Fitbit admits smartphone data and battery drain issue for Android users

Update: Fitness tracking giant rolls out potential fix for app bug
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A few days ago, some Fitbit users started noticing something strange: The app was draining more data than usual - a lot more - and in some cases, smartphone battery too.

Since then the issue has been reported by more and more people who have noticed their data usage has skyrocketed. The culprit is Fitbit's app, which has been eating up data in the background, although the problem seems to only be affecting Android users at present.

Read this: Best fitness trackers 2018

The problem appears to be a bug that Fitbit recently became aware of and rolled out a fix for (version 2.74.1) - but it didn't work. Weirder still, switching off background data usage doesn't seem to fix the problem. Since then, Fitbit has released another update of its Fitbit Android app (version 2.74.2), which it says should address concerns related to mobile data usage.

Here's how to update your Fitbit Android app:

1. Go to the Google Play Store

If you already have the Fitbit app downloaded to your smartphone (which we assume you do), the quickest way to find out whether you're running the most recent version of the app is to launch the Google Play app on your phone and in the search bar up top, type in 'Fitbit'. That should bring up the Fitbit app in the search results.

2. How to check the app version

Fitbit admits smartphone data and battery drain issue for Android users

If you want to know what version of the app is available, tap on that Fitbit search result and that should open up a full screen page detailing information about the latest app update. If you tap the READ MORE button on the page, this will provide details of the latest updates being rolled out to the app. Scroll all the way down the page and you should see down the bottom details of the version of the app.

3. Update to latest app

If you're ready to get updated, then scroll back up the page you should see the option to Uninstall and either an option to Update or Open. If it says Open, then you're running the latest version of the app. If it says Update, click that update button to make it happen. That should initiate the downloading process, which can vary in time depending on how big the update is.

Once downloaded, the update will be automatically installed and that option the previously said update should now say open. You can now select it to launch into the Fitbit app and you can start getting to grips with any new features or hope that issues you've been experiencing have definitely been fixed.

Fitbit on its data drain problems

When approached for comment when the issue was first reported, the company provided the following statement:

"Fitbit is committed to delivering the best possible experience for our users. We are aware of the reported issue and an update to our Android app will be rolled out to users tomorrow, 11 July. We believe this will address any remaining concerns related to this issue."

Fitbit admits smartphone data and battery drain issue for Android users

If you've updated your app to the latest version and you're still seeing issues (hopefully you shouldn't) it might be a wise choice to get it uninstalled. Hopefully, though, that shouldn't be the case.

This obviously isn't great for Fitbit, which is going to have a lot of angry users overspending their monthly data allowance. One user complained of the app draining 3.5GB of mobile data so far this month. Others on the Fitbit forum have quoted high numbers, too.

We asked what data is being sucked out, but Fitbit has so far not responded to this specific query. We'll update this story when we know more.

WareableFitbit admits smartphone data and battery drain issue for Android users


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Hugh Langley


Now at Business Insider, Hugh originally joined Wareable from TechRadar where he’d been writing news, features, reviews and just about everything else you can think of for three years.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider.

Prior to Wareable, Hugh freelanced while studying, writing about bad indie bands and slightly better movies. He found his way into tech journalism at the beginning of the wearables boom, when everyone was talking about Google Glass and the Oculus Rift was merely a Kickstarter campaign - and has been fascinated ever since.

He’s particularly interested in VR and any fitness tech that will help him (eventually) get back into shape. Hugh has also written for T3, Wired, Total Film, Little White Lies and China Daily.

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