Pebble and other smartwatches: Info at a glance!


The apple watch isn’t really a dramatic improvement even over the watch I’m wearing right now… So, no, it’s not the dramatic improvement in talking about. It’s only real thing that i would like is the ability to receive calls.

But the big thing that really needs to improve, in my opinion, is the battery life. And that is what i expect to see improve significantly in the next year or so.


So I picked up an original pebble (black) on a whim for $60 when it was on sale at best buy. Not the prettiest thing but not as offensive or big as I expected. All the little apps and watch faces are fun to mess with and try out. I was impressed by how many were available. I might just be a watch wearer again.


For skins for your Pebble is 70% until the 20th and $20 off $100+ orders.


Tag Heuer, Google, and Intel are partnering ot make a luxury smartwatch.

This is the biggest thing that I think will come out of Apple’s watch. Not that their watch is going to be super awesome, but rather that it will convince more folks to jump into the space, which will ultimately push the tech forward much more quickly.


I agree. I think Apple’s entry to the market will make smart watches OK. The Apple watch making smart watches cool is a bet that I am still reluctant to make. At least the wearable space is going to get more interesting.


Tag Heur already have an iconic case that would be perfect.


So yeah no longer too happy about my pebble. Apparently it interferes with my miccus mini-jack rx a2dp bluetooth audio receiver I use in my car and keeps cutting out my audio every minute or so. It could also be a combination of the hands free in my car (acrua 2007 which seems honda has issues with pebble) and my miccus + pebble. It’s really annoying. Lots of other posts with pebble interfering with car hands free and a2dp. The solutions are either to turn off your pebble or the bluetooth on the pebble while in the car. Not using the product is not really a solution IMO. I did test turning off my pebble and everything goes back to normal.


Weird. No issues with my Pebble and my 2015 Mazda 6 or my wife’s 2014 Volvo. And what’s weird is a guy reports issues with a Nissan Altima, but I had an Altima in the same series and no problems with Pebble and the BT audio.

I listen to audio over BT daily in my car (due to the Madza 6’s shitty USB support) and no problems with my Pebble active.


Co-worker complained this morning about new apps appearing on her iPhone – apparently Pebble-specific – that she couldn’t use. Another more technical co-worker sympathized and advised her to create a folder and throw such apps into that folder and forget about them. She said yeah, I could do that, but I already use up a lot of RAM on my iPhone and don’t want yet another app adding to that. I, the mostly-PC guy in the group, jokingly suggested that the problem was, she hadn’t bought a Pebble yet. We all had a good laugh.


I assume she means the Apple Watch app, which was added to iPhones with iOS 8.2, and cannot be deleted. Nothing to do with the Pebble, and a little disheartening for Apple if consumers don’t know the difference.

Of course that went right in my undeletable-apple-junk folder; what’s surprising is that she’s made it this far and doesn’t already have one of those folders herself.


They used the correct names. I was the only goofball to mention Pebble. As for the folder thing, she may already have one for all I know.


So Apple has been releasing videos showing how the watch works and, despite having put aside money in case I want to buy one, I just can’t bring myself to want to do it. The cash is going to go into the drone-enhancement side of my entertainment budget instead, I think.

Apparently the watch isn’t even lit up unless you raise your arm, so no subtle glancing at your wrist. Given the abysmal battery life, I assumed the display would always be on. Heck, the Microsoft Band I’m using right now manages to go a full day and till bedtime the next day on a single charge with watch mode (constant time display, backlit) enabled.

I’m just really feeling like the Pebble Time Steel I backed is the best smartwatch solution for me right now. For my usage, it has big advantages over the Apple Watch:
[li]Battery life - go a full week between charges
[/li][li]Waterproof - I can wear it when swimming, in the shower, etc. (My only gripe about the MS band - that has the same water resistance rating as the Apple watch)
[/li][li]The display is always on. If I want to glance down at the watch during a meeting to see how much more PowerPoint I have to sit through, I can do it without the obvious arm movement that it looks like is necessary with the Apple watch.

