The wearable company just announced the first update for the Ionic's Fitbit OS, complete with new apps, clock faces, and more. Fitbit promises TripAdvisor, United Airlines, Nest, Clue and Game Golf by the end of the year. Previously only four apps were available for the Ionic, and now Fitbit is adding dozens more.
One early criticism of the Ionic was that it could only run a handful of apps, while thousands of apps were available for Apple's (aapl) Apple Watch, Samsung's Gear line, and the many smartwatch models that run Google's (googl) Android Wear software.
This news suggests Fitbit wants to tailor its app offering so it only has useful options rather than offering every application possible on your wrist. But the watch still lacks more basic functions like a mapping or messaging app. Throughout my time with the Fitbit Ionic, I've found Fitbit OS to be too laggy, nearly to the point where I don't want to wear the watch at all. Fitbit hasn't released sales figures for its new watch, but market tracking firm IDC said it was off to an "encouraging" start in the third quarter.
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At-a-glance access to your personal friend network with the new Fitbit Leaderboard app. See where you stack up against family, friends and coworkers as you motivate each other to reach your goals. "Its biggest flaw is that it is not, in any meaningful way, an interactive smartwatch", the review noted. That's in addition to the relatively measly 17 faces included with the watch at launch.
Introduction of Fitbit Labs, an initiative led by Fitbit's Research and Development team that is focused on building unique apps and clock faces from the latest smart technologies and behavioral insights. Will more apps help?
This update helps with the Fitbit OS lag.
New watch faces include one that uses DarkSky to offer a continuous weather forecast, a retro sunset face, and one called Nothing special, which provides the time, date, weather, battery life, and more. The only program available at launch will be a "Pet" clock face that gives users a virtual companion to care for with their step achievements, while other apps like a Mood Log, sport-specific tennis support, and more activity incentive games are expected before the end of the year.