Image source: Fitbit

Fitbit’s sleep tracking update ignites a barrage of criticism

Fitbit is facing a wave of online outrage over its recent smartphone software update. The redesigned sleep section within the Fitbit app has sparked widespread criticism, with users taking to social media platforms like Reddit to vent their frustrations.

The sleep tracking revamp overhauled the visual presentation and organization of sleep data within the Fitbit app. The update aimed to streamline the user experience by introducing a new sleep timeline feature. This consolidated timeline provides an overview of your sleep patterns. It allows you to keep an eye on trends like sleep duration, sleep stages (light, deep, REM), and any periods of restlessness throughout the night.

Fitbit new sleep section
New sleep section

In essence, the redesign sought to make sleep data more accessible and understandable. At least, that was the idea. But it seems that not all has gone as planned. The user reception has not been that great!


The glaring omissions

At the heart of the Fitbit device owners’ backlash on platforms like Reddit lies the glaring absence of a dark mode option. Fitbit users, who often rely on the app to analyze sleep patterns in dimly lit environments like the early morning, are finding the bright, white interface extremely jarring. Comments such as “Fitbit, I’m trying to check my sleep, not sear my retinas” showcase the exasperation felt across the user base.

Beyond the missing dark mode, users criticize the redesigned sleep section for its counterintuitive layout and buggy behavior. The previously simplistic and clear interface has given way to a convoluted maze of menus and misplaced information. “I used to be able to see my sleep score at a glance,” complained one user, “now it’s buried five menus deep.”

Others report the app incorrectly registering double sleep entries, further eroding confidence in the accuracy of the data it presents. These changes have transformed what was once a convenient tool into a source of frustration.


Is Google’s influence the culprit?

The widespread criticism has led to speculation about the root cause of Fitbit’s apparent decline in design quality. Some users point to Google’s acquisition of Fitbit. They are questioning whether the tech giant’s influence is negatively impacting the direction of the brand. One cites parallels to Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia, which many view as leading to a similar decline in innovation and user experience.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

This isn’t the first time Fitbit has faced scrutiny over its app updates. The last time the company faced such a barrage of criticism was in September last year. At the time, it did a complete user interface revamp of its smartphone app. And just like now, there was lots of dissatisfaction. In that case, the company followed up with a software updatee a month or so later addressing many of the criticisms.

People don’t like change, we get that. But if the sleep section criticism continues, and given Fitbit’s past responsiveness, it will be interesting to see whether they acknowledge the feedback and make some changes.

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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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