Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Comparing Pebble and Android Wear

A number of readers have wrote in to ask me how does Android Wear compare to Pebble. Here is a list of items that I have compiled which I hope would be useful for those of you wanting to choose a wearable platform to develop for.

Note that this is a work-in-progress and I welcome your feedbacks if any of the items listed here is inaccurate. I will update it as more information is made available. 

Android Wear


Android Wear is a modified version of the Android OS adapted for wearable devices sich as watches. The primary function of Android Wear is as an extension of your Android device – displaying notifications and allowing users to interact with the device through voice navigation on the wearable device.

The Pebble is a smart watch that allows you to write apps that run on the watch as well as on your mobile device. It displays notifications from your device.

Pebble also allows companion apps running on the mobile devices to provide additional functionalities to the apps running on the Pebble watch.
Devices such as Moto 360 and LG G watches have been announced; availability not known yet
Pebble and Pebble Steel
Manufacturer support
Motorola, LG, Asus, HTC, Samsung, and more
Interaction with users
Voice control and touch screen
Four buttons – Up, Select, Down, and Back
Device Network connectivity
Classic Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy (LE)
Classic Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy (LE)
Hardware Features
Not clear at this moment
Accelerometer, ambient light sensor, magnetometer
Standalone apps
Not available in the Developer Preview release
Yes, watchface apps and watch apps can run standalone on the watch
Companion apps on the mobile device
Android Wear devices require apps on the mobile device to send notifications to it
Companion apps on the mobile device can send notifications as well as provide additional functionalities such as Web services access, location-based services, etc
Connection to mobile device
Requires connection to a Android device
Optional; connection to a mobile device is only required for the installation of watchfaces and watch apps;
Color Screen
No, only black and white support
Touch Screen
Platform support
Android only
iOS and Android
Supports notifications
Yes. The primarily function of Android Wear is to display notifications from the Android device
Yes. Displays notifications from the iOS and Android device
Android Wear Developer Preview + Android SDK
Pebble SDK
Programming language support
C (native apps), Javascript, Objective C and Java (Pebble Mobile apps)
Smartphone compatibility
Works with Android 4.3 and above devices. At this moment, Android Wear can only connect to phone devices; but Google has announced that the Android Wear Developer Preview release will be updated to support non-phone devices as well
Works with iOS 6.0 and newer and Android 4.0 and newer devices


Amanda Moore said...

There are 3rd party apps on WP8 that work with Pebble also so another plus there.

Amanda Moore said...

There are third party apps on WP8 that work with Pebble watch.