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Have a Pebble? Here's what you can do with it on Windows Phone

Smartwatches are a hot item these days and the Pebble Smartwatch may be the hottest potato in the bunch.  Our Mobile Nations teams recently visited the Pebble Factory in Palo Alto, California and were rather impressed with what they saw.

With the recent launch of the new Mobile Nations site Smartwatch Fans and the rising popularity of the Pebble watch we here at Windows Phone Central became curious as to what apps are available in the Windows Phone Store for these smartwatches.

Before we get into the specific apps, we should caution you that these apps are fairly limited in functionality due to OS limitations.  We do feel that an official Pebble watch app may not be that far off but for now our options are a little on the thin side.

Pebble Watch Pro

Pebble Watch Pro ($1.99)

As with all of the apps in this roundup, Pebble Watch Pro is an unofficial app and not affiliated with the Pebble Watch Company.  It will require you to be running firmware version 1.14 on your Pebble watch.

Through Pebble Watch Pro you can receive calendar, Twitter, battery and network alerts on your watch.  Along with the alerts, Pebble Watch Pro also lets you control music playback on your Windows Phone from the watch.

Calendar alerts range from five to thirty minutes in advance of the appointment and Tweets are received from your Home Timeline and Twitter Direct Messages.  Battery alerts will notify you when your Windows Phone battery falls below a certain level and network alerts notify you when you lose or regain access to your data source (Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G).

The downside to all of this is that Pebble Watch Pro must be running in the foreground for it to communicate with the watch and the lockscreen needs to be disabled.

QR: Pebble Watch Pro

There isn’t a trial version available for Pebble Watch Pro and the full version is currently running $1.99.  The app is only available for Windows Phone 8 devices and you can find it here in the Windows Phone Store.

Pebble

Pebble ($.99)

Pebble is more of a utility app for your Pebble watch in that it allows you to add applications to your watch by downloading them from a Pebble watch website, remove any installed apps from your watch and synchronize the time between your watch and Windows Phone.

QR: Pebble

It lacks music control, notifications, and alerts.  Pebble lacks a trial version and is only available for Windows Phone 8 devices.  The full version is currently running $.99 and you can find Pebble here in the Windows Phone Store.

Pebble Music

In addition to these two Pebble apps, we need to extend honorable mention to two Windows Phone apps that are loosely Pebble related.  Pebble Watch Lite (free) allows you to control the music on your Windows Phone from your Pebble watch and test the notification features on the Pebble watch.  The second honorable mention goes out to Pebble Music (free) which is simply a music player for your Windows Phone styled like the watch.

QR: Pebble Watch Lite/Pebble Music
Pebble Watch Lite and Pebble Music

Smarthwatches can be a great accessory for your smartphone and as this technology begins to seep into the Windows Phone arena, we’ll be sure to keep an eye on things.  Who knows, we may hear a few announcements next week at the annual Consumer Electronics Show.

And don’t forget to check in on our new website Smartwatch Fans.  It is a great source to keep up with the smartwatch industry.

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Reader comments

Have a Pebble? Here's what you can do with it on Windows Phone

117 Comments

Sometimes one doesn't want to bother reading article. Not disrespect, just tired after work, or hangover maybe, whatever.

Me not, frankly, but reading blog I used to wish someone answers me if subject works or not, for example. So I just sympathize david12345. Wish you are more kind:)

No disrespect, but that's annoying. Nobody wants to answer the question of someone whom clearly was too selfish or lazy to read the article. Time is money, so don't try to waste someone else just because you didn't want to spend yours

Altruism has little to do with rewarding the laziness of others. If someone cant be bothered to read an article, what makes you think they will read the comments or replies?

I feel you SargeT, I came to the article wondering if it was compatible, but I didn't know the writer was going to write, in essence a documentary about the whole thing, so I skipped down and read the comments looking for answers.... :-)

 

I'm interested, and love the WPC writing, but sometimes I need some "quick hitters"....

