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Pebble smart watch update adds iBeacon support, iPhone volume control, menu reordering

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Popular smart watch Pebble received an update this week adding iBeacon support, iPhone music volume controls, and the ability to reorganize the system's Launcher Menu.


Photo via Pebble.


Pebble firmware 2.2 along with the accompanying version of the Pebble Smartwatch app for iPhone are both now available for download. The new app uses Apple's iBeacon specification to know when the Pebble watch and iPhone are within close proximity of each other.

After updating, users will also be able to hold the middle "select" button while in the music app to switch the top and bottom buttons from track skipping to volume control.


Photo via Pebble.


Holding the select button on system's Launcher will also invoke a new option, allowing users to reorganize the main menu. Once the button is held, the selected menu item will begin to jiggle, much like when reorganizing icons on the iOS home screen. The up and down buttons can be used to relocate the menu item, and a press of the select button will drop it where a user chooses.

Pebble firmware 2.2 also adds a new progress bar for music tracks as they play. This feature is iOS-only, and is not available on Android devices.

The Pebble's vibrating alarm has also been extended to alert users for 10 minutes, rather than just one minute. And finally, the new iOS app also enables new JavaScript apps that can be downloaded from the Pebble appstore.

Pebble helped to jumpstart interest in the smart watch market when its Kickstarter campaign broke records and generated significant buzz. In addition to a basic, plastic model, the company also offers a higher end model crafted out of metal dubbed the Pebble Steel.
post #2 of 11
The Pebble is kind of cute, in a cheap Chic kind of way. It doesn't do all that much, but since it's cheap, it's users don't expect it to do much, so they are happy with it.
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The Pebble is kind of cute, in a cheap Chic kind of way. It doesn't do all that much, but since it's cheap, it's users don't expect it to do much, so they are happy with it.

I agree.  I like them as a company- def. some smart people that carved out a niche

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

The Pebble is kind of cute, in a cheap Chic kind of way. It doesn't do all that much, but since it's cheap, it's users don't expect it to do much, so they are happy with it.

it doesn't do much - but it does do what it does very well, allows me to check the time, use a stopwatch, see who's calling me, read texts, and, when i leave for home, allows me to start playing my radio app thro bluetooth in may car, all without taking my phone out of my pocket.

it has decent battery life, (shake to turn on backlight is very useful) its light, waterproof, and despite the fact Im an engineer thats always managing to hit it against things, the glass on this pebble steel is completely unmarked.

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

it doesn't do much - but it does do what it does very well, allows me to check the time, use a stopwatch, see who's calling me, read texts, and, when i leave for home, allows me to start playing my radio app thro bluetooth in may car, all without taking my phone out of my pocket.
it has decent battery life, (shake to turn on backlight is very useful) its light, waterproof, and despite the fact Im an engineer thats always managing to hit it against things, the glass on this pebble steel is completely unmarked.

Sure, and those are minimal functions that a cheap smart watch can get away with. But try to add functionality, such as a color screen, higher resolution, a more powerful SoC, etc. and things fall apart. We saw that with Samsung's offerings, as well as those from others so far.

Look at how long it's taking Apple to get their product out.
post #6 of 11

It's the Palm Pilot of smart watches. Nothing revolutionary, but a very useful, well executed gadget at the right price point. It will eventually be overtaken by better, smarter products -- what isn't. But for now, I am quite certain it's the best smartwatch on the market by far.

post #7 of 11
I own the pebble, and this its a great product for what it is. I guess I dont think I love it THAT much, since its been sitting without a charge for the past 3 weeks and I havent bothered to plug it in.
post #8 of 11

It's a nice update for a nice device and like many have noted, the pebble isn't for everyone, but it does satisfy some niche needs.

At any rate, have any of you active users of the pebble had issues with the volume control feature available in 2.2 on iOS?  Everything else from this update seems to work fine, but for me, the volume icons don't appear when I hold down the select button.

Any ideas??

post #9 of 11
dont agree with the comments about it not doing much. Pebble has changed how i interact with my iPhone in a large way. friends and family have bought one based on seeing mine and all say the same - "could not be without it"

The devs have got the balance between features and battery perfect. 5-6 days between charging. its the small ways that it changes things you do that are great.

I know better things are possible, but i doubt these guys are standing still either.
post #10 of 11
I have not had any problems with the volume control with the update. I have to say I find the thing a real asset. I volunteer photographing professional dance companies, it would be a major no to pull out your phone to check a text. I love being able to just glance down and make sure a text is not an emergency. In the past I would go hours where my wife could not get ahold of me while shooting a show. I personally feel it does more then enough to justify the $150 I spent on it. I have a plastic model with upgraded band from Amazon. If I was still working in and office I would get a steel.
post #11 of 11
Pebble is GREAT, and has changed how I interact with my iPhone, as others have said. If you don't think it does much, then go check out the Pebble app store and see how many cool things have been added since you last checked out this amazing little device.

I work for a large IT company, and it took me about 30 minutes to program the Pebble to show me realtime stats for support cases that come into my group. Another few hours of tinkering, and it's context-aware, showing me work-related info when I'm at work, and home-related info when I'm at home (my wife loves that!). When I walk into the bedroom, it becomes a home controller, turning lights on and off with just a tap of a button on the side of the watch.

Now I feel lost whenever it's not on my wrist.
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