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Wearable Tech

8 tips and tricks to get the most out of Fitbit Versa

Want to master the Fitbit Versa? Read this.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Fitbit is slowly shipping Versa ($199 at Amazon) preorders, with retail availability expected sometime in April. If you're one of the lucky few to have the Versa already or plan on getting one soon, read the tips below to get the hang of your new smartwatch. 

Now playing: Watch this: Unboxing the Fitbit Versa
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The buttons

There are three buttons on the Versa. The left button acts as a Back button when viewing an app. A long-press of the left button also opens the quick settings screen where you'll find music controls, Fitbit Pay on the special edition Versa and quick toggles for auto-wake and notifications.

From the watch face, a press of the top-right button will launch the top-left app in the app dock. A long-press of the same button reveals your notifications. Press the bottom-right button to start the app located in the lower-left corner of the app dock.

Gestures

notifications
Jason Cipriani/CNET

Of course, buttons are only one way to navigate Fitbit OS — the other being gestures on the Versa's touchscreen.

Below are the core gestures you'll need to know, all of which are used from the watch face:

  • Swipe up: Opens the new Today feed with the day's stats and tips 
  • Swipe down: Reveals notifications 
  • Swipe left: View app dock

Currently, swiping to the right on the watch face does nothing.

Today view

fitbit-today-feed
Jason Cipriani/CNET

Starting with Fitbit OS 2.0, a new Today view will give you quick access to your daily stats, forgoing the need to look at the Fitbit app on your phone.

As we just covered, the Today feed is accessed via a swipe up on the clock face. Randomly the top of this view will have tips to help motivate you, or explain features of the watch.

Other information found in the Today feed includes your daily stats, hourly step count, and resting heart rate. Each of the three categories offers additional information with a swipe to the left.

Install apps, watch faces

Fitbit has two different stores, each of which contains apps and clock faces for your smartwatch. Using the Fitbit app on your phone, navigate to the settings screen for the Versa (a tap on the thumbnail of the watch usually works). From there, select Clock Faces or Apps to view a list of what's currently installed or in use.

Along the top of the screen is an option to view All Apps or All Clocks -- select either one to view the respective store.

Rearrange apps

fitbit-apps
Jason Cipriani/CNET

A swipe to the left on the clock face will reveal all installed apps. The very first grid of four apps is perhaps the most critical group, considering the top-left and bottom-left apps can be opened with a quick press of the respective top or bottom buttons on the right side of the watch.

To rearrange apps on the Versa, tap and hold on an app icon until you feel a slight vibration. Drag the app to your preferred spot and lift your finger when finished. You can move apps across multiple screens by moving it to the edge of the screen.

Switch clock faces

Unfortunately, you can't have more than one clock face installed at a time. To change between faces, you need to go to the Clock Face store and install the face you want to switch to, as well as customize any features of it once again.

Music

media-versa
Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The Versa has enough memory to store roughly 300 songs. Right now, you can sync the watch with a Pandora Plus or paid Deezer account, or with music stored on your computer that lacks any DRM (downloaded music from Spotify of Apple Music, for example, will not work).

Open the Fitbit app and view the Versa settings and select Media to go through the process of syncing music to your watch. Make sure you're near a Wi-Fi network and have your charger handy -- it's a slow process.

Bluetooth headphones

Music stored on your watch won't do you any good without a pair of Bluetooth headphones connected to the Versa for playback. Pair headphones with the watch by going to Settings > Bluetooth > +Audio Device on the watch. Select your headphones from the list of found devices.