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Fitbit went all-in on its new Ionic smartwatch this year. It released the gadget in October with only a few apps to its name and then proceeded to leave the brand new OS alone for almost two months without a software update.
The period of inactivity has ended. The wearable company just announced the first update for the Ionic’s Fitbit OS, complete with new apps, clock faces, and more.
Most of the apps are activity-focused, as is appropriate for a gadget now being billed in an aggressive ad campaign as a smartwatch built specifically for fitness. But there are some other big lifestyle names joining the Fitbit ecosystem, too.
Big names available immediately include Phillips Hue, Yelp, Flipboard, and others. Those aren’t exactly the sexiest or most useful names in the app game, but many more are expected by the end of the year, including Uber, Clue, Nest, TripAdvisor, and United Airlines. Even more additions are expected in January such as Lyft and Walgreens.
International customers will gain access to on-device offline music streaming via Deezer, but they’ll have to wait until next year.
Some new programs from Fitbit’s in-house R&D team will join the third-party offerings, giving users some gamified activity programs to help push engagement..
Fitbit Pay is also getting some improvements, adding device credit/debit selection and more banks to its network. More territories and banks are expected to be included next year.
The software update also brings almost 30 free apps and more than 80 watch faces to the App Gallery from smaller developers, which will finally give Ionic owners something to do on their wrists.