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Pebble Time version 3.2 review: Screen improvements and a killer bug

Pebble Time owners can now update to version 3.2 of Pebble’s firmware, which brings loads of welcome improvements including a better backlight and improved, adjustable vibration levels. However, there’s also one very unwelcome bug that’s driving us mad. Here’s our Pebble Time 3.2 review.

How to update the Pebble Time watch to version 3.2

First, you need to actually update your Pebble Time to version 3.2 of the Pebble firmware.

To do this, head into your Pebble Time app on your iPhone or Android mobile. Tap the three lines beside ‘My Pebble’ and then tap ‘Support’ at the bottom of the menu which pops up.

At the bottom of the Support menu, the app should tell you which version of the firmware you’re currently using. There’s a bright orange ‘Check for Updates’ button – give that a tap and the app will automatically search for the latest version and then install it onto your watch. Just make sure that your watch and phone are paired at the time.

When the Pebble Time is updated, I recommend heading into the watch’s settings and powering it down (done through the very bottom ‘System’ menu). I found that my Time was acting a little funny (not allowing us to update the watch face, for instance) until it was powered down and restarted.

Screen backlight improvements

One of the biggest criticisms levelled at the Pebble Time was its not-amazing backlight, which some felt was too dim. Well, it appears that Pebble was deliberately keeping the screen dim in order to extend the Time’s battery life, as version 3.2 of the firmware adds a new ‘Blinding’ setting for the backlight.

Head to the Time’s Settings and then Display, and you’ll be able to boost the backlight to the max. The screen is definitely easier to read in strong daylight now, and you have the option to extend its length to either five or eight seconds from the default three.

This improvement alone makes version 3.2 of the Pebble Time firmware well worth downloading, although of course boosting the backlight will sap your battery that little bit faster.

Notifications improvements and vibration adjustments

With version 3.2 you can now control the Pebble Time’s vibration levels every time you receive a notification, knocking it down to a more gentle tremble. Just head to the watch’s Settings, then Notifications. The cut-down vibration is definitely a lot less intrusive, and means a lot less noise when the watch is resting on your nightstand.

Pebble Time 3.2 also apparently brings many updates to the way notifications are handled, which was my major bugbear with the watch. However, I’m struggling to spot any of these apparent improvements so far. Yous till can’t delete spam from the watch, and long text messages are still split up and presented in the wrong order. And long emails are also truncated, so you’ll need to pull out your phone to read in full.

Adjustable font sizes

If your vision isn’t what it used to be and you have to squint or push your watch right up into your face to read the tiny text, good news. You can now boost the font size for notifications in the Settings > Notifications menu on the Pebble Time.

However, this only affects the actual text inside the notification. Your list of notifications will remain exactly the same as before.

Music support

The Pebble Time’s Music app has also been updated, so now it works with even more services such as Spotify and Pandora. We found that it even worked with quite obscure media players, including MortPlayer for audiobooks. On top of that, the Time does a better overall job of displaying track information.

Bugs with Pebble Time 3.2

Immediately after installing Pebble Time 3.2, I realised that none of my third-party apps would load on my watch any longer. Every time I tried to load Battery+ or Misfit or even Tiny Bird, I’d get a big, fat ‘Failed’ message.

The only solution I could find was deleting each app from the Pebble Time app, by tapping them in the list and then hitting ‘Delete’. I then had to go back to the Pebble store and re-download. Which, in a word, was a pain in the arse.

I’ve now also found that I can’t reorder my Time apps in the phone app, which is also a bit of a ballache as I’m reinstalling everything.

Hopefully these are just rare issues that I happened to stumble upon, and most people will update without any problems. Have you downloaded Pebble Time 3.2 and what’s your experience so far? Let us know in the comments below.

Read next: The best Pebble Time apps you can download right now


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