Fitbit today announced Fitbit OS 4.1. The new version adds features to the Ionic, Versa, and Versa Lite. The Fitbit Versa 2 receives a better always-on display mode, expanded Alexa capabilities, and a new advanced heart rate algorithm. Fitbit OS 4.1 will begin rolling out to Fitbit smartwatch users the first week of December.
But first, let’s address the elephant in the room. Less than two weeks ago, Google announced plans to acquire Fitbit for $2.1 billion. We therefore don’t know the future of Fitbit OS. Google could push Fitbit to adopt Wear OS immediately or could support Fitbit OS for years to come, or it could do both — we simply don’t know. A Fitbit spokesperson repeatedly declined to comment and pointed us to the acquisition press release.
Fitbit OS 4.1 features
Fitbit OS 4.1 brings “smart wake,” an on-device alarm that wakes you with subtle vibrations at an optimal time in your sleep cycle. The nightly Sleep Score on-device now gives you a glanceable view of the quality of your night’s rest. Sleep aside, version 4.1 adds a new agenda app for managing your daily schedule, a new clock face switcher that stores five clock faces, and a five-star rating system for the Fitbit App Gallery. Finally, the new battery life feature disables select features so your smartwatch lasts longer.
Versa 2 users can expect a better always-on display mode in color and with faster transitions. You can now use Alexa to start any of the 20 exercises from your wrist. Lastly, Fitbit OS 4.1 includes an advanced heart rate algorithm for the Versa 2. The new PurePulse algorithm, designed by Fitbit R&D experts, uses machine learning to recognize your unique heart rate signature in the optical sensor.
Fitbit Premium is a paid subscription service for $9.99 per month or $80 per year. It uses your data, insights from over 10 years of Fitbit data, and academic and medical expertise to help you move more, sleep better, and eat well. Fitbit Premium consists of customized programs, advanced sleep features, personal insights, workouts, challenges, health reports, and so on.
Fitbit today rolled out new Fitbit Premium content and tools, including a personal wellness report, developed in consultation with medical professionals from institutions like the University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, San Francisco. The report shows an in-depth analysis of your Fitbit activity, sleep, heart rate, and weight trend data. Fitbit hopes you’ll share the report with your healthcare professional, personal trainer, or nutritionist to better identify a potential health issue or manage ongoing conditions like diabetes or hypertension. Over the coming months, Fitbit will be rolling out new programs, challenges, and wellness content, plus workouts from popular brands like Daily Burn, Down Dog, Gaiam, Popsugar, and Whil.
There’s not a brand in the world that could convince us to get Fitbit Premium. And given the Google factor, we would recommend staying clear of this subscription until we learn more. A Fitbit spokesperson declined to share Fitbit Premium membership numbers.
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