Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro now support 16,000 remaining Pebble smartwatches
Google has brought greater compatibility for the ageing Pebble smartwatch series. Now owned by Google because of its Fitbit acquisition, Pebble started on Kickstarter in 2013, where it became the first commercially successful smartwatch. Subsequently, the company introduced the Pebble Time and Time Steel but failed to bring the Pebble 2 to market. Instead, the company filed for bankruptcy in December 2016 and sold its remaining assets to Fitbit.
With servers shut down in July 2018, community projects have kept the remaining Pebble smartwatches going. Surprisingly, Google has enabled 64-bit support for the Pebble app, which is available to download as v4.4.3. While that may appear to be a trivial update for the most part, it future-proofs the app as Google pivots towards making Android a 64-bit only OS. For example, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are the first smartphones to ship without 32-bit support, which is also rumoured to be the case with next year's Pixel Tablet.
It is worth noting that you can only download the new APK via Rebble.io and not via the Google Play Store. Arguably more surprising is the remaining Pebble user base. According to the screenshot below, over 16,000 people continue to use a Pebble smartwatch. Potentially, this user base would be even larger were it easier to install the Pebble app on iOS devices. More details about how to use an old Pebble smartwatch can be found can be found on Rebble.io.