Fitbit Ionic gets an update, new clock faces and apps

Fitbit OS update

Fitbit has announced a software update for its Ionic smartwatch, alongside many new watch faces and apps — including those made by the likes of Flipboard, Yelp, Uber, Lyft and The New York Times. We will, however, be focusing our attention on health-related apps.

Software-wise, the Fitbit OS got support for multi-card payments using Fitbit Pay, and the list of participating banks has been expanded to include 25 banks across three networks in 13 markets. Also, the watch’s touchscreen is now faster than ever.

In addition, the company has also unveiled Fitbit Labs, an initiative within the Fitbit Research department dedicated to creating and testing potential Fitbit features. This division will be releasing “innovative and cutting-edge apps” and clock faces designed to motivate users to make healthy behavior changes.

Back to the apps – here’s the list of all health-based apps announced for the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch:

Pill Tracker
As its name says, Pill Tracker helps users remember when they took their last pill. Simply press “Take a Pill” and the app records the time. Press “Take a Pill” again when the next dose is taken.

Fitbit Leaderboard
It’s a watch fact that “brings the engagement of Fitbit Community to your wrist,” allowing you to see how your step goal stacks up against family and friends, as well as cheer and taunt them for added motivation.

Fitbit Pet
This clock face series allows you to adopt one of four virtual pets, and use your steps to keep them happy. Walk enough to feed your pet at least eight treats (1 treat = 10 percent of your daily step goal) otherwise it will leave you the next day to find someone else who will. Each night your pet will go to sleep at around 10 p.m., gently encouraging you to hit the hay, too.

Think Fast
A two-minute game that tests your mental sharpness by assessing your ability to rapidly and accurately switch between tasks, like matching colors, prices, or types of fruit shown. Cognitive psychology research shows that when you need to do multiple things at once, your brain doesn’t do both tasks at once, but actually switches back and forth between them. This is inherently difficult for your brain, and results in a delay that researchers refer to as a “switch cost.”

Mood Log
This interactive clock face helps you track your emotional state over time by prompting you to report on your current experiences. Researchers have shown that a wide variety of emotions are related to fluctuations in mood and energy; capturing these two dimensions is a convenient way to assess your emotional state.

Wear your watch on your racquet wrist and get swinging for insights into your playing style and a breakdown of your shots by forehand, backhand, and serve. You’ll also be able to track match scores right on your Ionic.

Treasure Trek
This game uses your steps to power your pirate ship on the search for sunken treasure. The more steps you take the more gold you’ll uncover. Find enough of the shiny stuff to upgrade your ship and crew, plus adopt pets to help you make unique discoveries.

Keep track of swell data and 36-hour marine weather forecasts for your 10 favorite surf spots right on your wrist. Tap on a specific location to get a detailed view that includes stats like water temperature, wind speed, and surf height. Twice a day, Surfline’s global network of expert forecasters provide on-the-ground updates. Available by end of year.

A women’s health app lets the fairer sex users discover the unique patterns of their menstrual cycle by tracking their current period and associated symptoms, like mood, pain, and energy levels. The more it is used, the better the app will be able to predict the next fertile window, onset of PMS, and period. Available by end of the year.

A GPS-driven rangefinder that works on more than 37,000 courses worldwide. GAME GOLF will automatically pull up your current hole, where you can see distances to the middle, front, and back of the green; get the exact distance to any hazard or landing zone; and visually see the layout of the hole or green as you approach it. End the round and you’ll see a summary of your activity, including how many holes you played, your score, and health stats, like steps and average heart rate. Available by end of year.

The app lets you find the nearest Walgreens store while also providing an immediate access to your Balance Rewards. See how much money you’ve earned and how many more points you need to hit the next reward value. Want to redeem your current quota for cash? Just tap the barcode icon on your Ionic and scan the QR code at the register when making a purchase. Available in January.

Previously, Fitbit has announced partnerships with Dexcom and OneDrop to make it easier for diabetics to manage their condition.