Fitbit Alta essential tips and tricks

Essential Tips for Fitbit Alta

Fitbit Alta is one of two new fitness trackers recently released from the massively popular company, and arguably Alta is its best looking device to date.

But it’s more than just a nice looking gadget, and there may be a few things you still don’t know about it that could make your life easier.

From setting alarms to customising the new step reminders and changing your Fitbit’s band from Classic to Luxe, here’s how to find the essential bits and pieces to get the most out of your Fitbit Alta.

Do Fitbit Adventure challenges with Alta

Getting bored of tracking your office treks? Doing Fitbit’s new Adventure challenge may help. Announced when the Charge 2 and Flex 2 hit the scene, Adventure matches the steps you’ve taken with hikes around Yosemite National Park in California. There are landmarks and bits of trivia you can unlock along the way, and lucky for you, it’s not time sensitive when you complete each Adventure. Rather, it’s about logging in steps to get the reward of seeing ‘where you’ve been’ in each area.

It’s super simple to get started since all you need is the latest Fitbit app. To update, head to the app store and download the newest version. Then go into the Challenges tab in the Fitbit app. Tap ‘Start tomorrow’ and every step you take the next day will be counted towards your progress.

Use Fitbit Alta with Amazon Echo

If you’re already connected to an Amazon Echo and asking Alex for daily weather reports, you might as well ask about your Fitbit stats too. For this tip, you’ll need an Echo account. Head to the Skills tab to download the Fitbit Skill then enable it by allowing all the permissions.

After that’s set up, you’ll have say “Alexa, ask Fitbit” each time but it’s not too bad, with the final result sounding like “Alexa, ask Fitbit how many steps I’ve taken today.”

You should be able to get verbal information on steps, taken, distance, calories, stairs climbed, battery life and much more with Alexa’s help.

What Fitbit Alta’s vibrations mean

Like many (perhaps all?) fitness trackers out there, you’re going to get a lot of vibrations on your wrist. Unlike the new Fitbit Flex 2 which pairs its haptics with LED lights, you can turn your wrist to see what the buzzing means on Alta. But if you don’t want to keep relying on the display, here’s what the the Fitbit Alta buzzes mean.

  • One continuous vibration – An alarm you’ve set is going off
  • Up to three vibrations with pauses in between – Your phone is ringing
  • Two short vibrations – Reminders to take more steps before the hour is up or the hour is already up and you’ve met the 250 step goal
  • A series of vibrations – You’ve met your daily activity goal

Setting hourly step reminders

Step reminders are the latest feature added that’s come to the Alta first, and is now available on all the Fitbit devices except One and Zip. Rather than just standing for a bit, Alta’s reminders encourage you to walk 250 steps per hour – which is just a few minutes of walking.

The minimum steps can’t be changed but you can customise the default tracking that’s set to 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, seven days a week.

There’s two ways to change this. Open the Fitbit app and select Hourly Activity (the one with the red figure with its arms up). Then tap the settings gear in the top right corner.

Or once again in the app, go and tap on the Fitbit Alta icon twice to see “Reminders to move.” From there, you can also adjust the number of hours per day and set the days of the week where you’ll be reminded to reach your step goal.

Changing Fitbit bands

Fitbit straps haven’t been the easiest to wear with the clasp pinholes proving to be bothersome little things. However it’s designed somewhat better on the Alta and much easier to use. Also simpler: changing the Fitbit straps.

The Classic models are what you’ll get at the lower end of the price spectrum and look sporty in black, blue, plum and teal then you have the $59.95 Luxe models in blush pink leather, graphite leather and a $99.95 stainless steel option plus designer brands coming soon.

With so many options, you’ll likely want to experiment right? Doing so is simple. Just flip the Alta over, press on the latch and push out to release the tracker. Slide your choice of band into the same slot and it will snap into place.

For sensitive sleepers

Like with the other Fitbits, there’s a way on that Alta to make sure automated sleep tracking picks up more accurate data.

Head into the advanced settings inside the app which can be found under the Account tab. Here you’ll find the option to change sleep sensitivity to sensitive to improve the detection of your movements at night.

Maximize battery life

The Alta lasts a surprisingly long time – about five days according to Fitbit, but seven to eight by our testing. However there are still ways to prolong usage.

There’s a maximum of eight alarms you can set, and each one you add reduces battery life by a small percentage. So less alarms, longer battery life.

Turn off Quick View at night. Quick View lets you see the clock face when you turn your wrist. It’s a handy feature to have on in the day, but a pain when trying to sleep since the little screen can get really bright. When Quick View is off, double tap the screen to wake it up.

Lessen the amount of time that Alta reminds you to move – directions above on how to do this.

Turn off Always Connected on Android devices and All-Day sync on iOS so your Alta isn’t constantly syncing.

Lastly, though it’s a fitness tracker, Alta isn’t meant for extreme outdoor conditions. Charging it in severe heat or cold may likely reduce battery life.

Change the face

There are several clock faces to choose from – five vertical or five horizontal clock to be exact. Tap on the account tab again to find the various faces then pick whichever one you prefer.

If you wear the Alta with the display on top of your wrist, vertical is easier to read, while horizontal is better for the bottom of your wrist. Though, it’s completely up to you.