Fitbit has solved a major annoyance with its wearables; Why not follow Google or Apple?

Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

The bane of my existence as a tech is to switch my primary phone. I have to put aside an entire day to get things done right because I always do a clean install – no backups or restores. I don’t want to transfer any bug or residual issue from one device to another and therefore I unfairly judge the new phone.

between installing apps, logging in, and setting preferences, WhatsApp Transfermaking sure to pair your Bluetooth headphones and buds, and configure any of them smart home gadget It requires geolocation or local control, and more than that, there’s a lot to do…until I hit one last roadblock: my wearables.

Switching to a new phone really takes a long time, before you consider the annoyance of re-pairing your smartwatch or tracker.

There, Fitbit does things right. Allows me to pair Activity Tracker Or watch on a new phone in a few minutes. Samsung, Google (and all Wear OS watches), and Apple don’t. They ask me to scan smart watch Before pairing it with a new phone. why?

How Fitbit handles pairing with a new phone

This is how it goes Fitbit. On my new phone, I open the Fitbit app and sign in to my account. My data immediately appears there and my band appears – now an old and outdated Inspire HR – but not paired. I tap on its name and enable the Nearby devices permission to allow the app to scan Bluetooth devices. It finds my Fitbit app, asks me to pair it, and after a few clicks, it’s all done. The six screenshots above show the entire stream, which takes five minutes. mostly.

Fitbit provides a seamless transition between phones. There are no backups, resets, or restores.

My Inspire HR is now syncing to my new phone and all settings and data are done because nothing has changed on the tracker itself. You don’t need to back up, reset, restore or take any other extra steps. It’s a near-smooth transition and works the same for anyone Fitbit activity tracker or smartwatch I have used.

As far as I can tell, Garmin It handles things relatively similarly to the Fitbit app except for one extra step; You just have to unpair the bracelet or watch from the old phone first before pairing it with the new phone, but you don’t need to reset it.

How Samsung, Apple and Google do it

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 next to Google Pixel 6a showing the restore process on the watch

Rita El Khoury / Android body

with the Apple Watch or newer Samsung Galaxy Watch Models, this same transition is way more boring. I have to go into the clock app on my old phone and back up my data. Then I grab the watch and reset it and often need to proceed with setup as if it was a brand new smartwatch. Then, I can pair the watch with my new phone, go through all the listings there as well, and when things are finally settled, I can choose to restore my backup.

Transferring a Galaxy Watch, Apple Watch, or any Wear OS watch to a new phone is quite complicated and time consuming.

In general, I should set aside between ten minutes and an hour to do this. One YouTuber said the main step in the restoration process It took 56 minutes on the Apple Watch. As I write this, I will be reviewing it on my own Galaxy Watch 4. held at 33% of the watch face restore step for ten minutes and the count is running (see image above); How long it will stay there, anyone’s guess. If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to reset the clock again and try again.

The whole process is unnecessarily complicated, time consuming, and potentially buggy. It feels like the late ’90s or early twentieth century when any Bluetooth gadget had to be reset before pairing it with a new device. It’s been two decades since that now.

It’s like it was in the early 2000s when any Bluetooth device had to be reset before pairing again. It’s been two decades since that.

And let’s not even mention the other Wear OS watches. Google doesn’t include a backup/restore process by default in its platform, so watch makers have to do it themselves. Obviously, not many do. Which forced me to set everything up — watch faces, apps, shortcuts, and settings — from scratch on many of my watches over the past few years. (I know there is a file ADB solution for pairing without resetbut it often leads to problems in the future.)

Will the Pixel Watch fix this?

New watch for Google Pixel 7 Pro Pixel

We have a lot of questions about the future google pixel watchAnd here’s one of them: How will Google’s new smartwatch handle the transition between phones? Will Google borrow Fitbit’s seamless approach? After all, she owns a Fitbit now, so that wouldn’t be much. Or will she stick to her tried-and-true “just set it up from scratch” approach? Again, we’re talking about Google, and it took the company a decade (almost) to perfect the art of backing up and restoring on Android phones. It could take another decade to do this right for other product categories.

Do you want your Pixel Watch to easily move and pair with your new phone?

48 votes

I think I’m also curious about the future of the Google ecosystem. We know that manufacturers will have to build their own apps for Wear OS 3.0 watches because the update isn’t compatible with the current size that’s right for everyone Wear OS . app. So some manufacturers may decide to make a quick and easy transition to new phones while others don’t. Only time will prove it.