Fitbit Charge 2 Update Ups The Fitness-Tracking Game: Workout Pause Feature, Guided Breathing, And More


The Fitbit Charge 2 is an excellent, if minimally flawed, device. The fitness tracker, despite being a significant upgrade from the Fitbit Charge HR, still has quite a large room for improvement, and Fitbit is rolling out a slew of changes that'll fill up that room quite sizably.

The new Charge 2 firmware is poised to make the fitness-focused wearable a lot more useful. Eleven new tracker functions are included in the update, which is billed as a holiday treat from Fitbit engineers.

Here are all the features for Charge 2's latest firmware update.

Pause Workouts

Perhaps the biggest change in the new update is the ability to pause and resume workouts, a functionality that has long been requested by Charge 2 owners. With the new pause function, users can simply press the button on the side of the tracker to put a hold on an ongoing workout, then push the button again to resume when necessary. The Charge 2's display will flash when a workout is on hold to prevent users from unknowingly continuing a workout with the device still paused.

Guided Breathing Vibration Cues

With the improved Relax function, users are now able to close their eyes and focus on breathing patterns instead of looking at the device for visual cues. Charge 2 will now output light vibration prompts to indicate whether it's time for the user to inhale or exhale.

Do Not Disturb Feature

Users may now turn notifications on or off directly on the Charge 2, effectively thwarting the vexing pings of calls, text, calendar alerts, or reminders when users are in the middle of something important. Users may enable this feature by pressing and holding down the side button when in the watch's clock face. Alternatively, users may click the button until they're taken to the notification screen. From there, users can press and hold down the button to turn notifications on or off.

Heart Rate Zone Display Improvements

Fitbit has added more dynamic visualization for heart rate zones, so users are now able to easily identify which heart rate zone is being displayed, whether it's for fat burn, cardio, or peak.

Battery Indicator

The update also brings over a battery percentage indicator. To add this to the display, users can go to the Fitbit app > Account > Charge 2 > Menu items. Click the tick box for "Battery" and sync the device to enable the feature.

A New Watch Face

A new clock face is now also available, showing the hour, minute, and seconds on the display. To add it to the Charge 2's display, go to the Fitbit app > Charge 2 > Clock Face. A new option called "Seconds Ring" should be in the menu.

Other Changes

There are also five minor changes carried by the update, including intuitive intervals, wherein the screen lights up, apart from vibrating, when the interval timer goes off. Also, on-screen exercise summaries will also now be available an hour after a workout, though users may still view their exercise history whenever they please.

There will also now be a plus sign on the Charge 2's display to indicate piling notifications. Also, when receiving calls, Charge 2 will now identify unmatched numbers as unknown callers. Additionally, the sequence for text notifications has changed, with the message scrolling first before the sender's name.

To get all of these new features, users must first update their Fitbit Charge 2 to the latest firmware.

Fitbit devices are increasingly becoming the wearable product of choice this year, having perched atop the ranking for smartwatch sales in Q3 2016 and cornering 23 percent of the wearable market. These new features could help Fitbit helm its top position a little while longer.

Fitbit recently purchased Pebble for $40 million, though the company hasn't elaborated on what will spring from the acquisition.

What do you think of these new features? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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