Troubleshooting the Pebble Time

Pebble Time with Michael

Factory ResetRecently I had to perform a Factory Reset on my Pebble Time. It got me to thinking that writing an article on troubleshooting problems with the Pebble Time might not be a bad idea. So here it is!

Problems Encountered

Since I’ve owned my Pebble Time these past few months, I’ve really had very few problems with it. However, it hasn’t been completely trouble free. The types of problems I’ve encountered include: notifications that were never sent to my Pebble Time, notifications that have appeared in the past but are now not showing up on my Pebble Time, and incorrect notifications.

Notifications That Fail To Ever Appear

This problem was one that is pretty easy to solve. You specify which applications are to send their notifications to your Pebble Time in the Pebble Time phone application. This is done by selecting the Notifications item from the My Pebble drop-down menu in this phone application. A page will then appear on your phone containing sets of check boxes dealing with General, Phone Notifications, Email Notifications, Other Apps, and Responses. In the Other Apps section you can tap on All Apps for a complete list of additional phone applications and specify which you want to send notifications to your Pebble Time.

Most of the time just tapping on the check box for a phone application will enable notifications to be sent from that application to your Pebble Time. Alas, I’ve run into a few applications where this doesn’t seem to work. In particular, one of the Android applications that I use quite often on my Samsung Galaxy is Life Reminders. It’s a very handy reminder program – one that I definitely want to send its notifications to my Pebble. Time. However, selecting this program within the Pebble Time phone application did not get this program’s notifications sent to my smartwatch.

I found a workaround for this bug. I installed the Pebble Notifier application on my Samsung Galaxy. Selecting Life Reminders within this program immediately got notifications flowing from this phone application to my Pebble Time. The Pebble Notifier application also has a lot more functionality available in it as well, but I’ve already covered this Android application in some detail in a previous article so I won’t elaborate on them here.

In any case, if you have problems getting notifications to work after specifying them in your phone’s Pebble Time application, consider installing some type of notification manager application on your phone and seeing if that doesn’t alleviate this problem.

Notifications That Used To Appear That Are Now Missing

Suddenly missing notifications have been my most commonly occurring problem. In the few months I’ve owned my Pebble Time I’d say I’ve encountered them at least three times. The symptoms are as follows: a notification that normally has been appearing on my Pebble Time will still appear on my phone, but it will suddenly stop appearing on my Pebble Time.

The easiest solution I’ve found for this problem is to simply Shut Down (that is, turn off) my Pebble Time and then just turn it back on. So far this has always solved this problem.

Shutting Down a Pebble Time is accomplished through the Settings app on the watch. In the Settings app, select System and then Shut Down. You Pebble Time will turn off fairly quickly after you do so. Turning it back on after that is easy – just press the left Back button on the watch.

Incorrect Notifications

I very recently ran into a rather weird problem – incorrect notifications. They were always associated with Timeline entries. The problem was thus: when encountering a Timeline entry for which a notification was specified, the notification would occur right at the correct time, but the text of the notification would be from some Timeline entry other than the entry that was actually associated with the notification. For example, let’s say I had a calendar entry at noon each day entitled “Break for Lunch”, with a notifications specified for 5 minutes before the specified time. What would happen was that a notification would appear on my Pebble Time at 5 minutes before noon, but instead of saying Break for Lunch, it would have the title of another calendar entry in my Timeline, for example “Pick up Gloria”.

This one really baffled me for quite some time. I tried Shutting Down my Pebble Time and turning it back on, but this didn’t solve the problem. I also tried resetting my phone – didn’t fix it. I even tried deleting the calendar entries that were being synced to my Timeline and re-entering them – no joy. Nothing I tried fixed the problem.

Finally, I decided to try performing a Factory Reset. This restores the Pebble Time to the original condition it was in when you first received it. This is also accomplished through the Pebble Time Settings app. Select System and then Factory Reset. It will ask you to confirm that you really want to do this, and if you do the Reset operation starts.

The Factory Reset actually took way longer that I thought it would – much longer than a Factory Reset takes on an iPhone or Android phone. Right about the time I decided that I had somehow bricked my Pebble Time and would have to contact Pebble support, it finally completed and the original setup screen appeared on the smartwatch.

You’ll then go through the something close to the normal Getting Started process that you performed when you first got your Pebble Time. The one difference is that you’ve already got the Pebble Time application installed on your phone, along with it’s lists of the Pebble Time watch faces and apps that you have previously installed on your watch.

You’ll first pair your watch with your phone. Then you will update the watches firmware. That’s all there is to it!

Notifications that you set up in the Pebble Time phone application should all be remembered. The watch faces and apps specified in the Pebble Time phone application won’t actually be residing on your watch yet, but as soon as you try and access one it will automatically be downloaded from your phone and activated on your Pebble Time. Settings you may have specified for your previously installed watch faces and apps will likely have been lost, so you need to check them and re-enter as needed.

That’s it, other than the brief scare I encountered due to the amount of time the Factory Reset operation took, it was all very straightforward and simple. My “incorrect notification” problem was solved by the Factory Reset and my Pebble Time is now operating without a single problem.

I hope you’ve found this article helpful in guiding you through some of the most common solutions for troubleshooting Pebble Time problems.

3 thoughts on “Troubleshooting the Pebble Time”

  1. I am lucky to have not experienced the problems that you have had. The main problem I get is weather in watchfaces not updating or not displaying at all after a while until I restart the pebble app on my phone.

    • This is one I haven’t seen. It sounds like a communications problem between your phone and the weather Web servers.

  2. I have the wrong reminder issue. I just purchased the watch a couple of weeks ago. I will try the factory reset. Thanks

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