Pebble users have been left in the dust this year as Android Wear has taken hold over the smartwatch market–and offered some functionality that Pebble and other companies haven’t yet implemented. Today, Pebble has announced that they’re taking a step toward bringing their smartwatch offerings up to par with Wear, showing off a new upcoming software update that’s going to add actionable notifications and slew of other great features.
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With the upcoming 2.3 software update, Pebble users will finally have the ability to act on their notifications as they come in, rather than just having the option to dismiss them. But Pebble is going one step further today and making their smartwatch notifications even more useful than Android Wear, adding actions that Google’s platform has yet to adopt.
For example, version 2.3 will let you reply to a Hangouts message with an Emoji:
And will let you send cash within seconds to friends who send you a Square Cash request:
Pebble says that developers aren’t going to have to do any extra work to make the magic happen: “The Pebble Android app uses actions baked into Wear-integrated apps already. If you can do it with Android Wear, you can do it with Pebble.” The update packs a bunch of other new features, as well, including auto app updates, which will push new watch faces and apps to your device while it’s idle.
Users who would like to try the upcoming 2.3 update before it’s released may do so without an invite, and Pebble says all you have to do is join the beta testing group. To test the new version, you’ll need an Android device running version 4.0 or higher.
The company closed its blog post with a quick nudge toward Apple:
Integrating Pebble with Android Wear is thanks to the open approach Google built into Android’s notification system. Openness is a value Pebble shares and appreciates. We hope more mobile operating systems follow suit so all Pebblers—no matter their smartphone choice—can take advantage of all the delightful features we introduce now, and in the future.
Full release notes below:
Pebble Android App 2.3.0 Beta Release Notes
– NEW: Android Wear Notifications. Reply and act on Android app notifications on Pebbles running Firmware v2.9 (in Beta) or higher.
– NEW: Support for Android 4.0+ devices. Pebble’s latest Android app (v2.2) previously required devices running 4.3 (Jelly Bean) or higher.
– NEW: Auto app updates. When available, updated apps and watchfaces will be installed on Pebble at times when the watch is idle (e.g. charging).
– FIXED: Issues with Whatsapp notifications
– DEVELOPERS: UTF-8 support in PebbleKit JS
– Bug fixes and stability improvements.