Pebble Time gains fitness tracking through HealthKit-compatible Pebble Health

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Pebble on Tuesday updated its Pebble Time smartwatches with Pebble Health, a feature bringing fitness tracking to its product lineup for the first time.

After owners install an updated mobile app and the v3.8 firmware, the watches will automatically record steps and sleep, inserting data into timeline pins. When a person wakes up, for instance, their Time can display the length and quality of sleep.

Step goals are based on personal averages instead of fixed numbers. Users can also check weekly step and sleep stats without having to use a separate phone app.

Pebble's tracking is compatible with Apple HealthKit and Google Fit, however, allowing data to be shared with numerous other mobile apps. The company is also preparing a Health API for early 2016 that will let developers build related Time apps and watch faces.

The same v3.8 firmware opens up unlimited apps for the Pebble Classic and Steel, and more crucially, support for the Time's timeline interface.

Fitness tracking has been a conspicuous absence from Pebble's watches, as competitors like the Apple Watch are increasingly shipping with the technology built-in. The Watch lacks sleep tracking, but offers other advantages such as a heart rate sensor, a more advanced goal system, and inactivity detection.

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