• Pebble remained functional even after its shutdown with the help of Rebble
  • Certain Pebble apps are no longer recognized on modern iPhones and Android devices
  • The latest app makes sideloading of Pebble apps and firmware possible on Android devices

A team of developers recently launched a modern Android app that can make the apps on the discontinued Pebble smartwatch "sideload" easily and work on new Android devices. For the uninitiated, "sideloading" is the process of downloading and installing apps onto a mobile device from an unofficial source.

An Android application developed by Rebble developers Alice Grey and Lavender Glaab, the "Sideload Helper" helps Pebble stay functional for newer Android devices as it provides access to Pebble files that are usually not readable to modern device releases, said a blogpost by Rebble.

Pebble was famed for its long battery life, a large variety of applications in its library and open software capabilities. This fame paved way for the launch of several other models.

Ever since its closure in 2016 due to lack of funds, Pebble, the first modern smartwatch developed by the Pebble Technology Corporation, relied on Rebble to remain alive with updated software. Rebble is a community-run project that aims to maintain and advance the Pebble functionality even without the company by restoring most of the features that the Pebble community uses.

However, modern Android devices do not recognize the Rebble-maintained Pebble app as handlers for Pebble files. This hinders transferring applications and watch-faces from a modern Android device to a Pebble watch.

In a September Twitter post, Pebble's founder Eric Migicovsky admitted the problem after experiencing the issue himself.

This has not been the case since the Pebble rolled out on Kickstarter back in 2012. From its launch until before its shut down, Pebble apps could be sideloaded from a file to Android and iOS devices as they were updated to accommodate the first modern smartwatch apps.

With the new application called Sideload Helper by Rebble, it is now possible to sideload Pebble files from modern Android devices to an official Pebble app. It will then be easy to open and install the apps on the device.

Apart from allowing the sideloading of Pebble files for installation access, the Sideload Helper also manages the Rebble app store links that provide access to a variety of downloadable watch faces, apps, and features. For Rebble Web Services set up users, the app will help translate legacy Pebble app store links as well as with the transition to Rebble's own in-development mobile app.

Although the Sideload Helper is already available, developers admit that there are still a lot of upgrades they plan to do. They are considering making the app work on different spoken languages, XDA Developers reported.

Android OS
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