Fitbit Ionic Update Adds More Apps and Watch Faces


These include Uber, The New York Times, Flipboard, and more. The wearable company just announced the first update for the Ionic's Fitbit OS, complete with new apps, clock faces, and more. Coming by year end will be apps from United Airlines, Google's Nest, the Clue period tracker and TripAdvisor (trip), among others, bringing the total available to more than 60, Fitbit says. They're not all really notable, but there are enough big names on the list to warrant a second look at Fitbit's first true smartwatch. But the watch still lacks more basic functions like a mapping or messaging app.

The Fitbit Ionic earned an "excellent" rating in PCMag's review.

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Now CEO James Park is strongly pursuing upmarket customers with the $300 Ionic. Developing for yet another new app store is a pain, but at least Fitbit's making the job a little simpler. 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.

The apps will be available in English globally by the end of the year, Fitbit wrote in a blog post. "Its biggest flaw is that it is not, in any meaningful way, an interactive smartwatch", the review noted. The streaming service is hoping to pick up some new devotees by bringing offline streaming to the watch. It released the gadget in October with only a few apps to its name - then proceeded to leave the brand new OS alone for nearly two months without a software update.

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Bolstering all of this is the introduction of Fitbit Labs, an initiative from Fitbit's research team that will build out unique, experimental clock faces and apps for Ionic.

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. Right now there are a handful of clock faces and apps available through Fitbit Labs, including a Fitbit Pet clock that helps you stay active by using your steps to feed and care for a virtual dog.

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