Pebble - Custom Notification Vibrations

Pebble continues to be the smartwatch to beat. And, now, a quick tip below on how to customize vibrations on your Pebble.

Yes, as I’ve written before on Stark Insider, the Palo Alto-based start-up does face an ongoing struggle to compete against giants — Samsung (Tizen), Google (Wear), Apple (WatchOS). Yet when it comes to perfecting the little things, like a fun, easy-to-use experience, it’s Pebble, in this David/Goliath narrative, that continually comes out on top, sadly if not when it comes to sales volume.

ALSO SEE: Pebble smartwatch news, reviews, tips

I’m not sure about the long-term prospects of the company itself, but I sure hope that the Pebble hardware and Pebble OS (Timeline) finds a way to keep moving forward. All these little things add up, like:

Why the Pebble Smartwatch Wins the User Experience

Pebble Time Smartwatch Advantages

  • The Pebble screen is incredibly easy and vivid outdoors (particularly useful here in Northern California)
  • Battery runs 3-7 days on a single charge (model dependent)
  • App is very easy to use (watchfaces / apps / notification control)
  • Notifications just work – anything that pops up on your Android phone notification bar is sent to your Pebble (Android Wear is a mess by comparison)
  • Sleep tracking is automatic – no third party apps needed, and no need to “start” a sleep, the Pebble knows when you’re sleeping and automatically tracks amount of sleep, including hours of deep sleep (superb)
  • Nothing beats tactile buttons for certain applications – like controlling music, you can adjust volume, change tracks without looking at the watch (same can not be said for Wear, or the Apple Watch)
  • Pebbles don’t glow in the dark and cause distraction – personal preference may vary here, but I prefer the Pebble approach which says I’m easy to read with light, but in the dark, shake your wrist for backlight. Wear is the opposite: harder to read during the day (but on some models not bad), and at night requires “theatre” mode to be activated to turn off the glowing face
  • Fast charging!

Plus: Custom Vibrations

This update must’ve snuck past me. But I recently discovered you can change the type of vibration you get on your Pebble when a notification comes in. Kind of handy if you don’t like the default buzzzz.

Here’s how to do it.

Customize Vibration Type on a Pebble Smartwatch

  • On your Pebble watch, go to settings (click middle right button, scroll to the top)
  • Then, scroll down and click “Vibrations
  • You can chose a vibration type for each category: Notifications, Incoming Calls, Alarms
  • Choices include: Standard – Low, Standard – High, Pulse, Nudge Nudge, Jackhammer, Mario (ha!), Disabled

There’s some great options here. Because you specify a different vibration type for notifications vs. an incoming call vs. an alarm, you can instantly identify what’s coming in, and act accordingly.

It’s a small thing, to be sure, but it’s one of an ongoing list of little things that Pebble gets right.

MORE: Pebble Smartwatch: One of its best features is one I didn’t know I needed

It’s clear, this is a company that understands the importance of simplicity, yet can offer its customers deep functionality in an approachable (and fun) manner.

With Pebble smartwatches dropping in price, I highly recommend — as I have since the original Pebble began shipping in 2013 — looking for one at a steep discount and marveling at how much useful consumer technology can be packed into such an innocuous looking device.

Clinton Stark
Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear