Fitbit is releasing Fitbit OS 5.1 for the Sense and Versa 3, with a focus on improving health-tracking and improving voice assistance. The most important innovation is the ability to now take pulse oximetry readings when you’re sleeping without the use of a dedicated clock face. That said, the company will also launch seven new SpO2 clock faces to the platform between now and the end of the year.
In addition, users can now switch between Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa by choosing which option you’d prefer inside the companion app. And while Google wants to welcome Fitbit under its umbrella, the company isn’t neglecting Alexa integrations on the platform, with OS 5.1 offering spoken responses to commands. Plus you can now use the watch to receive calls on their smartphone, as well as dictate responses to text messages.
If you’re wondering why Fitbit is only mentioning the Sense and Versa 3, it’s because older devices aren’t able to get the update. Back in September, Fitbit revealed that the 5.0 version of its OS was designed for the two newest watches in its range, and nothing else. Several of the innovations here wouldn’t work for the older hardware, although it may still leave a sour taste in the mouth of those folks who can’t yet upgrade.
Author: Daniel Cooper, @danielwcooper
November 19, 2020