Image source: Google

Google Maps on Fitbit Sense 2 & Versa 4 plagued with problems

Fitbit has released the Google Maps app for Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 4 a few days ago. However, it seems the feature could have done with some more internal testing before going public. Users are reporting lots of issues with the software.

Launched back in 2005, Google Maps is a popular web mapping platform and consumer application. The fully featured version comes with sattelite imagery, street maps, 360 degree views, real-time traffic conditions and much more.

Since the recent acquisition of Fitbit by the search giant, the wearables business of the two companies is increasingly merging. Google Pixel Watch relies heavily on Fitbit’s health smarts. And more and more Google apps are making their way over to Fitbit devices.

Google Maps finally comes to Fitbit watches – or does it?

There was no official announcement of the launch of Google Maps for Fitbit that we could spot. Instead, users noticed that the app suddenly appeared in the list of available software on Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 4.

Mind you, we knew the app was due to arrive sooner or later – because this was announced earlier this year. For now the app is only available on Android. Presumably this will be followed shortly by an iOS version.

Google Maps Fitbit

However, there’s a big problem with all of this. For most people, the feature doesn’t actually work!

After installation, users have tried starting the navigation from the phone as the software suggests. However, nothing shows up on the watch. That’s even with the auto-start feature and the drive feature enabled in both the Android smartphone app and the watch. The issue effects both Sense 2 and Versa 4.

Essential reading: Best fitness trackers and health gadgets

If you were to manually open the Google maps watch app, you’ll probably get the message – “current trip – Not navigating”. It seems the software enters into an error loop!

In theory, the functionality should work as follows:

  • you are meant to open the Google Maps app on your smartphone and find the location you want to navigate to. Choose the mode of transportation, route and begin the journey by tapping on the Start option.
  • if auto-start is enabled for the mode of transport, the Google Maps app should open up on your Fitbit automatically. If not, you will need to start the Google Maps app on your Fitbit manually.
  • a manual start is done by pressing the button on your Fitbit to open the list of available apps on your watch. Swipe until you find the Google Maps app.

Fitbit has acknowledged there is a problem. One of the Fitbit forum moderators has posted the following:

“I understand how important this feature is for you and I’m sorry for any inconvenience this has caused. Let me share this issue has been reported to our team so they can further investigate what may be occurring.”

Which means it will be a bit of a wait until Google Maps actually works properly on Fitbit watches. But it seems even then the functionality will be limited. You will not be able to starting navigation from the watch itself, or use stored locations as waypoints. Basically, the feature will require a mobile phone to run Google Maps app alongside your watch.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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