Pebble smartwatch to soon support full iOS notifications, gesture input
November 6, 2013
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.