Fitbit’s plan to remove Deezer and Pandora support from its older devices is another nail in its smartwatch coffin.
The writing is on the wall for Fitbit smartwatches. Today, the company announced its ending support for Pandora and Deezer on the Sense, Versa 2, and Versa 3 smartwatches. While you can still control media on your phone from the wrist, Fitbit users will no longer be able to download Pandora stations or add Deezer playlists to their smartwatches. That means that after March 31st, no Fitbit smartwatch will support onboard music.
Per 9to5Google, Fitbit sent out an email stating that support for Pandora and Deezer will end as of March 31st. At that point, Fitbit users won’t be able to add new music content from those services. They also won’t be able to play anything that was previously downloaded. While Pandora and Deezer might not be as popular as Spotify, they’re currently the only ways to play music stored on a Fitbit device. Last year, Fitbit nixed the ability to manually transfer music onto their watches from a computer.
Although Fitbit didn’t give an official explanation, it’s not hard to read between the lines. When Fitbit launched the Sense 2 and Versa 4 last year, it removed many smart features that were previously available on older versions — including music playback. It was a clear sign that Google, which owns Fitbit, was positioning its Pixel Watch as the smartwatch in its product portfolio. This just cements that.
The future doesn’t look particularly bright for Fitbit’s third-party ecosystem, either. Fitbit OS’s app offerings were already paltry compared to Apple and Samsung watches. Losing what few are left feels like yet another nail in Fitbit’s coffin. This is especially true since Google seems to be putting a lot more effort into expanding third-party apps on its Wear OS 3 smartwatch platform.
Music playback and third-party apps were both reasons to snap up older Fitbit smartwatches if the discount was good enough. But now, those reasons won’t exist for much longer. If all you’re looking for is a simple fitness tracker, then you’d be better off saving some moolah on one of Fitbit’s fitness bands like the Charge 5 or Inspire 3. And if you want a real Fitbit smartwatch, you’ll have to get a Pixel Watch instead.