New Pebble Watchapp: BBC News Headlines

15/07/14 – Added option to change story detail view font size.

31/5/14 – The news category and number of items is now exposed as a configuration page

18/06/14 – v1.2.0 streams stories instead of pre-loading them for extra speed. Configuration page now shows version numbers and update news.

Most of my Pebble apps so far have either been watchfaces or control watchapps – those that control a camera (Watch Trigger), SMS sending (Wristponder) or radios (Data Toggle). Another (and some would say the primary use of a Pebble smartwatch) is to be a data display device, rather than data input. With this in mind I decided to make a watchapp that I would myself use on a daily basis that involved data fetching and formatting for display. News is the obvious application that came to me, so after studying the BBC’s public news RSS feeds I came up with this:

bbc newsWhen the user opens the watchapp, PebbleKit JS fetches the latest data from the RSS feed and creates 15 Story objects that contain the headline and the short description of the news story. These are streamed (using ACK callbacks for maximum speed) to the watch and displayed in a MenuLayer to the user. When the user clicks SELECT on a news item, the full summary is shown. The splash screen also uses my recently developed ProgressBarLayer object to show download progress.

Using the configuration skill recently gained from finally experimenting it is possible (and I’d like to do it) to use the configuration process to allow the user to choose their news category (such as Science and Technology or Sport), but for now the main headlines seem enough.

You can get this app from the Pebble Appstore. Enjoy!


  1. Paul said:

    Hi there. I’m very impressed with your BBC app for the pebble smart watch. Great app.

    I was wondering if you could make the text larger (of have it on the configuration screen to allow a user to determine if they want small/medium/large text size).

    It’s probably me getting old 🙂
    but I struggle to read the text contained within the story (the headline text size is fine).

    Many thanks

  2. Paul said:

    Many thanks. That will be great

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: