The 7 Best Fitbit Features You're (Probably) Not Using

From Fitbit Challenge to Fitbit Coach and more. Find out what yours can do

Fitbit fitness trackers are a popular way to count steps, record workouts, and analyze sleep patterns. But there's more to these devices and their apps than meets the eye.

Here are seven surprising Fitbit features that the average user forgets to use or doesn't know exists.

01
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Fitbit Works Without a Fitbit Device

A couple exercising with a smartphone
John Fedele / Blend Images
What We Like
  • It's free. It only requires you to keep your mobile device on you at all times, which is something many people do already.

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks some of the advanced features that Fitbit devices have, such as heart rate monitoring.

  • It can't be used for water activities like swimming, which a waterproof Fitbit can manage.

Some people don't own a Fitbit tracker because these devices are too expensive, or they don't want to wear tech on their wrists. The official Fitbit app tracks steps as well as the Fitbit wearable trackers and works on any mobile device. And it's free! No purchase or wrist-wear is required.

02
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Fitbit Coach Streaming Workouts

Fitbit Coach streaming workout service on Xbox One X
Fitbit
What We Like
  • A great way to introduce a variety of exercise styles if you limit yourself to walking or running.

What We Don't Like
  • It offers several workouts for free, but much of the content is behind a paywall.

Fitbit Coach is a streaming video platform that provides an ever-growing library of workout videos designed for a variety of fitness levels and interests. What sets Fitbit Coach apart from similar exercise services is that it offers numerous short routines. These routines are mixed and matched into playlists suited to your fitness and energy levels. Fitbit Coach uses the same account as the regular Fitbit apps, and data is synced between the two.

Fitbit Coach apps are compatible with Windows 10 PCs and tablets, Windows 10 Mobile smartphones, Xbox One video game consoles, iPhones and iPads, and Android devices.

03
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The Fitbit Windows 10 Live Tile

Fitbit Windows 10 app Live Tile
What We Like
  • Conveniently displays your steps and challenge progress on the desktop or a smartphone without opening the app.

  • A constant reminder to keep moving and stay on top of your fitness goals.

What We Don't Like
  • Live Tile functionality is unavailable on iOS and Android devices.

If you have a Windows 10 device or a Windows Phone with Windows 10 Mobile, the Fitbit app supports the Windows 10 Live Tile functionality. This Live Tile displays live data from the Fitbit app without opening it.

To pin the Fitbit app, find it in the installed app list from the Start Menu, right-click it, and select Pin to Start. You can then move the pinned app to wherever you would like on your device's Start Menu. You can resize it by right-clicking the tile and choosing one of four Resize options.

The Live Tile feature is compatible with all Windows 10 PCs and tablets and Windows Phones with Windows 10 Mobile.

04
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Fitbit Works on Xbox One Consoles

Xbox One X and Xbox One S consoles, Xbox Controllers, Xbox 1, XB1
Microsoft
What We Like
  • An easy way to monitor your fitness data on a larger screen.

  • Trigger Xbox notifications when you meet your daily goal.

What We Don't Like
  • Can't sync to your Fitbit device. You'll need to use a smartphone, tablet, or Windows 10 PC to do that.

The official Fitbit app can be downloaded and opened on Microsoft Xbox. To find the app, search for Fitbit in the Store section of the dashboard.

The Fitbit app is available on the Microsoft Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X video game consoles.

05
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Compete With Friends in a Fitbit Challenge

Fitbit Challenges on the Fitbit iPhone App
Fitbit
What We Like
  • It encourages you to exercise more.

What We Don't Like
  • Start and end times can be confusing when participants are in different time zones.

The Fitbit Challenges feature takes the Fitbit experience to a new level by gamifying your exercise and allowing you to compete with friends in daily or weekly leaderboards. Users can compete to take the most steps or reach their daily goal first. Progress is tracked through a leaderboard that all participants can comment on for the duration of the challenge.

Fitbit Challenges can be tracked and initiated on all Fitbit apps and devices. Open the Challenges tab after opening the app and scroll down to the bottom of the screen to start one with your friends.

06
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Race Through Fitbit Adventures and Solo Adventure Challenges

Fitbit Adventures feature on the iPhone Fitbit app
Fitbit
What We Like
  • Visualized steps on a map give a sense of progress and an end goal.

  • Trivia is included at each location throughout the race.

  • Solo Adventures are fun if you don't feel like competing with others.

What We Don't Like
  • It may be hard to explain to those who haven't tried it yet.

Fitbit Adventures are similar to Challenges. However, instead of using basic leaderboards, participants race around a 3D map of real-world locations such as New York City and Yosemite. One thousand steps in real life with your Fitbit will move you 1,000 steps along the racecourse within the app.

Adventure Races and Solo Adventures are compatible with all Fitbit apps.

07
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Fitbit Has a Social Network

Jogger checking Fitbit app on iPhone

Fitbit

What We Like
  • Content shared on the feed is only visible to friends, which is great if you don't want your activity made public.

What We Don't Like
  • It's easy to forget that the social feature exists in the Community tab of the Fitbit app and not on the main dashboard.

Fitbit has always had social features, including friends list and leaderboards. Still, a newer feature that longtime users may be unfamiliar with is its social feed, which is located under the Community tab.

In this feed, you can post updates like you would on Facebook or Twitter and share Fitbit activity such as steps taken or badges you unlocked. Friends can comment on each other's posts and cheer them (similar to liking on Facebook) for quick interaction.

The social feed is available in all versions of the Fitbit app.