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Get started with Fitbit Alta

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The Fitbit Alta isn’t all that different from the company’s previous activity trackers, but it does have a few new tricks up its sleeve. Or is it up your sleeve? Either way, here’s what you need to know to get started with the Alta.

App first

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Fitbit offers an app to sync and monitor your progress from your smartphone or computer. Users of iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices can install the app, free of charge. While those without a smartphone or tablet can install the desktop application.

After creating a Fitbit account, the app will walk you through setting up the tracker and connecting it to your respective device. During the process you’re asked to select which watch face you want to use, identify which wrist you’re wearing the band on will be informed of some basic controls (e.g., raise your wrist or tap on the band to turn the screen on).

Notifications

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As with the Fitbit Blaze, the Alta is capable of pushing alerts from your smartphone to the band. The alerts themselves are a bit hard to read due to the screen orientation, but nonetheless you can quickly glance at text messages, incoming calls and calendar notifications on your Alta with a little setup.

Open the Fitbit app and tap on the Account tab followed by your Alta. Find and select the Notifications option. Next, enable each type of notification you’d like to receive by sliding the respective switch to the On position. If you’re asked to approve an additional pairing request during this process, it’s OK to approve it. The extra connection is required in order for notifications to work.

On Android, you’ll have to take a few extra steps before notifications will work. Primarily, you’ll need to approve Notification Access for the Fitbit app; don’t worry, the Fitbit app walks you through it.

Get up and move

The Alta is currently the only Fitbit device that will remind you each hour to get up and keep moving if you haven’t hit the default goal of 250 steps in an hour. You can customize the number of hours each day you’re prompted to keep moving within the Fitbit app.

Again, open the app and go to the Account tab followed by Alta. Select Reminders to Move from the list of options. Here you can disable the feature altogether, or adjust the days and time frame during selected days you’re reminded to get your steps in.

Other small tidbits

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During initial setup the Alta asked what you wanted to be called. If you simply skipped past this screen, or have changed your mind, you can adjust this in the device’s settings screen under Greeting.

Adjusting the Quick View setting will alter what happens you raise your wrist to view the screen. With the setting turned off, nothing will happen. With it turned on, the clock will display.

Fitbit has released a series of different styles and colors of bands for the Alta. You can remove the default band by pressing down on the clips on either side of the device itself where it meets the band. While holding the clip in, slide the band up. Reverse these steps to install a new band.

If you have a Fitbit Blaze, be sure to check out our getting started guide for the company’s fitness-first smartwatch.

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