Confirmation of the sale of Pebble to Fitbit was accompanied by sad news for fans of the smartwatch with long battery life: products have been discontinued, the warranty has been invalidated and the features that depend on the cloud are on the clock. But companies have been trying to calm down users for a while: servers will run for at least the entire year 2017.
The promise was posted on Pebble’s developer blog : “Fitbit is doing everything it can to keep Pebble’s software and services running during 2017. To be clear, no one in this newly-formed team wants to disable Pebble watches running. The Pebble SDK, CloudPebble, Timeline APIs, firmware availability, mobile apps, developer portal and Pebble appstore are the elements of the Pebble ecosystem that will continue to work right now, “says developer Jon Barlow.
In the coming months, Fitbit plans to release a firmware update that makes clocks less dependent on the cloud, removing authentication mandates and usage statistics. In addition, the mobile app will be modified to continue working even when Pebble servers are turned off.
Some Pebble features will not have any problems, such as Pebble Health, which does not depend on the cloud – your health information such as number of steps and heart rate is already sent directly to the Pebble application and uses the Google Health APIs And Apple. But it is still unclear what will happen with the features of weather forecasting and dictation, for example. The team will evaluate “if and for how long” these functions will remain available.
The big problem with Pebble’s death was that he had no match at all. By competitor, understand: a smart watch (not a fitness bracelet) with affordable price and multi-day battery life. The audience that financed a Pebble for the Kickstarter is not the same as buying a Mi Band or any watch with Android Wear, watchOS or Tizen. One of the products that most came close to Pebble is the Fitbit Surge, but it is extremely expensive ($ 249.95).
By killing Pebble, Fitbit smartwatch throws in the trash an already developed ecosystem and a product that was unique in the market. It remains to be seen whether, with Pebble’s employees (actually half of the employees) and patents, Fitbit will launch a product in the coming months.