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Squeezing the most out of your Pebble

Hi there! It’s Will here (some of you may know me as @Will0 on Discord). In the ~6 months since our last blog post a lot has happened, both in the Pebbleverse and the real world. Yet, despite the ever-increasing gap between the Pebble shutdown and today, still new people are signing up with Rebble to bring their beloved smartwatch back to life!

On that note, there have been a number of similar questions over the last few months on Reddit and the Rebble Discord, such as ‘why do I need to use RWS’, ‘I’m struggling to get setup’, ‘What are the best apps to use in 2020?’.

In this post we’ll go over the answer to all of these, as well as cover how you can squeeze the most out of your Pebble in 2020.

Let’s start with the easy questions first…

What is RWS / Why do I need it?

RWS stands for Rebble Web Services, and is what most people mean when they say ‘Rebble’ (though Rebble encompasses more than RWS, I’ll get to that later). RWS replaces the old Pebble servers, but does not replace the app - instead, during setup, you’re telling the original Pebble app to point to Rebble servers. Without RWS you’ll have to sideload Pebble apps, and won’t get any of the other server-dependent functions. RWS provides two tiers: Free and Paid. Here’s what you get with each:

Free Tier:

How do I get setup with RWS?

Follow the guide at Do not use any ‘Rebble’ apps from the appstore, as they aren’t legitimate and probably don’t work. If you run into any issues, check the ‘common issues’ section under the howto, or ask in #rebble-help on Discord.

What doesn’t work anymore?

Since the Pebble shutdown in 2016 some small features don’t work anymore, namely:

So what can I do with my Pebble in 2020?

The sky is the limit! Most of the apps and watchfaces on the appstore still work, and more are still being published - Like swanswanswanswansosoft’s Covid-19 tracker.


Here are some great apps that still work and are useful daily:

App Description Platform
Checklist A checklist of items, for shopping etc. Both
Timer+ Pretty, animated timer Both
Alarmist Set phone alarms from your watch Android
Dashboard Control your phone from your Pebble Android
Dialer for Pebble Better call integration Android
Skunk Store and view barcodes (for reward cards etc.) Both
RSS Reader Browse and read RSS feeds Both
Snowy ($2.99) Voice assistant for Pebble Both

… some other personal favourites …

App Description Requires Voice Platform
HTTP Push Make HTTP Calls (useful for home automation) No Both
News Headlines View BBC News Headlines No Both
Solanum A pomodoro timer to help you focus No Both
Music Boss A better music app No Android
Piny Wings A fun little game No Both
Pebtris You’ll have to hum your own theme music No Both

..and some that have been released only recently:

App Description
Hand wash timer Make sure you wash your hands for long enough!
2019-Ncov Track the number of Covid-19 cases around you
RSS Reader Read the title and contents of your favourite RSS feeds
Hybrid Watchface A minimalistic watchace for Pebble Time and later
Sheikah Slate Watchface The power of the sheikah slate on your wrist!


June last year Rebble implemented timeline support. Which means you can once again push news, data, stocks, events and more to your timeline. It’s a convenient way to get information you can about available quickly but unobtrusively. As some you already know, I wrote a service that lets you hook anything from If-This-Then-That to Pebble timeline, making it easy to push data.

As an example, I push the following data to my timeline:

Data Method
BBC Breaking News IFTTT: New Tweet to Timeline
New post to /r/Pebble IFTTT: Reddit to Timeline
New RSS feed IFTTT: RSS Feed applet to Timeline
NASA Breaking News alerts IFTTT: NASA to Timeline
Monzo Debit card payments Timeline Bounce Server
New Hot item on hacker news IFTTT: Hacker News to Timeline

This keeps my timeline full of interesting stuff to read when I choose to. Only BBC breaking news creates a notification, the rest is passive and I either read it when it pops up in timeline peek or when I scroll back through timeline past (By mapping the ‘up’ quicklaunch to timeline past)

To get going with timeline you’ll need this app to generate a ‘token’ and to follow this guide or - if you prefer pictures - this guide. It helps if you’re familiar with If-This-Then-That too.

Developing New Apps

Do you know how to program in C or JavaScript? Maybe you want to learn? Developing on the Pebble is super fun and between the #app-dev channel on the Discord and the documentation there’s plenty of support still.

To get started you’ll need the SDK. For which there are now a few options:

Once you’ve got an app or a watchface you’d like to publish, you can do so through the new Rebble developer portal. This developer portal is a work in progress, but the basics are there now. Watch this space!

Some other neat tips

Here are a couple of neat Pebble tips that I’ve seen recently, that maybe you didn’t already know:

Darksky API Shutdown

You might also have seen recently that Apple have purchased Darksky, one of the most popular weather API providers for Pebble apps and faces. Apple are going to shut down the API June 2021, and have already stopped issuing new API keys. Whilst this won’t affect the Rebble weather service, watchfaces that require this API will no longer work properly from June 2021. There’s plenty of time to come up with a replacement solution though, so I’m hopeful.

What else are Rebble up to?

Work continues in the background by our trusty band of volunteers, which can be followed on Github and Discord.

So there you have it, the answer to some of the more commonly asked questions and hopefully a demonstration of just how much functionality you can get with a few apps and some timeline trickery! At some point I’d like to do a blog post of my Pebble workflow, and all the cool things I use it for, so watch 😉 this space.

Finally, if you have a question that wasn’t covered in this post, check the Common Issues section or stop by #rebble-help on Discord. If there’s one thing the Pebble community isn’t short on, it’s people willing to help!