Pebble update will keep watches ticking indefinitely

An app update eliminates dependency on cloud services, as well as some key features.

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Your Pebble smartwatch won't get washed away with Fitbit's takeover.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you have a Pebble smartwatch, you've probably been worrying about how long your timepiece will keep working after Fitbit 's acquisition.

To address those concerns, Pebble has issued an update for the iOS and Android versions of the app that ends smartwatches' dependency on Pebble's cloud services. That means when Fitbit eventually shuts down Pebble's servers, the devices will continue to work, Pebble explained in a blog post Tuesday.

The fate of the devices was left in doubt after the announcement in December that Fitbit, one of the biggest names fitness trackers, would acquire the assets and intellectual property of Pebble. Fitbit said Pebble watches would continue to work through 2017, but this update ensures they will continue working even after Fitbit's support ends.

While users will still be able to side-load apps and update firmware on their devices, it will be giving up some features, including dictation, messaging and weather, all of which rely on Pebble's cloud services. The company has also eliminated the ability to suggest new features, contact customer support and collect health data.

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