How often do you have your phone next to you with your laptop on the table 3 feet away and you receive a notification be it an email, Twitter notification, Facebook message etc? I would imagine quite often for many people.
What device do you reach out to to reply to that notification? I would wager that a large percentage of people respond to that notification on their phone even though they might be have a better experience using their laptop with a bigger screen and full size keyboard.
This was my take of what Ben Thompson articulated so well during this weeks episode of Exponent.
I have been using a Pebble Smartwatch for almost 2 years now and for the most part really like it. Why? For exactly the same reason that I reach for my iPhone before going to my Mac. Convenience.
When I first started using the Pebble I used to walk for several hours a day. I would have my headphones on listening to music or podcasts with my iPhone in my jeans or zipped up in my jacket pocket. If a message came in or my iPhone rang I could make a quick decision as to whether to unzip my pocket if that notification seemed important. If it didn’t I just carried on with my walk and dealt with that notification when I got home.
Last year when I was in hospital for several months I relied on 3 devices that helped me through the days and nights. My iPad to watch Netflix, my iPhone for speaking/interacting with my family and friends as well as keeping up with what was happening in the world and surprisingly my Pebble. I’m surprised how important the Pebble was to me when I could hardly move and at times breathe while bedridden and almost immobile. The reason the Pebble was so useful to me was that my iPhone was often out of reach or at least difficult to reach without causing a lot of pain. Because for the most part my Pebble was always on my wrist I knew who was trying to contact me and if that notification looked important I could either try and summon the strength to reach out for my iPhone or ask a nurse to pass it to me when they came in.
I am now out of hospital and walking again and the Pebble still is a device I choose to wear. Yes I am a tech nerd, I have no fashion sense and in all honesty don’t care what people think of my appearance. For me function is for the most part more important than form. The Apple Watch is something I will be pre-ordering on April 10th not for style though I think all the models look gorgeous but because it offers more functionality and interaction than my trusted Pebble Watch with my iPhone. I appreciate that there are many reasons and limitations on Pebble to tap into the Apple ecosystem and think that there is still a future for it and the whole Pebble platform particularly with Android.
I’ll be sad to banish my Pebble in my drawer of old wires and adapters as it really has been a useful device for me. I will miss the long battery life but one annoyance I have about the Pebble is never knowing with any accuracy when it’s going to need charging. With the Apple Watch I will get in to a habit of always charging it every night like I do with my iPhone and assuming that it does last for a day there shouldn’t be too many times when my dependable Apple wearable won’t be at my convenience just like my iPhone.
Just for clarification this isn’t an Apple Watch vs Pebble Watch post. I am aware that the Pebble has some watch faces that have a battery metre and also do provide notifications when I am running low on battery. I still find that I get in a position for various reasons when it runs out of juice and would rather have a device like my iPhone where I out of habit charge it every night so I am rarely caught short the next day.
I have very small wrists and had to add an extra hole in the leather strap. Trying to get the watch back on after charging is a nuisance and this is a big factor as to why I put off charging the Pebble until I have to. Admittedly maybe I am an edge case but a watch as is often stated is personal and this is my personal opinion. The Pebble has served me well. Who knows if the Apple Watch will be in every way a better fit for me but I want to give it a try. If it isn’t the Pebble will be back on my wrist.
This is the battery indicator.
Does this mean I have 3 days? I don’t know and I am guessing it also depends on how many notifications I get. I am not saying it’s any worse than any smartphone battery indicator. The difference is that I almost ignore it on my iPhone as I know to charge it every night.