EU Fitbit users to lose access to third party app and watch faces

Fitbit users across the European Union should brace for a significant shift in the way they customize their smartwatches. Google has announced the removal of all third-party apps and clock faces from the Fitbit app gallery starting in June 2024.

Why the sudden change? The update points to newly imposed “regulatory requirements” from the EU as the reason. According to the support page where the change was quietly announced, EU Fitbit users will have until June 2024 to add any third-party apps or clock faces before that feature is shut down.

What happens after that? You will only be able to install apps and clocks developed by Fitbit and Google. However, according to Android Authority, existing third-party content on your Fitbit will continue to work after the deadline — you just won’t be able to install or download anything new. It is also important to note that U.S. users are unaffected, as this change is specific to the E.U.

This change will impact numerous popular Fitbit smartwatches, such as:

  • Fitbit Sense 2, Fitbit Sense
  • Fitbit Versa 4, Fitbit Versa 3, Fitbit Versa 2, Fitbit Versa Lite, Fitbit Versa
  • Fitbit Ionic

Meanwhile, the specific EU regulation fueling this shift is not cited in Google’s announcement, so it is difficult to say the exact reason(s) why this is happening. It leaves us wondering if this is a consequence of the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) or some other regulatory framework Google must adhere to.This move does raise numerous questions regarding the user experience for Fitbit users in Europe, and more importantly, is this a sign of more restrictive tech regulations coming from the EU in the future? For now, all we can advise you on is to promptly download as many third party apps and clock faces as you think you may need for the future, before this restriction goes into effect.

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