Smartwatch maker Pebble last night announced a new feature coming to the Pebble Time, Pebble Time Steel, and Pebble Time Round line of smartwatches that will allow users to send abbreviated text messages to friends and family through iOS (via Engadget). Called "Text Reply for iOS," the beta feature will mark Pebble as the first non-Apple Watch smartwatch to introduce voice and text replies linked with an iPhone.
If eligible, the company says that the feature will allow users to send voice messages and "pre-defined" text messages to other iPhone users. Currently limited exclusively to AT&T customers, Pebble mentioned that it's working to expand carrier support for the feature in the future, but gave those who can currently take advantage of the system a detailed step-by-step list of instructions.
To get started with iOS Text Reply, follow these steps:
-Update your Pebble Time iPhone app to version 3.4 or higher.
-After updating the iPhone app, update your Pebble Time’s firmware to version 3.7 or higher. Select Menu » Support » Update Your Pebble if you aren’t prompted automatically.
-From the iOS app, navigate to Menu » Settings » Actionable Notifications to set up Text Replies for the first time.
-Follow the setup instructions.
-After successful setup, notifications received from the Messages app will have the option to reply with voice or a list of pre-defined responses.
-Note: Successfully sent Pebble replies will NOT appear in the iOS Messages app. The reply is sent as an SMS through AT&T directly, and not the Messages app.
There are some limits to its functionality, however. Pebble Time owners who want to get in on iOS messaging -- and eventually use the full-featured Text Reply system -- must be on a postpaid AT&T data plan. Once activated, the feature sends replies from the Pebble "through your wireless carrier," meaning that the Pebble user's side of the conversation won't appear in Apple's threaded iOS Messages app. The replies are also sent as SMS messages, not Apple's traditional iMessage alternative, so some possible carrier charges may be applied.
Check out Pebble's full Q&A on the new Text Reply for iOS feature to learn about more of its functionalities.