Pebble’s upcoming Android software release will introduce support for directly replying to messages and performing other actions right from the watch based on inbound notifications. The 2.3 software update effectively makes Pebble compatible with apps that have built-in support for Android Wear notifications, giving them a way to benefit from the explosion of app development interest in Google’s wearable platform while continuing to chart their own course.
The new software update and notification interactivity features will be available to Android users only, since Android Wear underpins the functionality, but it won’t require an invite for anyone wishing to participate, and instead needs only that the device paired with your Pebble is running Android 4.0 or higher. Which, keen observers will note, actually covers a wider range of devices than Android Wear’s own requirements, which puts the cut off at Android 4.3 and above.
Pebble has a growing challenge on its hands – the company was an early entrant in the smartwatch space, but with every OEM and their brother working on an Android Wear device and Apple readying its own platform for launch very soon, the idea of an independent third-party being able to compete in the space seems increasingly a rather quaint notion. Capitalizing on the opportunities made available by others entering the space is a good start, but Pebble will need to do more to maintain longterm viability.