Fitbit is letting users of older iPhones down

Fitbit has made an update that has kept users of old iPhones in suspense. It discontinued its app for everything prior to version 15 of iOS.

The company’s software is designed to track the user’s daily activities, exercise routine, and overall health. The smartphone app gives you a detailed view of the data. It works well and is widely considered to be one of the more user-friendly options out there.

However, if you have an older iPhone and have updated your Fitbit smartphone app to version 3.77 or later, you’re in for a nasty surprise. The app update only works on iPhones with iOS 15 or higher.

The earliest iPhones capable of running iOS 15 are the iPhone 6S, 6S Plus, and the iPhone SE (first generation). These devices were released in 2015, 2016, and 2016, respectively. So if you’re still stuck with an older device, you’ll need to upgrade to a newer model or be left behind. If you go to the Fitbit Supported Devices page, you’ll notice that it has been updated to reflect the change.

Those affected should have received a notification in the app by now. The notification states that “Fitbit App v 3.77 requires at least iOS 15”. and that you must “update your phone’s iOS to continue to take full advantage of the app.”

Not that unusual

While it might seem unusual for an app developer to restrict their app’s compatibility with older devices, Fitbit isn’t alone in its approach. Withings “Health Mate”, for example, requires at least iOS 14 on the iPhone.

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By comparison, Google, Fitbit’s parent company, is more liberal in its hardware and software requirements for iOS devices. Chrome works from iOS 14, Google Maps from iOS 13.4 and WhatsApp is currently compatible with iOS 12.

Apple’s update strategy for its own apps is even more confusing. The current podcast app is even compatible with iOS 10, as are Apple Books. iMovie and Clips, on the other hand, only work on iPhones running iOS 16. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote require iOS 15, as does Fitbit.

What can you do?

For iPhone users who have been loyal to their devices for years, Fitbit’s decision comes as a slap in the face. Upgrading to a newer model isn’t always an option for everyone.

If you’re an iPhone user with an older device and are affected by Fitbit’s decision, you have a few options. Of course, one of them is upgrading to a newer iPhone model that supports iOS 15 or later. The other is switching to a different fitness tracker brand that supports older devices.

Alternatively, you can continue to use your Fitbit tracker and the older version of the app. However, you will no longer receive updates or new features and your app may become outdated over time.

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