Fitbit plans to pull the plug on Pebble cloud services at the end of June, which means anyone with a Pebble smartwatch won’t be able to use the app store, reply to email or SMS messages from their watch, or use voice recognition or other services that require an internet connection.
The move has been a long time coming: Fitbit acquired Pebble in 2016 and there hasn’t been a new Pebble device released since then.
But if you’re still happily using a Pebble smartwatch, there is a lifeline on the horizon: earlier this year a team launched a project to create a third-party version of Pebble’s online services called Rebble. It’s not fully functional yet, but you can now sign up for an account. And if you want to import your data from your Pebble account, you’ll probably want to do that within the next two weeks.
The Rebble team is encouraging both users and developers to link their Pebble accounts to Rebble. While there are good reasons to do it as a user, it’s even more important for developers who want to be able to roll out updates to existing apps in a seamless way.
Rebble’s Katharine Berry says that even if you don’t sign up for the new service, some Pebble features will continue to work:
- Any installed apps will still be installed (although some features may not work).
- Notifications will continue to work.
- Pebble Health will work.
- Most watchfaces will also continue to function.
Meanwhile, Rebble is hoping to eventually offer a new app store, web services, and more.
Basic services will be free, but there will also be a paid tier that offers additional functionality including weather forecasts and voice dictation. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet.
Berry says not all of those services will be ready to go when Fitbit pulls the plug on Pebble services at the end of the month, but the plan is to launch something and continue rolling out new features in the future. In the meantime, signing up for an account now is probably the best way to ensure that your aging Pebble smartwatch has a future.