Pebble, the maker of several useful e-paper smart watches, is positioning itself as more of a viable Apple Watch alternative through the launch of a new, incoming feature.
It’s about Time
Soon, owners of the Pebble Time, Pebble Time Steel, and Pebble Time Round smart watches will be able to send text messages (in the form of abbreviated replies) on AT&T’s mobile network. The feature is available in beta, for now, and so users shouldn’t expect perfect results. This is, however, the first time a non-Apple-made smart watch has been able to send out SMS “text” messages on iOS.
But, as always, there’s small print to consider
Of course, there are some shortcomings which render Pebble’s solution inferior to messaging using an Apple Watch. For one, the change is limited to Pebble owners in the United States only, since it relies on AT&T’s network.
Moreover, the nature of messaging from a Pebble isn’t as versatile as it is on watchOS, which allows for voice replies, quick replies, emoji replies, and new messages. Yet, for a lower priced e-paper watch, Pebble’s support for iOS messaging shouldn’t be laughed at, and for owners of the device on AT&T’s network it’ll be much appreciated indeed.
How you can configure the feature
Online, Pebble explains how users can access the feature:
- Update your Pebble Time iPhone app to version 3.4 or higher.
- After updating the iPhone app, update your Pebble Time’s firmware to version 3.7 or higher. Select Menu » Support » Update Your Pebble if you aren’t prompted automatically.
- From the iOS app, navigate to Menu » Settings » Actionable Notifications to set up Text Replies for the first time.
- Follow the setup instructions.
- After successful setup, notifications received from the Messages app will have the option to reply with voice or a list of pre-defined responses.
- Note: Successfully sent Pebble replies will NOT appear in the iOS Messages app. The reply is sent as an SMS through AT&T directly, and not the Messages app.
Not too long ago, Pebble made a bold statement and announced the launch of Pebble Time Round, a smart watch which veers from the design of the Apple Watch through featuring a round watch face. This reminded us a lot of Android Wear, and as many have voiced elsewhere, it doesn’t seem entirely suited to the smart watch platform (even if the design does satisfy traditional watch lovers).