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Pebble Updates Watches So They Keep Ticking Beyond the Grave

Image via Pebble.

One of the perils smart devices is that many rely on their respective company’s online servers to function, and sometimes those companies shut down. Which leaves you with an expensive paperweight. Luckily Pebble has had the foresight to update their smartwatches after being acquired by Fitbit last year.

This week, they issued a new update to the Pebble iOS app that preserves some functionality by removing dependence on cloud services. Broadly speaking, Pebble says that devices will keep working even if they can’t reach a previously necessary server and that apps and firmware can still be side-loaded, even without a Pebble login (if, for example, their login servers shut down completely at some point). There is also an Android update in the works.

It’s not all great news though; just because the watches will still work doesn’t mean they’ll maintain all of their features. Health data collection has been removed, but you can sync your heart rate data to Apple’s Health app. And there are plenty of unanswered questions about other features like dictation or even just weather updates. It is, however, a good sign from Pebble and Fitbit that they don’t want to leave legacy users in the lurch.


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