Fitbit supercharges its smartwatches with its new 3.0 operating system

Fitbit is positioning its smartwatches to take on the likes of Apple. The company announced Fitbit OS 3.0 for the Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ionic, which should help make them a whole lot more useful.

The software update itself includes a number of new features. For starters, you will now be able to get a view of your daily stats straight from the watch itself — so you won’t need to reach for your phone to see them. From the device, you will able to see things like sleep and exercise, and you will also be able to quickly log things like your weight and water intake. These features should help make the watches better stand-alone devices, which is where the smartwatch industry is headed in general.

Next up, Fitbit is bringing 10 new third-party apps to the Fitbit Ionic and Fitbit Versa. Some of those, like Couch to 5K, Genius Wrist, and MySwimPro, are now available. Others, however, will come to the smartwatches at some point in 2019. Those will include apps like MindBody, Moonlight, Charity Miles, Gold’s Amp, and more.

Fitbit is supercharging the Fitbit app a little, too. The company announced that it will be adding female health tracking to the app, which Fitbit says will give users a comprehensive view of their menstrual cycles, including symptom trends, over time. As mentioned, the feature won’t be coming as part of the Fitbit OS 3.0 update, but rather will available within the Fitbit app — so if you don’t get the Fitbit OS 3.0 update, you will still be able to use the new feature.

It’s likely we’ll start seeing more great apps come to Fitbit in the near future, too. Fitbit is opening up new APIs to developers who want to build for devices like the Versa and Ionic, which should help those developers build more complex and high-quality apps.

Of course, Fitbit has an uphill battle ahead of it. The Apple Watch is the clear leader in the wearables market these days, and in response, Android manufacturers building Wear OS devices are working on better devices with improved health tracking. It’s likely that will only continue too — meaning companies with a health-tracking background like Fitbit will need to find ways to differentiate themselves.

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