The new firmware update for Fitbit Ionic or old Versa range is causing some devices to get stuck and unresponsive. Our suggestion is – proceed with caution.
The latest version of the operating system (dubbed 4.2.2) has started making its rounds a couple of days ago. It is meant for the ageing Ionic, along with Versa, Versa 2 and Versa Lite.
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But don’t get too excited. The release notes say the software refresh contains “bug fixes and improvements”. So you probably won’t notice any change in the way your wearable functions.
However, a few unlucky customers have noticed a big change – but for the worse! So you may want to hold off on updating the software. In some cases the update has even gone as far as bricking devices, rendering them useless.
Truth be told, any software update comes with risks attached to it. That is not just the case with fitness trackers and smartwatches. While it is usually good to be on the latest version of the software, that is not always the case.
Here are some comments from the Fitbit Community forum:
“In the middle of updating to new firmware yesterday my Versa 2 died, it was charged and plugged in whilst updating and it seemed to be progressing well but just froze and the screen went blank. Gutted as it’s only 16 months old.”
“I had the same thing happen and still haven’t been able to get it working. Any luck?” says another one.
“Mine has died too – 8 weeks outside of the warranty date. I’ve done everything suggested on the forum and on Fitbit chat and nothing,” says a third.
Both Ionic and legacy Versa range customers are experiencing problems with devices becoming unresponsive. Some have mentioned that the sensors have stopped working after the wearable asked to recalibrate.
Having said that, quite a few have installed the update with absolutely no issues. It is still early days to judge the extent of the problem as the update has just started making its rounds.
Fitbit says OS 4.2.2 should be available to everyone in the coming weeks. There are ways to force the upgrade, but we suggest you don’t do this. The purpose of gradual rollouts is to make sure the software is bug free before reaching the majority of customers.
So until you see the update banner appear in the Fitbit app, have patience. Even if you do see the banner, you might want to check Fitbit Community forums before installing to read about other people’s experiences with the update.
Possible workarounds if your device is unresponsive
The first thing to do if your device is stuck and unresponsive is to try and restart your Ionic and Versa. That is always the go-to solution for most problems you might be experiencing with a wearable device.
If the device is unresponsive because the battery no longer charging, there’s another solution you can try. We describe the troubleshooting steps in a separate article, but they basically boil down to cleaning the tracker and charging cable, checking that the USB port and outlet are not faulty and making sure the wearable is securely attached to the charging cable.
If you’ve tried these steps and your wearable is still stuck, the best thing to do is to contact Fitbit directly. There are a number of ways to do this including chat and giving them a call.
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