During the Pebble Developer Retreat of 2015, I was introduced to the Pebble Time Round, and I was immediately intrigued. Not just by the round form factor and thinness, but by the thought and effort put into the interface for a circle screen. While others began building their own faces and apps in C during the hackathon portion of the retreat, I focused on helping with design and stumbling my way through learning C. It felt like really exploring making apps for the Pebble Time Round was just out of reach.
In the past, I’ve been able to use Pebble.js to explore ideas on the Pebble, but it wasn’t ready for the Round during the retreat. Since then, I’ve been keeping an eye on the Github repo for Pebble.js waiting for changes to get pushed that would allow me to fully explore some ideas on the Round. Then, a couple weeks ago, it happened. Pebble.js could now run on the Time Round.
As soon as I grabbed the source, I started with just getting something to run. I’ve been wanting a simple app that shows the day, date, weather forecast, and temperature at a glance because not all my watch faces support that, so I made that too. These examples were easy enough, but I really wanted a project to push my skills further. I came across a design for a weather app from another watch, and it seemed like it had enough complexity in the design to really challenge me, so I just started chipping away at the features to create my own variation of the app.
The design called for the current temperature, and the high and low temperature for the day in the center of the face, with the temperature and weather condition for each hour marked at each hour around the face. Additionally, there was a blue dot that indicated the hour and minute of the current time as it approaches the next hour. Looking at that design, thinking about the data, and picturing the logic to pull some of this off began to twist my mind a little, but I took it bit by bit.
I’m pretty pleased with the result given it’s my first Pebble.js app released to the world. I got a lot of great feedback and help throughout the process. I decided to call the app Currently, as in, “Currently, in Denver”, to allude to the summarized nature of the weather information displayed. It’s more of a quick glance versus a deep dive.
Aside from the design, I was also able to add some animations, which really add to the character of the app. I also put together a series of tiny icons that map to the weather service I’m using, which I’m happy to share below.
The biggest downside for the app is that people need to provide their own API key, which is not a straightforward process to obtain. Because of that, I suspect usage numbers to be low. Either way, it was a great learning experience and fun!