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Fitbit Makes Versa, Ionic Smartwatches Smarter With More Apps

Fitbit built its own software platform for its smartwatches, the Ionic and Versa, to give its devices unique features and lengthier battery life than Wear OS watches and the Apple Watch. Fitbit OS doesn’t have as many apps as rival platforms, but its selection is more curated — and growing. Fitbit OS 3.0, rolling out to Ionic and Versa users today (Dec. 17), is expanding the Fitbit app store and bringing a suite of new features to smartwatch wearers.

Credit: Fitbit

(Image credit: Fitbit)

Fitbit OS 3.0 Fast Facts: What You Need to Know

  • A software update for the Fitbit Ionic and Versa is rolling out today.

Four new apps and clock faces are now available, including Couch to 5K and MySwimPro, with six more coming in early 2019. Those are the ones I’m really excited about, because they include Mindbody’s boutique fitness class-scheduling app and TRX workout-tracking. If you work out at Gold’s Gym, a new Gold’s AMP app for Fitbit is coming next year, too. The goal-based exercise-tracking Fitbit launched with the Charge 3 is also coming to Versa and Ionic owners, so you can set targets for time, distance or calories burned for more than a dozen workouts.

The update is also making it easier to view and log data, including weight and water intake, directly on your wrist. And one feature Fitbit offers that other smartwatches don’t—the ability for women to track their periods—is about to become more sophisticated. Early next year, Fitbit is adding menstrual cycle trends, which will give you more detail about your period symptoms over time.

Fitbit is launching a new Exercise API to make it easier for developers to build health and fitness apps and watch faces for the Ionic and Versa. The company says the API allows app developers to use their own algorithms when designing apps, so they don’t have to rely on steps to measure activity. This means apps will be able to track more advanced workouts, such as snowboarding and skiing. The Apple Watch allows third-party apps to use its sensors to measure metrics related to snow sports, such as vertical descent, and now Fitbit’s watches will also track number of runs, altitude and the weather in the new Alpine Snow app.

The Fitbit software update is rolling out today, with more features coming sometime in early 2019.