Pebble smartwatch gets updated, adds full iOS 7 Notification Center support

Pebble smartwatch gets updated, adds full iOS 7 Notification Center support

When Pebble - one of the first real smartwatches to hit the market - first launched, the amount of stuff it could do with iOS - then iOS 6 - was limited. That's changing with today's update, Pebble 1.3.0. The big news is, Pebble now works with iOS 7, and that includes full Notification Center support. So, theoretically, any notifications you've set up in iOS should just show up on your Pebble. That includes not only emails, multiple texts, calendar alerts, and reminders, but third-party App Store apps as well, like Twitter, Facebook, news apps - pretty much anything.  You can also toggle music on or off, answer or hang up your phone, and set up a local watch only alarm.  

I've been testing the new features for a couple of days now. Setup was easy using the wizard provided by the Pebble app. They're committed to their “smartish" watch by providing free firmware upgrades that enable functionality, a move I greatly respect in a company. In previous firmware iterations the displaying of e-mails could only be done by giving your email account information to the Pebble app. That was sub-optimal. Now Pebble simply accesses the API for notifications just like it's always done for texts/iMessage, and without any extra configuration for each account.

The update removes so many limitations, thanks to the new iOS 7 integration, that I'm ecstatic. I'm so ecstatic, in fact, that I'm already making a wish-list for the future. For example, I'd love to have text-based turn-by-turn directions pushed to my Pebble... And Siri, of course, is still the dream.

I still very much enjoy some of the original Pebble features as well. While the watch itself is very plain -  I have the black color watch - the e-ink display comes with a number of watch faces, and what's even better, the ability to upload your own creations, or the creations of other users. I chose a nice Jeep themed watch face.  

I'd still like to see a higher-end, more premium-looking Pebble, something with a glass face and metal body. I'd also like them to ditch the proprietary charger connector for micro-USB. I know that sounds funny coming from someone with iPhones and iPads, but it's a real issue. If I forget my charger, I am simply out of luck. They're much harder to find replacement for than Lightning cables.

Pebble smartwatch gets updated, adds full iOS 7 Notification Center support

Battery life has been okay.  I can get around 3 to 4 days of battery life before having to charge it. I need to test more with the new firmware to see if there's a difference. Currently, if I use a watch face with a constant moving second hand, the battery will drain much more quickly than if I used a more static watch face.  

Overall, new life has been breathed into my pebble with this latest firmware upgrade. It's gotten to the point, finally, that if I forget to charge it or wear it one day, I find myself missing it.  I like to wear my pebble to help me triage my smartphone communications.  I do the quick and dirty on the Pebble, and everything else is done on my iPhone.  It's not yet what I want in a smart watch but if this is only version 1.3.0, I think the future is promising.

Anthony

Anthony is an IT administrator, retro gamer, and accessory reviewer for iMore.

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Reader comments

Pebble smartwatch gets updated, adds full iOS 7 Notification Center support

23 Comments

I do love my Pebble. can't wait for the update.

You mention turn-by-turn. Can we not use the notifications from Maps to do this?

I get 5 or 6 days on average from my Pebble without a recharge (had it since March)

Changing to microUSB would remove the waterproofness. I prefer being able to use it in the shower (and not having to worry about remembering to remove it, after a few years with waterproof watches)

Have they fixed the requirement to connect to the watch manually through your iPhone each time the phone and watch get separated to far?

I had considered getting one of these as a gift for my son, but that seemed like a fairly large design defect.

I'm waiting to see the Kreyos Meteor reviews - that will supposedly have Siri control with the two way voice communication through the watch.

Looking forward to the update. I'm guessing, then, the notifications that are pushed to the device are those that you've added into Notification Center?

We can all rejoice. There is a work around that you can get all iOS 7 notifications to your Pebble but it resets if you disconnect from your watch Bluetooth :-( but no sad faces this update fixes all of that :-)
I live my pebble, It does exactly what I need it to do, show me all of my notifications without having to take my phone out of my pocket for non important things, when I'm at dinners or meeting I don't have to keep checking my phone for non important notifications.
I don't need a watch that take pictures ie Samsung watch or has a color touch screen, I like simple elegant looking, don't need a smart phone on my wrist, live my pebble!

Sent from the iMore App

This update just finally convinced me to buy one. I didn't really want the hassle of work arounds or having to carry an Android phone as well ;-)

Picked up an orange one, because, orange! :P

1) If they replaced the charging point with a micro USB the watch would no longer be waterproof

2) Does Anthony always wear pink nail varnish?

What I find wrong with the pebble is the look of it doesn't make me want to buy it. It is too bulky and with the screen it has I'm just not impressed. I guess it might be a 1.0 type of device to me but I would compare the look of it now. Like a game being played on a Nintendo Entertainment System compared to a game on the XBox One which is what I want. If I have an iPhone and iPad this doesn't wow me.

Too bulky? Wow, it's about the smallest smartwatch there is. Everything is a trade off...a high res, color screen will destroy battery.

Just look at the Galaxy Gear. Poorer battery and it's definitely bulkier than Pebble. It needs to be a watch at the end of the day. If it runs out of battery and can't tell the time because of it, it's a fail

Do I really want all of notifications coming through to my Pebble......er no

I preferred the 'Finger Dance' to activate what I wanted, when I wanted it

I believe you will still be able to choose which apps forward notifications, now you just won't have to choose every time you reconnect :)

I suppose if you still dislike this method you could just never update the watch to the newer firmware

I love (or live) my Pebble/iPhone combination but the missing component is the ability to respond to texts using the watch. Couldn't the watch contain a few set responses like "Yes," "No," "I'll get back to you," etc? Couldn't you just scroll through these options on the watch and select one? If the real advantage of the watch is not having to dig out your phone to check notifications, then responding should be done through the watch as well shouldn't it? If there's an app for this I am not aware of it.