Around this time last year, I moved my fitness tracking from a Fitbit Surge to an Apple Watch Series 2. I loved the Fitbit, but I prefer to listen to music during my daily run. I kept my Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi scale, however and still use it daily. That’s great, except for one thing: Fitbit and Apple Health don’t play nicely so I can’t get my weight, body fat and body mass index data into Apple Health automatically.
I’m not the only current or former Fitbit user to notice this gap. On Fitbit’s Feature Request forum, this integration was requested in October, 2014. As of today there are 595 comments and 997 up votes on the post. And thanks to eagle eyed reader Eric, there’s another feature request for the same thing: It has 4,780 comments and 5,862 votes! Fitbit does have official APIs, as does Apple Health in HealthKit. And even though Fitbit syncs to some other services, it seems like the company wants exactly what Apple wants: To be the book of record for your health. I can appreciate that, but sorry Fitbit: I’m still going to use an Apple Watch — my Series 3 with LTE should arrive tomorrow — and the improved Apple Health that arrived with iOS 11.
Since there are APIs for both services, there are several third-party options. After researching a few, I decided to pony up for an iOS app called Sync Solver that moves Fitbit data into Apple Health. There’s also a version for pushing your Apple Health data into Fitbit as well as a third option to sync Fitbit data with a CSV file so you can manipulate the data any way you’d like. Each app is $2.99 although you can bundle any two for $4.99 or all three for $6.99.
Once installed, you do have to give the app access to your Fitbit account. This is done through Fitbit’s website within the app. You’re not providing credentials directly to the third-party application. After authentication, Sync Solver asks which data points you want to pull from Fitbit into Apple Health. There’s a wide range: steps, flights climbed, walking + running distance, the trio of weight measures from an Aria scale, sleep, water, and calories.
For my purposes, I chose weight, body fat percentage and body mass index. A click of the Sync Now button and just a few seconds later, more than 1,000 data points were in Apple Health. Success!
What I like best about the application is that you don’t even need to have Fitbit installed on your phone to use Sync Solver. That’s because it synchronizes with your account via Fitbit’s website.
Even so, there are some limitations. Sync Solver doesn’t currently have access to Heart Rate data because that requires a Partner API, which the developer has applied for but Fitbit hasn’t approved. Without the Partner API, Sync Solver can only get daily level data, so certain synchronized activities will show as a single data point in Apple Health. Additionally, when you authorize Sync Solver to access your Fitbit account, that only lasts for 30 days: You’ll have to log in again after that for another 30-day period. Also, the app is supposed to sync once per day automatically although that seems a little hit or miss for me so far.
All in all, however, this was $2.99 well spent for me. During a recent checkup to address an unexplainable weight loss issue, I showed my doctor some of the Health data for more detail. He could see the trend as well as the daily information as opposed to the office’s records from 6 and 12 months ago.
Ideally, I’d love to see both Fitbit and Apple Health officially support a more open data exchange between the two services but I doubt that’s going to happen. In the meantime, thanks to enterprising app developers and available APIs, Sync Solver is a pretty solid option.
Update: This post was updated at 1:44pm, September 22 to include information about the second instance of this feature request on the Fitbit forums.