The Pebble Time Smartwatch, the second-generation watch of the Pebble series, has finally gained native fitness tracking.
The original Pebble Smartwatch, first introduced via a Kickstarter campaign in 2012, introduced several innovations into the wearables market. Compatible with both iPhone and Android smartphones, the Pebble Smartwatch stripped down some of the features and focused on every day use – it was the first smartwatch that looked to enhance the use of a smartphone rather than replicate it.
While the Pebble didn’t offer a camera, microphone, color display, or many of the other features found in competitors such as Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, it did offer seven days of battery life, and a much cheaper price tag.
Pebble introduced the Pebble Time earlier this year, offering up some impressive software and hardware improvements upon its predecessor. A color display, microphone, and new operating system impressed users, as the watch still maintained its seven-day battery life. However, one feature found in many competitors’ smartwatches was noticeably absent – native fitness and sleep tracking.
A firmware update released Tuesday introduced Pebble Health – a native app that tracks daily activity and sleep. While the step tracking capability was always available via third party apps on the Pebble platform, Pebble Health offers a host of exciting new features and integration with other aspects of the operating system.
Although the Pebble Time series lacks a heart-rate monitor, the wearable will track your steps and, instead of simply offering raw data, compare your steps to your personal average. The sleep tracker monitors the time and quality of your sleep – much more convenient with the seven-day battery life than with more feature-rich smartwatches. Pebble Health also integrates seamlessly with Timeline, with the ability to suggest specific times to workout or perhaps an earlier bedtime to keep you at your healthiest.
Pebble Health is fully compatible with Google Fit and Apple HealthKit, and the company is looking to introduce their own Health API early next year – developers will, according to Pebble, be able to “build apps and watchfaces that turn health and activity data into beautiful visualizations and valuable new experiences.”
The new firmware update, which includes Pebble Health, is available now for owners of Pebble Time, Pebble Steel, and Pebble Time Round watches. To access the new update, use your Pebble app on your iPhone or Android phone to download the firmware.