The Pebble Watch has been vastly improved with the addition of the Pebble app store.
One of the few Kickstarter funded smartwatch concepts that actually made it to fruition, Pebble Watch is an innovative solution to running apps from your wrist. Newly added functions and a dedicated Pebble app store has now made the original design even better. If you are thinking about the all inclusive wearable gear that does not rely on your mobile phone, then the Pebble Watch is worth thinking about.
How does the Pebble Watch look?
Appearance is the one thing lacking with the Pebble Watch. It is a simple plastic unit with rubber band that stands out as a wearable tech device at first glance. It has a small 1.26 display that uses 144 x 168 pixel resolution, but be wary as it is not scratch resistant as Pebble claims.
Images and text appear in black and white with a highly reflective back. This makes them stand out better even in daylight. Turning on the LED backlight for a better view is as simple as a press on the button on the left-hand side, or a flick of your wrist.
There is no touch screen control with Pebble Watch, but there are four different buttons to help control the various functions. You can use these to scroll the menus, select your options and go back to a previous screen. This is similar to the way you would navigate through a mobile phone that does not have a touch screen.
You have a choice of five colors with the Pebble Watch, gray, black, white, orange or red, but the black looks the least like tech wear when on the wrist. The rubber band feels comfortable when worn to the point that you will forget that it is there.
How the Pebble Watch works as a smartwatch
The Pebble Watch works with a three-axis accelerometer, a magnetometer and an ambient light sensor. There is also a Cortex-M3 ARM processor and internal storage for any apps you choose to download. This memory is able to hold up to eight different apps and watch faces. The new version of Pebble app combined with new firmware and software allows for better use of the various features of the Pebble Watch.
How does Pebble apps work?
Both iPhone and Android have the redesigned Pebble app. This gives you the access you need to the Pebble app store. Once you create your account the apps you want get downloaded to the Pebble app and then installed onto your smartwatch. This is similar to the Kindle app, where the main app is storage for the apps you want until they are loaded onto the device.
Due to the small storage place, this method works at keeping your desired apps handy without crashing the operating system. Pebble has made it easy to remove and apps using Bluetooth so in theory you can have access to dozens of apps as long as you don’t mind waiting a few minutes to change them out.
The Pebble app store is always a work in progress, with additions being made continually. For now you are going to find ways to turn your smartwatch into a TV remote or thermostat. There are also a small variety of fitness apps and an ESPN based app for checking sports scores. Most of these apps are free additions for your watch. Not too many of the more popular apps like Whatsapp, but that could change as more people choose Pebble’s smartwatch over others.
If you are thinking about the Pebble Watch for wearable gear, you should note that it is compatible with the iPhone 4 or higher, using iOS 6 or 7. This could be problematic for those who have already upgraded to iOS 8. Android is also supported from OS 4.1 and higher.
At only $150 AUD, the Pebble Watch is worth looking into if you don’t mind the simple design and lack of apps. There are new smartwatches entering the market at a rapid pace right now, and you might want to wait to see what comes out next before making any final choices.