Pebble Watch - 18 months on

Pebble

Pebble Way back in August 2013, I wrote about my first 72 hours with the now famous original smart watch - the Pebble Watch.

Read the original post here http://wp.me/p3SehX-4c.

It has now been 18 months and I am on to my second watch. The first was replaced under warranty due to a funky issue with the screen.

The Pebble has been a daily companion, no much so, I can not remember the last time my watch actually made a sound. I often get strange looks when I dash across a room at work saying my phone is ringing, I can feel it.

I have to say the only minor downsides so far for me is no automatic replies to simple SMS messages and battery life. I am getting roughly 6-8 days from my Pebble.

Since I purchased mine, Pebble have launched the Pebble Steel. A more ‘professional’ looking watch. I personally like my black plastic model.

A new colour Pebble seems to be in the works with images leaked ahead of a Pebble announcement

Working on my Fitness!!

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Working on my Fitness!

I know it may come as a shock to some of you, but I am no athlete…

I have just entered week 7 of the couch to 5km running program.

[youtube http://youtu.be/5T0utQ-XWGY]

If this fitness thing all sounds a little familiar, well yes.

I have been using the fitbit ecosystem for over 12months now. First the fitbit Flex which the band died after 9 months and there were little to no replacements available at the the time, so I imported the fitbit force which still does not seem to be available in Australia widely.

Throughout this whole time I have also been using the Fitbit Aria Scale. Because I love data I can see how many steps, how much I weighed or what my body fat as a percentage was for every day of the last year.

For those of you about to smash me saying fitness and weightless are different, just like climate change deniers thinking weather and climate are the same… I was getting to that.

If you look purely at the numbers, I am barely meeting my daily 10000 step count, and I have never had a higher weight or body fat percentage… however, 4 weeks ago I could not complete 2 x 3 min jogs with a walk in between, last saturday I ran more than most of a 5km fun run, and today ran 4.2km non stop.

For any one saying, I can't run - try the program, it slowly steps you up. It is not about speed - I am sure there are snails overtaking me when I get my little grandpa shuffle happening, but I am constantly moving.

For the uber nerds out there, I use my Lifeproof Arm band with my Lifeproof phone case, with Runkeeper and my Pebble smart watch ) to keep track of my runs.

Although twice now, my iPhone 5 has died during a simple 30-35min run. Before you ask, it is not one of the iPhone 5 models that are eligible for battery replacements.

Go on.. try it.. I dare you, better yet… take a friend or friends, other people really help with pace.

Try it Here

There are also many many apps available for your phone for free.

Pebble Watch 3 months on + SDK2.0

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Well following on from my previous post on the pebble watch I thought I would give a bit of an update. http://wade85.com/pebble-watch-first-impressions-the-first-72-hours/

When I watched the kick started videos during the hype of the pebble watch launch I knew I wanted it straight away. What I failed to appreciate was how the kickstarter + pebble business model is different from the normal technology retail space. You don't see a product, order it and then use it.  You become part of the process. The concept is done but you are buying a product that has not been made yet. Almost like buying a house off the plan.  

The pebble did end up coming on the big Burma trip with us.  Sadly under SDK 1.0 the watch could not use storage on the phone to back up my dual time zone settings. But what I found interesting is after landing in either Myanmar or Malaysia as soon as my phone locked onto the new network time so did my pebble so it was up to date where ever we were.  Due to having no data connection thus redendering 90% of my phones functions useless and in turn the watches it was left in flight mode. 

With SDK 2.0 being out for a few days now I can say I have not lost caller ID once ( a turn around from before). I don't need to constantly open or kill and reopen the pebble http app to get the weather on my watch face. I am also getting a lot more notifications than before. 

It is getting better..

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Pebble Watch - first impressions - the first 72 hours

The Pebble Watch made famous by the crowd source website kickstarter in 2012 promised big. In the slick hook video that accompanied the kick starter page, it look the bees knees to be honest. It promised seamless integration with Runkeeper, flawless notifications for SMS, iMessages and calls. In reality that's true 60% of the time minus the flawless part. Rewind - 2012 I preordered a Pebble after coming across the kick starter site a few days after kicker starter 'backers' closed. While not putting any money down I did reserve one. Fast forward early 2013. I am requested for payment details which I supplied. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. 25/7/13 I am noticed the Pebble has shipped via singpost with full tracking. By mid August I start getting worried. Singpost can not trace after dispatch, auspost can it trace as it has not been scanned into Australia. Last Friday it just turned up. Finally it's here.

I charged my pebble and followed the instructions. Installing the iOS pebble app. Sharing my phone book.

Negatives: What I did not know was that the pebble maintains a constant connection with my iphone5. Not the low powered connection that pulses data like my fitbit flex. I noticed the battery drain immediately. I estimate 10-30% faster than without the pebble connection.

iOS / pebble interaction is limited without jail breaking - emails, calls, texts. Caller Id for calls has dropped off after day 2.

I set out to find 2 simple downloadable watch faces that would add functionality I would require. 1. Time, date and weather of my local area ( Australia)

2. Dual time zone digital face.

What I did not realize that such a simple task would start a journey equal to a Bilbo Baggins stroll to visit Mordor.

Regarding the weather watch face. Apparent despite Australia being the fastest adopters of new technology per capita, finding weather loading (polling) faces that would detect my location outside of USA was non existent. So far I am up two my 6 app. No luck. All have required the additional app called httpebble which allows Internet access for polling of data.

Regarding the dual timezone. A search of similar scale was needed. While one face that met all my needs , should I leave the watch face to use another feature such as change a song through the watch interface. The watch face loses the timezone offset requiring resetting every time

Overall I disappointed at the lack of functionality for the iOS system along with the sketchy at best alert system for other apps. So poor is the Pebble at reconnecting with apps using push notifications that a procedure has been devised that requires going into the notification centre and reactivating the motivations of every required app. It has been named the 'finger dance' by the pebble community.

Another aggravating factor is the disjointed and dispersed collection of apps and watch faces. There is no one stop marketplace.

I hope it gets better. Presently it will not be coming on my month long trip if it does not get better, and fast.