Eric Stewart: Running Off At The Mouth

Pebble Update: New App (1.3.0), New Firmware (1.13.0)

by Eric Stewart on Nov.12, 2013, under Cell Phones & Providers, Technology

The iOS and Firmware update to the Pebble promises expanded notifications going to the watch, but it’s a little tricky; it doesn’t update as smoothly as one would hope.  Browsing the Pebble forum will confirm this.   However, it’s not really that complicated to fix, and in case you’ve ended here first, this is what it took to get it running for me:

  1. Factory Reset your watch: go to “Settings” – “Factory Reset”.  Unfortunately, this will delete any existing watch apps, so you’ll have to reinstall them after you’re done doing this dance.
  2. Delete the existing Pebble app from your phone.
  3. Break the pairing between the watch and phone via “Settings” – “Bluetooth” – select the (i) for the pairing – “Forget This Device”
  4. Download the Pebble app from the App Store.  Run it.  Now, I did the next couple of steps before finding out I didn’t get the most up to date version (!) of the app, so you might want to check “Updates” in App Store and make sure the app is up to date.
  5. Run the Pebble app to pair the device.  At some point during the process, it will hopefully go through a firmware update on the watch (if the watch is not already at the most recent firmware version).  But there’s a caveat:
  6. At some point during the pairing process you will need to pair both the normal “Pebble XXXX” (where “XXXX” is your watch’s serial number) and “Pebble-LE XXXX”.  This is kind of crucial, as the LE pairing is for Bluetooth 4.0, and it does a couple of things, not the least of which is provide a lower power, more stable Bluetooth connection (that also unfortunately introduces a 2-5 second delay in notifications coming from the phone to the watch).
  7. Once that’s done, I would suggest rebooting the phone.  Notifications didn’t work properly until I did this.
  8. Phone and SMS notifications continue to work as normal; however, to get additional apps to send notifications to the watch, on the phone, go into “Settings” – “Notification Center” – Scroll down to “Include”.  For a given app that you would like notifications to go to the watch, go into the app’s notification settings:
    1. Switch “Alert Style” to “Banners”, and
    2. Switch “Show on Lock Screen” on.
    3. Under “Alerts”, “Show in Notification Center” should be on.

That should do it.  You do not need (I think) “Alerts” to show in “Notification Center”.  As you can see from the inclusion of #3 above, I’m leaning towards this being a requirement as well.  YMMV.

Now – minor critique(s):

I can deal with the delay, and I must say not only does the Bluetooth seem more stable, but the issue I was having with pulling information from my Fitbit One seems to have cleared up.  But I kind of wish that they had changed the “Alert Style” to “Alerts” instead of “Banners”.  I typically use Banners for stuff that I don’t need audio or vibration notifications for; they’re less intrusive, I use them for a “Hey that’s interesting” kind of thing while I’m looking at my phone.  “Alerts” are a bit more intrusive, and for my personal usage methods, more appropriate for going to the watch.

But, as I understand it, they will be expanding the methods and configuration options in the future, so, for now, this is good enough.

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