Skip to main content

Android Wear and Google Fit support comes to Pebble

Pebble has issued a new update on its smartwatch platform to integrate further with Android, as it tries to maintain relevancy against the Apple Watch and Android Wear.

The new update - Firmware 2.9 - offers Android Wear notifications and Google Fit support on the Pebble. It is the first smartwatch to implement Android Wear functionality without running the OS.

In order for users to access the new notifications, they will need to update the Android app to 2.3 and have a compatible Android device running Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 or above.

When an Android notification comes in on the smartwatch - if it is a message - users will be able to reply with five pre-set replies or over a dozen emojis. These pre-set messages can be altered on the smartphone app.

Pebble has also added Google Fit functionality through PlexFit, allowing users to track various fitness and health statistics through the smartwatch.

To check the stats, the user will need to own an Android smartphone with Google Fit installed, since Google has not taken the time to implement its own Pebble app.

The new update will be in beta for a few weeks before official launch. Pebble will be working on some of the bugs from cross-compatibility on a wearable service.

Pebble is still - in many smartwatch fans eyes - the best smartwatch experience due to no battery life constraints and a better-than-average design on the Pebble Steel.

However, even with the fan support Pebble faces stiff competition from Samsung and Apple in 2015, as the smartwatch market moves from a few hundred thousand sales to a few hundred million.

It might mean Pebble has to invest in an LCD display and update its Pebble OS to a faster chipset, competing heavily with Android Wear smartwatches.

Follow The Next Beat on Facebook (opens in new tab) and LinkedIn (opens in new tab) for more updates from the world of sport technology.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.