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Pebble smartwatch to soon support full iOS notifications, gesture input


November 6, 2013

Pebble just announced the biggest set of updates to its smartwatch (and its developer toolbox) since the popular device launched earlier this year

Pebble just announced the biggest set of updates to its smartwatch (and its developer toolbox) since the popular device launched earlier this year

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If you own a Pebble smartwatch along with an Android phone, then you can enjoy system-wide notifications. But until today, iPhone users could only get Pebble alerts from a very narrow set of apps. Thanks to a huge update announced today, Pebble owners will soon see every notification from their iPhones on their watches.

Prior to today, an iPhone-synced Pebble only alerted you to new emails, calls, and texts. Those may be the most important bases, but we're still only talking about three apps. Once Pebble's just-announced iOS app update is approved by Apple, it will open the door to social media notifications, reminders, calendar events, third-party chat apps, and anything else that shows up in iOS' Notification Center.

Pebble SDK 2.0

But Pebble didn't stop there. The company also released a new SDK 2.0 that's going to give developers some exciting new tools.

One of the highlights of the new SDK is an API for the accelerometer, which lets third-party Pebble apps better monitor fitness data. The company said this API could also allow for gesture-based input. Since the Pebble lacks hardware for voice control, app makers could potentially come up with some creative workarounds like, say, launching a specific app with an arm wave, or sending a prewritten text message by twisting your wrist three times.

Other additions to the API include the ability for apps to communicate directly with the web (for things like travel info or always-up-to-date weather), the ability to log data when the watch isn't connected to a phone, and permissions to store data directly on the Pebble.

Pebble capped the big announcement by revealing some high-profile partnerships, with popular services like Yelp, Foursquare, and iControl working on their own Pebble apps.

Pebble's hardware is a lot more limited than watches like the Galaxy Gear, with omissions like a touchscreen, microphone, and speaker. But we think it still makes for a great wrist-based notification terminal. Today's announcements could make its US$150 retail price a much better value, especially if you're an iPhone owner.

For more on the Pebble, you can hit up our full review.

Source: Pebble

About the Author
Will Shanklin Will Shanklin is Gizmag's Mobile Tech Editor, and has been part of the team since 2012. Before finding a home at Gizmag, he had stints at a number of other sites, including Android Central, Geek and the Huffington Post. Will has a Master's degree from U.C. Irvine and a Bachelor's from West Virginia University. He currently lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jessica. All articles by Will Shanklin
1 Comment

If Pebble was smart they would have launched a new watch today that replaces the black and white screen display on the current model - which isn't even a touchscreen display.

Another SmartWatch to launch this week is the Z-Watch from SmartQ Devices that's available for $155 through T ablet Sprint -- SmartQ won the prestigious 2013 CTIA E-Tech Award for the world's first tablet with a built-in DLP projector - and now offers an innovative smartwatch with more features than the Pebble and includes a full color touch screen display and a key advantage of operating using Android O/S., that automatically features many of the above mentioned benefits. The only disadvantage is it is strictly an Android device, so it doesn't work with iOS.

The SmartQ watch also offers a full-featured MP3 player that easily replaces an iPod type device - in comparison, the Pebble plays music via bluetooth and requires your phone to be nearby and doesn't work as a stand-alone device -- another advantage is the SmartQ watch also easily replaces Fitband and similar devices, and offers a fitness App with walking and running tracking and weekly and monthly stats; along with Sleep monitoring.

The Z-watch also features syncing of calendar and contacts with your Android phone and the display of incoming calls and texts with the ability to answer the call to your phone and to text reply from the watch with preformatted messages.

The SmartQ Z-Watch is priced about the same as the Pebble watch ($150) -- however, with features that compare to Sony's new smartwatch and other Android O/S models in the $200-$300 price range and also has the most innovative processor for wearable tech gear and one of the longest battery life of any smartwatch currently on the market.

One of the first to offer more product details on the new SmartQ watch model is -- T ablet Sprint

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