Fitbit updates smartwatches with new OS, more apps, developer tools
- Fitbit is rolling out a slew of updates to its smartwatches aimed at giving users a sharper snapshot of their personal performance, as well as new third-party apps and developer tools.
- Fitbit OS 3.0 for Fitbit Ionic, Fitbit Ionic: adidas edition and Fitbit Versa smartwatches offers expanded views of sleep and performance and logs weight and water intake, allowing users to respond more quickly to personal data, Fitbit said.
- Of the 10 new popular brand apps, four are available immediately: illness predictor Achu Health; distance and calorie counter running coach Couch to 5k; Genius Wrist, a set of four apps to structure on-device workouts; and guided swim programmer MySwimPro.
Fitbit has been upping its game in health and wellness this year, with its acquisition of health coaching platform Twine Health and launch of Fitbit Care, a connected health platform that combines coaching and virtual care to help people improve wellbeing and manage chronic conditions.
The company also updated its wearable devices with Sp02 sensing to detect changes in blood oxygen levels, which could indicate issues like sleep apnea and asthma, and debuted Charge 3, its latest fitness tracker with enhanced sleep tracking.
Six additional smartwatch apps will be launched in early 2019: Charity Miles, FitBark, GOLD's AMP for Fitbit, MINDBODY, Noonlight and TRX. Noonlight automatically triggers alerts for assistance when an emergency is detected, prompting an operator to check whether the user is OK.
The new year will also see a new female health tracking feature and new API and open-source developer tools for its smartwatches, the San Francisco-based consumer wearables company said.
"We are partnering with some of the most popular health and fitness brands to develop apps that leverage Fitbit data to offer unique experiences and deliver more valuable and personal insights to help our users to live healthier lifestyles," Tim Rosa, chief marketing officer, said in a statement.
Just how far Fitbit will venture into the healthcare remains to be seen. Its biggest competitor in the space is Apple, which has been barreling ahead of late with a first-in-kind electrocardiogram monitor embedded in Apple Watch and various kinds of apps. Apple is also rumored to be working on noninvasive blood sugar tracking sensors and chips to interpret health-related data collected on wearables and other devices. And with Zimmer Biomet, it is exploring the impact of Apple Watch app mymobility in supporting patients before and following knee and hip replacement surgery.