Get more music control on your Pebble with Music Boss for Android

Get more music control on your Pebble with Music Boss for Android
By DJ Reyes on 12 Mar 2014 02:46 pm

For music lovers who own a Pebble watch, it's great that you can control music right from your wrist. But for those who want to go a little further will need to look at third party apps. A good one that comes recommended by a lot of people is Music Boss. After loading it up and trying it out, it's definitely one we'd recommend here on Smartwatch Fans. Let's take closer look at the watch app.

Out of the box your Pebble can play/pause music, jump to the previous/next track and jump to the begin of the track being played. You also see Now Playing information displayed on your Pebble too. The ability to change volume is missing but you can get this functionality with Music Boss and more.


Getting Started

First off, you will need to get the Music Boss companion app as well as the Music Boss watch app. There are two ways to do this. If you're running the Pebble 2.0 beta app with the app store, you can search for the Music Boss watch app, from there you can install the watch app and then tap Req in the app store to get the companion app from Google Play. The second route, if you haven't dived into trying Pebble 2.0 beta, is to just head into Google Play and search for the Music Boss companion app. You can then load the watch app via the app.


Once you have those loaded up, you're ready to go. Open up the Music Boss app on your phone. You can read through the tutorial or just jump right in. If you're going through the route of installing the companion app first you can install the Music Boss watch face via the menu.


Adding music apps

What's great about Music Boss is you can add Music and Audio apps for your Pebble to control. With the default Pebble controls, you have to go and set this in the app settings. If you wanted to control another music app, you would have to manual change the setting each time. With Music Boss, just add all the music and audio apps you use and you can switch between them from the Pebble.


To add an app, just tap on Add an App. For subsequent music apps, tap the + (plus) icon on the top bar. Repeat this until you have added all the apps you want to control with your Pebble. For some music apps you need to enable the Alternate Song/Track Capture Method in order to see 'Now Playing' information. You will get a pop up telling you this if it is required. When you turn this setting on you then need to enable Notification Access for Music Boss in the main Settings. A prompt appears for you to do this.


When you've added your music and audio apps, select one that Music Boss will control by default. And you're on your way.


Music Boss Pebble Controls

Now that you have everything set up it's time to control your music. When looking at the tutorial for the controls it can seem a bit too much but once you get the hang of things, it will be come second nature. One of the reasons I looked into getting Music Boss was because you have the ability to control the music volume where natively you can’t. There’s a lot of single button pressing, double pressing, long pressing and in some cases triple pressing too.


To make things simple, single pressing the top or bottom buttons will control the music volume and single pressing the middle button will play or pause the music. For previous or next tracks, you press and hold the top or bottom buttons. If you’ve added more than one music app you can double press the middle button to scroll through them. Alternatively, you can double press the button on the left of the Pebble to bring up the Music Boss app menu and you can just choose from there rather than scrolling through them individually. Then you can press and hold the middle button to launch the selected music app.



Music Boss also has Pebble Integration options in the settings menu which you can enable or disable. You can also choose what action will be performed when you close the Music Boss watch app. For example, you can make it launch Glance for Pebble or the Canvas watch face, if you use any of them. Otherwise, it will just go back a step into the main Pebble menu. You’ll also find a whole host of other settings you can enable in the general settings area, just to make your music experience that bit better. There are lots of tutorials available to read through via the app, too. You can tell a lot of thought has gone through to making the app and to give a good user experience.


Also, there is an expansion pack available to add even more features. It’s being called the Customization Expansion Pack. It is an extra purchase over and above the regular price but the option is there if you want it.


Customization Expansion Pack features

  • Create a list of Watch App Customization Profiles for the Music Boss Watch App
  • Change the color theme (white or black)
  • Reverse the volume and skip button functions
  • Remove unwanted text from the watch app screen
  • Add gesture controls to all three of the available “flick” axises
  • Disable/Enable gesture controls right from the watch app
  • Assign watch app customization profiles to each music app

As you can see, that’s a nice list of additional features. I tried out the expansion pack as I liked the idea of the flick gestures. There are three assignments for the flick gestures. If you look at the screenshot above you'll see the three gestures you can do. The middle one is the easiest to achieve. It's how I would normally flick to turn the backlight on. The other two however are hit and miss. The one I find hardest to achieve is the last gesture where you have to flick with the watch (or your wrist, at least) perpendicular to the ground. It would sometimes carry out the side flick gesture instead. You do have to make the gestures quite solidly, keeping a firm wrist and in some ways you can end up looking quite silly trying to flick your arm around to someone not aware of what you were doing.

It could perhaps do with a little refining but making the gestures a little more sensitive may make things even more mixed up. After a while it is something you have to get used to but there are still times when another gesture gets carried out instead of the one intended. I only use the gesture controls when at home and I sometimes startle those around me with my sudden arm flick. 

The Good
  • Volume control
  • Swift music control between apps easily
The Bad
  • Flick gestures could do with a bit of refining (expansion pack version only)
The bottomline

If you want more music control from your Pebble then definitely give Music Boss a try. Also, take a look if you use multiple music or audio apps, since you can switch between them with ease. It’s simple to set up and get going. There’s extensive help too. It costs $1.99 and is available from Google Play.

Get Music Boss from Google Play

Reader comments

Get more music control on your Pebble with Music Boss for Android


I absolutely LOVE Music Boss! I connect my phone to a speaker box in my house daily, so being able to control my music with my watch on the standard app was great. Then I discovered Music Boss and couldn't be happier! Being able to control the volume is fantastic, especially when I'm on the other side of the room or cooking. Then the fact that I can also switch music apps (say from Google Music to a podcast app) makes it even better. The app is a little daunting at first with all the button presses and set up, but the tutorial is very helpful and the more you use it the quicker you memorize what each button does.

Love Music Boss. I use it at my restaurant. I plug my phone into our sound system and love having volume control.

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans App!

When I use my pebble normally with songza I can control the play/pause and forward and back just fine but it doesn't display the song title and artist. Regular music app and pocketcasts show the title and track info but it just doesn't work with songza.

If I use music boss will it display that information?

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans App!

Mine is set so when I start Poweramp on my phone it will launch Music boss on my pebble automatically. 

Closing Poweramp on my phone closes music boss on my pebble and returns to watch face. :-) 



    Pebble: music boss, tasker plugin (autotasker) 

    Phone: music boss, tasker, Poweramp. 

Once music boss and tasker is installed on both pebble and phone, make sure you have already configured music boss how you want it. 

Setup Tasker: 

1) new task ("poweramp start boss") -> plugin -> musicboss -> watchapp action  -> start music boss. 

2) New task ("Poweramp exit boss") -> plugin -> catapult -> music boss -> watchapp -> close music boss

3) new event -> application -> Poweramp -> "Poweramp start boss" 

4) new event (set to exit event) -> application -> Poweramp -> "Poweramp exit boss" 

This will work for any player that is compatible with music boss, not just Poweramp. 

It's probably something most of you are doing but if it helps one person then that's great :-) 

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans App!

Also, "event" is "profile" in tasker. Man this was hard to write and test on my phone! Oh well.

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans App!