Pebble Watch - 18 months on


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

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

Pebble Watch 3 months on + SDK2.0


Well following on from my previous post on the pebble watch I thought I would give a bit of an update.

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..


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.