Pebble and other smartwatches: Info at a glance!


It’s definitely nice to have the more noticeable/easily glanced notification if you have kids.

Late last year, for instance, my kid sat in the sick room at his school for an extra 45 minutes because I didn’t feel the phone vibrating in my pocket when the school called to tell me he’d been throwing up. Not a crisis in that case, but still, I could have left earlier to get him if I hadn’t missed the call, and if it had been more serious, the delay wouldn’t have been good. (Of course, the other solution would be for Apple not to use such halfass vibration mechanisms in their phones. : )

My wife already approves of the watch because I’ve answered the phone every time she called me over the weekend, and I saw all her texts immediately.

And it’s not necessarily going to mean you spend more time looking at a screen instead of interacting people, because it’s also an effective call/text screening device. For the unimportant or non-urgent notifications, I glance down, and if I don’t touch the watch it goes away in 30 seconds and I can respond to it later at my convenience. Before, I’d have to pull out my phone and make sure it wasn’t something important.


I guess I’m an edge case in that I take notes on my phone for meetings, so any emails or texts are just a quick swipe of the notification bar away from me.

Also, is the watch backlit? Can you actually check a text during a movie, or does it end up looking the same as checking your phone?


Yeah, Thierry, but everyone in the meeting just assumes you’re texting or Facebooking and ignoring the meeting. :)

Yes, it has a backlight. You can either press a button to activate it, or just shake your wrist or give the watch a hearty tap and the accelerometer will light it up.


Nobody’s mentioned the in-car scenario, where the phone is in your pocket and it starts ringing / buzzing. You’re in traffic, you can’t get the thing out of your pocket without extreme contortions because you forgot to put it on the passenger seat next to you earlier, and you need to know if it’s worth pulling over for. Or does everyone except me have hands free these days in their car?


On that note, if a watch is displaying a text message forwarded from your phone, does that break text and driving laws?


I would assume that the courts will say yes. I suppose we’ll find out for sure sooner or later.


Any idea what kind of range the Pebble has? I use my phone a good bit as a Pandora player hooked up to the stereo on the other side of the house, and have thought it would be nice to be able to skip songs without going over to it, hitting power, swiping on, etc. (especially during meals).

I have actually enjoyed not wearing a watch since I started using my smartphone as a replacement, but there have been plenty of times where I felt a little awkward pulling my phone out of my pocket just to check the time.


I don’t know what the range of a Bluetooth connection is. I know I get notifications when I’m upstairs and my phone is downstairs. But I’m not living in a huge mansion.



While I can appreciate the usefulness of a device like this, a watch is a timepiece first and an accessory second and I have to say that as a fashion accessory it really looks like crap. That’s one thing about an Apple watch - if it ever does appear it’ll be HAWT. Seiko has some nice looking e-ink watches but I don’t think they’re smart watches and they’re significantly more expensive than the Pebble. Like in the $400 range.


Answering this question on the Verge about What does your Pebble setup look like?, I found the comment by user Silellak really interesting (scroll down a bit to find it).

Pebble Notifier and Pebble Locker are 2 apps I need to try. I have limited myself to basic functionality with custom faces so far, and it still works great for me on a daily basis. But I think adding those 2 will make the watch even more useful.

Sharing it in case some other Pebble users are looking for interesting apps to run.



Can any of you lucky Pebble owners tell me whether the watch works as advertised? On another forum I was warned by several people who said they, and their friends, had to resort to lots of bug-solving through the forums in order to get the software to work. Is that the experience you guys have as well?


Nope. It’s been working as advertised from the very start for me. I’m on Android.

I hear iOS is more prone to the watch losing its connection to the phone, which means you don’t always get email notifications (texts seem reliable) until you resync. Native support for that kind of peripheral will be in the next version, which should resolve those issues (right now, they have been using “work-arounds” to hook into the OS).



Pebble has announced Pebble Steel at CES (available on the 28th of January):

The Verge hands on video:

Looks nice. But more interesting to me is the announcement of the Pebble App Store, which will run directly on your phone and make it easy to install apps on the watch:

Until now, Pebblers discovered apps and watchfaces thanks to wonderful third party resources like MyPebbleFaces. In fact, 3 million apps and watchfaces have been downloaded so far.

By the end of January, the Pebble appstore will offer a centralized location for users to discover, manage, and install apps and watchfaces.

Pebble appstore makes browsing easy, with categories for Daily, Remotes, Games, Notifications, Tools & Utilities, Fitness, and—of course—Watchfaces. We’re making it easier than ever to find your next favorite app for things like tracking your workout, managing your music, or controlling your thermostat.

I’ve used my Pebble every day since I got it. And the new OS version only makes it better. As for the Pebble Steel, I have to say it looks very nice. Though I’m happy to stick with mine for the time being.



I should be getting my Pebble today or tomorrow.


If you take to it like I did, you will love it. It’s convenient in a lot of small ways. I love being able to glance at my wrist to know whether I need to stop what I’m doing and take a call or to take a quick look at a SMS or email.

And with the app store coming out this month, I get the feeling we’ll get a lot of interesting new apps.

Announcement video for the Steel Pebble:



The new one looks great! But I’m just going to get a metal band for my existing Pebble.

Just waiting on someone to do a decent fitness tracker using the accelerometer so that I can ditch wearing the Nike Fuelband on my other hand…


Ordered a black steel model. The old one would have been hard to wear in a professional environment, but the new one should be great.


I love the Domo-kun style watchface I got.


A pebble watch that doesn’t look like a toy? I’m all over that! How much is it?


Ok i just ordered one. I’m looking forward to being able to glance surreptitiously at who’s sending me emails while I’m teaching in class. :)
I should have asked before but does it work well with Android phones?
I’m a little bit concerned about how quickly the value of these new watches will drop. I’ve got a few watches in the $500-1000 range but even after 3 or 4 years I’m pretty confident that I can get close to what I paid for them (possibly even more in the case of a watch that has gone out of production). I’m concerned that much like cell phones I’ll be left with a watch that can’t do nearly as much as the latest yearly version can do and I’ll be lucky if I can sell it for $40. We’ll see I guess.
Bring on the future!
Oh and I got the brushed steel version.