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This is the personal blog of Don McAllister, the host and producer of ScreenCastsOnline.

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Using the Pebble

At home, I hardly ever use my Pebble.

Mainly that's due to me sitting at my desk surrounded by Macs, iPads and iPhones. There's really no need to use a watch, besides, I find the constant clunking of the watchband on the desk to be annoying.

However, spending a few days out of the office, I thought I'd give it a go.

So on my recent trip to New York, I decided to take the Pebble and wear it during the day in my role as tourist.

I really don't get many messages on my iPhone, but I thought it would be useful to see how (or if) I became accustomed to the watch. To give it something to do, I downloaded the new Google Field Trip app onto my iPhone. This is a location aware app that sends you a notification when you are close to something of interest. It should also send notifications to my Pebble.

So for the best part of three days, I wore my Pebble whilst out and about.

To my surprise, I really started to rely on it, to the extent whereby I really missed it when I forgot to put it on for the last day.

The Field Trip app did send notifications to the watch, but they weren't really useful. Most of the interesting things it told me about weren't really interesting to me, but the fact that the notification appeared on the watch, rather than me having to hoist the iPhone out of my pocket each time was brilliant. The vibration motor in the Pebble was put to good use, and all notifications were immediately picked up. I have missed a couple of notifications on my iPhone when carrying the iPhone in an inside coat pocket, but you'll never miss one on your wrist.

The occasional iMessage that I did receive was very easy to review via the Pebble, and the fact that I could scroll the message on the Pebble to read the whole message was a nice touch. I still would have liked to be able to respond to a message via the watch.

One unexpected benefit was that I didn't have to worry about having my expensive iPhone on show during the day. Most of the time it stayed firmly in my pocket, iPhone theft is apparently rampant in New York.

One thing that really surprised me, was just how much I used the Pebble as a watch!

I've not used a watch since getting my iPhone and I'd forgotten just how simple it is to glance at my wrist for the time, rather than remove my iPhone from my pocket.

So even in its current rudimentary form, the Pebble can prove useful and I'm excited to see what possibilities arise as the firmware gets updated and more apps start to get developed for it. Pebble have recently announced a new watch face SDK being released in April, and a new release of the firmware in the next few weeks.

Whilst the Pebble will almost certainly never reach the level of sophistication or functionality that a true Apple designed device could accomplish, using the Pebble for just a few days has certainly confirmed for me, that a wearable device closely paired to an iPhone could be a very useful product.

A very useful product indeed.

Reader Comments (1)

I find my Pebble working well. I wear it every day. Not regularly referencing my phone and having the info appear on the Pebble is great. I look forward to things to come.

March 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Purcell

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