Pebble Time Steel image 001

Pebble’s new ‘Time’ smartwatch has begun shipping to early Kickstarter backers, but the iOS companion app that allows users to connect the device to an iPhone is no where to be found. It appears the app is stuck in limbo in Apple’s review process.

In an update posted to their Kickstarter page today, Pebble said that its Pebble Time app has been showing a status of ‘In Review’ since May 22nd and it’s given no indication on what is taking so long. The typical review process lasts around 7-10 days.

Oddly enough, Pebble first submitted the Time app to Apple in early May, and it was approved—the app in limbo is an update with a major bug fix. Also, it tried adding Time support to its existing iPhone app, but that has been stuck in review since April.

You can imagine how this looks, given that Apple just launched a smartwatch. The company has been known to reject apps and products that compete with its own. That said, Pebble hasn’t disclosed any of its discussions, so it’s unclear what the holdup is.

The company is pointing the finger at Apple though, and it’s asked its customers to contact the iPhone-maker on its behalf to help motivate them. “Together, we can kindly express our desire to see the AppStore #FreeOurPebbleTime with a speedy approval”

Pebble is credited with igniting the most recent smartwatch craze, with its 2012 Kickstarter raising more than $10 million. The ‘Pebble Time’ is its latest foray into the wearable space, and it too proved to be a crowdfunding hit, pulling in more than $20 million.

Source: Kickstarter

  • Nathan

    I personally have the regular Pebble watch now. I really am tempted to get an Apple Watch.

  • Fanboy 

    A little too late there, lol. Had this came out a month or 2 before the Apple Watch even I would have purchased it. Pebble doesn’t offer much over the competition anymore other than long battery life.

    • deepdvd

      I think you missed a few items other than long battery life, which is, by itself, huge.

      * Significantly less expensive
      * Always-on display
      * Looks amazing in direct sunlight
      * Custom watchfaces
      * non-proprietary band
      * You can swim with it, officially. (and if you do, buttons work better than a touchscreen)

      Additional benefit: You don’t have to touch your screen. Less cleaning required.

      • Fanboy 

        I don’t think battery life itself is “huge”. If a device can last you at least throughout the entire day then taking literally 3 seconds every night to plug it in before you go to bed isn’t a “huge” deal. The Apple Watch lasts minimum an entire day, if not 1.5 to 2 days for some users, and taking 2 seconds to rest the Apple Watch on its wireless charger at night is by far not a deal breaker.

        * You can’t compare prices for 2 items that have totally different specs. That’s like saying a flip phone is better because it’s cheaper than a smartphone. Apple Watch does TONS of things the Pebble doesn’t not to mention the huge difference in materials/quality.
        * Always-on display is feature? Lol, Apple did a beautiful job with its Wrist Detection Motion so it doesn’t matter that the display is off whenever you’re not looking at it. But the second you raise your wrist it immediately comes on.
        * Sure looks better in direct sunlight, at the sacrifice of a beautiful touch color display
        * Custom watchfaces would be really nice although Apple offers tons of beautiful ones already for all kinds of tastes, and this is something that can be changed in an instant via a software update should Apple choose to.
        * 3rd party bands are coming buddy
        * You can also swim with the Apple Watch, officially by its water rating. Although Apple doesn’t promote it as a feature (to stay on the safe side) it’s water rating is rated at being able to sustain 30 minutes of underwater (I forgot up to what depth).

        Additional comment: You have GOT to do better than that, really? lmao, “less cleaning required” because its not a touch screen.

      • deepdvd

        * “Oops, I forgot to charge my Apple watch. Guess I can’t use it today.” I’ve read articles about this issue.
        * I’m not comparing prices and specs. I’m only comparing prices. This may not matter to someone with loads of cash.
        * No need to raise wrist. Yes, a feature.
        * If one spends a lot of time outside, it might be important to see one’s watch.
        * “should Apple choose to”… This is the primary reason jailbreaking is a “thing”
        * I like Apple’s band. Third party bands should definitely alleviate this issue. Still, it’s proprietary and harder to replace.
        * I just read this. “Apple only rates the Watch at IPX7 for a reason: it is not recommended to take the Watch swimming on a regular basis.” Even iDB discourages it. Pebble promotes it.

        * Are you saying you enjoy cleaning your screen?

      • Fanboy 

        * Would you also forget to charge your phone in that case? I don’t think so. You get home, and take off your Watch and lay it down on its wireless charger in less time than it takes to say “Apple Watch”. Nobody would forget that. And if you do, good thing it lasts over a day and can go from 50% to 100% in about an hour.

        * Well if you’re comparing prices you must also compare the product. Because if not a Honda MUST be better than a Ferrari because it’s cheaper. Now if you’re comparing a Honda’s price to a Toyota’s price THEN it makes sense.

        * So tell me, what good does it do to have a Pebble screen on whenever the screen is facing away from you and you can’t see it anyways? Because that’s the only time the Apple Watch’s screen is off.

