Location Permission is mandatory on Android
Yes, we were as surprised as you are. Bluetooth is required to setup, update and sync your FitBark device. In 2019, Android made it mandatory for any app to have location permissions in order to work with Bluetooth devices.
Discovery of Bluetooth devices
Like the large majority of Bluetooth Low Energy devices and beacons, FitBark devices are not specifically paired with one phone only. Instead, they remembered by the FitBark platform, “discovered” and connected every time they are seen by a paired mobile device.
Here’s the Android documentation
In order to connect to a Bluetooth Low Energy device, the Android FitBark app must scan for visible devices first. As per the Android documentation: “Bluetooth permissions. In order to use Bluetooth features in your application, you must declare two permissions. The first of these is BLUETOOTH. You need this permission to perform any Bluetooth communication, such as requesting a connection, accepting a connection, and transferring data.The other permission that you must declare is ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION. Your app needs this permission because a Bluetooth scan can be used to gather information about the location of the user. This information may come from the user’s own devices, as well as Bluetooth beacons in use at locations such as shops and transit facilities.”
To learn more, head over to the Android developer website and review the official guidelines: https://developer.android.com/guide/topics/connectivity/bluetooth
Please reach out through the support chat if you have any questions! Thank you.