Discussion about
DanCooper

April 11th 2014 3:51 am

How would you change the Pebble?

Talk about Kickstarter and, inevitably, Pebble will come up. The smartwatch received over $10 million in funding, and was one of the biggest success stories to come from the site. What’s interesting, however, is that the minimalist aesthetic carries over into the feature set -- offering nothing more than the odd notification and music control, and yet nailing it totally. The aim of this discussion, however, is to ask what you think and feel about the unit now that it’s been strapped to your wrist for the better part of a year? So why not share your experiences.

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63 replies
jeffe101

Windows Phone integration.
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smartweare

Talking about moving forward...

On hardware side, a microphone (and probably a DSP chip) is a must-have. Voice input has to be the primary input way for smart watch. A speaker is good to have but it's not that urgent. BT-LE should be adopted. 2M total memory size should be increased.

On software side, i18n (internationalization) support is a must-have. Multitask should be on the TODO list. Per-app 64K resource limitation is unreasonably small (this kills all the attempts for putting even the smallest CJK font on pebble). Is there any plan to open source the pebble system like Android does? If so, I believe the community can help to address most of the software improvements.
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Weebeetje

The same pebble with one slight difference: acting completely independent from my smartphone..
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2t

Unicode/rtl language support. Feminine style.
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pcairic

I own a superb watch that never needs a battery because it's using a solar panel as its watch face.
The Pebble would be super nice if I didn't have to be concerned by its battery level, and recharging it.
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benton

I think, they got a good idea poorly implemented. First the hardware have to be improved, I'm agree with most of the people here talking about the screen, how fragile is to scratches. For me is too expensive. I like the 5 ATM water proof feature! Forget about battery to last days. If the watch bring value to my life I charge it everyday without complain.

Software in the other hand, I was expecting SDK v2.0 would make it great after 1.0 feedback but still lacks of common sense when daily use comes. Backlight adjust timeout, apps order, app slots is limited to 8. It lose connection without reason. notification is not consistent... and the list go on and on...

I was expecting activity monitoring apps live letmuv works, but it simply do not!

I'm planning give my red pebble to my young son, and wait for Google watch...
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yahr2d2

www.gadgetwraps.com­/devices­/pebble­-watch.html

I have their black carbonfiber wrap. All of their wraps come with a screen protector that fits directly in the cutout of the wrap. I have had it on there for months now and I have incurred no screen scratches. It dries completely clear and you forget it is even there. I didn't even do the greatest job installing it but mine still looks great.
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zackplanet42

1) More App Space
2) Quicker Access to Apps
3) Multitasking (ie. timer running in background while controlling music)
4) More Color Options
5) More Responsive Android App
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MichyMal

Two things:
1) More character set - hate seeing boxes when i receive text in Chinese or other language besides English.
2) App running in the background of the watch - defeats the purpose when you have so many different watchfaces or apps to choose from and you can only use one app or watchface at a time. Say i use a pedometer app and it does not tell the time. If i want to know the time i have to get out of the app but i lose the tracking. If that is the case, not point having 8 slots for apps and watchfaces.
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yahr2d2

1st of all I would like to know the battery percentage natively. Just a little icon on the face or as soon as you enter the menu. I agree with the shutdown problems and the fact that shutdown pebble is directly above factory reset.

Better bluetooth connectivity would be nice as it drops a lot.

This is more on NitroDesk but I have to use Touchdown for work email and the notifications are kind of terrible. You only get the subject line and no option to scroll thru the email like you do with gmail.

Consistency is what I am looking for. Does anyone else get double hangouts notifications?

I like the 2.0 firmware a lot more than the previous versions.

Does anyone actually get 7 days of battery life? I am lucky to get 4 days. I get a fair amount of email in a day but nothing astronomical.

Instead of all this 3rd party software I would like to see native support for a few of their very useful features. The notification center is a huge example. Why do I have to use a 3rd party app to push regular old android notifications? Should I not have the same function in the pebble app itself? Whitelist/blacklist apps etc,

The forced use of 3rd party notification apps are my biggest pet peeve. They also bring out the buggy behaviour in the watch itself. For instance I use notification center to push touchdown notifications. At least 3 times a week this process will lock up and it will either vibrate until the battery dies or push every single notification that I have received that day from touchdown. I understand this is most likely a fault in notification center itself but if there was native support I doubt there would be an issue. I get my gmails and all other native notifications just fine and they have never locked up the watch.

My original ideal smartwatch was a device you could just push notifications from the shade to the device. Clear on android then it clear on the pebble. Ignore selected persistent notifications if you like. I never saw the concept being that difficult or hard to implement,

I am thankful for my pebble and it really is a rugged device. It has saved me quite a few trips to my pocket. I can know what it going on and it just looks like I am checking the time. I would not give that up for anything now,

Finally can someone suggest a better notification replacement/supplement with support for Touchdown? Notification center drives me batty.
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ronbsmith

might check out pebble notifier, couple of friends of mine use and love it. I personally dont have a need for it.
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sonelone

As one of the students who got one of these for free (our school got 2,000 of them, suck it MIT), I have to say that it really is a nifty device. I was originally going to write an app for it, but a bunch of the easier ideas I had had already been written and the the other ideas I have would take too long and I'm busy with other things right now. One major problem that I encountered was the lack of mic support. While the Pebble itself is not powerful enough to do voice recognition, it can easily use the processing power of the connected smartphone to do that. Having a mic would make it so much better. Also, while the Pebble is rated as waterproof, there are build quality issues that make me doubt that fact. I understand that the Pebble steel addresses that issue though. Another is price: $150 plus the cost of carrying around an ugly piece of equipment for the standard model. The cost of development was probably sort of high, but the cost of materials is extremely low(e-ink screen, weak processor, bluetooth, etc.) I guess part of the cost come from the novelty of having a notification center and music controller on your wrist. Anyways, I got mine for free, but wouldn't have paid more than $100 for it. Another one is that a touchscreen would be very useful. In understand that this would decrease battery life and increase size, but the battery life is so good that it wont matter too much and they can find ways to make it smaller. Basically:
1. Microphone
2. Build Quality
3. Cost
4. Touchscreen
Others: reordering stuff in the main menu, more setting controls, displaying text from the email app, more buttons, more memory, mirasol display (color makes everything better)
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jlariviere

It would be nice to be able to have a couple more watchfaces or apps installed.

The individual app storage could be better, with it defaulting to last updated info.

As nice as it is having a quiet watch, it would also be nice to have an audible alarm.

Speaking of the alarm, it would be nice to have more customizable of an alarm... e.g. have the 0530 alarm only be for work days...

And of course, if battery life could be better without sacrificing size, it'd be really nice too!
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