 

OK, NOW I understand why all of these tech sites have 1-2minute video daily recaps!!!

Are you for real?  If the pebble weren't compatible with WP, why would the article be called "Have a Pebble? Here's what you can do with it on Windows Phone"?  They needn't have bothered otherwise!

And it's hardly a documentary.  You can skim the first few paragraphs and pick out key words. I would have thought the fact these apps exist, and the screenshots clearly showing pebble integration, enough to clue you in on the fact they are obviously compatible.  But no, you'd rather ignore all that obvious meterial which takes less than 20 seconds of your life to read, and directly hit up the comments section instead?

Why don't you think it may be hard to run through the article searching key words for those who aren't good in English? Just an impulsive question: Does it officially work or not, guys, tell me aaaa please!

That's hardly fair, Sarge.  One wouldn't wish to bother reading an article, but one would bother commenting on it?

Besides, being logical here you end up going to more effort asking in comments and awaiting an answer to the question, than you do by just skimming the article instead.

If the pebble weren't compatible, why would Daniel bother writing an article called 'Here's what you can do with it on Windows Phone'. 

Based on the limited features of those apps mentioned above combined with issues like having to have lockscreen disabled, it is safe to say the answer to your question is no.

Even if I had the watch already I would not bother with the apps mentioned above.

The lock screen only needs to be disabled in Pebble Watch Pro for full music control. Notifications work fine without the lock screen being disabled. You can get Calendar, Twitter home timeline, Twitter direct messages, Battery and Network notifications fine under the lock screen as long as the app is the foreground app. I continue to work on adding other notifications.

The best way to use this app is just make sure it is the foreground app when you are not actively using/looking at your phone. That way you get notifications while you are working ore doing something else.

because it isn't a simple yes or no answer.  Use your brain.  People are clearly telling you that there is 'SOME' level of integration.  It's not 'Yes, it all works perfectly' nor is it 'no, it doesn't work at all'. 

Life isn't all black or white.  It's shades of grey.

Iv yet to see anyone with a smart watch lol..iv played arnd with the ones at tmobile..not sure if their worth the price tho when you can pick up a Lumia 521 for under a $100

Very true I have a hard time believing the whole smart watch thing will ever be more than a short lived fad that only a few people are interested in whatsoever.

I've seen a smartwatch being worn.  I can definitely see them being a big thing, not just a fad.  I mean look at it this way:  Most of us wear watches everyday.  Most of us live in a technological world, divulging information on a daily basis.   Micro sized gadgets are becoming more and more powerful.  I could see, a decade from now, more than three-quarters of all watches being worn, being a smartwatch.  The ability for someone to preheat their car or recieve notifications on their wrist is just... great.

I think Pebble got it right with a smartwatch as a companion device to a smartphone. So you can check notifications and control music without taking your phone out of your pocket. Good battery life, sunlight readability, and cheap.

My thoughts exactly..as Thenutman said, I think they will be short lived. Lots off people don't wear normal watches much anymore because the time and date is on their phones anyways..

well timed article. Just got mine yesterday. Between the two apps you can at least get by. Thanks to both devs. I would honestly like to see what Rudy would be able to do. Especially if he would tie in notifications from all his app.

No. It has all the fitness tracking features AS WELL AS all the same features as Pebble... It also has built in Speaker and Mic for calls and it is Waterproof... Oh, and it works with iOS, Android AND WP8... :)

Can you tell more about the WP8 compatibility? How can the Kreyos Metoer succeed where the Pebble fails? I think WP8 will still deny access to SMS and Phone notifications, I think? Would be great if you'd know more about that.

Except that the Kreyos screen has to be turned on each time you want to see the time, which basically defeats the purpose of a watch.

Not really. It would defeat the purpose of a wall clock, but it's not difficult to press a button to see the time. I got rid of all my watches 10 years ago as I have a mobile phone. I have to press a button to show the time, but it's no problem.

