With latest beta, Pebble gains some parity with Android Wear

One of the reasons I never bought a Pebble watch is going away. I always liked the Pebble product. I just didn’t like that I couldn’t take any actions on the notifications Pebble provides. That changes with the latest Pebble beta, announced on Tuesday: The smartwatch is gaining actionable notifications for Android devices.

Pebble square cash action

You can thank Android Wear, [company]Google[/company]’s smartwatch platform — which competes with Pebble — for this development. The Pebble team is piggybacking on Android Wear after it last month added full Android push notification support to Pebble watches, likely as a step towards today’s news. Here’s the best part for developers and consumers, according to Pebble’s blog post:

These new interactions from Pebble are amazing because Android developers do no extra work to make the magic happen. The Pebble Android app uses actions baked into Wear-integrated apps already. If you can do it with Android Wear, you can do it with Pebble.

That means the same actions found on Android Wear can work with Pebble.

Got an email on your Pebble, for example? You can reply, dismiss or archive it from your wrist, just like you can with Android Wear watches. Incoming Hangouts message? Shoot an emoji response from Pebble. Received a request from Square Cash to send some money to a pal? Press a button and the debt is paid.

To get the actionable goodness, you’ll have to sign up to participate in the beta program. Of course, you’ll need an Android phone or tablet to provide notifications too; iOS users need not apply.

Once the feature is fully tested and generally available, I could easily see some people choose a lower-priced Pebble over the currently available Android Wear devices. While you might be giving up some sensors — there’s no heart-rate monitor in the Pebble, for example — you’ll get many more days of battery life on a single charge without giving up actionable notifications.