In advance of its next wave of smartwatches — Pebble 2, Pebble Time 2 — the upstart company that continues to innovate where others have slowed has released a significant update.
Pebble today took the wraps off its latest software update. The Silicon Valley-based wearable company says the new 4.0 release is all about “glance and go.”
Key improvements/updates with Pebble firmware and OS 4.0 include:
- Pebble Health – can now display more information on the watch face (weekly trends, for example, has thankfully now returned to the watch)
- Glanceable Timeline and Quick Views – view up to three days ahead (push down) to see current and upcoming events
- New Launcher – a condensed design allows for more items to display at one time
- Faster – animations, for example, are now faster
- Email Actions (delete, archive, mark as read, reply all, star) – now available for iOS users
- 4-Button Quick Launch – assign favorites to the 4 physical buttons, press and hold to launch
Pebble OS 4.0 is available now for Android and iOS users.
Note that Quick Views — the ability for information to pop up at the bottom of the screen without obstructing the current watch face (above photo) — requires a newer generation Pebble watch (Pebble Time, Time Steel, or the upcoming Pebble 2, or Time 2).
I’m impressed with how the relatively tiny Pebble team is able to continually innovate, and bring improvements to market faster than their king-sized competition, notably Apple (Watch OS) and Google (Android Wear).
Perhaps being small isn’t a handicap at all?
Rather, Pebble is able to react faster. Plus, they don’t have to deal with the huge integration challenges and cross-team hassles. Google, for instance, needs to ensure Google Voice integration works. Apple needs to ensure that much of its iOS features are tightly integrated. Engineers at those two companies need to work across several organizations. Who knows how many meetings that takes? Sorting priorities. Infighting about feature lists.
Pebble has far, far less of that to worry about. It shows too.
Updates to the Pebble OS have been fast and furious. Ever since another successful Kickstarter campaign was funded earlier this year, the team seems highly motivated. Good on them. I’m not sure of the long-term prospects of an indie like Pebble (acquisition? but who?).
Still, for now, I’m a grateful Pebbler.
My Time Steel just works…
Battery goes forever. Notifications always work (dicey sometimes on Wear). I can read the screen outside. And I appreciate the physical buttons for blindly controlling my music when at the gym or commuting across Silicon Valley.
How to get Pebble 4.0 Update
To initiate update to 4.0:
- In the Pebble App select Menu -> Support -> at bottom click “Check for Updates” -> follow prompts.