Fitbit just released an update for their Sense 2 and Versa 4 models that incorporates Dynamic GPS support, aiming to enhance the battery life of these devices. This uses an intelligent approach to track GPS data, thus reducing the battery drain commonly associated with such features.
It all comes as part of software version 194.61. We covered this in a previous article as some of the upgrades were teased ahead of time. But one change that has not been covered is Dynamic GPS support. It only became clear this has been enabled when Fitbit published the change-log to the update earlier today.
Dynamic GPS – what is it?
In a “traditional setting”, wearable devices, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, use their built-in GPS sensors to monitor and record user activities, including routes, pace, and distance. However, this can significantly deplete the device’s battery life. With this new update, Fitbit is seeking to address this issue.
The Dynamic GPS feature on Fitbit devices allows Sense 2 and Versa 4 models to rely on the GPS sensors of a user’s connected smartphone, instead of the built-in sensors of the watch. This feature comes into play at the start of a workout. It can be set to automatically decide the type of GPS to use based on the situation. If the phone is detected as being in close proximity and moving along with the user, the watch will opt to use the phone’s GPS sensors. If the phone is not moving, the watch will revert to using its built-in GPS.
As many of you might know, this is nothing new. Some other Fitbit devices have had this feature for a while now. So in a sense, these two timepieces are playing catch-up.
Other software additions improve user experience
The introduction of the Dynamic GPS feature aligns with Fitbit’s other recent additions aimed at improving the user experience. These include the ability to view Daily Readiness Scores and menstrual cycle information directly on the Sense 2 or Versa 4 devices. Both come as part of this software upgrade. Users should note that to access these features, they will need to install tiles from the Fitbit phone app. Also a Premium subscription is necessary.
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Additionally, the update enables users to switch watch faces directly from the smartwatch itself. This is a shift from the previous requirement of using the companion app for this purpose. Alongside these enhancements, Fitbit’s update also broadens language support and includes unspecified bug fixes and improvements.
As always, this is a gradual rollout. Open up the Fitbit smartphone app and you’ll be notified if the software is ready to be installed on your device.
In a year where it has not been all good news for Fitbit device owners, the Dynamic GPS feature is something positive. It is a promising step towards a more efficient and user-friendly experience for those with Sense 2 and Versa 4 watches.
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