While Android Wear and, to a lesser degree, Samsung’s Tizen OS, get the bulk of our attention in the smartwatch world, Pebble, the company that arguably kicked off the current consumer interest in smartwatches, continues to update its platform to stay relevant.
Pebble retains its big advantage in battery life thanks to its unique e-ink screen and, while both Android and Tizen retain the feature advantage over Pebble, it is slowly closing the gap in some critical areas.
This latest update focuses on messaging and Pebble Health, while also bringing new low battery warnings as well as updates to Watch-Only Mode that reduces the Pebble to simply a watch to prevent you from ending up with a blank screen on your wrist.
iOS users with Pebble devices are just now gaining some of the custom messaging capabilities that Android users already enjoyed, and Android users are now able to reply to incoming calls with an SMS. You can send a text, voice note or emoji response. The new Send Text app will even let you initiate SMS conversations from Pebble rather than simply responding.
Pebble Health is the other major focus for this update. A big part of that is the new API that will allow developers to bake Pebble Health stats into their apps and watchfaces. Look for these in the Pebble App Store soon. Developers can read about the nitty gritty details on the Pebble Developer page. Pebble Health is now tracking your activities more accurately, as well, and includes an option to view your distance in kilometers, although honestly who wants to do that. (Just kidding, virtually everyone not in the U.S.)
If you own a Pebble, hit the link below to make sure you have the latest update and let us know what you think.