Personal Tech

Look on the bright side, Pebble fans. At least your gizmo will work long enough for you to get beach body ready

Support plug will now be pulled in June

By Shaun Nichols in San Francisco


Fitbit says it will formally end support for Pebble hardware this summer.

The dying exercise wearables specialist said today that on June 30, 2018, it will cut off online services and support for any remaining Pebble wrist-puters.

Don't fret. At least you'll have enough time to use one of the doomed smartwatches to shed pounds for that beach vacation you've been planning – right? Treat yourself.

The June deadline represents a six-month extension: when Pebble's software arm was acquired by Fitbit in late 2016, Fitbit said it would only keep support for the Pebble software API going until December 31, 2017. That API powers the smartwatches online features, such as voice recognition and the app store.

Now, Fitbit says, it has extended that cutoff date another half-year, allowing Pebble watch owners to get a little more out of their gizmos – and maybe perhaps consider buying a Fitbit armband.

"Combining Pebble's talent and resources with Fitbit's gave us the additional honor of welcoming the Pebble community as a part of our own," Fitbit explained on Wednesday.

"To give 'Pebblers' ample time to explore Fitbit products while enjoying their current Pebble devices, we committed to preserving the Pebble user experience through 2017, despite not acquiring any of Pebble's hardware lineup."

Hoping to convince remaining Pebble holdouts to steer clear of rival Apple, Fitbit will offer a $50 discount on Fitbit gear to anyone who can prove they own a Pebble watch by providing a valid serial number.

Those who decide to cling onto their old smartwatches have just six months from now to enjoy the online features of Pebble apps, including text messages and email via iOS, voice recognition, timeline pins from applications, and the Pebble app store and forums. Additionally, Fitbit will be cutting support for the CloudPebble developer tool.

The deadline will also bring the end of updates for Pebble's iOS and Android apps. So if anything changes on those operating systems to make the applications stop working, you're screwed, for instance.

FitBit claims around 14 per cent of the global market share for wearables, neck and neck with Xiaomi for the top spot and ahead of third-place Apple.

The upstart's financials, however, are less impressive. Fitbit turned in a $113m loss in its latest fiscal quarter. ®

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