Fitbit is best known for making some of the world’s most popular smart fitness trackers. But when it acquired Pebble, it made its intention clear: it was getting into the smartwatch biz. That became reality it launched the Fitbit Ionic, followed by the more affordable Versa a few months later. There may, however, still be some doubts about whether Fitbit has what it takes to make and maintain an actual smartwatch (the Blaze may not have counted). The fitness company is putting those fears to rest with the Fitbit OS 3.0 update delivers not just new health features but apps and watch faces as well.
You could say that the fine line that separates smartwatch from smart trackers are the apps, which are all but completely absent from the latter. Trackers are often well-defined, single-purpose wearables meant to help you keep track of your health and maybe some notifications as well. In contrast, smartwatch platforms allow almost infinite use cases, depending on the apps available for it.
With Fitbit OS 3.0, that platform welcomes 10 new such smartwatch apps to its App Gallery. While four of those ten are indeed fitness-centric, like achu health’s illness prediction and Genius Wrist’s structured on-device workout, the rest cover other uses that are, unsurprisingly, still health oriented. Charity Miles, for example, donates your activity to charity and FitBark keeps your canine partner healthy as well.
The 3.0 update also makes it easier to do the stuff Fitbit does best: tracking your activities. A new on-device dashboard makes it even easier to see all your stats without going back and forth between apps. You can now also have goal-based exercises that track calories burned, distance, or time.
A smartwatch platform, even something as fitness-centric as Fitbit OS, is only as good as the app that are available for it. Which means they’re only as good as the developers willing to write apps for it. Along with the OS update, Fitbit is also expanding the API developers can use to include Exercise and Scientific API. Hopefully, that and Fitbit’s brand will be enough to entice even more big health brands to take a dip and make these devices worthy smartwatches as well.