The acquisition deal might still be incomplete but Google and Fitbit are already bridging the gap between the two’s distinct wearable platforms. No, Fitbit still has its own operating system but this latest update to version 5.1 puts at least two of its smartwatches closer to Google’s Wear OS. Going beyond Amazon Alexa, Fitbit is now opening the Sense’s and Versa 3’s doors to Google Assistant while also adding more health monitoring features that make the smartwatches even better than before.
Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are definitely neck and neck in this market but some will prefer one over the other, depending on the other devices that they have at home. To give its customers more choices, Fitbit OS 5.1 adds support for Google Assistant so that you can control your smart home devices, get updated on the news and weather, or even book restaurant or service appointments, even if you don’t have a Wear OS smartwatch. One catch is that this feature is available only in the US for now, with an expansion to other markets later this year.
Fitbit is also throwing Alexa users a bone, though only temporarily. The update brings the ability to receive audible replies from Alexa right now, a feature that Fitbit says will be coming to its Google Assistant implementation sometime in the first half of 2021.
Beyond smart assistant features, the update also brings a new capability to the smartwatches’ SpO2 sensor. Blood oxygen levels can now be measured even while sleeping and users will be able to track their levels in the Fitbit mobile app or, if they want it always available at a glance, on one of the seven new SpO2 clock faces coming later this year.
Fitbit is pretty much the granddaddy of smart wearables and some may have considered it to be too old to compete, especially against something like the Apple Watch. The company, however, still retains a large market share, especially for those less concerned about smartwatch apps, and this latest Fitbit OS 5.1 update gives users more things to do with their devices.