Google Now Owns Fitbit Both companies reiterated pledges to be device-agnostic and to keep user data private.

By Nathan Ingraham

entrepreneur daily

This story originally appeared on Engadget

Anadolu Agency/Getty Images via engadget

Google has completed its $2.1 billion purchase of Fitbit, more than a year after the deal was first announced. The EU approved the acquisition in late December, clearing the way towards Google's ownership over what is perhaps the best-known brand out there for mainstream fitness-tracking devices. Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park reiterated in a letter today that Fitbit would continue to be device-agnostic, making products that work with both iPhones and Android devices.

Both Park and Google's Rick Osterloh also reiterated that this deal was always about "devices, not data." That's shorthand for Google and Fitbit's pledge to keep user data private going forward; Park said that "Fitbit users' health and wellness data won't be used for Google ads and this data will be kept separate from other Google ad data."

It's not clear yet exactly how Fitbit will change under Google's ownership; thus far it seems like the brand will continue to be distinct from Google. That's how things looked when Google purchased Nest as well, though — the smart home brand eventually lost its status as a separate company though and is now just a sub-brand of Google's hardware division. When the deal was first announced, Osterloh noted the deal was an opportunity for the company to make "Made by Google" wearables, and comments from both Osterloh and Park made it sound as if future devices would run Google's own Wear OS software. Whether that means Fitbit's software is going to be completely replaced by Google's on future devices remains to be seen.

Related: Why Fitbit Prioritizes People Over Products

Fitbit didn't take the last year off, releasing the Sense fitness watch back in September. It's probably the most advanced device Fitbit has made thus far, adding in a host of new health-tracking features like EDA and skin temperature sensors as well as an updated heart rate sensor. The Sense also has much better battery life than Samsung and Apple's watches, though it's also a lot more sluggish when launching apps or moving through its interface. The Sense also now has the distinction of being the last major product Fitbit released before Google took over, so we'll now be looking to see how long it takes before Google's influence starts showing up in new products.

Nathan Ingraham

Senior Editor at Engadget

Nathan Ingraham is a senior editor at Engadget and was formerly an editor at The Verge. A semi-recent San Francisco resident by way of Boston, Ingraham covers Google, gaming, apps and services (especially music), weird internet culture and much more. He'll review just about any odd piece of hardware that comes his way. In his spare time, Ingraham enjoys the awesome food SF has to offer and loves taking photos around northern California.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Starting a Business

This Retiree's Leisurely Side Hustle Makes $66,000 a Year and, 'You Don't Even Need to Go to High School to Do It'

Barbara Hill wanted a flexible, part-time job that would transition well into retirement. Now she mentors younger people who are making over $200,000 a year. Here's her insider's guide to getting started.

Devices

Save $30 on a Bluetooth Smart Projector

Improve your home entertainment center or conference room easily and affordably.

Marketing

The Miley Cyrus Approach To Marketing — Why It's a Radically Different Method For Achieving Brand Impact

In case you missed it, Miley Cyrus recently won her first Grammy. In her acceptance speech, she told a story that is a great learning lesson for business owners and marketers alike, especially those who find themselves burned out and exhausted in this current environment.

Business News

HP Wants You to 'Never Own A Printer Again,' Launches Rental Subscription

In February, HP's CEO Enrique Lores stated that making printing a subscription service was the company's "long-term objective."

Business News

IKEA Price Increases Are Going Viral — Here's How Much Your Favorite Couch Costs Now: 'Inflation Is Crazy'

A video with a customer complaining about "inflation" and "corporate greed" has racked up over 1.3 million views on TikTok.