Fitbit adds passive tracking to app

By Aditi Pai
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FitbitSan Francisco, California-based Fitbit has released an update to its app which use Apple's M7 motion coprocessor, according to TechCrunch, so that even those without a Fitbit activity tracker can use the app to get data about their fitness trends.

The new feature is called Motion Track and will track only basic activity, but will rival other app-only trackers such as Moves and Noom. Fitbit also redesigned other aspects of the app for Apple's iOS 7 including the app's silent alarm settings, profile editor, tracker settings, and sign up and sign in functions. Users can also set their own custom water goals now.

Fitbit isn't the first activity tracker maker to use iOS7 to offer a passive tracking feature. Around the same time Apple announced the update, the company also profiled Nike's app Nike+ Move, which some have reported is a gateway app for those interested in purchasing Nike+ FuelBand.

"The great team at Nike is creating a new application called Nike+ Move," Apple’s Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said at the time. "It is all about helping athletes stay motivated, fit, and active throughout their day. It uses the new M7 chip and Core Motion API as well as GPS to help keep track of the kind of activities you are taking part in throughout the day and where you are doing it. It gives you Nike Fuel Points and lets you compete with friends over Game Center. All in the service of helping you have a more healthy and active lifestyle throughout your day.”

In November, Finland-based Protogeo released Moves 2.0, an iOS7 compatible update. Along with the update, the company also announced the app will no longer be free.

"Now that we have this new battery mode we think it’s remarkably better and the value that people get out of it is very similar to what the activity tracking gadgets have to offer," Moves CEO Sampo Karjalainen told MobiHealthNews at the time. "We think it’s still quite affordable compared to those $100 gadgets."