You can buy the new Smartbit watches Fitbit Versa 3 and Sense right now, but are on their way up when you do ̵1; if you upgrade, you will have to learn how to use a Fitbit. The two smartwatches are pre-installed with Fitbit 5.0, a new operating system with a review of navigation and user interface.
Let’s get one thing out of the way in advance: Fitbit 5.0 will not come to older devices. If you want to experience the latest and greatest Fitbit OS, you need to buy the latest and greatest Fitbit devices, namely Versa 3 or Sense.
Fitbit says as much in a developer post as it published today, where it was called Fitbit 5.0 “the largest and most effective smartwatch update since the launch of Fitbit Ionic 2017.” The operating system revises how you navigate on a Fitbit, including a new swipe feature to move back in apps. It also uses a new font, called Raiju, which makes better use of screen space.
If you’re wondering about your apps and looking at faces from previous Fitbit devices, that part becomes tricky. Fitbit created a compatibility mode for dials that dynamically scales them from 300 × 300 to 336 × 336. But due to the change in screen shape, it does not work for all dials.
Fitbit went out of its way to test dials and automatically mark those that are compatible with 5.0, so that they would work on day one. If a dial did not make the clip, the developer must do some work.
Apps are in a similar position; those built for 4.0 do not work automatically for Fitbit 5.0. Developers need to do some work to transfer their app to 5.0, and they need to keep two copies of the app (one for 4.0 and one for 5.0). However, as one developer explains, much of the code can be the same or shared, so it should not be too difficult to keep both.
You can read more about the changes on Fitbit’s developer website, but that means a high-level overview for everyone who creates apps and dials.