Fitbit Ionic guide: The missing manual

Everything you were afraid to ask about your shiny new Fitbit smartwatch

So you've got your Fitbit Ionic smartwatch and you're starting to get to grips with what the Apple Watch and Android Wear rival is capable of. You've come to the right place to find how to make the most of your new purchase.

We've put together this ultimate Fitbit Ionic guide of guides to help you with everything you need to know from fitness tracking, the best apps to download to transferring over music. We'll also be adding new sections as well helping you get the most of all the new fitness features on board the Ionic. For now, here's what we've got for you so far.

Read this: Choosing the right Fitbit for you

If we've missed anything, or there's something Ionic-related you have a question about, let us know in the comments section below.

Understanding your Fitbit Ionic smartwatch

Fitbit Ionic super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

What is the Fitbit Ionic? Well, this is officially Fitbit's first ever smartwatch. Those familiar with Fitbit's trackers might think that was the Blaze, but the Ionic is the one that the company is championing as its first foray into the world of smartwatches.

Essential reading: Swimming with Fitbit Ionic and Watch Series 3

If you are thinking of getting one, these are the absolute basics that you need. You'll need a compatible smartphone that you can download the companion app to. Being able to run this app is vital for the initial setup of course and a range of other things including reviewing data you've tracked as well as customise features like notification support, watch faces and offline music playback.

The Ionic works with iPhones, Android phones and Windows phones. Fitbit includes a supported devices page to make sure you have a phone and the correct version of the operating system running on it that will work with the smartwatch. Definitely check here before you buy an Ionic for yourself or someone else or it could be disappointment all round.

Getting to know the Fitbit app

Fitbit Ionic super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

As we mentioned above, the hardware is just one piece of the puzzle with the Ionic. You need to invest some time getting to know the app as well. Thankfully, Fitbit's app is one of the easiest to get to grips with and while there are some new additions with the Ionic, the experience is very similar to using other trackers.

To help you on your way, check out our guide to getting fit with the Fitbit app.

Download the best Fitbit Ionic apps

Fitbit Ionic guide: The missing manual

The Ionic is the first Fitbit to let you download apps, which has to be done through the companion smartphone app but can then be synced over to the watch over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

While the store is not brimming with selections in the same way that the Apple App Store or Google Play is for Android Wear users, there's is a decent bunch on offer that are made by Fitbit as well as third party developers like Yelp and Strava.

Check out our pick of the best Fitbit Ionic apps to download first.

Find the best Ionic watch faces

Fitbit Ionic guide: The missing manual

Once you've taken care of those apps, you might want to think about freshening up that watch face. Now that developers have had time to make them, you can start mixing things up with a range of different looks.

We've picked out our favourite Fitbit Ionic watch faces we think you're going to like a lot too.

How to set up Fitbit Pay on the Ionic

Fitbit Ionic super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

Yes, the Ionic will let you leave the wallet behind and pay for stuff straight from your wrist. Fitbit Pay, much like Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, will let you tap the Ionic smartwatch at pay terminals in shops to make purchases.

If you want to know how to get it up and running, have a read of our guide to using Fitbit Pay on the Ionic.

How to transfer music on Fitbit Ionic

Fitbit Ionic super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

The Ionic can control music playback on your iPhone but you can also remove the smartphone from the equation and store tracks straight onto the smartwatch as well. So if you're out on a run, you can connect a pair of Fibit's Flyer headphones or pretty much any Bluetooth headphones and workout carrying fewer devices.

If you want to know how to make it happen, read our guide to transferring music to the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch.

Sleep monitoring with the Ionic

Fitbit Ionic super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

Along with counting your steps, monitoring sleep has been a Fitbit staple right from the start. The Ionic just like the Charge 2 or the Flex 2 will keep an eye on your shut eye and as our US editor Hugh found, offers the best sleep tracking you can find on a fitness tracker.

One of the big reasons why it's so impressive is thanks to the addition of something called Sleep Stages insights, which give you a better sense of what your sleep data means.

Have a read of our breakdown of Fitbit's new sleep features and how you can make the most of the feature on the Ionic.

How the Fitbit Ionic will tackle sleep apnea

Staying on the topic of sleep, one of the big new hardware features included on the Ionic is the tri-wavelength sensor. This sensor unlocks the ability for the smartwatch to track something called relative SpO2. This is the measure of oxygen in the blood and the plan is that these measurements will soon be able to tell Fitbit if you have sleep apnea.

Don't know what sleep apnea is? Don't worry, we've explained it all in our guide to the sleep disorder Fitbit is tackling with the Ionic.

Fitbit Ionic tips, tricks and secrets

Fitbit Ionic super guide: The missing smartwatch manual

Finally, if there's anything we missed – any niggles you can't work out or useful tricks to help keep an eye on battery or get back notifications – it will be here in our guide to secret features and hidden options which you might not notice in your first few weeks of wearing the Ionic.

Read our Fitbit Ionic tips and tricks guide.

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