Can a grown-up company return to the kiddie pool of Kickstarter funding to help with its new product? Of course it can - this is how development works now! This morning the makers of Pebble announced Pebble Time, the company's second generation of Pebble hardware, launching exclusively through a Kickstarter funding campaign (like the record-breaking original two years ago). The company hit its modest $500,000 goal less than half an hour after posting the page.
Pebble's website is currently home to a big countdown clock that is tracking the hours between now and 10AM EST tomorrow, February 24th. At that time, the company is expected to unveil information about new hardware and software.
Today we've caught a glimpse of both. The company briefly hosted this image on its servers before taking it back down.
The image shows a black, rounder Pebble with a color display. The four buttons used to navigate the on-screen interface—one on the left and three on the right—remain present on this updated model.
The Pebble continues to chug along even with Android Wear garnering most of the limelight among the Android faithful. Today's Pebble update adds a few new features, some borrowed from Wear, and some that improve on it. You'll need the recently released v2.9 firmware and the just released app (v2.3), but it's quick to update.
Big tech companies are hesitant to admit when a competing platform offers something that they don't. But the folks at Pebble are more than ready to take advantage of the functionality introduced by Android Wear. The team has pushed out a beta that lets the Pebble not only interact with notifications, but respond to them in a manner akin to an Android Wear watch.
Instead of swiping from the right repetitively to access various options (as you would with Android Wear), Pebble lets you access different options using the three physical buttons available on the side of the watch.
For Android users, the Pebble Steel sits in a somewhat precarious position. It has the build quality of a designer watch, but it has the screen of something from what increasingly feels like a bygone era. The end result is something that looks premium and not-so-much at the same time, especially when lined up against its shinier Android Wear competitors on the store shelf.
But the Pebble Steel isn't a bad purchase, and Best Buy's currently willing to make it a better one.
The Pebble folks have announced a big update to the smartwatch that many wearers have been waiting a long time for. With version 2.1 of the Android companion app, users can receive notifications from any app they have on their device, rather than a few preset options, without having to turn to a third-party solution. People will have the ability to receive all notifications or select specific apps.
The update is only available to 10% of users today, but it will gradually roll out to more people running Android 4.3 or higher.
The Pebble used to be arguably the best smartwatch in the game, and if your primary concern is battery life or you want a ton of apps to play with right now, then it's still your best bet. But the competition has upped its game, and the black and white display of the Pebble Steel looks like a hard sell next to the colorful, circular one of the Moto 360.
The Pebble team is continuing to pump life into their monochromatic smartwatch, and it's now rolling out an update that toggles on a few new features. Version 2.5 of the Pebble firmware brings support for emoji, enables compass functionality, and introduces iOS 8 compatibility (one of the items on this change log impacts us less than the others). Just like the previous updates, you get the goods by firing up the Android app and making sure it's paired with your watch.
Smartwatches aren't good at a number of things, but one area where they really shine is the delivery of notifications: email, texts, you name it. Now ESPN has launched a Pebble app that adds another type of information to peoples' wrists - sports scores. This way fans and fanatics alike can keep up with the action without having to bother whipping out their phones and hunting for the app. Instead they can look down at their watches and explain to confused onlookers why they're suddenly cheering.
Long before Android Wear first appeared and made the Pebble's black and white display look relatively antiquated, the latter's physical design already left plenty of room for improvement. The newer $250 Pebble Steel spiced things up quite a bit, but until now, the original $150 plastic model has remained untouched. Well today the company has announced three limited edition colors to breathe fresh, new life into its intelligent wristwatch.
These three new shades - Fly Blue, Fresh Green, and Hot Pink - stand in sharp contrast to the pre-existing black, gray, orange, red, and white options.