As Android Wear devices get a taste of Lollipop, Pebble has quietly tweaked its smartwatches to be more powerful. In an upcoming update—Version 2.3—Pebble will give users the ability to reply and act on notifications right from their watch. “It’s Android Wear notification compatibility on Pebble, and it’s awesome.”
Of course, because Pebble doesn’t have a touchscreen or even support voice commands, users will have to endure navigating with the side buttons. As Pebble’s videos show, it’s not the most intuitive experience, but the company certainly makes the most of it. Want to reply to a Hangouts message with emoji? Just hit the reply button, scroll down to the pertinent emoji, and hit send.
Beyond that, Pebble users will be able to do things like archive an email, send money to friends through SquareCash, and more. Any Wear-integrated apps will work with Pebble’s Android app, which means developers don’t need to perform any extra legwork. This is about as close to the Moto 360 as Pebble will get, at least in the current generation. Just, you know, the Pebble Steel has way better battery life.
With an Android Wear army already available, it seemed like the future of Pebble was headed toward doom and gloom. Instead, the company is adapting to embrace the benefits of Android Wear, giving Pebble owners even more functionality. If you want to test the new beta out, and you’re on Android, you can join Pebble’s testing group without an invite (you must have a device running Android 4.0 and higher).
Here’s a quote Pebble made sure to point out in today’s announcement post:
Integrating Pebble with Android Wear is thanks to the open approach Google built into Android’s notification system. Openness is a value Pebble shares and appreciates. We hope more mobile operating systems follow suit so all Pebblers—no matter their smartphone choice—can take advantage of all the delightful features we introduce now, and in the future.
You can start testing out the update now—at least if you’re an Android user.