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8 apps you need to try on the Fitbit Ionic, Versa

Fitbit's new smartwatches can do more than just count steps or track sleep.

Fitbit Ionic
Sarah Tew/CNET

Fitbit OS, the operating system you'll find on the Fitbit Ionic or Fitbit Versa watches from the wearable company, is capable of running apps. Apps are new territory for Fitbit, with the acquisition of Pebble being the driving force behind Fitbit OS and the app store.

While the app store isn't all that crowded right now, there are a handful available that are worth your time.

Now playing: Watch this: Wearing Fitbit Versa: Does it beat Apple Watch?

In order to install any of the apps listed below, open the Fitbit app on your phone and navigate to the All Apps section. Currently, there isn't a means to search the store, but thankfully there aren't a lot of apps in the store and it should be relatively painless to find a specific app.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Competing with friends and family members who also use Fitbit is an easy and effective way to stay motivated to keep moving. Instead of reaching for your phone to check where you're ranked in your leaderboard, install the Leaderboard app on your watch. With the app, you can keep tabs on leaders, and tap on a user to cheer or taunt him or her.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

A staple of any wearable platform is the ability to buy a cup of coffee or a scone with your Starbucks account info. The Starbucks app uses your Starbucks card number to display a barcode that can then be scanned at checkout.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you want to have more barcodes on your wrist than Starbucks, the properly titled app Barcodes allows doing just that. It will come in handy to store your gym membership number, library card, or any loyalty program cards.

The New York Times

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Quickly glancing at headlines is a convenient way to keep up with daily news. The New York Times app puts 10 different headlines and short summaries on your wrist, all without requiring a paid subscription.

Phillips Hue

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The days of getting out of bed to turn off a light you forgot about are in the past. The future is here, and that means turning off lights using a voice assistant, or if you so desire, your Fitbit device.

Fitbit Labs

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Fitbit has a series of apps, not preinstalled on either watch, designed to help keep you motivated or learn more about your activity habits.

Think Fast is one app that provides a reaction quiz you take daily. Over time the app will analyze how well or poorly you slept the night before, and how it impacted your scores, providing insight into the optimum amount of sleep you personally require.

Another app from Fitbit Labs is called Treasure Trek. While I'm still learning the ins and outs, it's a motivating game that takes you across a series of treasure maps using your step count. Complete maps, earn coins and purchase pets, hire crew members and beat enemies.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

There are a few calendar solutions available for Fitbit OS, but my personal favorite so far is a rather plain Calendar app. Instead of syncing with Google or some other cloud service, the Calendar app simply shows you, well, a calendar.