Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Lloyd Coombes

Fitbit's new Walkmate feature is designed to help you increase your step count – no tracker required

Fitbit Sense.

Fitbit is primarily known for being synonymous with fitness trackers, but it's less well known for its excellent app, which you can make some use of without a companion device. Starting now, a new feature on the Fitbit app offers some of the benefits of the best Fitbit devices - namely, the useful prompts and step-counting features.

That's the idea behind a new initiative from Fitbit called Fitbit Walkmate, still in its testing phase, which aims to "help you walk more and stay active" even if you're not wearing a tracker. It does this by offering a Fitbit app notification each day to "reflect on so you can plan your walk for the day".

As spotted by 9to5Google, Walkmate users get "personalized daily notifications to stay active".

"Learnings will help Fitbit users walk more", the notification within the Fitbit app explains.

US users taking part in the study will need to complete a study, but it's aimed at those who walk fewer than 8,000 steps on average each day. If that's you and you want to get involved in the trial it's easy to sign up.

Here's how:

How to sign up to the Fitbit Walkmate trial

  • Open the Fitbit app on your phone
  • Enter the Steps section. If you're in the US, you may see a Google Health card labeled "Walkmate".
  • Tap on the card and accept the requests for permissions from Google to enroll. 

Analysis: How helpful will Walkmate be?

By aiming at those walking fewer than 8,000 steps a day on average, and by sending a personalized notification once a day, there's an argument that Fitbit is targeting those who are capable of walking, but who struggle to find the time.

After enrolling, a Walk Mate card will appear on your Today feed, so every time you open your Fitbit app, you'll get an additional reminder to get your steps in as well as Fitbit using its push notifications service.

As we've covered before, walking is an excellent way to increase your natural fitness, regardless of age and lifestyle, but will one notification be enough or does a newcomer need the additional gentle tap on the wrist to get moving? 

It could be a fantastic additional layer to an already excellent Premium workout app, but we're glad it's arrived on the free tier as well. Having data from Walkmate factor into the service's excellent Daily Readiness Score could be another big boost, whether you wear a Fitbit tracker or not. It could even be a prompt to buy one of the best under-desk treadmills to get you moving more. 

A more gentle way of getting in shape? Sign us up.

You might also like:

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.