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.