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Fitbit OS gets extras across Versa and Ionic range

Versa 2 gets new goodies, while existing features spread to the Ionic and original Versa family

Fitbit has just announced a whole host of new features across its smartwatch range, with an update due to roll out across devices in the first week of December. Broadly speaking, the Versa 2 is getting new features, while the Ionic and first-generation Versa and Versa Lite models are getting welcome hand-me-downs.
Let’s start with the Versa 2. Alongside six new watch face options to make the most of the always-on display, the built-in Alexa virtual assistant gains some useful functionality, letting you start any of 20 exercises with the power of your voice. 
It’s also getting a new algorithm to measure heart rate. Called “PurePulse”, Fitbit says it uses machine learning to identify “the unique signature of heart rate in the optical sensor, leading to higher accuracy overall.” Given heart rate is in part responsible for sleep analysis and cardio fitness score, improvements here should really make a difference. 
All very promising, but perhaps the best news is for owners of the Fitbit Ionic, Versa and Versa Lite smartwatches, which inherit some extra goodies from the Versa 2. OS version 4.1, the company says, will add a silent on-device alarm which will wake you up at the optimal time in your sleep cycle to make you refreshed for the day ahead. Sleep Score will now appear on your watch, too, saving you the effort of digging your phone out for the Fitbit app.
The Ionic and the entire Versa family will also get extras on the watch itself, including a schedule manager and an easy way of switching between up to five watch faces. 
Finally, Fitbit Premium gets a boost, with new third-party workouts, guided programs and activity challenges. All of this is boosted by a personalised wellness report which covers everything from activity and sleep to weight and heart rate. Though the workouts and report still sit behind a £7.99 per month/£79.99 per year paywall.

As mentioned, these features will arrive in the first week of December – a date that helpfully ties in with the time when mince pies are all too plentiful. “Staying motivated to maintain your health and fitness routine is really hard around Christmas,” said Fitbit CEO James Park. “The new FitbitOS update and added Premium features give users even more support with innovative smartwatch tools, fresh workouts, new programs and more, setting users up for success going into the new year.”

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