It’s painful to even talk about Pebble’s pioneering smartwatches after the company officially closed up shop, selling its intellectual property and core software services to wearable market leader Fitbit for a ridiculously low sum, and forever throwing in the hardware towel.
But imagine how users of the first-gen Pebble Time, Time Steel or Time Round must be feeling owning devices with looming expiration dates, no more warranty support or refund options, regardless of when they bought their frugal Android and iOS-compatible watches.
If it’s any consolation, Fitbit’s efforts of “liberating” Pebbles from past dependency on the cloud have started to yield the anticipated results meant to let you “keep enjoying your smartwatch experience for as long as possible.”
Going forward, if Pebble’s online servers aren’t going to be accessible for “any reason”, like, oh, I don’t know, Fitbit shutting them down, your usual login process will be able to be skipped, apps side-loaded, and the latest watch firmware installed, all through mobile apps.
What remains unclear is how “Team Fitbit” can get key Pebble features dependent on third-party services, including dictation, messaging and weather, to function properly once the Pebble cloud is discontinued. Also, while iOS users are able to update their Pebble app with the “liberating” changes from the official App Store already, Android fans need to enroll in a public beta program before eventually seeing the revisions applied to the Google Play version.