Is Google prioritising the Pixel Watch over Fitbit ones?

  • Google has announced that it will end support of Pandora and Deezer on the Fitbit Sense, Versa 3, and Versa 2 on 31st March 2023.
  • It is the latest in a series of moves by Google to remove support or features from older Fitbit hardware.
  • This has resulted in some thinking Google are trying to position its Pixel Watch as its go-to smartwatch.

Ever since Google completed its acquisition of Fitbit at the beginning of 2021, there have been a series of confusing announcements regarding the wearables maker.

The latest pertains to support for two music streaming apps – Deezer and Pandora – which will no longer be accessible on the Fitbit Sense, Versa 3, and Versa 2 from 31st March 2023 onwards. This message was shared with some customers this week, according to reports from 9to5Google and other outlets.

Said notification tells customers that, “you will no longer be able to download Pandora stations or add Deezer playlists to your device, nor will you be able to play anything that you have previously downloaded.”

Precisely why such a decision was made, especially given how relatively new these fitness-focused smartwatches are, remains unclear. This is not the first time this has happened, however, with Google choosing to remove the ability to transfer music playlists from smartwatches to computers last year.

While it could be argued that Spotify is the de facto music streaming app that consumers use these days, removing access to other apps on recently launched devices does seem quite odd.

It is why the likes of The Verge are positing that a bigger move is afoot. To that end the publication believes Google may be trying to limit features on certain models of Fitbit smartwatch in order to better position its Pixel Watch, which was unveiled late last year.

Given that Pixel hardware is not available to purchase in countries like South Africa, while Fitbit devices are, removing more features seems less than ideal.

Much of this is conjecture at this stage, but those who recently purchased a Sense, Versa 3, or Versa 2, here’s hoping the loss of features stops there.


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