Fitbit has announced that it is holding off its plan to end support for the Pebble smartwatch until June 30, 2018, instead of the original schedule last year. During the six-month extension period, the maker of activity trackers encourages existing Pebble users to learn how the company incorporates the apps, features, clock faces and user interface of the Pebble watch to the Fitbit ecosystem. Fitbit confirmed the imminent closure of the Pebble platform in December 2016 after it acquired the California-based company that developed the smartwatch. The planned shutdown was part of Fitbit’s move to transition Pebble into its platform and close up shop for the smartwatch, which meant no more Pebble watches will be manufactured. Now, Fitbit’s latest announcement gives Pebble fans half a year before they finally bid farewell to the smartwatch.
In addition to this users can now save 50 percent off the original price of the Fitbit Ionic smartwatch, provided they purchased the wearable product before December 7, 2016, and signed up for Fitbit’s marketing promotions. Fitbit says it will send emails to those customers to provide them with the details on how to redeem the discount. For Pebble fans who bought the smartwatch after December 7, 2016, Fitbit has put up a registration page where they must enter their email address and Pebble serial number in order to be eligible to receive marketing emails from Fitbit, through which it will send details about the upgrade program.
Apart from letting Pebble fans explore similar features on the Fitbit OS, the extension period is also meant to buy some time for Pebble developers to build apps using the Fitbit SDK. It’s worth pointing out that although the Pebble support will finally retire on June 30, Pebble watches will remain operational after that, with users being able to use app stores developed by the Pebble community to manage apps and watch faces. That means the shutdown will affect only the Pebble services such as the Pebble appstore, forum, voice recognition features, SMS and email replies, timeline pins from third-party apps except for Calendar pins, and the CloudPebble development tool. Keep in mind that both the iOS and Android versions of the Pebble apps will still work with the latest versions of both the operating systems, though there’s no guarantee that future OS updates won’t remove that compatibility.