Or, you could get a Lumia with the black update and then you wouldn't have to push a button to see the time on your smartphone either (glance). :-)

I have always had watches and I have even had a few where you had to push a button to see the time. It's annoying. If I'm going to wear a watch, it had damned well better tell me the time any time I look at it and the gestures aren't reliable enough, either. I had the original Sony Smartwatch and it was fail.

A Smartwatch should be a WATCH first. To me, that means it should always show the time and be accurate. I know it means different things to different people, but that's my take. That's why the Gear and the Kreyos are not options for me. The Toq is cool, but only works with Android.

Right, with Glance you wouldn't have to push a button- just reach into a pocket, take it out, then put it back. Or strap it to your wrist. ;)

So if they call it a "wrist-screen" or whatever, does that mean they can safely focus primarily on features other than telling the time?

Yeah, a friend has a lumia with glance and it's pretty much perfect for all time-keeping needs :) At the moment the smartwatch offerings aren't enough to make me want one. Perhaps in 1-2 years they might be better.

If I see someone wearing a smart watch, I will point and laugh. It is tech for tech sake, and it is just dumb. Now go forth and rant about how I'm wrong... I'll change my mind when I see something that isn't redundant.

Until they make a smartwatch that can last at least a month on a single charge, I agree with your sentiment.

As if I don't have enough crap to recharge every night already.

Do you HAVE to have an app to use the Pebble with the phone at all?
I ask because I have an I'm Watch and I just connect it via Bluetooth and can take calls and control my music without an app on my phone.

As far as I can tell, yes. A Pebble will connect to a Windows Phone via BT (tried on 1520), but incoming call alerts/notifications will not be sent to the watch. It needs an app running in the background or a notification sent to alert the Pebble. 

I'm Watch uses the Bluetooth HFP (Hands Free Profile) and AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile). Both of those profiles are supported by WP.  This is what makes WP8 compatible with in car system's Bluetooth. The Pebble only works with SPP (Serial Port Profile) which is supported in WP8 via RFCOMM.

In order to get those features via SPP on WP, WP8 would need to allow 3rd party apps to intercept incoming phone call info. Music control is limited to what the interfaces WP8 allows to the 3rd party apps. Unfortunately when the lock screen is enabled they are severely limited.

Cool story, bro. You go on pointing and laughing at people because they choose to buy something that you have no need for. I'm sure that'll get you far.

You don't have to buy a smartwatch to be some kind of second smartphone. Sometimes, it's fairly simple in use. I bought a Pebble because it was only $150 and the display is always on, battery lasts a week, and it vibrates when I get new messages on my phone. I don't use it to control my music or anything. Oh, and the time is always correct, without having to change it for daylight savings or when I cross time zones traveling for work.

Show me another $150 watch that does all that. I would wear a watch regardless. This one gives me the most utility that suits me. I'm glad you have no need for one. You can save $150 and go buy yourself some friends.

You have a watch, the battery for which lasts a week? Impressive. And you check messages on your wrist because your phone is what, in your pocket? On the table? Really selling it there, sunshine. Ill stick with my Junghans Mega atomic watch which is always right and needs no charging. And my phone.

Perhaps you should take reading comprehension classes before you try trolling. I stated exactly how I use my smartwatch and why I chose it.

As for notifications: I ride a motorcycle. When I'm riding and my pocket starts vibrating, there's no way for me to know what it's for, but I can glance at my wrist and see if it's someone calling, a message, etc. It also allows me to not be rude when I'm at dinner with someone, especially when I can glance quickly at the message and see that it's not important.

I'm sorry that you're too short-sighted to see what it could be useful for...sunshine. And yes, a week of battery life. And it charges in less than an hour. I think I can manage to plug my watch in once during a week-long span, especially since I have to plug my smartphone in every night anyway.

Your sarcasm would be appropriate for something like the gear, but the Pebble gives you a full week of battery life with the screen always on. That's pretty close to as good as we're going to get with current battery technology for probably the next few years.

