We've got out first glimpse of how Google is planning to integrate Fitbit tech into the forthcoming Pixel Watch. Watch faces featuring the Fitbit logo and health stats have been discovered in the official Wear OS 3 emulator (a tool used by developers to ensure their apps will run correctly on real devices).
The new faces, spotted by 9to5Google (opens in new tab), include several simple designs that simply show the time in various formats. Other faces also include the wearer's current step count, heart rate, and local weather conditions, but the most interesting one has the Fitbit logo positioned prominently at the bottom, along with the number of stairs climbed, and the day's calorie burn.
These are Google's likely 'Pixel Watch' watchfaces, complete w/ Fitbit integration [Video] https://t.co/lfdzVWkbvK by @SkylledDev pic.twitter.com/9agXda6bTTDecember 15, 2021
The top of this watch face shows a number that may be the wearer's current Active Zone Minutes – points that are earned by engaging in physical activity that raises your heart rate.
This number is accompanied by an icon of a person running. On most Fitbit devices this represents how many times you've met your activity goal in the last week, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.
These details are tantalizing, but it's likely to be several months before we can be certain about the details. We don't yet have a release date for the Google Pixel Watch, but we're expecting it to arrive some time in 2022, coinciding with the launch of Wear OS 3.
We're keeping our ears to the ground for news, leaks and rumors, and will keep you up to date as soon as we know any more.
Analysis: the end of Fitbit OS?
Google completed its purchase of Fitbit earlier this year, and at the 2021 Google IO event in May, the two companies revealed some interesting details of how they plan to work together in future.
Google began by explaining that it was planning to introduce Fitbit health tracking features to Wear OS – and that's exactly what we're seeing in these newly discovered watch faces.
However, we're expecting more than just a pre-installed Fitbit app and some on-screen stats when Wear OS 3 rolls out next year. Google's presentation claimed that its partnership with Fitbit would result in "a unified platform" with a "new consumer experience" – and it's possible that this could spell the end of Fitbit's own operating system as we know it.
Fitbit OS, which is used by all of the company's current range of fitness trackers and smartwatches, is optimized to give maximum battery life, and is part of the reason why they can run for at least five days between charges.
Any "unified" platform would need to be similarly frugal with its demands. A combined Google/Fitbit OS may even require a solution like Android Go, which is a lightweight version of the Android operating system with less demanding system requirements. We can only speculate for the time being, but by 2024, fitness trackers as we know them may be transformed.
- We've tested and ranked the best fitness trackers