What you need to know about voice dictation on Pebble Time

Pebble's latest smartwatch, the Pebble Time, offers voice capabilities, but there's an important detail you need to know.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read

Pebble Time voice reply interface. Jason Cipriani/CNET

It's time for Pebble to begin shipping the fruit of its second successful Kickstarter campaign, the Pebble Time.

The new smartwatch offers a color screen, a redesigned casing, a new operating system and, for the first time, a built-in microphone.

A microphone makes it possible to give voice commands or reply to messages without having to pick up your phone.

While the former feature hasn't made its way to Pebble Time, one would think the company is working on something similar to Google Now or Siri for the new lineup.

The ability to reply to messages is possible, but there's a catch -- it's only available when the Pebble Time is paired with an Android device. This is due to limitations Apple puts on what can and can't be done by third-party developers with iOS. To its credit, Pebble is working on a workaround to bring voice replies to iOS, but it's specific to the Gmail app and not ready for release quite yet.

When using the feature on Android, it works as you'd expect. After receiving a message, a press on the select button will bring up the option to reply to the message. A subsequent menu will give you three options: voice, template or emoji.

Selecting voice will load a microphone icon, with the label "listening" just below it. After dictating your message, either press the select button or wait a few seconds for the watch to begin transcribing the message.

A few seconds later, the transcribed text shows up on the watch ready to be sent by once again pressing the select button.

It's a shame Apple doesn't allow for something like Pebble Time to integrate with its core apps, so instead the company is forced to create workarounds which take more time and are prone to breaking at some point along the way. As for those Android Pebble Time users, enjoy the added functionality on your wrist.