You all know how I feel about Pebble. The price is right, it has the most intuitive UI and, perhaps most importantly, its users have figured out the real killer app for smartwatches—customizable bands and watchfaces.
It must be conceded, though, that the one area where Pebble falls flat is paid apps. There’s no shortage of useful apps and attractive watchfaces in the Pebble store, but there is a lot of software that was developed for the original monochrome OS and then never updated. Why do developers abandon the platform? Possibly because there is no native system for commercial (ie. paid) listings in the store.
But there is at least a kludge. And that’s what today’s post is about, the unofficial and rather inelegant solution for paid apps on Pebble.
I had been enjoying a particularly attractive watchface called FEELTTMM for about 24 hours when my Pebble screen was suddenly taken over by the message you see above. kzl.io redirects to a service called KiezelPay—”a simple and secure way for developers to accept payments for Pebble apps and watchfaces”.
The actual kzl.io link sends you to this payment window, where you can enter the specific code on your watch. I used my desktop web browser; your mobile browser should also work.
It would probably help if I entered the proper code, wouldn’t it?
At this point you’re asked to enter an email address for receipt of payment. Unfortunately KiezelPay isn’t yet a big enough operation to absorb credit card surcharges, so they steer users towards PayPal instead.
Success. And within a few moments…
… my watchface is restored!
According to their Twitter account KiezelPay has already processed 25,000 transactions for paid Pebble apps and watchfaces. It’s definitely not as convenient as onboard payments would be in the Pebble app proper, but for now it’s at least a way for talented Pebble devs to get some compensation for their efforts.