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App will allow you to dust off and use your old Pebble Watch with a new Android phone


Remember the Pebble smartwatch? At the time it was first launched on Kickstarter in April 2012, the device received the most funding of any product in Kickstarter history. The timepieces, which worked with both iOS and Android phones, started shipping in January 2013. The Pebble Watch started out successful with 300,000 units shipped during its first year, 1 million shipped by the end of 2014, and 2 million by December 7th, 2017.

On December 7th, 2016, Pebble was insolvent and sold its intellectual property and assets to Fitbit. The latter took control of Pebble’s software engineers, testers, operating system, watch apps, cloud services, and its patents. A community of Pebble owners has been able to support Pebble watches via a project called “Rebble” that allows the smartwatches to be loaded with updated software. According to XDA, Pebble app is often not recognized as a legit source of Pebble files on current day Android handsets.

Alice Grey and Lavender Glaab, developers with the Rebble project, developed an Android app named Sideload Helper by Rebble. The app will open Pebble files on newer Android devices and transfer them to the Pebble app where they can be installed. The app helps you open .pbw (watchface/watchapp), .pbl (language), and .pbz files (firmware). If the user has Rebble Web Services set up, it will also translate Rebble appstore links including legacy links.

The Sideload Helper by Rebble can be installed from the Google Play Store. So if you’ve put away that old Pebble, take it out of the drawer, blow off the dust, load the Sideload Helper on your new Android phone, and you’re back in business with your old timepiece.

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