When Fitbit launched its free, native app for Windows Phone 8.1 four months ago, it was a huge win for Microsoft which has in the past struggled to entice big names to its platform.
The Fitbit app includes pretty much everything an owner of one of the firm’s activity trackers could want, including real-time and historical stats, automatic wireless syncing, activity and food logging, and the ability to pin the Fitbit Live Tile to your Start screen.
But where some companies simply port Android or iOS versions of their apps to Windows Phone and then forget about them, Fitbit shows just how committed it is to Microsoft's mobile platform by updating its app to introduce Cortana integration for easy voice-activated food & activity logging.
Along with this, there are several other new additions:
- Cortana: Available today in beta, users can quickly log any of the 350,000 foods in the Fitbit database using natural language like "Fitbit, I ate lasagna for dinner" or "Fitbit, I had a coffee with breakfast". Users can also create silent alarms for Fitbit trackers.
- Fitbit Challenges: Users can directly compete with up to 10 friends and family to help meet and beat goals in new competitions, including Daily Showdown, Workweek Hustle and Weekend Warrior.
- MobileTrack: Windows Phone users can track steps directly from their smartphone - no Fitbit required.
- Background Sync and Push Notifications: Now available for Challenges, messages, progress updates and more.
"We’re committed to the Windows Phone community and are excited to bring these innovative features to the Fitbit experience on this platform", says James Park, CEO and Co-founder of Fitbit.
"As we do across all mobile platforms, we’re continuing to design features that empower people with information and motivate them to set and reach goals with fun and engaging experiences on our mobile apps.
"However, with the custom Cortana integration, we worked closely with Microsoft to design around its unique and innovative intelligent personal assistant technology to create an awesome experience for Fitbit users syncing to the Windows Phone platform, making it even easier for them to track and take control of their health and fitness results".
And it doesn’t stop there. Future additions, made in conjunction with Microsoft, include:
- Additional Cortana Functionality: Upcoming Cortana features will include activity logging and the ability to enable exercise mode, all through voice commands.
- Support for New Fitbit Products: Windows Phone users will have immediate syncing with Fitbit Charge and support for Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge, as well as heart rate tracking, which will be live once those products are available.
- Windows App: Windows 8.1 desktop, laptop and tablet users will experience a new Fitbit app for Windows 8.1, completely remade with a new design and better functionality. Features will include manual logging of activities, food, sleep, weight and water, as well as Challenges. This will be available soon.
- MobileRun: Windows Phone 8.1 will be able to access MobileRun, which uses GPS to track, log and compare workouts and offers real-time updates while running, as well as voice cues delivering stats and providing extra encouragement. That will be available soon also.
- New Language Support: The app will soon offer support for French, German, Italian and Spanish languages.
"The Windows platform offers a rich ecosystem of apps for health and fitness enthusiasts", says Todd Brix, general manager, Windows Apps and Store, Microsoft.
"Like us, Fitbit also aims to provide an unparalleled user experience, and we’re excited Fitbit is bringing even more functionality to the hugely popular Fitbit app for Windows Phone, including unique features like Cortana integration".
The new Windows Phone app features are compatible with all Fitbit products, including Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Charge HR and Fitbit Surge activity trackers, as well as Fitbit Flex, Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip.
You can download the app from the Windows Phone Store.