It’s kind of hard to believe, but Jawbone — a company that was built on Bluetooth — didn’t have a wireless radio in the first two iterations of its fitness tracker, the Jawbone UP. That finally changes today with the introduction of the Jawbone UP24.
Physically, the UP24 is essentially identical to the last version of the UP. It’s the same, wrap-around band. But now it has Bluetooth 4.0, so the UP24 will finally send real-time updates to your iPhone (and “soon” to Android phones), meaning you can get more detailed info about what you’ve been up to while you’re up to it. That’s a good thing, but it can hardly even be considered a catch-up move at this point. There’s still no display (or any other way to see your progress on the band itself), and there’s still no altimeter.
It's also 20 bucks more than that last UP, and it only gets seven days on a charge, as opposed to 10. Frankly, why you would get this instead of the far more capable and less expensive Fitbit Force, we have no idea.
There's a new 3.0 version of the UP app which will add a micro-goal setting program called "Today I will..." as in, "All week I've done nothing but eat potato chips and cry in my bathtub full of gravy, but today I will stand up and sit down at least three times!" Or something like that. Small, manageable goals is the idea. It can also estimate your sleep if you forget to switch it into sleep mode (which is handy), and it will applaud you for streaks and hitting milestones.
The UP 3.0 app will be rolling out for iOS this week and will work with both the UP24 and last year's UP, but of course live updates will only happen with the UP24. The new app will be coming to Android "soon," but you should probably expect it to take a little while to get the Bluetooth thing in working order.
The UP24 is available today for $US150 from Jawbone's website, and will be for sale at Apple Stores starting November 19 (the original UP will continue to be sold as well). Ultimately, this seems like a ho-hum update, and too little too late. If you're looking for a tracker for the summer holidays, the Fitbit Force, the Withings Pulse and the Basis B1 are all almost certainly better ways to go. [Jawbone]