Today, Fitbit is announcing the launch of Fitbit Ionic, a health and fitness focused smartwatch with an amazing color touch screen, multi day battery life, a large selection of sensors (including on-board GPS and PurePulse continuous heart rate tracking), and a curated selection of apps and clock faces. This new smartwatch is the first to be built on top of Fitbit OS, our new operating system for smartwatches that will be regularly updated to add new user experiences. Ionic is also the first Fitbit product to support apps built with our new software development kit (SDK).
Our SDK enables developers like you to build apps and clock faces that will delight our large, global community of users and enable them to further personalize their watch. In developing apps and clock faces for Ionic, you will have access to sensors on the device and the opportunity for your content to be available to all Ionic and future Fitbit smartwatch users.
When building apps for Ionic, you don’t have to also create an accompanying mobile app. And as you might expect, apps created for Fitbit Ionic will be compatible for use across Android, iOS and Windows platforms.
In the documentation available today, you will learn about three sets of APIs:
- Device APIs to build the user-interface of your app or clock face, to leverage on-board sensors, and for users to interact with your creation.
- Companion APIs to take advantage of the phone’s Internet connectivity in order to fetch content from online services, refresh data in the background, and store data on the phone.
- A Settings API that enable users to configure your app or clock face, and to securely access data via your APIs utilizing OAuth2.
The process to publish an app for Fitbit Ionic starts today by reviewing the documentation and examples. When Fitbit Ionic begins to ship in September, access to Fitbit Studio will open, and you will be able to use it to build and compile apps. Testing your app requires a Fitbit Ionic smartwatch with developer-enabled firmware that will be delivered to you over Wi-Fi.
App and clock face submissions to the Fitbit Gallery will open this Fall. As a developer, once you submit your app you will be able to share your latest creation with friends, family and coworkers via a private unique link. You should follow the App Gallery Guidelines to create the best experience for Fitbit Ionic, and apps shared via this method will be available immediately to those you share it with.
Once you are satisfied that your creation is ready to be shared more broadly, you can submit it for review to Fitbit. The App Gallery Guidelines provide more information on the review process for apps and clock faces. Once approved by Fitbit, a process that we aim to complete within two business days, your app or clock face will be featured in the Fitbit App Gallery in the Fitbit app and available to all Fitbit Ionic users.
This is a very exciting time for Fitbit and the entire Fitbit Developer Platform team. Since the acquisition of Pebble assets in December 2016, countless hours have gone into building this new platform and the team is looking forward to your feedback via the Fitbit SDK forum. The team will also be coming to you via meetups, hackathons and conferences - so keep an eye out for us. (And, you can count on us to bring watches to test with!)
To stay informed about when Fitbit Studio is available, receive updates from the Fitbit Developer Platform team, and to learn about upcoming events, please subscribe to the Fitbit Developers mailing list.