Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Pebble in the hand of a fool. Pebble Smartwatch that is.

"A fine quotation is a diamond in the hand of a man of wit
and a pebble in the hand of a fool"   -Joseph Roux


I was trying to hold out until Apple launched their own smartwatch but the more I read about the Pebble, the more I wanted it.  Stop at your Local Best Buy or go to GetPebble.com

Why? Because it's simple and affordable at $150, and occasionally offered at $130.00. As I am typing, Best Buy has them today December 15, 2013 for $119.99. 


First impression out of the box, oh, it's a watch.  It's plastic shell and silicone band were less than impressive and perfectly plain.  This watch is also waterproof to 5ATM/50m, or in English, about 165 feet. I dig the uncomplicated design. The 22mm lug silicone band had to go though,  I replaced it immediately with a leather one from my local Walmart.

Second thought was, now what?  

I'll walk you through the setup, some Apps and provide some tips that really make the Pebble shine.  

I put it on charge for a bit while I started to browse the iTunes App Store and Google other options via the Jailbreak community via Cydia. 

If you are on iOS 7, download these apps and you can speed read the next few paragraphs....if you are iOS 6, keep reading before downloading. 

MUST HAVE APPS:

the Pebble App           MyPebbleFaces          SmartWatch+             httpebble
                                                   $2.99
 

If you are Jailbroken on iOS 6, I recommend getting Smartwatch+ from Cydia, this gives a few more advanced features, cost is $4.99 but worth it. 




iOS 6 users will have to download the Pebble and MypebbleFaces apps via iTunes on your PC first before you can download it on your iPhone.  Once downloaded to your iTunes library, you can go back to your iPhone and download the Pebble app from the cloud, allowing you to download the last compatible version for iOS 6.  The current versions of these two apps requires iOS 7.


Once you have downloaded these apps and charged your Pebble for a bit, make sure you have your bluetooth enabled on your iPhone, turn on the Pebble and pair the devices.  

Pairing should go really well, on the iPhone in settings, go to bluetooth and tap the Pebble, on the Pebble press the upper right button next to the check mark. Done.

Once connected, the Pebble app will ask to communicate with the Pebble, allow.  Mine had an update that took a few minutes.  The Pebble app will guide you through the rest of setup and show you how to enable notification in bluetooth setting and how to configure your notifications.  Remember to enable your notifications in lockscreen...



Open the Pebble app on your iPhone and there should be a green pulse icon.  All systems go.


Play around with the Pebble a bit to become familiar with navigating through menus and such.  Now you are ready to make this Pebble awesome.

The Geek stuff:

The SmartWatch+ app is a must have, especially if you are still on iOS 6.  I went with the Jailbroken version via Cydia.


This app really makes the watch for me.  Please note, the SmartWatch+ app needs to be running in the background on your iPhone to work with the Pebble.  I also had to shut down and turn my Pebble back on after installing SmartWatch.

You configure the settings in the SmartWatch+ app, then tap 'Install Watchapps, tap install SmartStatus, this will launch the Pebble app.  The Pebble app will ask you to allow the install.  Do the same to to install Smartwatch+. Done.

                   


iOS 6 Jailbroken users, get the BTNotificationEnabler free in the Cydia app.  Nothing to configure, just install it, respring, done.  The notifications are awesome.  Even had turn by turn directions sent to the pebble using Google maps recently.  Blew me away.  Again, notifications work out of the box for iOS 7.



Want your Facebook and Twitter feed?  Then check out Mybucketz.  

First, make sure you installed httpebble from the App Store.  httpebble needs to be running in the background as well for any apps that need information from the internet.  


From your iPhone, click THIS LINK TO GET STARTED.  Tapping Install will open the Pebble app and install Mybucketz to your Pebble.  You will have to create and configure an account on Mybucktez.com  Don't be intimidated, it's rather easy.  Mybucketz will get you the last ten updates on Twitter and/or Facebook.  

Install tip: once you install and run mybucktez on your Pebble, it will show your Pebble ID needed for your Mybucketz Pebble setup.

Once you have httpebble launched in the background on your iPhone and have configured and installed Mybuckets, press the middle right/select button on your Pebble and press the lower right button to navigate down to highlight 'mybucketz'.  Press the select button and the Mybuckets feed you just configured will load.  It takes about ten seconds to load.  Should look like this:

                                  

The SmartWatch+ app, httpebble, and the Mybucketz apps really bring a lot to the already awesome Pebble smartwatch.  I'm hooked.  Pebble's open platform and SDK development   will surely provide more feature rich applications and tweaks for this in the very near future.  I'm excited to see what the devs come up with.  Click here for more on the Pebble SDK.

.......And as if that wasn't enough, now on to the fun stuff!!

Watchfaces, my latest obsessively time consuming habit. 

If you downloaded the MyPebbleFaces app, just click around and install some cool faces.  The app is self explanatory, so I won't get into details.  I will warn, space is limited on the Pebble, you can simply remove a watchface using the Pebble app once you tired of it and install a new one.














Want to code your own Pebble watchfaces?  Click here to be geek of the week and follow this tutorial.



Final word: Awesome.  Not having to reach for my phone or be overly distracted and having notifications and messages right on my wrist is truly convenient.

I hope this post has helped you set your Pebble up or helped you in your decision making process of choosing a Pebble.

Remember, I'm not monetized, my opinions are just my opinions, free thought and free to you.

One more thing, it's plastic and susceptible to scratches , I ordered a screen protector from Skinomi--reviews sounded good, I'll update once I try it. CLICK HERE


And that's how Bruce T rocks a Pebble!!!

don't forget to follow @bruceTdoesIT on Twitter 






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