Very few activity trackers and smartwatches can connect to the internet. Most, if not all, rely on a smartphone for their connection. These devices are small and have several sensors to power. That leaves little power for a WiFi connection. Activity trackers and smartwatches run their own firmware, and like any firmware they get an upgrad from time to time. If  you’re looking to buy an activity tracker or smartwatch that cannot connect directly to the internet you might wonder how to upgrade firmware on an activity tracker or smartwatch. The process is pretty simple.

Companion Apps

All fitness trackers and smartwatches have companion apps. These companion apps act as dashboards and data storage and sync clients. The following is a brief list of companion apps for popular activity trackers and smartwatches.

Garmin Watch/Tracker: Garmin Connect for iOS, Android, and Windows 10 PC Mobile

Fitbit Trackers: Fitbit for iOS, Android, and Windows 10 PC Mobile

Nokia Watch: Nokia Health Mate for iOS and Android.

Moov Now: Moov for iOS and Android.

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Samsung Gear: Samsung Gear for iOS and Android.

TomTom Watch/Tracker: TomTom Sports for iOS and Android.

Xiaomi: Mi Fit for iOS and Android.

Apple Watch: Watch app by Apple

If your tracker’s companion app isn’t listed here you can search for it in the app store on your phone. Alternatively, visit your tracker’s website and you will be able to find a link to the official app. Remember that these apps are always free and there are never any in-app purchases. There is no Apple Watch companion app for Android. A manufacturer may have several different types of trackers and smartwatches however they will all connect to and sync via the same app.

Upgrade Firmware

Before you upgrade firmware on an activity tracker or smartwatch, you’ll need to check if there is an update. This is done through the companion app for your tracker. It should have a settings screen that gives you information about your device. Tap firmware to check if there is an update. Alternatively, some trackers deliver a firmware update via an app update. Check if there is an update for your companion app. The change log of the new update will tell you if there is a firmware update for a device.

To upgrade the firmware, make sure you’re running the latest version of the companion app. Make sure your tracker/watch is charged to at least 50%, as is your phone or laptop. You don’t want either devices to shut down during the upgrade. The companion app will download the upgrade. All you need to do is connect your tracker to your phone or PC. It will push the update automatically.

A firmware upgrade for an activity tracker or smartwatch doesn’t take more than a few minutes to complete.