Published: Fri, January 26, 2018
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Fitbit Is Expanding Pebble Smartwatch Support Until June

Fitbit Is Expanding Pebble Smartwatch Support Until June

Pebble started as one of the Kickstarter's success stories.

Smartwatch shipments are expected to more than double between 2017 and 2021, moving from the current 31.6 million up to 71.5 million. Fitbit says this is so that the community will be able to assess similarities that they can find in the Fitbit OS platform and developers to try and build more things through the Fitbit SDK. The wording of the announcements is a bit different, as Fitbit actually says that it will extend its support of the Pebble smartwatch ecosystem for six more months. That means notifications are at risk - that feature only works as long as Pebble's companion app remains active.

While Pebble devices and mobile apps will continue working after June 30, several services will be retired, including Pebble appstore, Pebble forum, voice recognition features, SMS and email replies with iOS, timeline pins from third-party apps, and the CloudPebble development tool.

You can still use Rebble, the community-developed app store if you need to manage your apps and watchfaces. They also revealed what are the first steps are as Pebble software and apps integrate into the Fitbit OS.

Pebble users are passionate about their smartwatches.

Between now and June 30, 2018, Pebble users can expect the same experience they enjoyed throughout 2017. After the buyout, members of the Pebble team helped Fitbit develop its own smartwatch OS that debuted on the previous year. Pebble owners who purchased their device prior to December 7, 2016, are only eligible for the discount.

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Pebble's stay of execution has an end in sight.

At the end of 2016, we welcomed key members of the Pebble smartwatch team and acquired assets related to their software platform and ecosystem.

Fitbit is pushing hard for users to transition over to its own smartwatches at this point. Fitbit turned in a $113m loss in its latest fiscal quarter. It also comes with NFC payments.

The Fitbit Ionic is the King in the North among Fitbit's newly launched portfolio.

Indeed, it's an ambitious smartwatch that focuses on fitness and accurate monitoring. However, the red light gives a more accurate reading and other biometrics.

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