Pebble smartwatch owners might be happy to know an interesting alternative to the PebbleOS is currently under development. Dubbed Rebble, its aim is to keep the hardware going for years to come.
Fitbit gave loyal Pebble watch owners a life extension earlier this week. The San Francisco company announced it will keep the watch servers going until end June, thus extending the originally set 31 December 2017 cut-off date. Fitbit says its done this to give the Pebble community more time to consider a switchover to Fitbit’s OS platform, i.e. to consider purchasing its Ionic smartwatch.
Essential reading: Guide to choosing the best Pebble watch
After June 30th, Fitbit will stop support for Pebble’s infrastructure and web-based features, meaning Pebble watches will continue plodding along but with limited functionality. This is where RebbleOS comes in.
While Pebble hardware may remain frozen in time, a team of developers are hoping to maintain and advance the software. Still in its early stages, the project began as a supplement to the official Pebble documentation.
After Pebble ceased operations, it morphed into the unofficial spearhead organization for continuing the advancement of the Pebble operating system. The developer community under its roof is currently working on replacing key pieces of the Pebble ecosystem: the appstore, firmware, and mobile apps.
Developers are hoping to have their own alternative in place by the time Fitbit pulls the plug on Pebble’s servers. The unofficial firmware has Bluetooth functioning correctly allowing notifications to be beamed from a phone or PC directly to the Pebble, and a number of Pebble watch faces also function with the latest build.
Its worth noting, the RebbleOS is not up the point where you’re going to be wearing it on your wrist daily. Its also a drain on the battery and you can expect your watch to run only about 6 hours on the new operating system. Much work obviously remains before this is to be a viable alternative to the Pebble OS.
If you are feeling adventurous, an early alpha build is available for those interested in trying it out.
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