The reality of Pebble Time and the Apple Watch

Wired has reviewed the Pebble Time and it has not done well. I can’t say I am surprised either because it already looks behind the times and it hasn’t even been released fully yet.

These limitations are so frustrating because there are good ideas in the Pebble Time. Using time as the interaction metaphor is smart and easily grasped, and there’s something to be said for not trying to be all things to all people. It’s not trying to replace your phone, or create new behaviors or features—it just wants to give you a clear picture of what’s happening in your life, right now. That’s seriously compelling; maybe a smartwatch doesn’t need to search Google or Shazam a song or check me into my hotel; maybe it just needs to be able to tell me what to do about the fact that it’s 3:05 PM right now.

It’s a shame Pebble didn’t spend more time on the design of the Time. (The Time Steel does look better, though at $299 it’s dangerously close to the Apple Watch and Moto 360.) It’s a shame the screen isn’t better, and that everything about this device screams of pocket protectors. It’s a shame the interface is messy and unattractive, that it feels like a toy.

I want the uncluttered and productive idea Pebble is selling. But I don’t want the watch.

And then there is the Apple Watch, a product that the tech press is trying hard to love, but one in which many are still trying to find a genuine need for. The review by Erin at Liss is More is useful because she is not a typical tech person and so she has to find a use for it, but seems to struggle.

These about sum up what I have found to be enjoyable about the Watch. What do I not like about it? The best way I can exemplify my feelings, as I’ve told others: you can see a lot on the Watch, but you can’t do a lot on the Watch. For example, if someone texts me a link to something, I have to look at it on my phone. Related, I will get a “an image has been sent; check your iPhone” message which must lead me back to my phone. For both of these, on numerous occasions I have forgotten that there is a link or image to look at by the time I get back to my phone. The sender either eventually asks if I received it (because of my lack of response) or I will finally notice when I go to send them a text about something completely different. Extremely frustrating!

So, putting aside any thoughts you have regarding which is the best smart watch on the market, do you believe that there is a future for smart watches that will rival phones or are they a mere fad?

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