I read how you used it, sweetheart and I responded to the evidence presented. You have just thrown a bike into the equation which sort of makes sense. Glad you're happy.

Amazing... You're discussing what each other should do with their money ?! What is this? Soviet Russia? If the guy wants a smartwatch is nobody's business, imo.

Sunshine? Sweetheart? Do you have a complex with calling other men by flirty pet names or something? Weird.

So if the msg was important you would reply while on your bike? Lol!! What diff would knowing you had a msg while riding ur bike make? Would you stop on the express way to reply?

If I have to explain the utility to you, you're probably never going to get it, so I won't even bother. One day, maybe you'll ride a motorcycle and then you'll understand.

What if the text says "Meet me at Taco Bell instead of McDonalds", or "Can you pick up milk on the way?", or "Billy just broke his arm! Meet us at the hospital!"? I could think of thousands of messages that it would be nice to see while riding on a motorcycle, even if you can't respond to them immediately.

Wow. GENIUS. While we're at it, we should ban eating, yelling at your kids, and changing radio stations.

Maybe you don't want to pull your phone out of your pocket every time you get a message or email. It's easier to just glance at your wrist than to pull your phone out of your pocket, turn it on, look, turn it back off, and then put it back in your pocket every few seconds. Is the concept that hard to understand? If pulling your phone out and using it to check everything is so easy and convenient, why do you wear your Junkans Mega at all? You could just get the time and date from your phone.

I agree... They're like calculator watches at the moment. It was hard enough wearing a digital watch without seeming like an uber nerd (10 years ago when I still wore watches)

It's a SHAME that Pebble doesn't support WP. And dont tell me WP doesnt support these things, all I'm asking for is controlling Music and seeing who just wrote me a message in Whatsapp or where that new email comes from. If these paid apps can do that than Pebble should be able to at least enable ONE of these features.

Can we please spam Pebble on Twitter/Facebook/Email that they get off their asses and make WP support or at least release an official statement?

Many Kickstarter projects are like 10.000$ minimum, 15.000$ Android support, 20.000$ Windows Phone support. And Pebble collected 10.000.000$!!!! Of a goal of 10.000$!!!! 9.990.000$ more then expected!!! That should be more than enough to make WP users happy!!

See! Mobile nations went to pebble headquarters and probably got first hand confirmation they are on board. But like they said in the article, it is an OS limitation, we'll probably have to wait for WP Blue.

Daniel... Not soon...

From Plebbe

Thank you for your interest.

At this time, Pebble is only set up to support iOS and Android. While it is possible that we might support other smartphone OSs in the distant future, I cannot guarantee it. All of our energy is currently focused on perfecting iPhone and Android.

However, we do have 3rd party developers who are actively working on other platforms:
http://pebbledev.org/wiki/P3bble
Best Regards,
Eyad

Myriam on Twitter has already clarified why Pebble won't support Windows Phone. The limatations of the Bluetooth stack and the lack of any kind of notification centre.

So if you want to whine and cry like a 2 year old, go do it on Microsoft's Twitter account, not Pebble.

I'll tell you again: it will happen. The limitations of the BT stack are for third parties, not first. No need to complain to anyone as things are already in the works.

Not really. They can work, they just need advanced access to the OEM SDK. That is, there needs to be an official app. There are no technical limitations to Windows Phone from running Pebble, it's just third party devs can't do it. That will probably change with 8.1 as the reins are loosened, and we get a new BT stack (overlaps with Windows 8.1).

Regardless, Microsoft and Nokia are well aware of the demand. Do you think it's coincidence that BTLE is rolling out to Lumias now? Why else bring LE if they have no intentions to bring support for the devices that use it? Think about it.

Finally, I have a Pebble. I assure you, you are not missing much. This will be a bigger story in 2015, but for now, it's an early adopter pool and is more a gimmick than useful. It's like having an Atari 2600 on your wrist. The concept is spot on, the technical and hardware limitations though are preventing it from being stellar.

