Pebble today announced that it is releasing an update for all of its Pebble and Pebble Steel smartwatches to add new features. The two devices are now capable of tracking a wearer’s footsteps and sleep activity in the background, fulfilling a long time request by users.
Pebble says that these new capabilities won’t have a major impact on battery life, and added that it is extending its fitness partnerships with new apps from Jawbone and Swim.com. The team is also opening up its activity tracking features to other 3rd party developers.
Additionally, Pebble is dropping the price tag on both of its watch models. The original Pebble is now just $99, down from $150, and the Pebble Steel is now $199, down from $230. They’ll also soon be available at new retailers like Fry’s, Sam’s Club, and Sprint stores.
It’s a big day for Pebble, but of course none of these moves are very surprising. Given the increased competition in the smartwatch space from Android Wear, and of course Apple’s newly-announced Apple Watch, the startup has to make sure that it differentiates itself.
But as you can see, Pebble doesn’t seem to be too worried about its competitors. The company feels like its smartwatches have a lot going for them, including battery life (6+ days, vs. 1-2 days from other watches), price tag, and of course it just picked up two new designers.
Pebble owners, to grab today’s update, make sure you have the latest version of the Pebble mobile app. Open it and navigate to Select Support > Update Your Pebble in the Menu if the update does not begin automatically. For more information on today’s update, click here.