Friday, 15 December, 2017

The Fitbit Ionic's first major update adds new apps and watchfaces

The Ionic finally gets some new apps The Ionic finally gets some new
Kayla Schwartz | 06 December, 2017, 01:50

A lack of apps wasn't my biggest issue with the Fitbit Ionic - but it was up there.

The Fitbit Ionic is Fitbit's first true smartwatch, and although not ideal, it's a great step in the right direction for the company. Perhaps most significantly, the Fitbit Ionic promises four days of battery life on a single charge. These include Uber, The New York Times, Flipboard, and more. Now you'll be able to find nearby restaurants with Yelp, control your smart home devices with Nest and Philips Hue Lights, get the latest news from Flipboard and The New York Times, and even summon an Uber, all from your wrist.

Fitbit is adding some more high-profile apps to its new Ionic smartwatch to better compete against rival devices from Apple, Samsung, and Garmin.

Note that all apps and clock faces in the Fitbit App Gallery are free to download, but some, like Pandora, require a paid subscription or one-time activation fee.

Lastly, Fitbit is adding a new early access testing program for the Ionic called Fitbit Labs, which will allow users to test out "experimental apps and clock faces". Plus, Fitbit is partnering with Deezer to bring the streaming music service to Ionic in 2018. One new watch app on the way from Fitbit Labs will track tennis swings and offer a shot breakdown to help users improve their game, for example.

Google fixes Pixel 2 audio distortion issue
If you get the December 1st security update, then your device will have all the patches from it and previous security updates. The dedicated bulletin for Google's phones and tablets lists 48 additional fixes, though no functional updates are mentioned.

Fitbit created a couple of goodies as well, including a Leaderboard app that will let you see how your step totals compare to family and friends.

Support for multiple cards - You can now choose which card you want to use for Fitbit Pay directly on the Ionic; supported banks are up to 25 in 13 different markets.

Jon Oakes, Fitbit's vice president of product, said the update was "just the start" of planned future enhancements.

For me, the most exciting improvement in this update is faster touch interactions in Fitbit OS. And after using this new software update on my Ionic for a few minutes, I'm happy to report that numerous lag issues are gone.

For instructions on installing the Fitbit OS update, head here.

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