As of right now, the Pebble smartwatch is not officially supported on BlackBerry 10. So, why bother looking at getting one if you are a BlackBerry smartphone user? Well, even if it is not officially supported, that hasn't stopped developers from creating third party apps for BlackBerry 10 for use with the Pebble watch.
While a couple have come and gone, there is one that stands out and makes the Pebble watch a joy to use with a BlackBerry. If you're a BlackBerry 10 user and you're thinking about getting a Pebble, let's take a look at using the Pebble smartwatch with your BlackBerry 10 device.
When you first get your Pebble watch, there is some setting up to do. If you don't have an Android or iPhone on hand, you will have to sideload the Android Pebble app onto your BlackBerry 10 smartphone. You will need to be running BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 for it to work properly though — anything lower does not allow the use of Bluetooth with Android apps.
To turn on the Pebble you can plug in the charger or just press and hold any button for two seconds. The first time you turn it on it will prompt you to install and run the Pebble app. As mentioned already, this can be done using an Android or iOS device (even a borrowed one) or you'll need to sideload the Android Pebble app. Since you have to have OS 10.2.1 running, installing it will be easy as you can do it directly if you have the .APK file.
Once installed, make sure you have Bluetooth turned on (although opening the Pebble app will turn it on), then open up the Pebble app and tap Get Started. It will start the search for your Pebble watch. Once found it should say Found a Pebble and show the Pebble name is has found. It will normally say Pebble XXXX, with the XXXX being the last characters of your Pebble serial number. Tap the Pebble name to connect to it. Accept the pairing request if the numbers match. You'll get a success message once the connection has been made. You will be asked to enable Accessibility Services, just go ahead and tap Enable to get to the next screen. Tapping Enable will open up the settings but there are no options for you to change so you can close the Settings. That's you set up with your Pebble.
You can install watch faces onto your Pebble watch using the Pebble app too. There are many places to find watch faces online and even a site where you can generate your own. When you have found one you like, just save the watch face to your device memory or SD card. Then launch the Pebble app and connect your Pebble watch to your BlackBerry device. Navigate to the saved watch face file and tap it, the Pebble app should then install the watch face to your Pebble watch.
There are a few BlackBerry 10 native app options out there, two of which can be found in BlackBerry World, while one is in beta, though that hasn't been updated for months. Your best bet on BlackBerry 10 is Talk2Watch. It is very feature rich and future developments are definitely going to make it a kickass app - promise. I am getting sneak peeks into its development and I am loving it more and more. We could even see a headless version soon.
Since its first incarnation, Talk2Watch has received an update that brings a lot more function via the use of scripts which can be activated using predefined button combinations. It is very feature rich and the developer is finding lots of ways to improve the app constantly to bring a great experience to the Pebble with a BlackBerry 10 smartphone. This is the app we'll be taking a look at today.
- increase/decrease volume, play/pause (single button press)
- previous/next track, start/stop (double button press)
- Phone calls (limitation: cannot display information about the callers id and number)
- Calendar events
- TCP/UDP messages
- Facebook: receive chat messages (with optional friend filter)
- Twitter: receive direct messages and tweets
- Invocation Use the app as an easy interface for sending messages to the watch from your own applications
- RSSI Warnings The device will check the signal strength to the watch and will send a warning if it drops below a (selectable) minimal value. This can be seen as a warning that you might have forgotten your phone somewhere
- TCP/UDP Scripts - use the buttons of the music app on the watch to generate a trigger sequence which will then run a previously defined script sending commands to a server - use case: automation
As you can see from that list, there are lots of features. The use of scripts also allows you to check into Foursquare. You can request the current weather status with the use of scripts, too. Also present with Talk2Watch is a sports app function, which can currently track your the total distance (in km or miles) and your speed or pace.
Talk2Watch gives you the choice of turning off notifications for certain things if you do not wish to be alerted for them. All you have to do is tap the icon of the notification. You will know whether or not a notification is on by the icon color. If it is plain, it is off. Swiping down from each icon will give you options for each notification. Like with Twitter you can choose whether to be notified when you have a Tweet, mention or direct message, or just select all if that's what you want.
I briefly mentioned that you can check into Foursquare venues from the Pebble watch. This is a great feature. While it won't be as fully featured as you would get officially in the upcoming Pebble 2.0 update, it certainly is a nice touch. To make it work to have to set up a 'trigger' using scripts. Don't worry, it's nothing too difficult. To create a script just hit up 'Scripts' along the bottom bar, then tap 'New'. Give your script a title, then set up your trigger. The trigger is a button combination. The trigger needs to be at least a 3 button combination, like 000, 222 or 001. 0 is the top button (up volume), 1 is the middle button (play/pause) and 2 is the bottom button (down volume). Once you have set your trigger, select the 'Action' from the drop down menu. Then tap 'Save'.
In order to use a trigger, you need to be in the Music part of the Pebble watch, from there press your trigger and the action should be called. For Foursquare there are a few scripts that you can create, one for requesting venues within a 1000 meter radius, one for checking into a venue (it will check-in to the nearest venue found when you request) and one for getting venue tips.
Other things scripts can be used for is to get a weather update and to turn on/off the sport function. There are other scripts that can be created for TCP/UDP, if you know what you're doing.
All-in-all, Talk2Watch is the best and really, the only good app available on BlackBerry 10 right now. It will only get better, I am really excited for it. Check out the video for a walkthrough of Talk2Watch and dealing with scripts. Talk2Watch is available for all BlackBerry 10 devices running 10.2 and above.
You cannot use both the Pebble app and Talk2Watch at the same time. Be sure to disconnect the watch from either app before closing and opening the other.
A small side note. At the time of writing, Twitter notifications have stopped working. This is due to Twitter recently changing some of their APIs. An update will be pushed out to fix this.