Multi-window, direct handwriting input, smart screen and air view among features that must be disabled to use Pebble
Here's a quick PSA for anyone hoping to use the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with one of the leading non-Samsung smartwatches. While the Pebble watch will work with Samsung's latest oversized phone, you'll be required to turn off a bunch of TouchWiz features in order to use the Pebble with your Note 3. (We've got a full list of affected features after the break.)
Why? Well, it's all down to the way the Pebble phone app interacts with the wearable device. It uses an accessibility service to push notifications (calls, emails, IMs, etc.) to the watch, and the Samsung features listed above can't be enabled while any accessibility service is in use. The same limits apply to the TalkBack service, which reads on-screen text aloud.
So there are no shenanigans at work here, rather it's a limitation of the way the Pebble's software can interact with Samsung's firmware. It's also not limited to the Note 3 — the Galaxy S4 will impose similar restrictions if you use an accessibility service, Pebble or otherwise. However, the loss of features like direct handwriting input and multi-window is a bit harder to stomach on a big-screened device. (The S Pen itself, we should note, works just fine, as does the Air Command menu and everything in it.)
Of course, Samsung will be hoping consumers choose its own smartwatch companion for their Note 3 devices. And naturally, the Galaxy Gear will work without disabling any phone-side features, as its software has deeper roots into the phone's OS. But if you opt for the cheaper (and in some areas, more capable) Pebble smartwatch, it's worth remembering that doing so will strip your Note of a handful of its more noteworthy features.