Pebble Text Reply for iOS iPhone screenshot 001

Pebble today announced a new messaging feature for iOS users designed to make it possible to send text messages through a carrier.

Dubbed Text Reply for iOS, this feature is in beta and available on the Pebble Time, Pebble Time Steel and Pebble Time Round family of smartwatches.

In addition, Text Reply for iOS is currently an AT&T exclusive though Pebble says it’s working on bringing this capability to Pebble fans on other carriers.

“Pebble is excited to introduce Text Reply for iOS, a beta feature making us the first non-Apple smartwatch to bring voice and text replies to our iPhone users,” notes the company. This feature allows you to respond to incoming items with a voice reply or canned text replies from the iOS Messages app.

Any text reply gets sent as an SMS through AT&T directly, and not the Messages app. As a result, sent text replies do not appear in Apple’s Messages app on your iPhone.

You need a postpaid AT&T data plan to take advantage of Text Reply for iOS.

Here’s how to get started:

  • 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.

“We are working to enable additional carriers and services to provide actionable notifications to more and more iPhone users,” said Pebble.

In addition to support for Text Reply, the freshly updated Pebble Time 3.4 iPhone companion app includes better support for the Pebble Time Round smartwatches and Pebble Time 3.6 and older firmwares, as well as bug fixes and stability improvements.

More information about Text Reply for iOS is available in this FAQ.

Source: Pebble

  • I feel like this is too much of a work around.

    • Agreed. Due to the limitations of iOS third party smart watches will never be as good as the Apple Watch.

      • I even own an OG pebble and this just seems too complicated and really should be on the list of things that can be done but shouldn’t be done.

      • kitkatkaity

        I don’t see why’d you say that. I just did it using my Pebble Time Steel with my iPhone 5s and it worked perfectly. Of course, I’ll have to check later to see how the texts are appearing to the people I’m texting, and as of right now you can only respond to text notifications and not initiate one from your watch or go back to old text messages in your notification queue to send texts, but hey this is a big win! We’re circumventing Apple’s proprietary stranglehold and it feels good.

      • I agree with you that it’s a step forward in getting around apple’s closed pen. I just have one question. Do you have to pay for another plan for this or does it use your current plan already? I thought that you needed a separate plan for this which is ridiculous to me.

      • kitkatkaity

        No, you don’t need another plan. All that’s required is that you have a phone plan with AT&T (not one of those no-contract, prepaid phones). That’s it. The verification process is simple too. It literally took me less than a minute to set this up. Technology is amazing.

      • Oh wow that is nice then. I guess I didn’t understand it fully. Too bad I don’t have AT&T and a Pebble Time otherwise I would totally do that

  • Martynet

    I got really excited, before I read the article and found out how it works.