Fitbit users who own smartwatches from older generations, such as Versa, Versa 2 or Ionic, will not receive software updates to Fitbit OS 5.0, the system present on the new Versa 3 and Sense models. These variants thus seem to lag behind the old interface, compatibility with old applications and without new navigation gestures and improvements in use. In fact, software developers will have to make special versions for these watches from the older range.
Fitbit OS 5.0 is dedicated to the new Versa 3 and Sense models
With the release of the developer SDK for the Fitbit OS 5.0 software version, Fitbit has confirmed that this software will remain exclusively for Versa 3 and Sense models. This new OS comes with significant improvements in terms of menu navigation, a new visual identity for the internal functions of the watch, as well as new navigation gestures, which allow more comfortable use, especially during sports training.
However, Fitbit says that older watches will receive more software updates for Fitbit OS 4.0, but the enhancements scheduled for them do not include features from version 5.0. In fact, the applications developed on the new SDK for 5.0 will be compatible only with the Fitbit Versa 3 and Sense watches. For this reason, developers who want to make applications for both variants of watches, will have to write separate applications for each version.
Another bad news for application developers is that access to the sensors of new watches is restricted. Even though Fitbit Sense has an ECG sensor and a sensor that can detect stress levels, they cannot be used to develop third-party applications. Only those integrated into the operating system have access to such information. Developers will need to request special access from Fitbit for the new sensors, and approvals will be made for each case.
Given that the Fitbit OS 4.0 was quite limited in features and was quite difficult to use and customize, the fact that older customers will not receive the improved version is very bad news. What’s worse is that Versa 2 and Versa Lite have been available on the market for less than two years and are already lagging behind in terms of software.