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Idle Movement Notification On Fitbit Blaze

Updated on June 24, 2016
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Jeff Johnston is a medieval reenactor and avid history fan. He is also the publisher at Living History Publications.

The Fitbit Blaze

I purchased my Fitbit Blaze recently after my Fitbit Flex failed and I was impossible to charge. I decided to upgrade to the Fitbit Blaze primarily for the heart rate monitor feature.The Fitbit Blaze is one of the newest fitness trackers from Fitbit and it is taking the market by storm. It is more than just a fitness tracker, it has some features of a smartwatch and all the features of a high end fitness tracker. Retailing at just under $200 it is not the cheapest fitness tracker on the market, but it is indeed one of the better ones.

There are many cool features the Fitbit Blaze has above and beyond a pedometer. I has the ability to use your smartphone's GPS to do detailed tracking of hikes, runs and walks. It can auto recognize different exercises. It has three built in FitStar exercise recommendations. On top of that it has a watch option, text caller, and calendar notifications from your smart phone.

While it might not quite be an ideal smartwatch lacking many features of a true smartwatch such as the Apple Watch or any number of the Android watches available, however it does have many more fitness features than any of the available smartwatches.

In my opinion one of the major drawbacks of the Fitbit Blaze is the lack of idle movement notification. Fitbit introduced this feature into the Fitbit Alta, the other new addition to the Fitbit family. For some reason, in their infinite (or rather obviously finite) wisdom, Fitbit decided to not roll this feature out into existing models nor include it in the new Blaze. While Fitbit does claim to roll it out to the Fitbit Blaze in future upgrades I decided not to wait and figured there had to be a way to use existing add on apps to create a work around so that I could have this option on my Blaze.

Fitbit Blaze Review

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How to Hack your Android Phone and Fitbit for Idle Notification Feature

I was able to combine three separate apps to make my phone vibrate if I have not taken a given number of steps in an hour. The great thing about my method vs. Fitbits method is it is easy to set the number of steps so you can use as a method to reach certain goals as well, I currently have it set at 300 steps as just a reminder to get up and move once and a while if I am working and stuck at my desk.

The method isn't perfect though and it does have a major drawback. In order for the system to work you must have an Android smart phone that has a step counter built in, and you must have the phone on you when you are moving. Unfortunately I have not yet figured out how to get use the Fitbit Blaze's own step counter to send the notifications.

Despite this drawback I feel it is a useful hack to the Fitbit Blaze's already impressive feature list.

Required Apps

  1. Google Fit
  2. Move it!
  3. Fit Notifications

All three of the apps are free on the google play store, and none of them have any irritating ads like so many free apps have.

Required Hardware

  1. Fitbit Blaze
  2. Android phone with the ability to track steps, I recommend the Samsung Galaxy s5 Active for it's durability, and I can attest the fact that the pedometer is accurate enough to use for this

Move It! Settings Screen

Screen shot of the settings page of Move It!
Screen shot of the settings page of Move It! | Source

Instructions

  1. Install Google Fit and set it up for tracking your steps.
  2. Install Move it
  3. Open move it and click the three dots in the top right hand corner of the screen
  4. Tap on Settings
  5. Sign into Google Fit
  6. Choose how many steps you'd like to set as your minimum threshold for steps into the "Inactivity is anything less than" section
  7. Turn on Enable movement reminders
  8. If you want the watch to bug you more often you can turn on the "Nag me" option.
  9. Choose the time period and dates you want to use to notify you (unfortunately you cannot set different times for weekends than weekdays)
  10. Exit out of the Move it App
  11. Install Fit Notifications App
  12. Fit Notifications App comes with a comprehensive set of instructions. Follow these steps carefully, when choosing apps to notify be sure to chose Move It!. Other apps are optional and you can get any app that sends notifications to your phone to send notifications to your Fitbit Blaze.

And that's all it takes. It is fairly easy to get working, and one of the side benefits is getting notifications from anything, I use it to get notifications of raids against my village in Clash of Clans, and notifications of when the Northern Lights are visible in my area using AuroraNotifier, but really it can be used to send any notification to your watch. Sure your phone has to be on and within bluetooth range, but as I have my phone on me most times I don't find this a big deal, and I can turn my phone volume down so I am not bothered by notifications, I can trust my watch to notify me as needed.

Final Thoughts

So far as I know this is the only way to have your Fitbit Blaze notify you when you are being a lazy slug, but as I stated earlier Fitbit claims they are considering rolling out idle notifications in future updates, but I personally have no intention of waiting as this has been a frequently requested feature of pretty much every model of their trackers. Fitbit continues to make promises of possible future upgrades but nothing concrete seems to ever come of it. I believe my method works well enough for my needs, so I intend to continue using it, I've been using it for a few days and it is working exactly as I had hoped.

© 2016 Jeff Johnston

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