It’s been more than a year since Fitbit acquired smartwatch maker Pebble and ever since, we’ve known that the days for the Pebble wearable were numbered. But just as Fitbit made no move to shut down the Pebble ecosystem in 2017, it seems that we can expect a continuation of that pattern throughout the new year — at least, for the first half of it.
As the Fitbit team told Digital Trends, “Today, Fitbit has announced it is extending its support of the Pebble smartwatch ecosystem for six more months, to June 30, 2018. During this time, Fitbit invites the Pebble community to explore how familiar highlights from the Pebble ecosystem are evolving on the Fitbit platform, from features and experiences to apps and clock faces – with more than 350 apps and clock faces now available in the Fitbit App Gallery.”
When Fitbit initially made the acquisition, the company promised to continue supporting Pebble’s devices and its services. “To be clear, no one on this freshly formed team seeks to brick Pebble watches in active service,” wrote Jon Barlow, a developer advocate at Fitbit at the time. “The Pebble SDK, CloudPebble, Timeline APIs, firmware availability, mobile apps, developer portal and Pebble app store are all elements of the Pebble ecosystem that will remain in service at this time.”
And now, with the help of the Pebble team, Fitbit released its own operating system, which is behind the Fitbit Ionic. Moving forward, it would appear that Fitbit hopes to focus more on this new OS, and is inviting Pebble users to “explore how familiar highlights from the Pebble ecosystem are evolving on the Fitbit platform, from apps and clock faces to features and experiences.”
To that end, Fitbit is offering a Fitbit upgrade discount to current Pebble smartwatch owners, who will find that after June 30 of this year, support for their wearables will no longer exist. But not to worry — they will be able to get $50 off a Fitbit Ionic as long as they still own a Pebble device with a valid serial number. To redeem this offer, Pebble smartwatches can register for updates and expect communications before this spring.
Until then, however, Pebble users will still be able to enjoy the same experience they are accustomed to. Pebble devices and mobile apps will remain active after June 20, but the Pebble app store, forum, voice recognition features, SMS and email replies, timeline pins from third-party apps, and CloudPebble development tool will disappear. Moreover, after the June deadline, there will be no more updates to Pebble’s mobile apps for iOS and Android. “Users should note that it’s possible for future iOS or Android updates to break Pebble compatibility,” Fitbit noted.
So if you’ve been thinking about upgrading your Pebble, this may be the year to do so.