May 282016
 

Pebble failImagine this scenario: you are in the woods, lost, tired, all you need is to find the north. You look at your smartwatch, start compass application and you are saved.

I had lived through this scenario (minus the dramatics) and I’ve tried to use my Pebble. Year ago, with old firmware, this would work. I knew new Pebble Time firmware screwed things by requiring a phone connection in order to swap active application. What I didn’t know is that damn thing now also requires Internet access. Why? Why? WHY?

There are a couple of things I ask of my smartwatch. It has to be water resistant, it has to have battery last for a few days, it has to properly do notifications, and it has to work without phone. Pebble had it all for me until new firmware. Since they started with this Time interface my use cases got screwed up. I am not saying it is a bad interface as such – maybe there are crazies out there who like the fact now they can actually hold only one application in memory. It just became painful for me.

I know Pebble has a new Kickstarter with a bunch of new devices. And I was tempted for a while to actually back it up. However, looking at all of them, there is nothing for me there. I don’t need heart monitor as I am pretty sure my heart is working and that I’ll be the first person to notice when it stops. I don’t need the color screen – wife has one and the only difference is worst readability. And I definitely don’t need Core.

Pebble lately puts a lot of hope into tracking activities but then allows swapping applications only when smartphone (with Internet connection!) is available. It puts a lot into the battery life but then sucks the life out of it if bluetooth connection is not just right. I think their desire to cover all bases is making them produce more devices than they can realistically support. They have five different models already. Kickstarter brings this up to seven. All this brings firmware quality down…

I am not saying I won’t buy another Pebble, who knows, maybe the perfect firmware is out there. I am just saying I’ll wait for my Steel to die first. When that happens I will decide on what to buy next. And frankly, it doesn’t seem likely it will be another Pebble.

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