Health band maker Fitbit cannibalized smartwatch startup Pebble to make its own smartened-up version of a fitness tracker. That’s left users of the Pebble Watch, Pebble Time, Pebble Round and Pebble Time Round with the options to abandon ship or, from June 30, use their devices as dumb watches with no web services.
It didn’t have to be this way. And, if one little project has its way, it doesn’t.
Rebble looks to be the unofficial web services provider for Pebble users after official web services dry up, but it certainly helps that former Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky tweeted his endorsement of it.
— Eric Migicovsky (@ericmigi) June 15, 2018
The project, led by former Pebbler Katharine Berry, is now recruiting users to import their Pebble account to Rebble — you can do so yourself at the source link below this story — and, quite importantly, do so by the time Fitbit shuts down Pebble servers on June 30.
From now until then (or whenever the Rebble platform launches), it’ll be a waiting game.
Complicated services like a reformed app store will take a while to appear, but basic services like authentication, boot and cohorts are nearing readiness. The hope is that users’ existing apps, barring developers cutting off their own ties or lacking the resources to maintain complex message forwarding services, will still work. Pebble Health will remain “entirely functional” along with all the native features like the watchfaces.
“Many of you have been asking what they will have to do to start using the Rebble Web Services,” Berry wrote in a blog post. “We aren’t ready yet, but when we are, it should actually be very easy: tap a link from our website on your phone, and you will be switched over to our services.”
Rebble aims to have basic services for free, but it’ll take money to keep the grassroots growing on this effort — details on paid service tiers, which would include access to Weather and Dictation services, are upcoming.
Fitbit is acknowledged as a good faith partner in making resources available to provide further continuity to Pebble fans. Whatever fanbase is left, it’s clear that the fight for survival is on and strong.