Pebble for “First-Time” Developers

By: Archel Taneka & Hansvin Tandi Sugata

Picture2 Have you ever thought about build and develop your own app? You might think that building and developing an app is difficult for beginners who can even barely shout “Hello World” to the console. But shame on that! We programmers are not bounded by limits, beginners can also build an app. To be honest, I am currently in the 1st semester. I am aware that my programming skills are not that high, but I am interested in building and developing app at the first time. So, why don’t you try it yourself? It’s not that hard, you just need extra time, hard work, and your friends will be caught by surprised that you can build your own app! Maybe you haven’t heard about Pebble? To put it simply, a smartwatch, and for instance you want to build your own interface? Pebble has its own SDK.

As I’ve said before, Pebble has its own SDK. Either you can download it here, or make it using CloudPebble (Click this link to proceed to CloudPebble). You must be wondering, which one is better? Well, the SDK can only be downloaded for Mac users, there are no supported Pebble SDK working on Windows. So, CloudPebble is highly recommended for Windows users. For me, I used CloudPebble. Just sign up an account and you can start working. Both SDK and CloudPebble uses C or Javascript for the programming language. So, that’s why I said that building this app is possible for beginners, because most of them learnt C language in the 1st year university. How about the Javascript? If you passed the course for C programming, then learn about Javascript is a piece of cake. All programming language share the same logic, except the syntax. So, you just need to learn how the syntax works for JS. Alright then, all you need to do is a unit of Pebble smartwatch, it costs about 3 million Rupiah. You can ask your friends to build the app together, so you can split the cost together also. You will also have to download the Pebble app to your smartphone for connecting between your smartphone and the watch through Bluetooth. If you cannot afford it, don’t worry, inside the SDK and CloudPebble itself, there is an emulator included.

Try to type a bunch of codes, and let’s see if you can put a simple hello world inside there. Don’t worry, there are tutorials about building your own app. Apart from that, explore it on your own. As you go on with your exploration, maybe you are stuck and you can’t go any further with the development. As the one of the developer, I can draw a conclusion on what the drawbacks that Pebble has, and maybe this is why you’re stuck as well. Here’s the thing that you should take note:

 

  1. Watchfaces, Stopwatch, and Timer utilities are only working if Pebble is connected to the smartphone.

Picture3Yes, it only works if we connect the watch to the smartphone with Bluetooth. For the watchfaces, there are 3 default watchfaces that you can use from the watch itself. What is watchface? Don’t worry, you will know it if you take the tutorial on how to build this app. Briefly, watchface is for the current ‘standby’ display on your watch. How is it connected to your smartphone? Before you build and run your code, you will choose on how will you run it, on emulator or phone? If you choose emulator, then your work will be displayed on the emulator. If you choose phone, then you will connect your watch to the smartphone.

  1. No WIFI available on the watch.

Picture4I think this is the most crucial part, am I right? The key into the digital world is WIFI. No life without WIFI, you feel like you’re an anti-social people without it, but believe it or not Pebble doesn’t have WIFI utilities. So, how does it connect to your social media such as Whatsapp, Line, and such? Well, the answer is back to your smartphone. Everything is connected through the Blutetooth, so when you got a message, it also pops up on your watch. Receiving a message doesn’t mean that replying or sending a message through the watch is possible, keep in mind that the watch is like a reminder, because we always keep our phone in our pocket and the watch attached to our arms.

Well, that’s pretty much it. For me, developing this kind of app is suitable for beginners, who love to make and develop an app and it’s doable. But once again, it depends on how you put your effort through the process of building and developing. Do it on your own pace, and remember: All great apps and programs, came from little things.

Happy coding!

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