Pebble owners are a devoted bunch, having crowdfunded the first big cross-platform smartwatch into existence and seeing it become the template that rival smartwatch makers would follow. But now that Pebble has been acquired by Fitbit and is presumably nearing the end of its life, Pebble users fretted that their watches would cease to work once Pebble dies. That’s not the case.
Pebble just rolled out an iOS and Android update that frees its watches from cloud-based online servers. That means when Pebble goes offline, your watch will still work. You’ll also still be able to install firmware updates sans server, including language packs, and side-load apps onto the watch.
As part of its iOS update, Pebble’s server has stopped collecting health and telemetry data from the watch and instead syncs to HealthKit.
Fitbit promised to keep Pebble afloat through 2017, so it’s unclear when exactly the company’s servers will cease operation.
In a December blog post, Pebble developer Jon Barlow outlined the steps Fitbit was taking to prepare Pebble users for the eventual shutdown—including updating Pebble apps to free the watches from the cloud. “No one on this freshly-formed team seeks to brick Pebble watches in active service,” Barlow said.
This is the first step toward shutting Pebble down, which is a bummer for Pebble fans, but hey—at least Fitbit is being really nice about it.