Digital fitbit/watch

I have been thinking of getting a digital watch for a while, but have held back on the premises of data collection.

If using an app such as this, and with no internet allowed from outside the app, would this make it better to use?

Gadgetbridge (Use your smart watch and other bluetooth devices and keep your data private!)

Is there a better way of doing this, or am I better of just getting a Rolex from the liver I sell in Mexico?
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated :pray:

2 Likes

Thanks for sharing this app. Actually I was looking for similar solution 3-4 days back when i decided to use my old fit band and wasn’t able to find any foss app for it. So I had to go with the official app .What i did was signed up with an alias , had to give a bunch of permissions including location which i faked through mock location but after pairing it once I just blocked it’s acces to the internet with a firewall app like pcapdroid -firewall. So I guess it should be okay atleast to not to share data afterwards on a daily basis. The app still worked without internet.
Now that you bring this app , it looks a much better solution, though I found out that since I have the mi band , it will still require pairing with the official app first for getting the server pairing key.
I will try it out if it works and let you know :+1:

Edit : I paired with this foss app after going through the long process of getting the secret auth key from official app. The foss app does the work decently , but ofcourse the UI is not a good as the official app.

1 Like

I use an Amazfit Bip device with this app and while I believe there are some other apps, none of them are open source and private to my knowledge. Though it does work great, I dont think the watch that I have by itself is good. Its best as a HR monitor when working out (as you can connect it to apps like OpenTracks) but I honestly would prefer an apple watch if I were to use it as a daily driver.

1 Like

what about Garmin and sync locally on your pc https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/privacynotincluded/categories/wearables/

1 Like

About last year, I was given a friends old Samsung Galaxy watch. I was apprehensive of actually taking/using it, so I never really turned it on for awhile. When I eventually turned it on, I found out that I did not need to connect it to my phone. I had to go through a setting or two, but I could run the device with no WiFi/Bluetooth, and all the data was just logged on the watch. It kinda helped with the battery too. Granted, I couldn’t do everything on it, like messaging, and calling (via phone app), but it worked decently well. I’m not sure how Samsung watches are now, especially considering they no longer use TizenOS. Maybe something to look into.

1 Like

I was actually considering this, but I have a feeling since this Apple you need an account? But if not, then something to look in to if it can’t send data. Not that others dont, but since Apple are a trap to ones ecosystem, I wouldn’t be surprised they pull something out that makes it a device that can do some sort of functionality like that. Again, if not, then a pre owner device would be cool.

Man that sucks, kinda discourages me, but things happen I suppose. The way about going through all that for a set up kind of makes me just want a regular watch, since I just want to tell the time lol. But in this case, its less expensive, so there is a trade off here. Looks or tech. Appreciate the advice regardless my friend🙏

What model was it? Or was it just the one?
And interesting. As long as it stayed in my watch, the. I supposed that’s OK. I’m guessing is no true open source for keeping data from going anywhere, it does lose functionally like notifications and texts, but that’s the give and take.

Appreciate the advice guys :pray::pray:

1 Like

I believe it was this one. I assume, that the ability to go without a phone is a Tizen feature, not strictly a watch feature. So, in theory, any Tizen watch should work. So that’s pretty much Samsung’s range, upto the Watch4 (something it was criticized for, by reviewers). The Watch5 uses WearOS.

How to set it up:

  1. When you turn on the watch, it asks you to install, and continue with the app. Instead, scroll down to the “?”, and tap it.
  2. Tap “here”.
  3. Tap “Continue”.
  4. Agree to data collection… which will not be sent, because it has no access to the internet.
  5. You DO NOT need to agree to the Terms and Conditions. Scroll down, and just tap “Next”.
  6. Skip Signing in.
  7. Set timezone, date, time, and create your Pin (basic setup stuff).
  8. Setup is done.
  9. Go to the Connectivity Settings, and make sure BT, WiFi, and Location (GPS) are disabled. You could also turn on Airplane Mode.

I have absolutely no idea on what the startup process looks like with an apple watch, so I can’t answer that. Afaik you can’t use it with an Android, so I guess there’s that.

Gadgetbridge is the only way I’m aware of to use a smart device on Android completely offline. Otherwise I will second Garmin watches, which do collect a lot of data to your Garmin account by default IIRC, but all that data collection should be able to be disabled. I’m not aware of any way to use a WearOS (Android) or TizenOS (Samsung) watch’s fitness features without connecting them to Google Fit and/or Samsung Health which are cloud-based services.

An Apple ID used to be optional but I believe it is now mandatory for the initial setup, could be wrong though. You also need an iPhone.

However, once the Apple Watch is set up you can use it entirely without iCloud integration, Apple Health only operates locally/offline on the iPhone. It does have an option to back up to iCloud, but that can be easily disabled and even if you leave it on Apple Health is end-to-end encrypted with your iPhone’s passcode unlike Google Fit and Samsung Health.

Edit: It’s also worth noting that the Apple Watch is known to be the most accurate smartwatch on basically every metric it tracks, if that’s important to you. I really really like this YouTube channel as far as in-depth looks at various wearable devices go:

2 Likes

Just a thought about Garmin. In theory it sounds great. Yes, you can disable all account/cloud upload and syncing. Yes, you can take data physically from the device itself and yes, you don’t need the account. But you have some basic telemetry only. If you’re using it just for running and a step count it’s probably fine I guess. But for anything else you’re forced to use the cloud anyway.

I tried btw, but it’s so big pain in the ass that I gave up. You have to think about it, because the device has a limited memory for just a few days, you have to find a tool that you can use to process the data. I tried several and it never worked well. Only one kind a good was https://intervals.icu/, but it’s again online service.

Anyway I gave up. Created new email alias with a fake name, put some BS data in and block (hopefully enough) the tracking from the app.

1 Like