Fitbit OS update: 7 new features heading to the Versa and Ionic

fitbit versa 2 fitbit os update

Google’s future grasp on Fitbit is now all but confirmed, but that doesn’t mean the San Francisco-based wearables maker will be slowing its OS updates.

Fitbit on Tuesday announced an update to Fitbit OS, its device operating system for the Versa family and Ionic. And it’s huge one (feature wise, at least).

Numbered as version 4.1, the update brings a number of key features enhancements, UI tweaks and operation refinements to the company’s smartwatch family.

These are the key additions.

Smart Wake finally arrives

First off, Smart Wake is finally available.

It takes the form of “a silent on-device alarm you can set to wake you with subtle vibrations at an optimal time in your sleep cycle so you can start your day feeling more refreshed,” Fitbit explained in a release.

Think of it as a fluid alarm that adjusts according to your sleep cycle.

Sleep scores are now visible on the watch

Also related to sleep, Fitbit OS 4.1 will now also display Sleep Scores alongside other sleep info on the device as well as the app.

A new Agenda app appears

Ever wish that you could browse your calendar from your Fitbit itself? The company’s finally solving that problem too, with an official Agenda app.

“The new agenda app will help you take on the day to live your best life and help manage your daily schedule on-the-go,” it said in a release.

Change clock faces directly from your Fitbit

This. Is. Huge.

For the first time ever, you can apply a clockface from the watch itself, without using the app.

Fitbit OS 4.1 now ensures that you needn’t remember the names of your favourite watch faces. Instead, version 4.1 now lets users store up to five of their favourite clock faces on the watch itself. Users can then switch between these using a clock face switcher applet on the watch.

Ratings can also be given to watchfaces and apps in the Fitbit Gallery.

More always-on screen options

At launch, the Versa 2 only had two monochrome always-on display styles. The new update takes that number up to five.

“Specific to Versa 2 users, Fitbit has doubled-down to enrich the recently-launched always-on display mode to deliver five additional clock face options,” said Fitbit.

“Now in colour, these feature full health and fitness stats, with faster transitions between always-on and active views.”

Low battery mode

Fitbit OS 4.1 now also has a low-battery emergency setting, which will alert the user to the impending power depletion disaster, and disable select services to prolong the watch’s battery life.

More accurate heart-rate monitoring

Fitbit also announced tweaks to its heart-rate monitoring algorithm which it believes “will deliver the best heart rate tracking experience yet on a Fitbit device to Versa 2.”

“The new PurePulse algorithm, designed in-house by Fitbit R&D experts, uses machine learning to recognize the unique signature of heart rate in the optical sensor, leading to higher accuracy overall,” it explained.

When will Fitbit OS 4.1 be available?

Users will have to wait until the first week of December to enjoy the additions and tweaks to Fitbit’s smartwatches.

Changes coming to Fitbit Premium

The company also announced on Tuesday additions to its Premium subscription tier, including new workouts and programmes.

Feature image: The Fitbit Versa 2, by Andy Walker/Memeburn

Andy Walker, former editor


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