The Fitbit Ionic's first major update adds new apps and watchfaces

Fitbit's smartwatch gets a whole bunch of new apps

The Fitbit Ionic's first major update adds new apps and watchfaces

Some of those apps (like The New York Times, Yelp, and Hue Lights) will be available starting today, but the majority are slated as coming "before the end of the year" or in January.

The Fitbit Ionic smartwatch is about to get a little smarter and lot more customizable thanks to an update that includes a bunch of new apps and watch faces.

The Fitbit Ionic is Fitbit's first true smartwatch, and although not flawless, it's a great step in the right direction for the company. These apps include Uber, Clue, Nest, TripAdvisor, and United Airlines. Plus, the company has expanded its network to include 25 banks across three networks in 13 markets, and more countries and banks are expected to roll out next year. Throughout my time with the Fitbit Ionic, I've found Fitbit OS to be too laggy, nearly to the point where I don't want to wear the watch at all.

Now CEO James Park is strongly pursuing upmarket customers with the $300 Ionic. Developing for yet another new app store is a pain, but at least Fitbit's making the job a little simpler. Fitbit OS was quite laggy, and there were only a handful of third-party apps available at launch.

Fitbit's smartwatch gets a whole bunch of new apps

"Ionic has received strong, positive reviews regarding its leading health and fitness-focused features, long battery life, platform compatibility, and more". The watch does show messaging, calendar and other basic notifications from a linked smartphone. But alas, for the last few months, many folks have lamented the rather limited functionality of the Fitbit as a result of its limited selection of apps.

The new upgrade also brings 100 new watch faces, adding to the handful of digital-only faces that were included originally.

Along with these official Fitbit apps and watchfaces, the company is adding a new spread of curated user-created apps to the Ionic, some of which the company is previewing here. One new watch app on the way from Fitbit Labs will track tennis swings and offer a shot breakdown to help users improve their game, for example.

This update helps with the Fitbit OS lag.
More than 5,000 developers have joined Fitbit's developer program and 1,000 have started to write apps or build clock faces for the Ionic, Fitbit said.

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