Yes, I know proper support is coming, but isn't that the story of windows phone since it launched in 2010? Stuff is always "coming".

Anyways, are you sure there is no OS limitation involved? I doubt that Windows Phone 8.0 is able to forward notifications, display emails on smartwatches etc.

It's there, its just on the OEM stack for now. Samsung did a similar thing for the Galaxy line since android did not have LE support built in (it does now). So accessory makers like fitbit had to rely on specific BTLE imeplentations for each OEM to add support one device at a time. The same will be true here in the interim with Lumia phones until its officially added to the full SDK...Just like Daniel was saying. The big difference for us WP users though is that an overwhelming majority of us have Lumia phones, so even if WP 8.1 doesn't add full 3rd pary support, Lumia's will have it.

We got the apps in 2013....now we'll get the accessories in 2014.

Pebble team has not been known for stellar communications with their backers/customers, much less some random dude.

Smartwatches are pretty awful at present. What's with the horrific design standard someone seems to have set for them? Why do they all have to look so bad?

It is a concept that will eventually win out, either through glass type products or watches. The idea of walking round physically holding your device is outdated now. Eventually the world of tech will be in our retinas, but until then watches or glasses will suffice. Mind control is the way. Instead of messing about with a daft menu on a tiny screen, just thinking "Play Kylie Minogue's Greatest Hits album" should be enough. "Text Mum 'I'll be home to bathe your pressure sores in an hour' is another one. Voice control is not an option for obvious reasons and the current smartwatch screen or button options aren't really useable for any more than a few presses.

Agreed. This is more like having a smartphone in 2006 like the ppc-6700. It looked like a mini computer but the tech just wasn't there at the time. It will evolve, but this are the early heydays. Having a Pebble is like owning a Treo years ago, it works, but it ain't sexy (or cool).

AFAICT, most of the time is spent on customizing the watch face. Not exactly a 'must have' feature.

I personally had a PPC 6700 (WM 6.1), and it was a great device for it's time..(I still miss devices with QWETY keyboards).  But, yea, it's nothing like we have today but, back then, the tech was not really there anyway, just like smartwatches of today.

They all look ugly, Pebble, Agent, Kreyos, Galaxy Gear. And why do they all have so tiny displays with huge bezels and poor resolution? I bet if Nokia makes a smart watch it would look awesome as fuck.

Yea, I kind of agree with you, for the most part they are ugly, the tech is not there yet to make them really small with great screens and fairly good battery life...a few more years before this tech peaks a little...

NO, don't agree. The Agent looks like plasticky tat agreed, but the Pebble doesn't look too bad. I actually like the look of the Samsung and my own favourite is the I'm Watch. I'd get one now if it wasn't for the usual lack of Windows Phone support. When is this flippin' OS finally going to catch up with the others? 

It still looks too bulky/ugly to me...but I'm glad they support WP. One of the cool things about the Agent watch is that it's made in the US.

I like this part

 

"Watch apps can be written in C# using Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 (including the free Express edition). Deploy your apps over Bluetooth and debug them interactively."

I've never been able to pair a Pebble with any of my WP8 devices. Do you need Nokia Black, or more specifically, BT LE support?

If the app does not connect, remove any devices paired on the Pebble, remove the Pebble from the Phone and then re-pair the Pebble to the phone. When you start the app on the phone it should work while it is in the foreground. You can test this with the free Pebble Watch Lite application.

Lock screen needs to be disabled? It's not an option on many models. The Lumia 1520 doesn't have the ability but the 920 does. There seems to be no logic behind this option from phone to phone.

Sure there is... It depends on your screen... If your type of screen is liable to get burn in from being left on a static image then the ability to disable the lock screen is a no go... (^_-)-☆

The 1520 has an IPS panel just like the 920.  I thought the burnin was only an issue for AMOLED phones? In that case I could see it not being an option on the 1020 but it should be on the 1520.

