The Pebble smart watch has been around for a while now, having broken Kickstarter records back in 2012 and eventually making its way to store shelves, but it wasn’t until this year that the developers behind it finally released a centralized app store. Pebble 2.0 is finally available for both iOS and Android, providing an easy gateway to new apps and watchfaces. Now what? Here are five Pebble apps that drill in how useful a smart watch can be. I’ll link directly to Google Play for the apps that I can, but most require you to search for them from within the Pebble app to install them.
1. Music Boss
Out of the box, a Pebble smart watch can control a single music app on your smartphone. With Music Boss, you can manage several. The app looks and functions like the default one, but by double tapping the play/pause button, you can switch between apps. This way you can alternate between your locally saved songs, podcasts, and streaming music without having to pull out your phone.
The pedometer Pebble app takes a traditional pedometer and straps it onto your wrist. Just fire up the app whenever it’s time for your evening walk or jog and look down afterwards to see how many steps you took. You can also set your own personal goal, and the watch will vibrate once you’ve successfully completed it. This app won’t replace the functionality found in a Fitbit Flex, Jawbone Up, or Nike FuelBand, but it’s more convenient than clipping a standard pedometer to your belt loop.
Watchlight takes the flash LED located on the back of your smartphone and turns it into a flashlight. Now this functionality in particular probably works better when activated from your phone directly, since you need to hold the phone in order to aim the light around, but integrating it with Pebble offers one less than obvious benefit. The next time you misplace your phone at night, give this app a tap to have it shine brightly like a beacon in the night sky.
This app does what you would expect, providing you with the forecast for your current location and giving a general idea of what kind of precipitation you can expect along with the day’s high and low temperatures. The app also offers a 5-day forecast and the ability to save a secondary city to access from afar.
The Yelp app is one of the branded apps now available following the Pebble’s update to firmware version 2.0. It’s more in-depth than most other Pebble apps, as it tries to cram much of the convenience of Yelp onto the smart watch’s tiny screen. That said, it does a good job of it. It may not be as usable as the mobile app, but having Yelp quickly accessible is great if you’re more interested in simply knowing what’s nearby than what a particular establishment’s menus and reviews are.
There you have it, five great Pebble apps. These aren’t complex pieces of software. Instead, they do what watch apps do best – reduce how often you have to reach for your phone and provide small bits of useful information on the go. You don’t need to be a techie to understand the usefulness of having the weather forecast available on a wristwatch, and that’s what makes the functionality so worthwhile. Keep an eye out, as the number of apps and what they’re capable of should only increase in the days ahead.
Image credit: Pebble smart watch home screen