Pebble Time with Michael
I read lots of articles on the Web about the differences in functionality that the Pebble Time provides to Android versus iPhone users. Well, I’ve got a secret to tell you – although I have an Samsung Galaxy Android phone, I just about never use any of the Pebble Time’s features that aren’t also available to iPhone users.
The simple fact of the matter is thus – although the voice and canned reply functions available to Android Pebble Time users are really cool and were fun to play with at first, I never use them anymore. My Pebble Time really provides me with the following functions that I actually find to be useful:
- Fitness tracker that counts my daily steps – PlexFit
- Navigation aid while driving – Nav Me (alas, this one really is exclusive to Android users)
- Finding nearby restaurants and attractions – TripAdvisor
- Getting weather forecasts – Simple Weather (recently replaced Weather on my watch because it’s faster and simpler)
- Timer – Timer+
- Finding current direction – Compass
- Accessing my Evernote library – Evernote
- Following my favorite teams – ESPN
- Seeing what time it is – DIN Time or Tally (depending on my current whim)
- Getting notified through the Timeline of upcoming events and activities – Google Calendar and MyTimeline Tasker Plugin (I have multiple articles here on MyTimeline, which is also Android-only)
- Getting notified of important emails, SMS messages, and Facebook messages so that I can immediately respond to them, if necessary, on my phone – in conjunction with Google Inbox and Facebook Messenger, and the standard Android SMS app
- Seeing who is calling me when my phone starts ringing
That’s it. That’s all I use my Pebble Time for – nothing more, nothing less than that.
I used to have lots more apps running on my Pebble Time, some of which I reviewed in earlier postings here. If I reviewed them and they aren’t on the above list then I’ve removed them from my watch. I did so because they proved to be of limited real value to me in my daily life.
Of course, it’s fun to just play with a brand new Pebble Time. At first I even tried getting notifications from Facebook and Twitter on it, just to have my watch buzz a lot and display stuff all the time. I also had many more apps that I used at first just because it was fun to interact with them on my new watch.
Heck, there’s nothing wrong with using a Pebble Time as a fun tech toy, and I think virtually all new owners of this cool device will go through a playful period with it. However, eventually I think we all realize that to just continue to use it as a toy will mean that it becomes a distraction to our normal life, and not an enhancement to it. So I soon moved from the playtime period into a ruthless pruning down of the functions the Pebble Time provided for me. I pruned them down to just those functions that actually enhanced my efficiency and saved me time.
Out went Facebook and Twitter notifications. Out went applications that took me more time to use than simply getting my phone out of my pocket and performing those functions on that device. Out went trying to speak replies to my messages instead of just replying to them directly on my smartphone. Out went navigating through canned replies when I could more easily create an appropriate and detailed response on my phone. The above activities are all fun to perform, but really aren’t the best use of my time and certainly didn’t enhance my daily efficiency and/or make my life any easier.
So, in the end, I paired down the apps I used and started using the standard notifications just like an iPhone user would be able to use them. I just stopped using all the fancy voice and canned responses available to me because they took me more effort to use and didn’t save me time.
What I found most valuable for me is to simply be informed of incoming messages and important emails. Then I could quickly make the decision whether to immediately deal with them or defer action until later. That’s an incredibly valuable tool for me to have. To be able have my phone remain quietly in my pocket and not have to constantly dig it out to see what I’ve just received. Or even worse, to end up ignoring something that is actually important and urgent to me. That is the wonderful assistance that my Pebble Time provides to me. In fact, if that was all that this smartwatch did, it would make it worthwhile for me to purchase and use it. The additional functionality provided by the applications I’ve installed on it are just added benefits to me over this very valuable core functionality.
So to all you iPhone users: the next time you feel like second class citizens compared to Android users, just ask yourself – did I buy the Pebble Time as a high-tech wonder toy or as a tool for enhancing my daily efficiency and productivity? If you answer the latter, I don’t think you’re missing out on anything important compared to what is available to Android users. The Pebble Time provides instant notifications of important events and information on your phone and delivers it right to your watch. This simple function can be a most extraordinary tool to have for improving your day-to-day efficiency and effectiveness, as well as reducing stress. Not a bad thing to have available to you right on your wrist!