The lock screen only needs to be disabled for full music control. Notifications work fine under the lock screen as long as Pebble Watch Pro is the foreground app.

Once smart watches last as long as regular watches, that's when I'll get interested. I don't need another accessory/device plugged in nightly. I think this is the limiting factor for smart watches

Yup, it's not a big deal. It has a magnetic charging cable too so it's even easier than plugging something in. Having to charge a watch nightly might annoy me, but charging my Pebble once a week is fine. I take it off at night anyways.

Even in one's dreams, that's far fetched, considering how much Google and Microsoft loathe each other at present.

Given the current limitations, hottest potato indeed. Sure the tech will come, but its not here yet. I'll be ready when the tech is.

See the idea of a smart phone was to replace so many other items, camera, calculator, news papers, etc. Why would you want another item attached to you. Minimalist living

Almost Worthless...No emai, No sms, no text, no phone calls or missed calls. Neat for a toy but, nothing more and no native WP support, according to Pebble, they have no plans to support WP.

Shocked that software even came out, as I thought WP was blacklisted from Pebble...

They have plans. Just until another BT Stack is added to Windows Phone, they will. Windows Phone 8.1 update is adding that stack.

They will.... As a Windows Phone fan, I am very use to this... This app Will come, support for this device Will come. It does not mean anything till it happens.

I would not spend money on this smartwatch till it works with my phone and even then, I expect to see better options by then, so this device will be old news...

and that is why it's a big question for me why this device is even covered on WPcentral...(yea, the app, sure but, the whole thing on this device, ok...pointless in my eyes, got my hopes up for no reason...just like a lot of stuff with WP)

Yeah, unfortunate. Unfortunately, many devs got their own vendetta against Microsoft and all that. Lots of people simply hate Windows, plain and simple.

Granted, part of the problem lies is that Windows Phone 8 is still missing many basic features. I love the OS, but compared to something like Windows 8/RT, it's sorely lacking. One of the many things missing is proper Bluetooth support for something like a Pebble smartwatch.

Windows Phone 8.1 is supposed to change all that, but even then, developer morale will continue to be an issue. Sigh, anyone else starting to feel like Windows Phone 8.1 is like how South Park made a big joke about Game of Throne, where everything will be awesome if you just keep waiting?

Still rather underwhelming support. I'm curious about this smartwatch phenomenon, but until Windows Phone gets proper support (both the OS side, and developers stepping up their game), I'll simply watch (no pun intended) from the sidelines.

Glad to see WPcentral finally write something about pebble 3rd party wp app. However I'm a bit disappointed about the negative comments here. I always thought wp communities have a decency to respect 3rd party devs in trying to bridge the WP app gaps, regardless the lack of OS or API access limitations for 3rd parties. Should lower down my expectations from now on.

Offering is a little thin is an understatement.  Hopefully CES or WP 8.1 will bring somw compatibity with WP.  At least Notifications for calls, emails and texts.  Kudos to the Dev.  If it had the notifications I list above I would try it on my pebble and 925.  

Hi Guys and Gals,

 

excuse me for not reading the whole comments feed, but can someone shed light on how to get facebook/ twitter notifications to work. Just bought a pebble in the hope that the near future will bring full support , but for now would like to make the most of what it can do. ive purchased the Pebble Pro app and have downloaded an app from mybucketz with facebook and twitter feed but just keeps displaying 'http: time-out' can anyone help with this? Pebble Pro advertises all these things it can do, but opening my app simply shows a music screen and no option to do anything else???

 

thanks all :)

how do you update the pebble watch using the pebble app on windows and how do you install apps on the pebble?.. i found on the ios and android you can sync or transfer those data/app on the watch using the pebble app,.. is this features available on the pebble app on windows??.. i need to know before i buy your watch,. i love windows phone and i love pebble watch because they look good together,. and also i will not buy an android phone just to use your watch,. so please answer some of my questions,. thank you,.