Fitbit announces #Made4Fitbit challenge winners, extends Pebble smartwatch support for six months

Over 10,000 developers have registered to work with Fitbit OS and the winners of a recent developer challenge were announced. Current Pebble smartwatch owners also qualify for a $50 Fitbit Ionic discount.

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Fitbit Ionic. Image: CNET

Fitbit Ionic review

Tops the Apple Watch with fitness focus, long battery life, detailed sleep tracking

The Fitbit Ionic brings integrated GPS, onboard storage for music playback, smart notifications, wearable payment support, and an application platform in a very attractive and comfortable form factor.

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The Fitbit Ionic, see our full review, is the first Fitbit to launch with Fitbit OS. New apps and watchfaces launched in December and with a recent development challenge we now have even more apps to use on this fitness-focused watch.

App challenge results

Fitbit stated that more than 10,000 developers have registered for access to the Fitbit SDK and many are hopefully developing apps and watchfaces for Fitbit OS. Winners of the recent #Made4Fitbit app challenge were announced Jiulong Zhao winning the grand prize with his HIIT (high-intensity interval training) app, named HIIT.

Three were three categories in the app challenge, Health + Wellness, Sports + Fitness, and Transportation + Local. Winners of each category were:

  • Health + Wellness: Water Logged which allows you to log how much water you're drinking each day into your Fitbit account and see how it stacks up against your daily goal.
  • Sport + Fitness: Cadence Coach trains you to run at your optimal cadence to help reduce the risk of overstriding (hitting the ground with your heel instead of midfoot) and help minimize the impact on your hips and muscles.
  • Transportation + Local: SaltyDog brings seafaring to your wrist displaying your speed in knots and current compass heading.

Second and third place winners were also highlighted in the app challenge announcement. I've been wearing the Fitbit Ionic off and on with plans to start wearing it again daily starting 1 February in order to use the GPS for running and other apps for bodyweight exercises.

Pebble owners

Fitbit acquired Pebble's assets in 2016, did not include the hardware, and promised to keep Pebble software and services running through 2017. Today, Fitbit announced it will support the Pebble ecosystem for another six months, until 30 June 2018, so you have more time to fully enjoy your Pebble smartwatch.

In addition, Pebble announced that current Pebble smartwatch owners with a valid serial number can get a $50 discount on a new Fitbit Ionic.

Fitbit states that Pebble devices and mobile apps will continue to work after 30 June 2018, but the following Pebble services will end:

  • Pebble appstore
  • Pebble forum
  • Voice recognition features
  • SMS and email replies
  • Timeline pins from third-party apps (Calendar pins will keep working)
  • CloudPebble development tool

There will be no further updates to Pebble's mobile apps for iOS and Android. The latest versions of both Pebble apps remain compatible with current versions of iOS 11 and Android 8.1 Oreo. Users should note that it's possible for future iOS or Android updates to break Pebble compatibility.

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