​Big Fitbit update adds Google Assistant and new calling features

Versa 3 and Fitbit Sense already in line for new features
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Fitbit has released a new update for its wearables OS, and adds some big new health and smart features to its line-up of devices.

Fitbit OS 5.1 is the latest update and adds functionality to Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3.

First off, there’s a much-needed tweak to the SpO2 tracking. Currently, blood oxygen levels will only be recorded if your device is using the SpO2 watch face. If not, that chart won’t record data. Happily, you can now use whatever watch face you want and still get that data.

Next up is Google Assistant, which can now replace Alexa as the on-device voice assistant.

This feature is available now for US users, and will be available in other territories by end of 2021, according to Fitbit.

And if you’re happy to keep using Alexa, you can now get audible commands from the wrist. Previously feedback was only text based, but we’re not sure whether the update will improve the usefulness and scope of Alexa. We’re eagerly awaiting the update to find out.

Finally, Bluetooth calling is available, too. This means users can receive calls from their smartwatch using the speaker and microphone on board. Users can also bounce incoming calls to voicemail, too.

Android users will also be able to respond to text messages using their voice.

The update has been rolling out since Thursday, but we haven’t received it quite yet. To check if it’s ready, head to the Fitbit app > tap your profile picture > tap your device and look for the pink Update button. If it’s not there, it’s not ready.

In our reviews, we lauded the new health features, especially the EDA stress sensor, temperature sensor and ECG on the Fitbit Sense. But we did criticise the smartwatch experience. These features certainly bring things up to speed.

And we’ll be updating our reviews in light of these new features.

How we test

James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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