Pebble wants to ensure its customers that they can still use their Pebble watches for long even though Fitbit is shutting down the legacy Pebble servers later this year. The company has issued a firmware update that basically removes the watches’ dependency on cloud services.
After purchasing Pebble in late 2016, Fitbit announced that though it is discontinuing the manufacture of Pebble hardware, it would continue running cloud services, developer tools and APIs for Pebble’s devices. However, the support it promised has a 2017 expiry. Come 2018, there’s no guarantee that Pebble watches would have access to these services and tools, according to TechCrunch.
This week, Pebble appears to be preparing its devices for when Fitbit officially shuts down the legacy Pebble servers. According to Apple Insider, the company has released an update that makes Pebble watches independent from online services. This means users can now skip the login process to their watch, and they can still side-load case apps and firmware. Pebble also went out of its way to change the service configuration of its watches just so users can still install updates to their apps from third-party services. However, it remains to be seen how Pebble intends to handle cloud-based features.
Pebble’s latest firmware update also removes customer support. Thus, users are no longer capable of contacting the service that provides assistance whenever they need help. The ability to collect health data and recommend new features have been eliminated as well. Nevertheless, users would surely be pleased to know that Pebble has enabled the watches to log their recorded heart rate data to Apple’s Health app when Health synchronization is turned on in the Settings menu.
The update is now up on Apple’s App Store, but it has yet to appear in the Google’s Play Store. For iOS users, they may now download version 4.4 of the Pebble app, which is clocking in at 92.7MB. On the other hand, Android users could either wait for the firmware update to arrive in the Play Store or side-load it.