Apple Watch and Pebble Time

by Volker Weber

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People look at my Pebble Steel and I get asked very often: "Is this an Apple Watch". When I tell them it isn't, they are surprised. And they want confirmation that they don't need to buy one. Only after that they ask me what I think about Apple Watch.

The truth is, I don't. I have played with it, but not long enough to form an opinion. I honestly don't know whether I would want to wear one day in and out. I like the design and the quality, but I am confused about use cases.

I suspect (!) that I would use it exactly like I use the Pebble. Check the time, receive notifications, most importantly about incoming calls. My phone is on mute and only Pebble tells me that it is ringing. I get notifications from mails, WhatsApp, the random SMS text message. I use Alarms so I don't miss the station where I have to leave the train. I don't really use any apps.

I have played with Pebble Time but I refrain from commenting until it ships. I think that's only fair. Pebble Time isn't very far out. Early backers should have had it next week, but talk is it will start shipping towards the end of the month. I don't expect Time Steel before August.

Comments

Just startend using à Garmin Fenix 3 as sports and smartwatch. It can be Used in almost the same way as you use the Pebble. And the battery life is also very good. This is what I fear the most with the iWatch.

Ludwig Deruyck, 2015-05-14 09:13

Looking at Volkers list what he probably does with a smartwatch I would say that's mainly the list of things I like from the Apple Watch too and what I want it for (Remark to Ludwig: There is no "iWatch" ;-) )

So if the Peeble can do the same, there's no reason not to go for it. Except for me: I don't like the design of the Peeble (but that's just a personal thing) and I love the way the Apple Watch is connected through the whole Apple Eco-System. And yes, I am willing to pay the premium for Apple products to get these advantages.

One thing I use it for in addition is the workout stuff (I hate chest straps). The quality of the heart rate sensor (especially for a wrist device) is great. The only downside so far is that third party developers can't access the heart rate api. So Runkeeper, Runtastic etc. can't do heart rate measurement with the watch. That limits your workout to the built-in app ... which is ok but lacks the features to re-track your workouts (especially runs) afterwards.

If I understand correctly this is at the moment not a limit because Apple doesn't want to give them access but mainly that healthkit information is encrypted as long as the iPhone is locked (which prevents the option to access this information directly).
I'm sure they will solve it (looking forward to WWDC) anytime soon.

So to sum it up: The Apple Watch is not perfect, but great quality in soft- and hardware for a 1.0 version. I love it and I won't give it away.

Harald Gärttner, 2015-05-14 12:59

And to correct myself: Of course there is no Peeble but a Pebble! LOL

Harald Gärttner, 2015-05-14 13:03

I had a black Kickstarter Pebble for more than 6 month. It was great. I used it similar to Volker.

Then I switched to Moto360 because I wanted a round watchface. Using Android for years (and knowing Apple for years too because my wife...). Round watchfaces are a great experience, color is fine but, for me, no game changer. Charging daily is a minor issue except when I travel.

I would never buy Pebble Time or the Apple watch. Mainly because I don't like their design language. For my use cases each smart watch would more or less behave in a similar way. So I would not expect to become impressed by a new 'model'. I rate 'works well for me' higher than 'looks good'.

So I think about selling the Moto and buying a Pebble Steel. I use a Android app (Light Flow) that forwards every notification so the Pebble is no step back. But 3 to 4 days without charging is a advantage. Until they develop a smart watch that runs a week without charging.

Richard Kaufmann, 2015-05-14 22:03

People like round watches because they want new tech to look like oldfashioned stuff. Fot digital content round diplays seldom make sense

Christian Just, 2015-05-16 12:07

I can't speak for "people" but my personal enjoyment of round watches is not out of skeuomorphism, but because a round, analog style clock is a natural division of time. The placement of the hands shows your progress through the day and hour in a way that a number cannot. I have a Pebble Steel and Moto 360 and love them both for different reasons.

Matthew Mason, 2015-05-19 02:41

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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