"Pebble is the first watch built for the 21st century. It's infinitely customizable, with beautiful downloadable watchfaces and useful internet-connected apps."
Pebble Hike is an app for the Pebble smart-watch that will help hikers, walkers, fell-runners, mountain-bikers and all lovers of the great outdoors find their way around and is particularly useful for those that take Ordnance Survey maps out with them. We use the iPhone's GPS to calculate a precise position and then wirelessly transmit and display this information onto the Pebble's display where it can help you find out where you are.
As we explained in our blog post here, whilst modern smart-phones have come a long way, and with many great navigation apps out there, they have genuinely become a useful aid to the modern hiker, there are still drawbacks re: battery life, the weather (do you really want your shiny new iPhone 5 getting rained on whilst you work out where you are?) and safety issues also. We hope that by taking some of the workload off the phone (which you can now keep safely in a backpack or pocket) and just displaying the pertinent information on a safe, waterproof device with a great battery life such as the Pebble then you get all the advantages of this modern technology, yet with none of the drawbacks or risks.
Then download and install the Pebble App onto your watch. To do this open the PebbleHike.pbw on your iPhone, where you wil be prompted to "Open in 'Pebble'" :
The official Pebble app will then open and confirm you want to install it on your watch :
Choose one of the "Install and..." options (either is fine) and the app will proceed to install :
and it will then be installed :
and available on your Pebble watch :
Now, start Pebble Hike on your Pebble and on your iPhone. The watch app will wait for the Pebble Hike iPhone app to start sending locations through which is indicated by the "??" markers on the grid :
To start the initial connection between the iPhone and the watch press the "Play" button on the iPhone app. The iPhone will then connect wirelessly over Bluetooth to your Pebble and then deliver location updates to the watch. Updates are only sent through when you've moved more than 3 metres in any direction. Let us know what you think about this - we think it's enough to be accurate enough to be useful, yet stops all the tiny updates being sent through frome the phone to the watch that may drain battery life.
We provide three screens of information :
- A representation of your current OS grid square with a marker showing your location within the square and, if you're moving, your approximate bearing.
- Your exact easting and northing, sheet number and altitude in metres.
- Your longitude, latitude and altitude in feet.
You cycle through the screens using the "Up" and "Down" buttons on your Pebble.
You can also pause updates directly from your Pebble by pressing the centre "Select" button which can help preserve battery life on both your iPhone and Pebble if you don't need regular updates. The watch will still be connected to the phone, but the phone will no longer be using the GPS and location updates won't be be being sent through. Just press "Select" again to restart the GPS and location updates, or "Play" on the iPhone app if it's handy.
When you've finished your walk, run or ride just press the "Stop" which turns off the GPS and closes the Bluetooth connection between the two apps.
Pebble Hike is available on the iOS App Store here :