Google Maps is coming to Fitbits – but it won't replace your Garmin any time soon

Hiker standing on rocks in stream while checking her watch
(Image credit: Getty)

Google Maps integration is coming to certain Fitbit devices, but it's not going to replace your Garmin watch for navigation on hikes and trail runs any time soon.

Eagle-eyed reporters at 9to5Google spotted several references to Google Maps in the latest version of the Fitbit app for Android. These suggest the mapping service will soon be available as an app for Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 4 devices.

This addition is no great surprise (Fitbit has been owned by Google since January 2021). However, unlike navigation on the best GPS watches, it looks like maps on Fitbit devices won't work independently of your phone. Although the Sense 2 and Versa 4 have their own GPS modules, the Google Maps app will instead use a Bluetooth connection to your handset, which will be doing the heavy lifting.

Hands free – sort of

Open the Google Maps app on your phone, choose a destination, begin navigating to that point, and your watch will show turn-by-turn instructions. It's not clear whether there will be an actual map visible on the watch's display, or just arrows and prompts.

This will definitely have its advantages, particularly for navigating in busy city streets where there's a danger of having your phone snatched if you're holding it, but it's clearly not going to be a substitute for a purpose-built GPS watch for pathfinding off-road. If that's what you need, then you can pick up the Garmin Forerunner 55 for around the same price as a top-end Fitbit, or slightly less.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.