By 14 November 2019 | Categories: news


Come the first week of December there are some changes coming to your new Fitbit Versa 2 and other Fitbit models. Fitbit has announced several new software updates, bringing advancements to its popular smartwatches and Fitbit Premium membership service. The release of OS 4.1 for its smartwatches powers new sleep features (Smart Wake) and greater functionality.

Fitbit states that the Versa 2 will now boast an enriched always-on display mode, and a new advanced heart rate algorithm, which the company believes will provide 6+ days of battery life.

If you have paid for the Fitbit Premium membership, you’ll find new additions, including a personal wellness report, developed in consultation with leading medical professionals from institutions like University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, San Francisco. In addition, over the coming months, Fitbit will be rolling out new programmes, challenges and wellness content, plus workouts from popular global brands like Daily Burn, Down Dog, Gaiam, POPSUGAR and Whil.

More essentials, right on your wrist

The OS 4.1 update brings highly-anticipated features to the Fitbit Ionic as well as the entire Fitbit Versa family of smartwatches. Among the latest in Fitbit’s sleep tools, OS 4.1 delivers Smart Wake, a silent on-device alarm you can set to wake you with subtle vibrations at an optimal time in your sleep cycle. You’ll now also receive your nightly Sleep Score on-device, giving you a glanceable view of the quality of your night’s rest alongside all of your sleep stats and data.

OS 4.1 also provides a new agenda app to help manage your daily schedule on-the-go, plus one of the most requested updates, the new clock face switcher. Now users are able to store up to five of their favourite clock faces from nearly 4,000 available in the Fitbit App Gallery directly on-device to easily swap clock faces. To help with your choices there is a five-star rating system within the Fitbit App Gallery, allowing users to rate and recommend their favourite apps and clock faces with the Fitbit user community.

Specific to Versa 2 users, Fitbit has listened to the reviews, with five additional clock face options for the always-on display moder. Now in colour, these feature full health and fitness stats, with faster transitions between always-on and active views, powered by the device’s AMOLED display, touting a 2+ day battery life.

When you finally do need to charge, a new feature will kick-in to notify you when your battery is running low and automatically disable select features so your smartwatch can stay on your wrist, not the charger.

Advanced heart rate algorithm uses machine learning to deliver best tracking yet

Fitbit’s advanced 24/7 PurePulse heart rate tracking powers essential Fitbit features, such as Sleep Stages and Cardio Fitness Score, that provide you with deeper insights into your overall health and fitness.

Fitbit has been working on a new  algorithm that will deliver the best heart rate tracking experience yet on a Fitbit device to Versa 2 as part of the OS 4.1 software update. Fitbit explains the new PurePulse algorithm, designed in-house by Fitbit R&D experts, uses machine learning to recognise the unique signature of heart rate in the optical sensor, leading to higher accuracy overall.

Even more information, support and motivation with Fitbit Premium

Fitbit is continuing to expand its Premium paid membership service with a new wellness report, an expanded library of new workouts from third parties, and more motivational tools like new guided programs and activity challenges over the next few months.

With a new, personalised wellness report, one can view an in-depth analysis of your activity, sleep, heart rate and weight trend data for the previous 30 days or past year for long-time users. This can be share with your general practitioner, personal trainer or nutritionist to review your health trends over time, to better identify a potential health issue or help manage ongoing conditions. The reports were developed in consultation with a variety of clinicians and incorporates feedback from leading medical professionals from American universities UCLA and UCSF.

Premium’s library of thousands of workouts has also expanded with new offerings from the trainers at Daily Burn and POPSUGAR, alongside yoga sessions from Down Dog and Yoga Studio by Gaiam focused on strength, flexibility, balance and restoration. Premium members also gain access to a new “mindfulness” section in the Discover tab of the Fitbit app, with a variety of mindfulness and meditation sessions and mini-courses from Whil, as well as breathing exercises and soothing audio tracks designed to help you wind down and get ready for bed.

FitbitOS 4.1 will begin rolling out to Fitbit smartwatch users the first week of December, just in time for the December holidays. Fitbit Premium members can already access and enjoy many of the latest updates, with the rest rolling out on an ongoing basis in the coming months.

Check out our six tips and tricks for the Fitbit Versa 2


Magazine Online is South Africa's leading magazine for tech product reviews, tech news, videos, tech specs and gadgets.
Start reading now >
Download latest issue

Have Your Say

What new tech or developments are you most anticipating this year?
New smartphone announcements (44 votes)
Technological breakthroughs (28 votes)
Launch of new consoles, or notebooks (14 votes)
Innovative Artificial Intelligence solutions (28 votes)
Biotechnology or medical advancements (21 votes)
Better business applications (132 votes)