My biggest complaints about my OG Pebble were mediocre exercise tracking, and less than stellar apps. But I image people will be cloning… er. will be inspired by… Apple watch apps, and we’ll see a general improvement in quality of Pebble stuff then.

I’ve been enjoying the MS Band for the past couple of weeks. I like the way the Pebble handles notifications much better, but it’s great as a watch, and the fitness support is awesome. And the sleep tracking has been particularly interesting. I sleep a [I]lot[/I] better on days I get exercise.



It sounds to me like you’re looking for a fitness tracker plus rather than a smart watch in the sense that Android or Apple have envisioned so far. The downsides you’ve listed are valid for sure, but from what I’ve seen, they are endemic to the smart watch category at the current state of the art.

I will order an apple watch, mostly because I’m curious. If it succeeds and follows the development curve of the iPhone & iPad, then you will have made the right decision :-) v2 will be the first fully realized version, with v1 having been the functional but Immature proof of concept.



On Friday, I found a situation where my smartwatch becomes infinitely useful…

So, I have a Moto X, and it fell out of my pocket onto a hard surface, and shattered the screen. To the extent that the display does not work at all, does not show anything, and does not respond to touch.

Motorola is set up to replace the phone, but it’ll be a little while for them to manufacture a new one and send it to me. In the meantime, my phone turns on, but I can’t actually use it for anything.

BUT! Since I have my smartwatch, I actually CAN use my phone, at least for basic stuff. Mainly, I can see text messages, respond to them, and see when folks call me and answer the calls. I can also read email, etc.

So, smartwatch kind of saved the day!.


So I tested my original pebble in my wife’s 2013 pilot and the bluetooth works just fine there. No audio drop outs or any quality issues. So apparently it’s just my car/bluetooth a2dp receiver :-(.

Still, for $60 I’m still pretty happy with it. I find it more useful on the weekends when going out vs day to day use at the office. I don’t like having a watch on my wrist while at the computer. It might be useful on heavy meeting days though.


I believe that the watch will be pretty close to fully-realized and capable. Higher-res screens and marginally more powerful processors will make slow and steady improvements over coming years to be sure, but it’s unlikely there will be a a major new feature that obsoletes the first version like what happened with the iPhone. The battery-life issue isn’t being solved for the 2016 watch, I’m certain of that.



Well, in a perfect world, there will be no fitness trackers – that’ll just be a function of smartwatches. Just like there are no PDAs anymore.

Fitness tracking is actually the Pebble’s weak point. There’s an accelerometer, and some apps, but the apps suck. (Misfit doesn’t sync reliably, and you have to sync every day or you lose previous days’ stats.)

The Pebble is the one smartwatch the doesn’t have the weaknesses I listed. (IE: It goes days between charges, it’s waterproof, etc.) It just needs better software. Hoping the updated OS and the inspiration provided by Apple Watch apps will help solve that issue.

I like the idea of the Apple Watch. And who knows, maybe after seeing/trying one, I’ll want one. But what I really want is a v2.0 that’s waterproof and can go at least a couple of days between charges.


Quick update. Decided to buy a new blueooth receiver for my car to replace that miccus. I picked up the iClever Himbox which is bluetooth 4.0.

It’s better in about every way but most importantly it plays nice with my pebble. Yeah! It wasn’t my car after all.


I bought that iClever Himbox as well based on the Wirecutter recommendation. I have a new 2015 Subaru Forester and my phone connections w/ bluetooth were spotty at best. A constant source of frustration, and frankly danger as the constant cutting in and out at inopportune times was worse than not having the bluetooth at all. This was the case w/ my wife’s iPhone as well as a couple of Android phones on my end.

The Himbox sorted it. Works great, and connections are thus far flawless. If you have Aux in, I’d highly recommend it.


Some guy managed to get the original Mac II operating system running on an Android smartwatch.