Fossil has released a set of new features for its existing Fossil Gen 5 watches. The company released a new software update today addressing some features gap for current Gen 5 users. These new health and fitness-related features from Fossil come before the planned wearOS update this fall.
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Cardio Fitness Tracker
The first new feature is the addition of tracking VO2 max via a new cardio fitness tracker. The tracker takes into account the user’s personal profile ( Sex, age, weight etc) and combines that with resting heart rate data to calculate VO2 max. Unlike the Apple Watch, which requires 20 mins of strenuous activity (walk or run) to calculate VO2 max, the Gen 5 Fossil watch is able to monitor it 24 hours.
Current Fossil Gen 5 owners can start using this new functionality following the software update by making sure they enable these two settings:
- Enable background heart rate in the Google Fit watch app: App Menu > Fit Goals > Settings > Background Heart Rate
- Enable Fit permission to use body sensors: Watch Settings > Apps & notifications > App permissions > System Apps > Fit > Sensors
A New Sleep Tracker
The software update introduces a new Sleep Tracker functionality on the Gen 5 smartwatch that records your sleep history, tracks restfulness, and allows you to set sleep goals.
New Wellness App
The Sleep Tracking, Activity, and Cardio Fitness can all be from the Wellness watch app, and Sleep and Activity are also available as Tiles.
This new feature moves heart rate and step tracking off the SnapDragon 3100 main processor to its coprocessor thereby reducing battery consumption during workouts.
Interestingly, these new changes from Fossil come weeks after wearOS unveiled some of their plans for the upcoming wearOS release. The new wearOS update to be released this fall will focus on improving the performance of the wearable platform.
wearOS users can expect to see a 20% speed improvement in startup time for apps when Google releases the new update later this year.
Fossil’s software updates will be available today through the Gen 5’s Settings app and are compatible with Android 6.0 or newer phones, as well as iOS 10 or newer iPhones.