Playing with a Pebble Smartwatch

I’ve been playing with a Pebble smartwatch for iOS the past two weeks. Here are my thoughts on the Pebble’s use with iOS, battery life, features and usefulness.

I got a white Pebble smartwatch about two weeks back, planning to use it with my iPhone and, in the near future, to write a couple of simple apps for it. (I hope to be able to encourage some of my fellow devs to do that same!)

I used to say that no smartwatch would ever replace my Rolex (not as fancy as it sounds, a vintage women’s Rolex from the 60s doesn’t cost a bomb, it’s just a nice, battery-free accessory) … however, in that time I have found that the Pebble has in fact taken its place. Although I don’t wear a watch daily, if I’m wearing one lately, it’s the Pebble.

Pebble Smartwatch

Pebble’s Features

The Pebble smartwatch has a number of features, so I’m only going to list my favorites –

  1. It’s easy to see the current weather, daily high and low temperature, time and date with one quick glance. I find the weather especially useful as I stumble around half asleep in the morning, searching for pants, as it lets me know whether or not I should be looking for a tshirt, a button down shirt and whether or not I should cram a jacket into my already overfull backpack. Sure, you can also check the weather on your phone, but rushing around in the morning you don’t have your phone on your person until you are, at least, wearing the aforementioned pants.
  2. As an alarm, the Pebble smartwatch is fantastic. It’s silent, but the vibrations do enough to wake you up. The difference is, it’s a slow and less intrusive way to wake up than your iPhone setting off a loud alert tone next to your head, as you’ve fallen asleep with your phone in the bed yet again. When you aren’t a morning person, this is especially pleasant by comparison.
  3. My favorite feature is the notifications. I don’t like to pull my iPhone out every time it vibrates, especially if I’m mid-conversation, however I do get a number of texts, calls, etc. that I simply need to be on top of immediately. On the flip side, I also get a huge number of messages that do not require an instant reply. The Pebble lets me glance at my wrist to see whether or not I need to excuse myself and make a call, reply to a text, etc. or if I can put it off until my current conversation is done.
  4. I’m going to list notifications a second time. That’s right, the feature is just that useful! The other part I love about notifications is the fact that the bluetooth works from my living room to my kitchen. This means at home, I can have my phone sitting on the couch and be cooking (steak, if you’re wondering. I cook almost nothing but steak) and hear Skype go off – I don’t know if it’s work, my sister over in Australia, or if it’s some ongoing group convo that I can ignore while I eat. So many of us are tied to technology today, and although I’m happy that way, I appreciate the extra length on the leash the Pebble allows me. I don’t feel like I have to have my phone in my pocket constantly, so long as it’s in the general vicinity.

Battery Life

I’m in the habit of charging my Pebble smartwatch up every two days, as a heavy user. I suspect it could go around 4 even with my level of usage, however I don’t like my gadgets dropping below 50% if they’re things I rely on when I leave the house.

Overall thoughts

The Pebble is awesome. It could be improved and lacks features and functionality that many Android smartwatches have, however, at the current time, it is by far the best smartwatch for iOS and I enjoy my iPhone more because of it. I’d absolutely recommend it.

Peach Pellen

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