        * The leather band can be removed from its pins and any other 3rd party band can be inserted

        * Go search up an IPX7 water rating, its fully submersible up to 1m. Apple is following the usual underpromise and overdeliver rule just as it did with its battery life. Promised 18hrs but it highly exceeds that.

        * Are you saying I should get a flip phone so that I never have to clean my smartphone’s screen ever again?

      • deepdvd

        * Nobody would forget that? Except all the people that already have and will? What good is sleep tracking if you have to charge it every night?

        * When it comes to hundreds of dollars every iteration, it still matters. A Honda is much better than a Ferrari for those that can’t afford a Ferrari. Probably transports more people too, but I digress.
        * It doesn’t have a polarized screen, so It can be seen from more than one angle. I shouldn’t have to make the motion of moving my wrist (which can give the wrong impression to someone I’m with)
        * Submersible does not equal “great for swimming.” Please tell me you plan on wearing your watch swimming every time. I will. I’m not sure you read that rating very well. It’s not really a great rating, even if it fares fine a few times swimming.
        * Yes, please get a flip phone. Oh wait, I wasn’t talking about a phone, so nevermind.

      • aw81

        Honestly not trolling here, you said you “shouldn’t have to make the motion of moving my wrist” how do you see your watch when your arms are by your sides as they would be naturally?
        Or at all when your wrist isn’t pointed directly at your face?
        *edit to add: I totally understand your point about it sending the wrong message to company but just wondering what your alternative is if the watch isn’t in your line of sight…

      • deepdvd

        Naturally, I’m referring to when my watch is in my line of sight. Such as when I’m typing at my keyboard… like right now.

      • aw81

        Whoops forgot I saw the notification for this!
        Thanks for clarifying, it got me thinking, I don’t sit down at a desk for work so I don’t naturally have my wrist directly in front of me most of the day.
        Probably why I thought what you said sounded strange at first…

  • Eikast

    I don’t buy the April update. From my understanding the early May app was a preview app for developers and the media. At least this is what I read on reddit from team Pebble. They honestly should’ve submitted the app to Apple a month before shipling out. Even Apple had their Apple watch app a month out before people could even place a preorder.

    • Cj Bryant

      that’s because they forced it into IOS 8.3 as a native app, and apple doesn’t have to submit apps to themselves.

      • Eikast

        Apple included the Apple Watch App on iOS 8.2 (Apple Watch Keynote on March 10th). Nowhere did I mention the words “native app”, “submit app to themselves”. My point was that Apple had the software that would be used to interface with the Apple Watch out 6 weeks prior to the Apple Watch launching. Pebble should have anticipated a delay in the iOS app being approved and should’ve sent it out at the end of April. They advertised ship in May on their kickstarter, a lot of people were under the impression that they would be shipped in Mid May. Most of the May backers didn’t even get their watch “shipped” in May.

        I’m just glad that I decided to get the Apple Watch. I’d expect this from Pebble when it came to the OG Pebble but they’re an actual company now competing with power houses. They don’t have the convenience not plan ahead.

  • Josue Feliciano

    I do know one thing, going to the media and complaining about an app review is a sure way to get the stink eye from Apple. They even mention it in their development documents,

    “If your App is rejected, we have a Review Board that you can appeal to. If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps.”

    I’m not defending apple, but this shows how desperate the people at Pebble are.

    • Ángel Javier Esquivel

      Actually they are, and their customers should be also, they promised them a companion app for the Pebble Time watch in order to work with their iOS devices, and well, a month of review it’s a lot, I don’t think Pebble is trashing Apple

    • deepdvd

      The app wasn’t rejected, and they aren’t trashing them. They already had it approved, and just had a bug fix. Everything they are doing is reasonable.

      • Josue Feliciano

        Reasonable to us, but Apple can be irrational. Sending an email to backers clearly putting the blame on Apple’s review process, and asking them to send messages to Apple and use the #FreeOurPebble hashtag is not going to make them any friends in Cupertino.

    • Niclas

      Actually it turned out that it was the best move they could do. I guess you’re not the strategist you thought you where…

      • Josue Feliciano

        Or the app was already on queue to get approved and all they did was engender ill will. Guess we’ll see how it plays out. In the meantime I’ll continue to practice my strategering to someday impress you 🙂

      • Niclas

        2 apps queued up at random and getting approved just after pebble going social with the information? Not very likely, and more or less impossible 🙂

  • Greenhaze22

    I’m pulling for pebble. There’s room for a low cost option without disrupting Apple’s market share

  • Ethan Humphrey

    What if Apple needed a pebble time to test the app and review it? Just a thought.

    • Ángel Javier Esquivel


    • Niclas

      Except they don’t.

  • Stefano Polo

    “Also, it tried adding Time support to its existing iPhone app, but that has been stuck in review since April.”…would this be the update that will give us (1st gen & 2nd gen) Pebble users the Timeline OS?

    • Ángel Javier Esquivel

      It should

    • I don’t think Timeline will roll out to the OG Pebble or the Steel yet, There are probably a lot of kinks to work out before that update rolls out.