Fitbit has made an update that has left users of old iPhones in a bind. It has discontinued its app for anything prior to version 15 of iOS.
The company’s software is designed to track the user’s daily activities, exercise routine, and overall health. The smartphone app is where you go to for a detailed view of the data. It works well and is generally considered to be one of the more user friendly options on the market.
However, if you have an older iPhone and have updated your Fitbit smartphone app to version 3.77 or above, you are in for a rude surprise. The app update will only work on iPhones running iOS 15 or later.
The earliest iPhones that can run iOS 15 are the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, and the iPhone SE (first generation). These devices were released in 2015, 2016, and 2016, respectively. So if you’re still holding on to an older device, you will need to upgrade to a newer model or be left behind. If you go to the Fitbit Supported Devices page, you’ll notice it has been updated to reflect the change.
Those affected should have received a notification in the app by now. The notification states that “Fitbit app v 3.77 will require iOS 15 as a minimum.” and that you “will need to update your phone’s iOS to continue getting full use from the app.”
Not so unusual
While it may seem unusual for an app developer to limit their app’s compatibility with older devices, Fitbit is not alone in its approach. Withings “Health Mate”, for example, requires at least iOS 14 on the iPhone.
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In comparison, Google, the parent company of Fitbit, is more liberal in its hardware and software requirements for iOS devices. Chrome can work from iOS 14, Google Maps from iOS 13.4, and WhatsApp is currently compatible with iOS 12.
Apple’s update strategy for its own apps is even more perplexing. The current podcast app is even compatible with iOS 10, Apple Books as well. iMovie and Clips, on the other hand, will only work on iPhones with iOS 16. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, also requires iOS 15, just like Fitbit.
What can you do?
For iPhone users who have been loyal to their devices for years, Fitbit’s decision is a blow. Upgrading to a newer model is not always an option for everyone.
If you are an iPhone user with an older device and are affected by Fitbit’s decision, there are a few options available to you. One of these, of course, is upgrading to a newer iPhone model that supports iOS 15 or later. The other is switching to a different fitness tracker brand that supports older devices.
Alternatively, you can also keep using your Fitbit tracker and the older version of the app. However, you will no longer receive updates or new features, and your app may become obsolete over time.
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