Pebble watches will work indefinitely with new software update

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 5
Pebble this week issued a firmware update that removes device dependency on cloud services, meaning existing hardware will remain operable once parent company Fitbit shuts down legacy Pebble servers later this year.




Users of Pebble products were left in the lurch when Fitbit bought the small smartwatch company last year for $23 million.

As part of the acquisition, which targeted intellectual property and technology, Fitbit discontinued Pebble device manufacturing. In a blog post published in December, Pebble said Fitbit was "going out of its way" to keep existing software and services up and running, but only through 2017.

With today's update, Pebble devices will continue to function independent of online services. As noted in a blog post on Tuesday, operating requirements like authentication services are now accomplished through mobile apps running on iOS or Android. Additionally, the login process can be skipped, while smartwatch apps can be side-loaded and new watch firmware installed through the host iOS and Android apps.

The new functionality untethers Pebble devices from online servers that will inevitable go dark later this year. When Fitbit shuts down Pebble's servers, backend data services will be rendered obsolete, leaving a number of first- and third-party apps unusable.

How Pebble intends to handle cloud-based features such as text communication and in-app data retrieval is unclear. For now, the company is allowing developers to side-load a service configuration in a custom boot config to change the servers with which Pebble apps communicate.

The new update also removes options to contact customer support, collect health data and suggest new features. As a consolation, switching on Health synchronization in Settings now logs heart rate data to Apples Health app.

The latest Pebble update for iOS is available now as a free 92.7MB download from the App Store.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    QJQJ Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    This needs to be open sourced. Let the Pebble community keep it going.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,033member
    "Pebble devices will continue to function independently of online services."

    And

    "The new functionality untethers Pebble devices from online servers that will inevitably go dark later this year..."

    "Independently" and "inevitably".   Please refresh your knowledge and the usage of adverbs in your writing.  A little editing and subsequent revision can work wonders.
  • Reply 3 of 10
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,166member
    chadbag said:
    "Pebble devices will continue to function independently of online services."

    And

    "The new functionality untethers Pebble devices from online servers that will inevitably go dark later this year..."

    "Independently" and "inevitably".   Please refresh your knowledge and the usage of adverbs in your writing.  A little editing and subsequent revision can work wonders.
    Huh?  Seems like reasonable use to me, what's the problem?
  • Reply 4 of 10
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,817member
    chadbag said:
    "Pebble devices will continue to function independently of online services."

    And

    "The new functionality untethers Pebble devices from online servers that will inevitably go dark later this year..."

    "Independently" and "inevitably".   Please refresh your knowledge and the usage of adverbs in your writing.  A little editing and subsequent revision can work wonders.
    Nothing wrong wit the statements. Since the servers will avoidably be going down they are making a statement that Pebble watches will still continue to work without having to be connected to those servers to function.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 5 of 10
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,817member
    QJ said:
    This needs to be open sourced. Let the Pebble community keep it going.
    Seems like it could be a smart move for Fitbit.
  • Reply 6 of 10
    And they said the cloud was the future.
    Messy future.
    tallest skilzroger73
  • Reply 7 of 10
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 41,324member
    And they said the cloud was the future.
    Messy future.
    The video game industry in particular has felt the effects of “the cloud” not being what it otherwise promises for longer (and in a broader way) than any other. Many games are “online only” or are even single-player ONLY games that are forced to be online to use them at all or access features. Companies regularly shut down said servers without warning or consideration made for playability. Once the servers are down, for most games, that’s it; you just can’t play it anymore, ever.
    edited April 6 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 10
    Pebble was very very smart to sell.
    fitbit...very dumb to buy.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 10
    lexolexo Posts: 20member
    And they said the cloud was the future.
    Messy future.
    A mix of humour and truth. Perfect! :)
  • Reply 10 of 10
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,684member
    chadbag said:
    "Pebble devices will continue to function independently of online services."

    And

    "The new functionality untethers Pebble devices from online servers that will inevitably go dark later this year..."

    "Independently" and "inevitably".   Please refresh your knowledge and the usage of adverbs in your writing.  A little editing and subsequent revision can work wonders.
    Perhaps you can explain what the problem is. He could have put bracketing commas around 'inevitably', but I wouldn't bounce a review for missing them out. 
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