Fitbit has revealed the fate of the Pebble smartwatch ecosystem, and it’s not good for Pebble smartwatch owners. While the watch will still work, a handful of features will disappear this year.
Fitbit took to its blog to reveal a more definitive answer to Pebble and its products. The Pebble hardware and ecosystem has been up in the air since Fitbit purchased the company. They had previously assured Pebble users and app developers that it would keep Pebble smartwatches going for some time.
Unfortunately, Pebble’s devices and software are done, and Fitbit will only extend support for the devices until June 30. The blog post gives a bit more detail, saying that the company is evolving and moving forward and away from Pebble’s platform.
The blog post got more specific, revealing the Pebble will no longer have access to the voice recognition features, SMS and email replies, timeline pins from third-party apps, the Pebble app store, the Pebble forum, and the CloudPebble development tool. The latter is the program that allows developers to create apps for Pebble.
Pebble’s mobile app that’s available on iOS and Android will continue to work, although there will be no more updates to the apps. Functionality could end with future updates to both software.
Fitbit Buys Pebble
Back in December 2016, Pebble officially announced that the company would be shutting down and would not manufacture or support anymore devices. It also announced that the company could no longer honor any existing warranties.
Fitbit bought the Pebble Smartwatch’s intellectual property and some of its assets for around $23 million.
What Can Pebble Users Do?
Once functionality ends, the Pebble smartwatches will only work as a watch, and unfortunately, there will be nothing users can do.
However, Fitbit wants to entice Pebble users to make the jump to their products. The company is offering a discount on Fitbit devices with a valid Pebble device serial number. There is a $50 discount on the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch, making it $249.95.
The Ionic is the only device at the moment that uses the Fitbit operating system, and it’s useful to have apps and more.
While the company didn’t say it outright, this is essentially the end of Pebble. Without the Pebble app store, there will be no way for users to manage their third-party apps.