Pebble Shines On Android

I use an Android phone (see why I prefer Android). I also have a Pebble smart watch. The more I explore the possibilities with Pebble the more I appreciate the openness of Android. Before Pebble I had done a little with apps like Tasker, but Pebble took it to a whole new level.

Within the official Pebble app there are a handful of notification options and settings. The iPhone app is very similar. But there is one feature that is unique to Android: enable 3rd party notifications. By checking that box a whole new world is opened up. There are apps that let me send notifications from anything to my watch. (I use Light Flow and Pebble Notifier, in case you were curious). I can even switch the ringer settings from my watch (Pebble Phone Ringer Switcher). Perfect for making sure my ringer is off without having to pull my phone out of my pocket.

But that is just the beginning: By using Tasker a whole new level of customization is available. Tasker makes it possible to customize settings and actions for a variety of different scenarios. For example, I already use Tasker to turn on my WiFi when I get home and turn it off when I leave. But by utilizing apps that support Pebble and Tasker I can extend those customizations from my phone to my watch.

For example: with Canvas I can build my own watch faces right on my phone and send them straight to my watch. These faces can incorporate all sorts of information ranging from appointments on my calendar to the current weather, making my watch incredibly useful. But with Tasker I can automatically change which face is displaying. So when I get to my office my watch switches to show the time and my next 2 meetings. When I’m in my car it displays a much simpler face with just the time in big digits.

By using Glance not only can I see the weather and other useful information right on my phone, I can also initiate actions from my watch. Anything I can control with Tasker can be started from my watch.

That is a lot of options and there are plenty more out there, some that I’ve tried and lots that I have not. They don’t all work flawlessly, but that is the tradeoff. On iOS the options are significantly more limited, in large part because apps have very little access to each other. So where I can use a function in Glance to start an action in Tasker to change a setting in Canvas and have it all sent back to my Pebble, that isn’t possible in iOS. But when something isn’t working right in my setup, there are lots of pieces that could have gone wrong (often because I overlooked something). It is like Uncle Ben said: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

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