About to get a fitbit tracker watch for the first time, do most smartwatches today allow easy integration into external health apps by default?

Or do they generally try to lock you in to only using health apps from their own ecosystem.

I’m trying to begin tracking my health metrics but want the data to be completely and readily portable, I figure a smartwatch is probably a good place to start!

Any other tips for a first-time smart-watch buyer? I’ve been told I should take things like the “calories burned” counter with a pinch of salt.

What external health apps do you have in mind?

Some companies are better than others. I’m a developer and have worked with most of the available APIs. From best to worst:

  • Garmin - very developer friendly with daily and intraday data available.
  • Fitbit - developer friendly with decent API, although not all data is available.
  • Oura - developer friendly with daily health data. Intra-day not available.
  • Apple Watch - can only access health data via an iOS app.
  • Whoop - no public API.

Hi Edward / @ekerstein,
I’m also a developer myself, but have not gotten the chance to play with these APIs yet. However, I had gotten the impression from Garmin’s developer page that you needed to be a company or commercial endeavor of some kind, just to get access to their API - that it’s not open to personal usage by hobbyists like us.

Am I wrong? How have you gotten access to the Garmin API?

What external health apps do you have in mind?

Nothing specific yet, but given the nature of the tech industry with new players coming and going, I think it’s best if the data is as portable as possible!

Hmm, you may be correct. I requested access as part of an app I was creating, so perhaps that why I got it. Not sure what the options are for personal/hobby development.

I will say that the Garmin API (although excellent) is push only. So you need to setup webhooks to get the data. The data is pushed every time Garmin Connect is synced.

So it’s not the simplest to setup from a development perspective. But you can access a lot of data.