Credit: Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority
- Fitbit announced a big Fitbit OS 5.1 update, rolling out now to Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 users in the US.
- The update brings automatic SpO2 tracking, no longer requiring users to use a certain watch face for SpO2 tracking.
- Google Assistant, audible replies with Amazon Alexa, and Bluetooth calling support has also arrived.
I had an issue with the Fitbit Sense at launch. Fitbit promised a lot of features for its new smartwatch, but didn’t deliver on many of them. Now, the company has announced a new software update for the Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 that make good on many of its promises.
The Fitbit OS 5.1 update is rolling out now to Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3 units in the US. The update includes both health-focused and smartwatch features, including SpO2 improvements and a new voice assistant.
First, SpO2 improvements. At launch, the Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 could only track overnight SpO2 readings if a certain watch face was installed. It was a bizarre implementation, but that limitation is finally going away. Fitbit Sense and Versa 3 watches can now track overnight blood oxygen levels without the need to install a certain watch face.
If you’re fond of Fitbit’s SpO2-focused watch faces, we’ve got good news. Fitbit says it will roll out seven new watch faces by the end of the year that put a focus on at-a-glance SpO2 levels.
Google Assistant has also arrived for the Fitbit Sense and Versa 3. You can now choose between either Google or Alexa’s voice assistants by selecting your preferred option in the account settings of the Fitbit app.
Alexa is also getting an upgrade. Now, if you ask Alexa a question, it can respond back to you with an audible reply. This is more in-line with how voice assistants function on Wear OS watches.
And finally, calling and texting. Sense and Versa 3 users can now answer Bluetooth calls from their wrists using the built-in speaker and microphone. If you’re an Android user, you can now respond to incoming text messages with voice commands.
This update should be welcome news to any Sense or Versa 3 early adopters. Again, it should be rolling out starting today in the US. Fitbit didn’t mention if any other regions would receive the update any time soon, but we’ll keep you posted if we hear any expanded availability details.
I’ll be digging into the update shortly on my Fitbit Sense, so be sure to keep an eye on our Fitbit Sense review to see how the new features play out.