Firmware update for the Jawbone UP2 and UP3 - what is it and what is not?

Improvements firmware update UP2

A few weeks ago I was sent a Jawbone UP2 as a test product, which I have been using every day since then and therefore in an endurance test. The corresponding test report is still pending, but it will come in the next few weeks. However, the reason for today's post is a firmware update that Jawbone released a few days ago for the UP2 and UP3. It can be downloaded via the firmware updater, which can be started on an iOS device such as the iPhone or iPad (there is also software for Mac OS X and Windows). You can find more information about the updater on the side of Jawbone.

UP2 firmware update

The internal software of the fitness tracker can be upgraded with the firmware updater from Jawbone (Photo: Jawbone).

So far so good. New firmware is mostly an improvement, so I've read through to see what's new. The text in it made me happy at first, because I thought there is now a feature that I miss in UP3, but unfortunately it has not been confirmed. Nevertheless, practical functions have been added. But here's the summary.

Automatic sleep detection: tapping on the wristband is a thing of the past

Up to now, with the UP2 it was always the case that in the evening before going to sleep, one tapped the wristband to indicate that one was still going to sleep. Then the UP recorded the sleep or the movements for an analysis and the next morning after waking up, you ended the sleep mode by tapping. That wasn't bad, but I just forgot about it a lot, especially when I fell asleep while reading. ;-)

Improvements firmware update UP2

The firmware update for the Jawbone Up2 brings these improvements.

Now the UP continuously records the movements and then analyzes the activities at some point after a sync with the iPhone. I assume that it will now recognize when you are actually asleep based on the long periods of rest. He did not recognize a Powernapp yesterday afternoon as sleep, although I lay very well and probably also quietly. So there seems to be an analysis behind it that is quite sophisticated.

The tip function is not completely switched off, because if, for example, you have activated your smart alarm (sleep phase alarm clock on the UP) and this brings the band to the vibration alarm, you can still turn off the alarm by tapping on the Up.

New features of the Jawbone UP3

The UP3 is, so to speak, the "big brother" of the UP2. With a heart rate monitor, the bracelet is a little more sophisticated and also has more data to record. However, the use of the word "heart rate monitor" is something that has given me hope that I could use the bracelet to feed my pulse while exercising in Runtastic without using a chest strap. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The UP3 only evaluates the resting heart rate to evaluate the heart's health.

Until the last firmware update, the resting heart rate was only measured in the morning after waking up. With the new firmware update, the pulse is now recorded several times a day in resting phases. This naturally improves the informative value about heart health.

In the press release for the update this sentence was stated: "With this update, UP3 records your resting heart rate as well as your passive heart rate to give you a comprehensive insight into your personal heart health.". It was unclear to me what "passive heart rate" is, so I once asked Jawbone or the press agency what it meant and whether you can now transfer your pulse to other apps with the continuous pulse measurement.

Here is the answer:

Thank you for your mail. With the firmware update, there is no pulse measurement for sports activities - not even with other apps. Basically, the measurement of the resting heart rate and the newly added opportunistic / passive heart rate is about a more complete representation of the heart health in general. That means, to answer your question about the passive heart rate: This additional measurement is only used for a complete picture of the heart health -> UP measures the heart rate throughout the day (and no longer only in the morning after getting up) as soon as the body is at rest is located.
Perhaps in the future there will be the possibility of heart rate measurement for sports activities, but I can't tell you anything about that at the moment.

So there is the small hope that at some point there will be the opportunity to transmit your pulse in fitness apps and thus also evaluate your sports activities outside of the UP app. But currently the Jawbone UP3 is not a heart rate monitor and can therefore not be used for such applications.

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