Pebble has just updated its smart watch, complete with a much-improved interface and new watchfaces. But the exciting thing here is the addition of a game you likely remember from the days when your cell phone’s screen wasn’t much different from the Pebble’s itself – Snake.
The interface changes include a menu that now puts your selected watchface at the end of a sequence of pushes of the back button no matter where you are, and the up and down buttons on the right-hand side now switch between watch faces, so you don’t have to dig through a menu to find them. Pebble also revealed in a Kickstarter update last week that it has made improvements behind the scenes to improve the text rendering engine with this firmware, laying the groundwork for its upcoming SDK.
Pebble has also improved ambient light detection on the smart watch, which is good news since the auto-backlighting feature has been one of the device’s major flaws since launch. Hard to tell so far just how much of an improvement firmware 1.9 provides in that area, but it would be hard not to improve at this point.
The Snake game is the highlight of the show, since it’s our first hint of how apps other than watches might work on the Pebble. Controls are fiddly as you might expect, but it is most definitely Snake, running on your wrist, and it’s meant more as a tech demo of what kind of limited capabilities will be available to developers in the first version of the SDK. I’m not likely to sink great hunks of time into playing it, but I’m glad it’s there. The Snake game sits in the Pebble’s main menu, and installs from the Watchfaces section of the iOS/Android app, so it’s clear the company will have to do yet more interface optimization when it’s ready to ship a proper app library.