Day 1 with my new Pebble Smartwatch
After expecting the delivery for the last two weeks and frustrated by the ridiculous website of the delivery firm, having to pay £28 vat to HMRC my new pebble smartwatch has finally arrived.
Having managed to wrestle my way into the packaging the watch comes with surprisingly little in the way of instructions. A simple sticker telling you to go to http://go.getpebble.com/ is all you get in the way of instructions and you should visit this site on your smartphone as there is a link to the app that needs to be downloaded. Holding down any button for 2 seconds switches the phone on.
Getting started with the Pebble Smartwatch
The phone works on both Android and Apple devices including Touch and devices running IOS5.
After installing the Pebble app you are presented with a series of swipe screens telling you which settings you have to switch on.
Step 1: Switch on Bluetooth and pair the phone to the watch
Step 2: Go to notifications and set them up
Step 3: Set up email notifications
Step 4: Do a test message and test call (which didnt work but this was due to the update issue detailed below)
After this it gets a little tricky as the software that comes installed on the watch has a connectivity bug which means you lose the Bluetooth connection – the problem is that you need this connectivity to download an update which resolves the issue – catch 22 right!
After a few failed updates the new software was installed and the connectivity issue has been resolved.
Exploring the phone is a simple affair. You have 3 buttons on the right hand side which allow you to scroll up and down with the middle button being a select option. One button on the right hand side serves as a “back” button from what i can gather but not entirely sure in the absence of any instructions.
Options wise there are only 5 to start with which are accessed by pressing the middle button on the right hand side:
Music – This allows you to play music stored on your smartphone with a play/pause, skip forward and skip back options. It worked reasonably well but does take a few seconds to find your music – there is no access to your playlists so tracks are in a random order as far as we can make out. On the display it shows the artist, track name and album name. Note: its your phone that play the music not the phone (just in case you were wondering)
Set Alarm – Allows to create a new alarm – a little cumbersome as you have to set each thing individually but does what it says on the tin.
Watchfaces – The watch comes with a couple of simple watchfaces pre-installed and there are more that can be accessed via the app and the various pebble app stores. There are some great modern, retro and bizarre watch faces available with various degrees of usefulness.
Settings – A couple of options here to switch on/off the Bluetooth and view paired devices, change the date and time, change display settings including backlighting, notifications, font size and vibration alerts. In addition to this you can also perform a factory reset and turn the watch off.
Emails can be read with little difficulty using the up and down arrows on the watch.
Telephone calls can be answered via the watch by pressing the button – stored numbers should display the persons name by accessing the contacts database on your smartphone but most of the time this doesn’t work.
Charging is done via a USB cable and takes 2 hours to fully charge but there is no charging meter or way to know how much juice is left – surely something that they will address in future software updates.
With Samsung just announcing their own smartwatch I was tempted to leave the watch unopened and stick it straight onto Ebay – however the kids were super excited about the innovations and my son has got dibs on it should i feel it not for me.
The future most certainly has a smart watch in it but it will have to make calls, have a touchscreen and video chat before we can truly say that the future is now. I’m sure our friends at Apple, Samsung and the innovators at Pebble will have a say in how quickly that future arrives.