Jawbone announced last week that their Jawbone UP was now available forAndroid, which was great news – I had been looking into getting the Fitbit Flex but with their overly long lead time to market (coming in Spring since back in January), I was more than ready to try the Jawbone instead.
Jawbone had some problems with their first generation device, but they seem to have overcome them for this second generation at least according to the iPad crowd.
The Jawbone hardware, so far appears to work very well, exactly as they described and I’m glad that I bought it. However, it appears from my interaction with them that Jawbone doesn’t quite ‘get’ the Android market. The Jawbone UP app is only available on the Google Play store and is only available apparently to the dozen or so devices listed on the Jawbone device compatibility list. Google Play will not let you download the app because the Jawbone App manifest is apparently very restrictive as to what devices it will allow. Of course I only found this out after Amazon delivered my Jawbone in one day and I couldn’t use it.
I called support at Jawbone and emailed them and even though I explained via email and over the phone that my phone was running 4.0 and my Xoom was fully JellyBean at 4.1.2 there was no joy in getting the app. They seemed surprised to know that they could actually put a link to their own app on their own web site and we Android owners could download for ourselves they didn’t actually need to be in the Play store and unlike Apple they could allow the app to be obtained directly from them. In fact I received a follow-up email today from Jawbone support explaining that my Xoom was released with 3.0 and so would not be supported. I’m sending them a link to this blog post so that they get that Android devices just like Apple devices do get updates to newer versions they are not stuck with what was installed at the factory.
Bottom-line if you are not on the list of their supported devices, and even if you are. Download and install the app before you even think of buying the Jawbone UP. If you can’t get the app installed before you buy it – the experience will not get any better when you actually have the Jawbone in hand.
I ended up trying out 4 tablets and 3 Android phones (hoping to get the .APK that I could email to myself) and none of them worked including a supposedly compatible Samsung LG phone. I did eventually manage to get the app from a kind android user who mailed it to me and if you want to risk it, you can try the torrent route (so not recommended). Of course Jawbone may listen and provide a download link but who knows. I’m using the Jawbone with my Xoom and I like it – more about that in my next post after I have more than 1 day experience.