Fitbit has announced several new software updates, bringing advancements to its smartwatches and Fitbit Premium membership service. The release of OS 4.1 for its smartwatches powers new sleep features and greater app functionality. Fitbit Versa 2 will boast an enriched always-on display mode, and a new advanced heart rate algorithm featuring improved tracking, while providing 6+ days of battery life.
Fitbit is also continuing to roll out new content and tools to enhance its Fitbit Premium membership, including a personal wellness report, developed in consultation with leading medical professionals from institutions like University of California Los Angeles, and University of California San Francisco. In addition, over the coming months, Fitbit will be rolling out new programmes, challenges and wellness content, as well as workouts from global brands like Daily Burn, Down Dog, Gaiam, POPSUGAR and Whil.
“Staying motivated to maintain your health and fitness routine is really hard around the holiday season,” says James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit. “We’re focused on making it more achievable through a combination of affordable devices, engaging software and our Premium membership to help you stay on track. The new Fitbit OS update and added Premium features give users even more support with innovative smartwatch tools, fresh workouts, new programs and more, setting users up for success going into the new year.”
The OS 4.1 update brings highly-anticipated features announced with Versa 2 to Fitbit Ionic. Among the latest in Fitbit’s innovative sleep tools, OS 4.1 delivers smart wake, a silent on-device alarm to wake users with subtle vibrations at an optimal time in their sleep cycles. Users will also receive a nightly Sleep Score on-device, giving them a glanceable view of the quality of their night’s rest, alongside sleep stats.
One of the most requested updates, a new clock face switcher, lets users store up to five clock faces from nearly 4,000 available in the Fitbit App Gallery directly on-device, for quickly swapping clock faces to match an outfit, activity or mood. A new five-star rating system has been updated within the Fitbit App Gallery, allowing users to rate and recommend apps and clock faces with the Fitbit user community.
Specific to Versa 2 users, Fitbit has doubled-down to enrich the recently-launched always-on display mode to deliver five additional clock face options. Now in colour, these feature full health and fitness stats, with faster transitions between always-on and active views, powered by the device’s AMOLED display, featuring a 2+ day battery life.
Fitbit’s advanced 24/7 PurePulse heart rate tracking keeps users motivated and informed by tracking heart rate throughout the day. The technology also powers essential Fitbit features, such as Sleep Stages and Cardio Fitness Score, that provide deeper insights into one’s overall health and fitness.
Fitbit has announced it has been working on an innovative algorithm that will deliver the best heart rate tracking experience yet on a Fitbit device to Versa 2 as part of the OS 4.1 software update. The new PurePulse algorithm, designed in-house by Fitbit R&D experts, uses machine learning to recognise the unique signature of heart rate in the optical sensor, leading to higher accuracy overall.
Fitbit OS 4.1 will begin rolling out to Fitbit smartwatch users the first week of December.
Huawei launches P40 in virtual event
While Huawei usually makes a big splash in Paris with its P-series flagship launches, it had to host its event virtually on a YouTube live stream from an undisclosed launch venue.
Yesterday, Huawei announced its latest P40 flagship devices amid the coronavirus pandemic, by hosting a virtual launch to distance fans from each other. Tens of thousands of viewers followed the event live.
The new devices include the P40 Pro+, P40 Pro, and P40, which feature new camera innovations that focus on better videography from the devices.
This is thanks to a large 1/1.28-inch sensor that boosts light intake for enhanced low-light performance, while a new periscope design adds 10x optical zoom. P40 Series is powered by Kirin 990 5G and supports 5G and Wi-Fi 6 Plus, which is Huawei’s faster Wi-Fi 6 standard.
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, said “The Huawei P Series has always been about innovative aesthetics and making premium imaging hardware accessible, representing the very best of industrial design and technology. With an outstanding sensor, camera systems that we co-engineered with Leica, powerful chipset and Huawei XD Fusion Engine, the Huawei P40 Series exemplifies our focus and offers an all-day Super Definition experience to help consumers realise their creative vision.”
The P40 Pro and P40 Pro+ feature a Quad-curve Overflow Display. The display takes on a curved edge on all four sides, while the super narrow bezels and streamlined round corners provide an ergonomic hold and near borderless look. An enhanced in-screen fingerprint reader offers 30 percent faster biometric authentication.
The P40 and P40 Pro are available in three glossy glass finishes – Ice White, Deep Sea Blue and Black – and two refractive matte glass finishes – Blush Gold and Silver Frost. The P40 Pro+ features a nano-tech ceramic back panel that is kilned and polished to ensure its durable and scratch resistant. This design comes in two colours: Ceramic White and Ceramic Black.
Embedded in the P40 Series is the advanced Ultra Vision Leica camera system, available in triple, quad-camera and penta-camera configurations. The P40 delivers features the triple-camera setup with ultra wide-angle, wide-angle and telephoto lenses. The P40 Pro features a Leica Quad Camera with a more powerful Ultra Wide Cine Camera and Time-of-Flight (ToF) Camera alongside 50x SuperSensing Zoom. The P40 Pro+ lets consumers see the unprecedented with the SuperZoom Array, which supports 10x optical zoom and 100x digital zoom, like the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
The P40 and P40 Pro will be available in South Africa in May, while no date has been set for release of the P40 Pro+.
Sony releases smartphone-ready in-car display
One can enable an existing car with smart technology, with Sony’s new XAV-AX8050D in-car media display that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Sony has launched the XAV-AX8050D in-car media display, its newest and most advanced media display for cars yet. Designed to deliver immersive quality that features anti-glare touchscreen technology, Sony’s high-end display promotes safer and smarter driving habits for South African road users, thanks to the easy-to-read screen.
Sanjay Panikar, Head of Car Audio Marketing, Sony Middle East and Africa, said: “Without doubt, the use of a larger, more vibrant screen on in-car dashboards enables drivers and passengers to tap into the convenience of having the ultimate entertainment and navigation experience while on the go, without compromising road safety. Sony’s newest media display also features a range of exciting connectivity options like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and WebLink Cast to ensure that drivers are always connected to their favourite devices and apps.”
The XAV-AX8050D display is designed to minimise distractions so that drivers can focus on the road ahead. Sony has placed safety and innovative design at the heart of its display design, resulting in convergence of lighter touch operation and improved visibility so information is easy to see at a glance.
The 8.95-inch, anti-glare display hovers over the dashboard, and the sturdy mount can be adjusted in three directions to allow for flexible installation in a wide variety of vehicles.
Apple CarPlay integrates an iPhone with the car audio’s display and controls. Read more about support for third-party navigation apps at www.apple.com/ios/carplay
For more on the Google Assistant on Android Auto, visit www.android.com/auto
The rear-view camera-ready function displays visuals from the connected rear-view camera and can be accessed when the vehicle is put in reverse or by tapping the “Rear Camera” icon on the home screen
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