The Pebble Health app on the Pebble Time Steel smartwatch will count your steps and tell you when it's bedtime.
Courtesy Pebble
By Jason Cipriani
December 15, 2015

Starting Tuesday, Pebble Time owners no longer have to rely on a third-party app to count steps and track sleep.

Through a software update, owners of the Pebble Time, Pebble Time Steel, and Pebble Time Round smartwatches will gain a new app called Pebble Health.

Previously, Pebble users had to rely on applications from the likes of Misfit or Jawbone in order to track steps with a Pebble smartwatch. With Pebble Health, users have a built-in activity tracking system developed in partnership with Stanford University.

After updating the Pebble Time smartphone app and installing a software update on the watch, Pebble Health will begin tracking a user’s activity. The app will place pins in the user’s timeline, containing progress updates and coaching tips.

According to the announcement, Pebble Health will monitor a user’s activity and provide feedback such as recommending an earlier bedtime if the user needs to catch up on sleep ahead of a busy day.

By adding native support for activity tracking, Pebble adds a feature its rivals—the Apple Watch (AAPL) and Google’s (GOOG) Android Wear platform—have long had.

Not only does Pebble Health move the company closer to feature parity with its smartwatch competition, it also positions its products as legitimate alternatives to Fitbit (FIT) users. As the market leader in wearables, Fitbit has yet to release a true “smart” watch capable of running applications and proper handling of notifications from a paired smartphone. Granted, the lack of a heart-rate sensor on Pebble’s smartwatch lineup will be a deal breaker for some.

Pricing for Pebble’s Time lineup is also attractive, with the standard Time watch currently priced at $150—the same as Fitbit’s Charge HR fitness tracker and $200 less than the cheapest Apple Watch. Meanwhile, Android Wear smartwatches start at $150.

Pebble also announced plans to allow developers to build watch faces and applications using data collected by Pebble Health. Interested developers can monitor the company’s developer blog for more information.

An update for the original Pebble and Pebble Steel smartwatches is also scheduled for release Tuesday. The update brings Pebble’s timeline feature to the older hardware, a feature that had previously been limited to the Pebble Time lineup.

Using the timeline feature, users can view information ranging from weather updates to sports scores and travel alerts in chronological order. Additionally, the update will remove the eight-app limit on the older watches.

Pebble Health will not be available on Pebble and Pebble Steel.

To learn more about Fitbit’s approach to competition, watch this Fortune video:

Make sure to sign up for Data Sheet, Fortune’s daily newsletter about the business of technology.



You May Like