At the end of last year, the tech strap on my arm quickly became an indispensable gadget that got me out of the habit of glancing at my iPhone. Then the long-awaited support for the notification system in iOS 7 appeared in the firmware for Pebble smartwatches, thanks to which absolutely all incoming messages on the iPhone began to be displayed on the smartwatch screen. It would seem that here they are — a “smart” dream watch that fits perfectly into the ecosystem of Apple devices. But the Pebble developers did not stop there and literally two months later released a powerful firmware update to the second version.
To begin with, a major update standard Pebble app from App Store [iTunes link]. After the first launch of the updated program, a notification about the availability of a new firmware appeared on the screen of the connected smartwatch. Two or three minutes and you have an updated gadget on your hand, which now has its own application store called the Pebble appstore. What does he represent? We go into the application, do a swipe from left to right, and we see three main menu items.
In the first one called MY PEBBLE downloaded applications are managed. In the upper half is an image of a clock with a screensaver or application currently running. To set another one from the horizontal list, you just need to drag the image onto the watch (you can do the same with the two buttons on the Pebble).
By the way, pay attention to the Settings menu, which may appear under the installed application. It will allow you to customize it — for example, change the arrangement of elements on the screen. Pebble OS is limited to installing only eight applications or screensavers (so-called watchfaces). But what if you want to download 20 programs? The solution was found by the developers from Pebble, who created a special section in the Pebble app Locker. This includes all the downloaded software that did not fit on the smart watch. This is a kind of stock of favorite applications that you will use at a certain point in time. For example, the GoPro add-on for remote control of the famous action camera will come in handy just when you get on the board and put it on your helmet.
Actually, now about the Pebble appstore itself. Swipe right again and see the second menu item called GET WATCHFACES. Here screensavers are divided into categories with selections of the best and most downloaded. The watchface page is very similar to that of the application from the App Store: a screenshot-image, the number of likes, a description, the name of the developer and the release date of the splash screen. We tap on ADD in the upper part and in a matter of seconds the screensaver gets to the smart watch.
Swipe right again and now go to the section GET APPS, which again looks like the App Store, only on its main page. Here are several banners of the best applications, then — sections (Daily TOPs, Utilities, Notifications, Control Panels, Fitness, Games) and a list of the best programs. Some of the applications will work on Pebble immediately after download, others will require the installation of additional paid programs from the App Store.
The smart watch software store has not yet turned a month old, but here you can already find applications for a variety of requests. Want to check in with Pebble at Foursquare? Please, here is a utility for you. Remote control of iPhone camera? Easily! Getting directions on the accessory screen? To do this, you will need to install the PebbleGPS program, buy a paid application from the App Store and voila — you have driven in the route on the iPhone, and the smart watch will indicate the path itself.
Here, by the way, you can find a whole bunch of different games that you can play right on the Pebble screen using the built-in accelerometer or buttons on the side of the watch. To call them at least somewhat interesting, the language does not turn, so far these are toys like a arkanoid for pampering. Ahead, I’m sure there will be a lot of interesting things. I’m really looking forward to the Tamagotchi emulator, nostalgic, so to speak.
Also, along with the new Pebble OS 2.0 firmware, a useful section has appeared in the main menu of smartwatches Notifications. In the photo above, it is translated as «Notifications» using custom firmware. This is a stock of all the messages you’ve received on your iPhone lately. Here you can scroll up and down using the side buttons, suddenly you are a very active person and dozens of notifications come to your phone instantly.
So, after almost two years, Pebble has turned from a functionally frail smartwatch concept into a powerful iOS assistant. Yes, there is still no Russian localization in the firmware, yes, scrolling in the updated application from the App Store is a bit clumsy, but judging by the activity of Pebble developers, all these problems will be solved very soon.