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Pebble in your shoe? Hopefully not on your wrist.

August 14th, 2013 Comments off

A crippled smart watch for iOS

So like many of you I signed up maybe a year ago to be one of the lucky ones to get one of the first Pebble “Smart Watches”.

After many months of NADA over the last week I have received communication from Pebble that my Arctic White watch was one its way. It arrived yesterday and rather than being thrilled, I’ve have a nasty case of pouty face for the last 48 hours.

First there was the wait. You’ve got to think that any company could have brought this to market faster than Pebble Technology was able to. They had working prototypes at launch… ¬†Why then did it take another 12 months to deliver those same watches to their customers? Once I got my watch I was dismayed to learn that it actually works better when paired to and Android phone than an iOS device.

iOS puts it ¬†apps into a sandbox that limits the app’s ability to run in the background. This causes serious problems for the Pebble watch. Once the Blue Tooth link is broken or when iOS decides to put the rudimentary Pebble app to sleep as it runs in the background then all your notifications to the watch stop. They stop dead. They stay stopped until you go into the iOS notification settings and change them from either banner to alert or vice versa. This is totally arbitrary. It’s disruptive and it’s highly annoying. To the point where after it happens 3 or 4 times you want to rip the watch off your arm, throw it into a draw and wait for the iWatch from Apple.

I haven’t been this disappointed in a gadget in many, many years.

I sure the people at Pebble are working hard to overcome these issues, but I can only speak about my experience with the current product. Functionality on Android phones may be better but I only have access to an iOS phone. As iOS has at least half of the smartphone market depending on who you listen to then Pebble would have been well advised to have ensured that iPhone users had a great experience out of the box. This one has not had that…

 

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