Fitbit delivered the first update to its Fitbit OS platform for a smarter, more personalized experience for Fitbit Ionic smartwatch users with more than 60 apps now available across a wide range of categories, 100-plus clock faces and enhanced performance.

Fitbit is also introducing Fitbit Labs, a Fitbit Research initiative that will bring innovative apps and intelligent clock face experiences to users to motivate and drive behavior change, and help accelerate the company’s pace of innovation. Additionally, Fitbit is partnering with Deezer to bring its dynamic, personal streaming music service to Ionic users across the globe in 2018.

“Ionic has received strong, positive reviews regarding its leading health and fitness-focused features, long battery life, platform compatibility, and more. With this update, we are delivering on our promise to enhance the smart experience with popular apps, intelligent clock faces, and new motivating tools that help you reach your goals,” said Jon Oakes, VP of product at Fitbit. “This is just the start – along with future enhancements to the Fitbit OS, we have an extremely engaged global developer community excited to continually bring even more unique offerings to our users via the Fitbit App Gallery.”

Users will be able to discover free apps from popular brands across a range of categories that provide a way to interact with the device and add convenience. New apps and clock faces from developers customize the look and feel of Ionic smartwatches and provide at-a-glance information such as active minutes, heart rate, games, goal progress, run cadence, sleep or weather.

New apps available for free download include:

  • Food & Drink: Yelp, the leading local guide for consumers, to easily find the best nearby restaurants.
  • Health & Fitness: Clue, the No. 1 rated free female health app by gynecologists, to track your menstrual cycle and symptoms (coming by end of year); GAME GOLF, the leader in tracking golf performance analytics, will help to improve your game by providing precise distances to the green and visualizing the hole layout (coming by end of year); and Surfline, the leading surf reporting and forecasting company, to track swells and conditions so you can find the best waves (coming by end of year).
  • Home & IOT: Nest, the leading connected home brand, to easily control your thermostat from your wrist (coming by end of year); and Hue Lights, for controlling Philips’ leading wireless lighting system.
  • News: Flipboard, with stories for every interest, to quickly preview the latest health and fitness stories; and The New York Times, the global paper of record, to easily check current news headlines.
  • Travel & Transit: TripAdvisor , the world’s largest travel site, to easily discover restaurants and things to do nearby (coming by end of year); Uber by Fitbit gets you fast reliable rides in minutes, displays your ride status, and provides access to your trip details (coming by end of the year); and United Airlines, one of the world’s largest airlines, to access boarding passes and check flight status (coming by end of year).

Expected in January are apps for British Airways, Lyft and Walgreens, with more brands to be added on an ongoing basis. Detailed information about each new app can be found here.

More motivation for global users with offline music is coming in 2018. Through a new partnership with international streaming music service Deezer, Fitbit users will have the ability to take their streaming music with them without a phone.

Engaged And Growing Developer Community
More than 5,000 developers having joined Fitbit’s new developer community and registered for the SDK public beta. In addition, more than 1,000 developers have started to build apps or clock faces on an Ionic smartwatch and are designing smart, interactive experiences for Fitbit users that will be regularly added to the Fitbit App Gallery. To further encourage innovative app development, Fitbit has launched its first #Made4Fitbit App Challenge with more than $15,000 in prizes. Learn more about the #Made4Fitbit App Challenge here.

Accelerating Innovation With Fitbit Labs
In addition to the new apps noted above, Fitbit Labs leverages the Fitbit Research & Development team’s expertise in data analysis and behavioral science to test potential new features in the form of experimental apps and smart clock faces designed to motivate users and drive behavior change. The team has built smart, insightful, and motivating experiences using Fitbit’s software development kit (SDK)4, giving the company a highly scalable way to test new features and analyze anonymous user data and feedback to help accelerate the development of future technologies.

Fitbit Labs apps and clock faces include:

  • Fitbit Pet clock face series helps you stay active by using your steps to feed and care for a virtual dog or cat.
    Mood Log clock face lets you track how you feel and observe your mood patterns over time (coming by end of year).
  • Tennis app tracks your swings to give insights into your playing style and a breakdown of your shots by forehand, backhand and serve to help improve your game (coming by end of year).
  • Think Fast task-switching game that tests your mental sharpness. Insights to help you understand the effect of sleep and a healthy lifestyle on your performance coming later this year.
  • Treasure Trek app helps motivate you to stay active through gamification of your step goal (coming by end of year).
  • More information about the Fitbit Labs apps and clock faces can be found here. Additional apps and clock faces from Fitbit Labs will be added throughout 2018 and beyond.

“Over the last 10 years, we have built one of the largest health and fitness databases in the world, and that has directly informed the development of some of our most insightful and innovative features,” said Shelten Yuen, VP of research at Fitbit. “With Fitbit Labs, we are creating a testing ground that will provide us with additional data and insights we can leverage to bring even more meaningful and effective health and fitness features to market in the future – all while offering cutting-edge, motivating experiences to our users.”

As one of the largest social fitness networks in the world, Fitbit has brought personal friend networks to the wrist with the new Fitbit Leaderboard app. At a glance, users can now see where they stack up against friends, family or coworkers.

Enhanced On-Device Experience And Convenience
The update to Fitbit OS adds faster touch interactions and more convenient options for Fitbit Pay. Now users can choose which credit or debit card they want to pay with. The list of participating banks has also expanded to include 25 banks across three networks in 13 markets, with more countries and banks rolling out in 2018.

Fitbit will continue to add new apps and clock faces to the Fitbit App Gallery throughout 2018 and beyond.

Photo courtesy Fitbit