It’s been more than two years since Google collapsed $2.1 billion for Fitbit, but there hasn’t been much integration between the two companies’ products so far. Looks like that’s going to change this fall. Not only is the next Pixel Watch set to get some brilliant Fitbit integration, but it also looks like the rumored Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 4 could also have some sort of Google Wallet integration.
According to 9to5Google, the latest version of Android’s Play Services shows signs that Google Wallet – which includes Google Pay – is adding support for the Fitbit smartwatch. This includes a new menu with graphics resembling a Fitbit “squircle” smartwatch. The images are also labeled as “Fitbit watch illustration”. (You can see the images here.) However, it’s unclear whether Google Wallet is a full replacement for Fitbit Pay or an alternative option in the way Samsung smartwatches now let you. download Google Wallet. 9to5Google claims it could also be a way to add Google Wallet to Fitbit Pay as a way to activate the service for older watches.
Right now, the only real connection between Fitbit and Google on the wrist is Google Assistant. Starting with the Versa 2, the only digital assistant you could use on Fitbit devices was Alexa. Then, following the Google acquisition, Fitbit then added Google Assistant as an option on the Versa 3 and Sense. This made Fitbit devices among the first wearables that let you choose between two digital assistants. (You can now do the same on Samsung Galaxy smartwatches running Wear OS 3.)
Adding Google Assistant to Fitbits was an obvious choice. Alexa was already on Fitbit devices. There’s no way Google is allowing its biggest rival in the digital assistant space to be the only on one of his gadgets. The choice to add Google Wallet, however, may spell the end of Fitbit Pay. Service has always been a little tricky. Although accepted by a large number of banks and transit systems (at least in the United States), it is a small player in the world of contactless payments. And, its user interface is not as smooth as Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay.
Either way, the number of leaks surrounding the Sense 2 and Versa 4 suggest we’re likely to hear something new from Fitbit soon. We should be able to glean more than just what Fitbit’s future trajectory will look like now that Google is ramping up its wearable efforts. But for now, it looks like the two companies are on the right path to further integration, ala Google and Nest. The real question is whether Fitbit can maintain its own identity for the long term – or whether by next year we’ll see a Google Fitbit Versa 5.