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The best Android apps for your Pebble

I have owned a Pebble smartwatch for about two months now and I've really enjoyed the experience so far. The Pebble is a new type of device and I think it’s possible some people aren’t sure how to use it to its full potential. To get the most out of it, all you need are a few different apps.

Email on my wrist?

A wrist-top notification center isn’t something most people think they want. That’s what the Pebble smartwatch can be described best as, a place on your wrist where you get small bits of information throughout the day from your smartphone. Not only can it do that, but you also have the ability to control the music playing from your phone remotely. Just leave your phone on the other side of the room connected to your sound-system while you skip, pause and go back to previous songs. If you’re interested in using your Pebble to its full potential, then all you’ll need is an app or two.



The first Pebble app is also named Pebble. Pebble (the app) comes from the guys behind this smartwatch. This app allows you to manage your email, SMS, phone call, calendar notifications, and music playback settings for the Pebble. The app is pretty straightforward but the greatest power it has is the ability to install new and different apps and watch faces for the Pebble. If you really want to delve in deeper with your Pebble smartwatch then you’ll need to take advantage of some third-party apps.

Light Flow

You may already have this app even if you don’t own a Pebble. Light Flow allows you customize which apps you want push notifications from, and how you want to be alerted. You can change up the LED color, blink rate, what sounds your phone emits, vibration settings and how often you want these repeated. All of these settings are completely customizable. What makes Light Flow stand out is that in an update some time ago they added support for the Pebble, which means you can send notifications from almost any app to your wrist, not just the ones that the Pebble app supports. What I like most about this app is how thorough it is with app notifications. If your phone has Google Now then you know that there are multiple cards it displays to you throughout the day, weather being one of them. Using Light Flow you can have your Pebble notify you about only the weather card and not all cards.


Pebble Notifier

Let’s say that you like the idea of Light Flow but you want something a bit more simple. Pebble Notifier should interest you. It’s another app that allows you to choose which apps can send your smartwatch notifications. It’s a lot more simple than Light Flow and has more variety than Pebble (the app). When you go into the app all you’ll see is a long list of apps on your device with checkboxes next to them. All you have to do to get notifications from these apps is check the box next to the app, go into the menu and hit save. Pebble Notifier also has the ability to push notifications with a bit more detail than Light Flow.


Pushover & IFTTT

Lifehacker has already covered a way to create a Smart Notification Center for your phone and they did that using Pushover and IFTTT. Pushover is an app that allows you to receive notifications from a variety of sources. Pushover also has Pebble integration so you can get notified on your Pebble without using Light Flow or Pebble Notifier. You can get notifications from many different services like Sick Beard, Growl, Github and, more importantly, from IFTTT. IFTTT is the web app that allows you make certain things happen when other certain things happen. Basically, if THIS happens then THAT happens. One way I’m using it is to monitor the Hackerspace blog. IFTTT monitors the RSS feed for the site, then every time a new post is put up I’m alerted through Pushover and that notification includes the title and link to the new post. The pairing of these two apps allows you to get notifications from places besides just your phone.


Honorable Mentions

Light Flow, Pebble (the app) and Pebble Notifier don’t offer much in the way of customizing your Pebble’s appearance so I thought I would include two resources you can check out that aren’t Android apps. The first is the Watchface-Generator. This web app lets you create your own watchface although it is a bit limited. You can only display the time and date with four different fonts to pick from and with custom alignment. It’s a good replacement for those of us who don’t really know their way around the Pebble SDK. You’ll also want to check out My Pebble Faces, the site where people who do know their way around the SDK can share what they’ve created or show off some concepts. These watchfaces are all free to download and use on your smartwatch and allow you some more variety than the ones available in the Pebble app right now.


By using these apps and doing a little bit of work you’ll have a fine tuned notification center right on your wrist. No need to check your phone anymore until you know it’s something important. How many of you already have a Pebble, or have been thinking about getting one? What are the best ways you’ve learned to use it if you’ve already got one? Let us know in the comments!

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