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Yesterday morning, Pebble threw a happy-looking smartwatch onto its homepage, with a countdown clock that’ll expire at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Since then, rumors have begun to swirl about what Pebble has up its sleeve, with a post on 9to5Mac reporting that the company has a new, improved iteration of its smartwatch set for debut next week.

According to the post, the new Pebble will “gain a slightly wider, color, -paper-like display that will be encased in an overall thinner design.” However, the new device will still lack the touchscreen that’s standard in all Android Wear smartwatches, not to mention the forthcoming Apple Watch. On the flipside, the new model will apparently include a microphone, the post says, as well as an improved backlight.

Other changes apparently set to make its way to the new Pebble: a new and improved version of the operating system, designed by the team who made the original WebOS, which, ironically, is apparently making its way into another wearable made by the operating system’s current owner, LG.

“The new software will feature a timeline view that records a list of recent notifications and the entire UI features many new animations,” says the post.

This doesn’t sound revolutionary – but it does make sense given some recent innovations Pebble has made to its older smartwatches. A few days ago, the company brought Android Wear notification compatibility out of beta, making the Pebble one of the least expensive Android Wear devices on the market. But because the older models don’t have microphones, the voice-command features of Android Wear could never work. This new version of the Pebble might solve that, however, giving Android Wear yet another competitor to worry about.

Still, I have to wonder whether the Pebble really stands a chance against the flashier devices coming from Apple and Google’s hardware partners. Touchscreen displays are pretty standard in consumer products these days. Can a new, flashier Pebble without a touchscreen really make a dent in the killing Apple is poised to make with its Watch? We’ll know more on Tuesday.

[Source: 9to5Mac, Pebble]

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