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Fitbit on Thursday announced new OS 4.1 software update for its smartwatch which adds new sleep features, more functionality straight from the home screen, along with new capabilities for Amazon Alexa. Wikimedia Commons

Fitbit on Thursday announced new OS 4.1 software update for its smartwatch which adds new sleep features, more functionality straight from the home screen, along with new capabilities for Amazon Alexa.

The OS 4.1 update also adds a battery related feature, which will kick-in to notify when battery is running low.


The new Versa 2 smartwatch will also get an new advanced heart rate algorithm with this update.

Specific to Versa 2 users, Fitbit has doubled-down to enrich the recently-launched always-on display mode to deliver five additional clock face options.

Now in color, these feature full health and fitness stats, with faster transitions between always-on and active views, all powered by the device’s AMOLED display, touting a 2+ day battery life.

“Staying motivated to maintain your health and fitness routine is really hard around the holidays. We’re focused on making it more achievable through a combination of affordable devices, engaging software and our Premium membership to help you stay on track,” James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit said in a statement.

Fitbit is also continuing to roll out new content and tools to enhance Fitbit Premium membership, including a personal wellness report, developed in consultation with leading medical professionals from institutions like University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, San Francisco.

Additionally, over the coming months, Fitbit will be rolling out new programs, challenges and wellness content, plus workouts from popular brands like Daily Burn, Down Dog, Gaiam, POPSUGAR and Whil.


Fitbit is continuing to expand its Premium paid membership service[15] that’s available now to millions of users in 17 markets across the globe with a new wellness report, an expanded library of new workouts from third parties.

Premium users will now have access to a wellness report, which can easily be downloaded and shared with a doctor or a personal trainer.

ALSO READ: How To Truly Enjoy The Vinyl Sound

Fitbit OS 4.1 will begin rolling out to Fitbit smartwatch users the first week of December. Fitbit Premium members can already access many of the latest updates, with the rest rolling out on an ongoing basis in the coming months. (IANS)


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NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has for the first time spotted signs of a planet transiting a star outside of the Milky Way galaxy, opening up a new avenue to search for exoplanets at greater distances than ever before.

The possible exoplanet -- or planets outside of our Solar System -- candidate is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), also called the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its distinctive profile, NASA said in a statement.

Astronomers have, so far, found all other known exoplanets and exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way galaxy, almost all of them less than about 3,000 light-years from Earth.

An exoplanet in M51 would be about 28 million light-years away, meaning it would be thousands of times farther away than those in the Milky Way, NASA said.

"We are trying to open up a whole new arena for finding other worlds by searching for planet candidates at X-ray wavelengths, a strategy that makes it possible to discover them in other galaxies," said Rosanne Di Stefano of the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard and Smithsonian (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the study.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The exoplanet candidate was spotted in a binary system called M51-ULS-1, located in M51. This binary system contains a black hole or neutron star orbiting a companion star with a mass about 20 times that of the Sun. The X-ray transit they found using Chandra data lasted about three hours, during which the X-ray emission decreased to zero.

Based on this and other information, the team estimates the exoplanet candidate in M51-ULS-1 would be roughly the size of Saturn and orbit the neutron star or black hole at about twice the distance of Saturn from the Sun.

The team looked for X-ray transits in three galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy, using both Chandra and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. Their search covered 55 systems in M51, 64 systems in Messier 101 (the "Pinwheel" galaxy), and 119 systems in Messier 104 (the "Sombrero" galaxy).

However, more data would be needed to verify the interpretation as an extragalactic exoplanet. One challenge is that the planet candidate's large orbit means it would not cross in front of its binary partner again for about 70 years, thwarting any attempts for a confirming observation for decades, NASA said.

Named in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the Chandra X-ray Observatory is the world's most powerful X-ray telescope. It has eight times greater resolution and is able to detect sources more than 20-times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope.

Known to the world as Chandra (which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit), Chandrasekhar was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century. (IANS/JB)


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