Fitbit Ionic Update Adds More Apps and Watch Faces

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The wearable company just announced the first update for the Ionic's Fitbit OS, complete with new apps, clock faces, and more. Along with these watch faces, Fitbit also implemented new apps like The New York Times, Uber, Flipboard, Nest, Philips Hue Lights, Yelp and many others. It released the gadget in October with only a few apps to its name - then proceeded to leave the brand new OS alone for nearly two months without a software update.

Fitbit has also designed three new watchfaces for the Ionic that are bundled with the new update: levels, threads, and mountainscape. The inclusion of a third-party app store was one of the ways the company was looking to set the device apart from the rest of its products, and aside from a couple of high profile partners, there really wasn't much worth mentioning. 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. Deezer's also getting in on the action next year, becoming the second notable music service after Pandora to buy in to the Ionic ecosystem. Previously only four apps were available for the Ionic, and now Fitbit is adding dozens more.

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Introduction of Fitbit Labs, an initiative led by Fitbit's Research and Development team that is focused on building unique apps and clock faces from the latest smart technologies and behavioral insights. The only program available at launch will be a "Pet" clock face that gives users a virtual companion to care for with their step achievements, while other apps like a Mood Log, sport-specific tennis support, and more activity incentive games are expected before the end of the year. The list of participating Fitbit Pay banks has expanded to 25 banks in 13 markets. 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. Fitbit's shares have gained 18% since the day before it debuted the new watch in August, though they are still off about 67% since the company's initial public offering two years ago.