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Pebble 4.0 smartwatch update revamps Health app and quick launcher

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Pebble, the venerable startup behind beautiful wearables like the Pebble Core, Time 2 Round, and Time 2, have been historically stellar when it comes to software updates. The last round added the ability to mute app notifications and mute languages, for instance, and the release before introduced a battery-saving standby and alarm-blocking Quiet Mode. Today’s new firmware, though, is a bit more substantial: Software version 4.0 adds “quick launch” access to apps you’ve designated as favorites, a streamlined and simplified health app, and email actions for iOS users.

Perhaps the most significant upgrade comes in the form of a new Health app that Pebble described as “easier,” “faster”, and “more informative” than its predecessor. Pressing up from your Pebble’s watch face surfaces a daily summary of the number of steps you’ve taken and the quality of your most recent sleep session, while pressing right dives deeper — you can view trends over the course of weeks, or compare a single day’s metrics with those of another. Pebble said it’s improved the companion Health app for iPhone and Android, too, with graphs “clearer” and “easier” to read.


The second big enhancement is a new launcher menu that’s “all about speed,” to piggyback on Pebble’s turn of phrase. It sports a “banner design” that exposes more items in a single view than the old layout, and features what Pebble calls App Glances, or little windows that show info from a given app before you open it. The new launcher features go hand in hand with firmware 4.0’s revamped Timeline interface. Pressing down on the watch face breaks down upcoming calendar appointments and reminders from the watch — you glance at events up to three days ahead

The final big add is email actions for iOS, or shortcuts that make performing certain email tasks a lot quicker than they otherwise might be. They’re not new, exactly — they’ve been supported on Android for a while, and in beta for a lucky few iOS Pebble users over the past few months — but they’re making a public debut in firmware 4.0. With email actions enabled, you can delete incoming emails, archive old messages, mark emails as read, reply to an email thread, or star individual messages. And perhaps better yet, you can respond to emails with custom, canned responses that you’ve set up ahead of time, or voice dictate replies.


Those aren’t the only improvements. New transition animations are in tow, as are unspecified performance enhancements. The companion Pebble app for Android and iOS has gotten a fresh coat of paint, specifically in the form of revamped menus and new layouts. And now, reordering changes made on a paired Pebble watch sync automatically to the companion app.

The update’s hitting the Pebble time, Pebble Time Steel, Pebble Time Round, and will support the upcoming Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 when they hit store shelves later this year.

On iOS and Android, ensuring you’ve received the update is as simple as opening the companion Pebble app on your smartphone, popping into the settings menu, tapping Support, and checking the software version number listed. If you run into problems, Pebble’s posted a handy troubleshooting guide on its support site.


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