Fitbit Ionic Update Adds More Apps and Watch Faces

The initial Trip Advisor app for Fitbit's Ionic smartwatch

The initial Trip Advisor app for Fitbit's Ionic smartwatch

Perhaps the biggest addition is a slate of new apps from popular brands. Fitbit OS was quite laggy, and there were only a handful of third-party apps available at launch. Following this update, the platform will offer more than 100 clock faces and 60 apps, Fitbit said. Previously only four apps were available for the Ionic, and now Fitbit is adding dozens more.

Leading the charge are 14 new apps from major companies that have been designed specifically for Fitbit's platform: Surfline, Clue, Game Golf, Hue Lights, Walgreens, Nest, Yelp, Flipboard, The New York Times, TripAdvisor, Uber, United Airlines, British Airways, and Lyft.

Fitbit is rolling out the first update to Fitbit OS since launching it on the Ionic two months back.

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Bolstering all of this is the introduction of Fitbit Labs, an initiative from Fitbit's research team that will build out unique, experimental clock faces and apps for Ionic.

Global customers will gain access to on-device offline music streaming via Deezer, but they'll have to wait until next year.

Note that all apps and clock faces in the Fitbit App Gallery are free to download, but some, like Pandora, require a paid subscription or one-time activation fee. 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.

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At-a-glance access to your personal friend network with the new Fitbit Leaderboard app. See where you stack up against family, friends and coworkers as you motivate each other to reach your goals. The list of participating Fitbit Pay banks has expanded to 25 banks in 13 markets.

Fitbit is tackling some of the biggest concerns about the Fitbit Ionic with its first major update.

How does the Fitbit Ionic compare to the Apple Watch? And after using this new software update on my Ionic for a few minutes, I'm happy to report that numerous lag issues are gone.

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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.

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