. ianmcca

    Crapbit

    Prior to the latest update the fitbit app was working about the best it ever had and I'd got used to the way it appeared. Now it hardly ever syncs, spends forever "looking for device" and the appearance is horrible. Information has been reduced in size and there's less on screen, apparently to make space for vast areas of white space.

    God knows what they do with all the data they collect, but it is clear we users are no longer the customers but the product.

    My family's fitbit devices are hanging on with the aid of some sticky tape. We will not be renewing them when they finally give up the ghost.

    1. Evil_Goblin

      Re: Crapbit

      My wife and I both had fitbits, but we switched to Garmin around 18 months ago, as the fitbit devices kept falling apart and we got sick of the constant reset, remove and re-add the device, then re-connect routine every time the slightest bit of software changed.

      While Garmin are by no means perfect, their hardware has yet to die on me and I haven't had to re-add any of my devices in over 6 months.

      Maybe Fitbit should stop constantly releasing a baffling range of semi competing devices with overlapping feature sets and concentrate on getting their house in order.

  6. idoxde

    Rubbish

    I had my Charge 2 for a few years now. It's been working perfectly with a number of phones (including my current device) but hey - nothing lasts forever. Right after I got the "new, sleek" app update my fitbit won't sync. I'd gone through various steps of troubleshooting, got a completely useless reply from their "support" but it's obvious that the only thing that's changed is the Fitbit app on my phone. At the moment my tracker is completely useless and even if they fix the problem I will never go near them again.

  7. kevjs

    The update finally fixed syncing on the Zip which had been totally broken since Pie came out (i.e. I've not been able to sync on my pixel 2 for a year), not 100% reliable but reasonably so. Shows 200,000+steps occasionally but fixes that when a sync completes.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Baldrickk Silver badge
    Joke

    "It is not accurate and takes forever to sync..."

    > "even though I went into my settings and turned on all-day sync."

    That's your problem... Turn on the 1-minute sync and it'll do it a lot faster!

  10. ElectricPics

    I've rolled back to Fitbit app v2.95 (downloaded from APK Mirror) and although it still displays the new dashboard, connectivity and notifications are back to normal, which is to say not perfect but much better.

    1. idoxde

      ...and is also yet another proof that the app is banjaxed, regardless of what FitBit "support" are trying to say.

  11. ILUVTECH

    Never buy one of these devices.

    My wife's fitbit failed after an update in May this year. The response was basically to tell me to that unless I could get it going again then it was not their problem as their 45 day return policy did not cover our device. They seem to totally ignore their legal obligations to refund or replace their devices when they break, in this case as a result of their technical vandalism called an update. Each update they've tried makes things worse. I used to read and contribute to the forums and whenever I made any kind of negative comment it was removed, so when you read them you have no real idea of how many more are not there. Terrible company. DO NOT BUY.

  12. joejack

    "Your flagship phone is not supported"

    I had a Charge 3 for a little over a month when it stopped syncing 6 months ago. After trying everything, I emailed support, who kindly informed me that if my device is not explicitly listed on their compatibility page, they refuse to support it. I have an LG v30. None of the newer models are there either. Amazon was kind enough to accept my return, as this support nonsense was not listed on their product page.

    Never again, Fitbit. I switched to a Garmin and think it's better in every way.

    Compatibility list:

    https://www.fitbit.com/devices

  13. NDurain

    FitBrick

    The Screen showed up all funky and unreadable.

    Now the screen doesn't even turn on and won't connect to my phone.

    Charge 3 is great but now I'm afraid to buy another FitBit wearable.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So disappointing

    I had problems syncing my Charge 2 but I did not push too much at the time as I was getting my new mobile (Xiaomi mi9 SE) the following week. When my new mobile arrived I still had issues and Fitbit could not help me.

    So disappointing as I was a Fitbit fanatic and it really worked for me at keeping active. I have now ordered a non-Fitbit smart watch but would have preferred to stay with Fitbit.

    There is a problem but there is no idea when it will be rectified. The Fitbit staff were very polite but I feel that they were not being totally honest and after being with them for 2 years they didn't seem to want to hang on to their customer all too much (with the lack of updates).

    Very disappointed but hey, there are other options out there.

  15. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    well

    Back when I ran more, I was always amused at friends who when stopping for a light or for water would click off the stopwatch function on their Casio watches. It seemed to me that the difference between "I ran for an hour and a half", and "I ran for an hour and a half, minus a one-minute water stop and three minutes at red lights" was not worth tracking. Yes, the Fitbitters (the bitter and fit?) should get what they pay for, I just question its value.

    Probably because of the story, I read the qualifier in "Your Guide to Becoming Truly Data-Driven with Unrivalled Data Analytics Performance" as "unraveled".

  16. max allan

    Battery problems anyone?

    Since i upgraded the firmware on my fitbit, the battery life has crashed by at least a half. Sum total of extra features = none.

    Also had to update the app on my phone and its a lot useless now.

    Should have gone with my gut that said "if it aint broke..."

    On the plus side I've not noticed any fail to sync.

  17. GlenB

    Not noticing an issue.... so far

    I have the Versa 2 and Android 9, syncing fine and no noticeable problems so far, battery life last been 3-4 days including using the music in the gym for 2-3 hours

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