25
May
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The Pebble Smartwatch's utility was somewhat limited when it launched, thanks to an API that only supported notifications and data going from your phone to the watch, not the other way around. The last update to the API fixed that, and now Pebble has at least some degree of control over a connected phone. Pebble Phone Ringer Switcher from noted developer Faruq Rasid is the first Pebble app we've seen take advantage of this, at least on the Play Store. It's a simple little watch app that allows the user to switch between normal, vibrate, and silent ringer modes.

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To get it working, make sure that your Pebble is awake and connected via Bluetooth, and you've got the official Pebble app installed and set up. Then download Pebble Phone Ringer Switcher from the Play Store, open it, and tap the button marked "install PBW" (the Pebble's version of an APK file). The new app should appear in the list on your watch. Select it, and use the up, down, and select buttons to switch between ringer modes without ever touching your phone. Unfortunately, you'll need to keep the Ringer Switcher app installed on your phone to keep the functionality - the PBW alone isn't enough.

This sort of functionality should be easy to apply to most of the "power toggle" states in Android - WiFi, data, orientation switching, tethering, et cetera - so I hope these types of apps start popping up more often. By the way, if you're a Pebble owner wondering where all the watch faces and apps are, be sure to check out the unofficial repositories at mypebblefaces.com and allpebble.com. Select the Install Untrusted Apps option in the Settings menu of the official Pebble app, and you're good to go.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Daniel

    Try out this if you'd like a lot of control over your phone from your watch (and also have tasker): https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kodek.pebbletasker

    • abqnm

      Looks good. I am going to have to try this when I get mine.

      • Joey

        Another tip of the hat to PebbleTasker for me. Works great to automate just about anything you can do from Tasker. Have mine setup to Turn on/off house lights, call me (using https://ifttt.com) to "escape" if need be, ID music playing using SoundHound, and text the last person that called with a pre-programmed message all without having to take my phone from my pocket.

  • Mehmet Fatih

    Now I found a solid reason for buying smart watches..

  • firethorn

    Nice, but now I am really going to need more than 8 app/watchface slots soon. It's getting harder and harder to decide which installed .pbw has to go whenever something new and cool pops up.

  • http://www.tohodo.com/ 10basetom

    So does this mean every new app for the Pebble will require a host app always running on the phone as well? That doesn't sound too good.

    • Sendbeer

      I have to agree. Hopefully pebble addresses this and has the Pebble app function as a conduit to the weather and things like this in the future.

  • Andrea Nasuelli

    I would greatly benefit from an Android wrist-phone with a proper SIM slot, therefore with GSM+3G connectivity, and capable of tethering data to my Tablet. Does something like that exists? =)

  • Firelight

    I have to disagree. I was a dedicated wristwatch person for years. Somewhere along the way my OCD took over and I stopped wearing one - especially since the phone functioned as my clock/watch. I hate having things in my pocket (even keys or wallet), on my wrist, around my neck or on my head.

    Then came the Pebble. The functionality of being in a meeting at work - I can somewhat discreetly check a text or email to see if it is important & I'm able to auto-text a caller (using the Glance app) that I can't talk right now -- has been very useful.

    I feel naked without it now ... but it's not perfect. I get weird screen artifacts too much for my liking. The "oily' screen does bug me sometimes. And the band was crap (since replaced).

    Favorite super-geek-app moment: with Glance & Tasker I can put my phone in the car holder on my windshield and remotely take photos of the road in front of me. Or the inside of the car to catch my kids when they're being goofy. That's both fun & useful enough for me to keep on keepin' on wearing it.

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