pebble

A few weeks with Pebble

After nearly a year wait, I finally received my Pebble smart watch late April. I was an early backer of the now-famous Kickstarter project and had originally chosen to pay extra for a unique color version, specifically white. To make a long story short, the white Pebble as of this writing still hasn't even hit production, so I had opted for the tried-and-true black version.

Quick Summary

I love it. I wish it did a bit more and the ID was a bit more sleek, but overall I'm very happy.

This is Cool

 Watchfaces. To my knowledge, no other watch offers community made watch faces. There are a ton of choices, all free (at this time) and some really great faces to be had.

click to embiggen / all watchfaces taken from and available at MyPebbleFaces.com

Music Control.  The feature I was most looking forward to was actually the music/iPod controls. Now I can glance at my wrist to see what's playing or to play/pause. This actually worked very well for controlling tracks while my iPhone was sending music via Airplay to my stereo. Hopefully I'll have a small Airplay/Bluetooth speaker to use in the bathroom while I shower.

Text/Email Notifications. While you can actually have a whole slew of notifications enabled, I quickly found I didn't want my wrist buzzing all the time (and while I'm trying to sleep– more on that later). But it is fantastic to get text and email notifications. 

Caller ID & Answer/Reject Calls.  Glance down to see who's calling and bitch click. 'Nuff said.

E-Paper screen. Fantastic in all lighting conditions. Think of your Kindle, the contrast is great and makes this watch a fantastic, well, watch. Bonus? I've been getting 6 days of battery life. Pretty great. So those are 2 reasons why there is not a color screen.

Other Great Bonuses: 

  • Battery Life. 6 days so far.
  • User-replaceable watch straps (already did mine and backed another Kickstarter)
  • Waterproof– wear it in the shower or go swimming. Yup.

Not So Cool

The Industrial Design. I can't complain a whole lot, its mostly aesthetics I'm not happy with. It's bulky and function was definitely chosen over form.

The USB charger. Related to the above, but using a proprietary connector to charge isn't handy. I found out the hard way when I lost mine. As of this writing, the charger is not available separately so I had to reach out personally to Pebble for a replacement. They are sending me a replacement (Thanks!).

This is Odd

Limited Notifications on iOS. Definitely not Pebble's fault, but at this time only mail, sms and caller ID are "supported". You can use a workaround to receive just about any other notification, but it isn't permanent.  We might see improvement with iOS7.

Final Thoughts

When I lost my USB charger for my Pebble, I quickly found out how much I missed it. I was really upset– I missed a few phone calls and looked at my empty wrist several times. Sure it isn't perfect, but was it worth my backing support of $120 and I very much love my Pebble. 

 

Finally, A True Companion Watch for iOS

Ever since the iPod nano's watch strap craze, I was hoping that Apple would run with the idea and actually push out a companion watch for iOS.  While that may very well still be in the works, this bad boy appeared on The Verge as a Kickstarter project.  As soon as I got home from work, I backed the project for $125.

The crazy bit is that when I looked at the project just after the Verge's post, it had just met its goal of $100k (at about $108k at that time). Within the next 8 hours it hit $1MM.  As of this post its over $3MM. That is insane, but it just goes to show that I'm not the only one clamoring for a watch that not only looks amazing, but offers up additional functionality and can provide as a quick link to our phone's information.

The team behind the Pebble have also been adding features since they're completely over-funded.  The same day I pledged, they announced they were going to fully waterproof the Pebble.  Fantastic, because that was instantly one of my first concerns, as I occasionally forget to take my watch off before I hit the shower.

While I could go over all the features, your best bet is to just move forward read about the Pebble on the official Kickstarter page.  You have until May 18 to pledge and get one of your own.