For iOS users, the Pebble Smartwatch has largely existed as an exercise in frustration. While Android users can tie the Pebble Smartwatch into their smartphone’s central nervous system in all kinds of ways, the feature set of the e-ink proto-iWatch has been comparatively worse.
Case in point? Pebble Smartwatch owners who have an iPhone in their pocket couldn’t even get email notifications on the face of their watch. That’s a big deal: getting notified of new emails is seemingly one of the big things you’d want a second screen on your wrist to do. Luckily, that’s being rectified.
Fulfilling a promise they made three weeks ago, the makers of the Pebble Smartwatch have updated the device’s official app to support email notifications. Just in time, in fact! The original timeline for adding email notifications was 2-3 weeks.
Here’s how it works. Instead of plugging into iOS’s existing mail notification system, you add your Gmail or generic IMAP account info directly into the app itself. That’s it! Once a new email comes in, you’ll get a little notification squirted to your Pebble.
Better than nothing, but it appears that granularity of control leaves a lot to be desired. For example, I get thousands of emails a day, mostly from marketers and PR people. There are only a few people I care about enough to want to be alerted immediately when they send me an email. Using Pebble’s implementation, their watch would rip my hand off if it vibrated for every email I get. It needs something like iOS Mail’s VIP system, to mark some recipients as important and others as duds. But I guess something is better than nothing.