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Fitbit OS 5.1 brings Google Assistant to the Versa 3 and Sense smartwatches

Fitbit is rolling out a new update to its Sense and Versa 3 smartwatches launched earlier this year, bumping up the OS to version 5.1. The update brings a bunch of new features, including the promised addition of Google Assistant to the smartwatches, joining Amazon’s Alexa on the device. The firm is also adding the ability to track blood oxygen saturation (SpO2) without using a dedicated clock face – at least for premium users.

The improvements to SpO2 tracking also include the option to track oxygen saturation during sleep and check the average saturation levels in the Fitbit app. For users of the free tier, Fitbit says it will be adding seven new SpO2 watch faces to the app gallery by the end of the year. The company adds that it has seen over one million downloads of the SpO2 clockface, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of keeping a track of blood oxygen levels.

The addition of the Google Assistant allows users to control linked smart home devices, start specific workouts, set timers, and more. The Assistant is rolling out to users in the U.S. first, with availability for users in Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, and the U.K. in English planned for later in the year.

The software update also brings a few new features related to audio. Alexa can now respond to commands in an audible fashion through the built-in speaker. The smartwatches can also let users take phone calls via Bluetooth, change phone volume through the wearables, and even reply to text via speech-to-text. Fitbit will be adding audible replies for the Google Assistant in the first half of 2021.

Fitbit OS 5.1 starts rolling today to the Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3 smartwatches. There is no information yet on when the update will roll out to older devices.

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