I have this website called NewsSnacker.com. Simple enough. I get various twitter feeds from various news agencies and then remove the duplicates. So now I want to read the news on my Pebble watch. Since I cannot code in C, I had to improvise. In comes Tasker. I listed Tasker in my Top 10 Pebble apps as Number 1. The reason is that you can create little tasks on your phone and store triggers to those tasks on the Pebble. For instance I have a task that opens Waze, Pandora or Voice command. I also have a task to mute the phone. Today I will talk about the task that goes to my site, gets the news and displays it as an alert.
Before we go any further, this is for Android only. I’m SURE there is a way to do it for iOS, but I gave up my iPhone once iOS7 came along. But that is another story.
First we need to build the task. If you are not familiar with Tasker there are a number of very good sites that can walk you through how to set up Tasker and how to create basic tasks. I will go step by step, but will not provide a detailed explanation as to how it works.
First download and install Tasker. Be sure to load it.
Next download and install Pebble Tasker.
Next download and install Pebble Notifier.
Now lets create a Profile and a Task.
Open up Tasker and click on the + button for a new profile
From the Popup select Event. I normally name them ‘Holder 1->n’ Since they have no real value. However, you might want to name them after what you are going to really use it for. So in this case, I would recommend you call it NewsSnacker News.
From the Event Popup, select UI.
From the Select UI Event Popup, select Button Widget. What we are creating is a dummy Event. We just need something for the Pebble to point to.
You can label this anything you want. We are done here. Click the icon at the top left to finish this step.
The next step is to create the event. That will be the next popup. Click on ‘New Task’. If you closed out the new popup window, you can manually add a task instead.
select ‘HTTP Get’
In the following screen, we are going to make a call to the NewsSnacker site. This works because I wrote a PHP script to get the twitter feed, format it such that it can display on the pebble and drop it into a text file. That is the file you are going to access.
Fill out the following on the screen.
Click on the icon at the top left, and we will add another task. Click on the ‘+’ button at the bottom center of the screen.
This time select the task ‘Alert’ Then ‘Notify’. Fill out the following. BTW, a good test is to add another task -> Alert -> HTML Popup or Popup.
This will display the news on your screen. However, there is a but (at least for me) that does not display it correctly all the time. In fact, most of the time it does not display correctly. However, we do have a work around. First, lets test what we have. Lets update the Pebble.
Open Pebble Tasker.
Click on the top pull down and lets add the Task we just created. As you can see from my screenshot, I already have a few Tasks defined. Now you may wonder, why did we need to create the Event if we are calling tasks? I dont know. All I know is it does not work for me if I do not do it this way.
Once you have selected your Task, lets update the watch. Click on the bottom left of your phone and choose ‘Set watch to default tasks’
So we are ready to go. I took some screenshots on my watch. Lets see if you can follow along.
So we can see it KINDA works. I’m getting the news, its just that the notifier is not working. However, if we then load Pebble Notifications, we can see the last notification on the phone. In this case, the news…
And there you are. There is still a limit as to how much text can be loaded through the notifier, but I’m hoping that in future releases, they will extend this limit a bit so that I can read all the text.