Pebble on Wednesday announced the beta version of Pebble Firmware 3.8 for the original Pebble and Pebble Steel smartwatch lineup. It's a fairly significant upgrade to hardware that's, in some cases, nearly three years old by now.
The 3.0 version of Pebble's OS first launched on the newer Pebble Time lineup in February. The OS includes Pebble's Timeline feature, a chronological list of weather, appointments and sport scores. The update also allows users to install an unlimited number of apps on the watch (up from the previous limit of eight).
In order to participate in the beta, you'll need to be an Android user (sorry iOS users). You can request access to the beta here. Pebble's blog post states that invites will roll out gradually at first, increasing in frequency in the coming days. If you aren't accepted right way, don't get discouraged.
Once accepted into the test group, instructions are provided regarding the next steps you'll need to take to install the beta. Glancing at this support page, however, reveals you'll need to remove the original Pebble smartwatch app and unpair your watch from your smartphone. Afterwards you'll need to re-pair your watch to your smartphone using the Pebble Time app, in turn installing the latest firmware. Sounds overly complicated, but really it's pretty straightforward.
There are a few caveats users who wish to either test or upgrade to the official release in the future should be aware of. Per the announcement:
- Pebble Firmware 3.8 is available in English only during the beta. The official version will add French, German and Spanish.
- The Pebble Time smartphone app is English only right now.
- Chinese support for any watch running OS 3.0 and up is not available.
Pebble claims that the official launch of Pebble Firmware 3.8 is set to take place "later this month."