Users of Apple’s Health app in iOS 8 will have to get by without Fitbit integration for now.
Responding to questions on its forums, Fitbit says it has no plans to tie the data from its app and fitness band to Apple’s HealthKit framework. “It is an interesting new platform and we will watch as it matures, looking for opportunities to improve the Fitbit experience,” a moderator said. “At the moment, we’re working on other exciting projects that we think will be valuable to users.”
HealthKit is a framework that lets wellness apps share data amongst themselves, and lets users view their activity through a centralized Health app. The idea is to have all these services talking to one another without making users bounce between a half-dozen different apps. It’s a new feature in iOS 8, and many fitness apps such as Runtastic, UP by Jawbone, WebMD, and Lark are already on board.
But at the moment, Fitbit doesn’t seem convinced of the potential. In its forum post, the company says it’s collecting feedback, and wants to know what users would expect to get out of HealthKit integration. (Many users are saying they just want to have one place to view all their data, and don’t seem all too happy about Fitbit’s decision.)
The story behind the story: While the decision may be seen as a vote of no confidence in HealthKit, Fitbit could also be feeling threatened. The company has its own API for sharing Fitbit data with other services—not unlike what HealthKit does—and its fitness tracking hardware business is coming under attack from commodity wearables and Apple’s own upcoming smartwatch. The increased competition is great for users, but it’s causing an identity crisis for fitness tracking firms as they figure out how to stay ahead of the pack.