Fitbit watches to get a free upgrade, but it might not be for you

What Google giveth...

Fitbit 2022 lineup on dotted background
(Image credit: Fitbit / Google)
Quick Summary

Fitbit watches will lose the ability to download third-party apps and watch faces from June, but only in the EU.

That's because Google is removing the feature in order to comply with the Digital Markets Act.

Google has announced that it will be pushing an update for older Fitbit watches and fitness trackers this coming June. However, it won't be for everyone, and those who get it might not actually want it.

That's because not all software changes are positive – including those that are enforced as part of the Digital Markets Act (DMA) in the EU.

Yes, those in the European Union might benefit from the choice of additional app stores on their devices. And they might be able to access games and applications not found in other countries, but Google feels that the new legislation has also forced its hand to take something away.

Multiple Fitbit models will soon no longer have access to third-party apps and watch faces.

"Following a careful assessment of the impact of new regulatory requirements, we have made the decision to remove third-party apps and clocks from the Fitbit app gallery for users in the European Economic Area in June 2024," writes Google on a support page.

"You can continue to download and install third-party apps until that date.

"Afterwards, you'll have access to a selection of Fitbit and Google apps. Users in other countries will not be impacted."

So it seems that the impact of the DMA isn't always to EU residents' advantage.

The watches that will be affected in EU member states are:

If you don't live in a European Union country you don't have to worry. For example, those in the UK or US can happily continue to download and use apps from the Fitbit Gallery after the cutoff date.

It's also not clear if owners of affected devices will still be able to access third-party apps and faces they have already downloaded. But, make sure you do install them before June just in case.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.