When we reviewed the Fitbit Ionic in November, most of our gripes had to do with software. Fitbit OS was quite laggy, and there were only a handful of third-party apps available at launch. Now, with the Ionic’s first software update, many of those issues will be fixed.
The biggest news here is the addition of more third-party applications. Previously only four apps were available for the Ionic, and now Fitbit is adding dozens 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.
The Ionic will also gain the ability to stream music through Deezer sometime in 2018.
This new update also brings more than 100 new watch faces (or clock faces) to the Ionic, adding to the other 17 pre-installed faces.
More apps and clock faces are on the way, too. Fitbit says more than 1,000 developers have already started building apps or clock faces for the Ionic, while there are over 5,000 developers that have joined the company’s new developer community and registered for the public SDK.
Fitbit is also introducing Fitbit Labs, which is a way for the company’s Research & Development team to test potential new features in the form of experimental apps and clock faces. 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.
This update also brings the ability to keep up with friends with the Fitbit Leaderboard on the Ionic, and allows you to choose which credit or debit card to pay with via Fitbit Pay, right from your wrist. The list of participating Fitbit Pay banks has expanded to 25 banks in 13 markets.
This update helps with the Fitbit OS lag.
For me, the most exciting improvement in this update is faster touch interactions in Fitbit OS. Throughout my time with the Fitbit Ionic, I’ve found Fitbit OS to be too laggy, almost to the point where I don’t want to wear the watch at all. And after using this new software update on my Ionic for a few minutes, I’m happy to report that many of the lag issues are gone.
This new Fitbit Ionic software update is rolling out now.
December 5, 2017 at 06:39AM