Simpler times, just over a year ago…
When Fitbit acquired Pebble late last year the latter made a promise to its users that services connected to their cheap and cheerful smartwatches would continue to run until at least the end of 2017. The bad news is that there are signs Pebble may be breaking that promise. The good news? A firmware update that will keep Pebbles running even after Pebble’s servers power down.
This week Pebble posted the following to their developer blog:
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.
For example, 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 language packs) can be installed.
It’s not entirely clear how (or if) some critical functions will continue to work—voice-to-text, messaging and weather still rely on Pebble servers.
Wareable reports that for iOS users the update is available immediately; Android users will have to either join Pebble’s beta program or wait for the official update to appear on the Play Store.