Image source: Pebble

Pebble watches will keep ticking along thanks to new update

Existing owners of Pebble products will be happy to know their watches will continue to work beyond 2017.

The fate of existing customers has been left in doubt following Pebble’s acquisition by Fitbit, but the company has sought to put some of these fears to rest. According to its latest blog post, a new update to the iOS and Android versions of the app has been released that ends smartwatches’ dependency on Pebble’s cloud services.

We’re working hard to make sure Pebble users can keep enjoying their smartwatch experience for as long as possible. We’re happy to share the progress made so far with Pebblers today as a part of our continuing efforts to honor Pebble’s legacy, ecosystem, and functionality.

Today’s updates to the Pebble apps for iOS and Android liberate them from past dependency on cloud services. Freeing the ecosystem from these dependencies means Pebble smartwatches can operate normally, even if online servers are not accessible for any reason.

Fitbit had said earlier that it intends to keep the cloud servers running throughout 2017, and that no-one in the newly formed transition team seeks to brick Pebble watches in active service. There hasn’t been much news though on what would happen past that point.

The latest firmware update ensures the watches will continue working even after Fitbit’s shuts the cloud servers. If a Pebble authentication server can’t be reached, the mobile apps will let Pebble devices keep working. The login process can be skipped, apps can be side-loaded, and the latest watch firmware (including anguage packs) can be installed.

For health data, Pebble will sync with Apple Health or Google Fit by default instead of the Pebble server. Users will in all likelihood be giving up some features such as dictation, messaging and weather which depend on the cloud servers.

Of course, this not the perfect solution, but at least in ensures loyal Pebble followers will be able to continue to use the basic features of their watches, even when clouds fail.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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