Wearables.com community review of Pebble Time: A simple smartwatch you’ll love to wear
Aug31

Wearables.com community review of Pebble Time: A simple smartwatch you’ll love to wear

Editor’s note: Each month, we put a device directly in our community members’ hands. In July, Erick Adame gave the Pebble Time a thorough and thoughtful review. Stay tuned to see what devices we’re giving away next, and read the user review below.  Well, after a week spent reviewing the device, I’ll say that the Pebble Time still leads in the smartwatch market. The design is a huge improvement from the original Pebble and now makes wearing a Pebble on your wrist look stylish. Though the watch doesn’t have the best screen or any time of cutting edge technology, but it’s still a damn good watch. And it’s just that — a watch. It tells the time all of the time. It may seem like a silly thing to say, but it’s a huge advantage to be able to look at your smartwatch in any situation and easily determine what time it is. Not to be forgotten, the Pebble Time now makes receiving notifications fun thanks to the new color animations and the color e-paper display. And, last but not least, the Timeline is a neat new feature with the potential to grow into something more robust. Overall, the design, the up-to-7 days of battery life, and the user experience make the Pebble Time a watch that I not only love but brag about to my family and friends. I gave it an average score of 4.2 of 5 — here’s why.  The good Battery Life is great (at least 3 to 4 days) Very lightweight and comfortable to Wear Fun user interface with cute animations Developers are constantly making this watch better The bad The screen can seem very dim at times The bezel becomes scratched easily The gap under the glass creates weird shadows on the screen Limited compatibility with iPhone Unboxing experience – 4 I received a Kickstarter edition Pebble Time. Very much like the watch, the unboxing was fun and cute-sy. There is a zipper-like tab to open the box, and everything was neatly placed inside. With this edition, you get the watch, a charging cable, some brief instructions, and a few stickers. The retail version of the Pebble Time, however, has a beautiful box with a clear plastic display window that shows off the Pebble Time inside. Battery life – 4 Battery life is one of the biggest draws of the Pebble Time. Pebble claims up to 7 days, but I seemed to get only get about 3 during the week-long review process. This is probably because my testing the many features the watch has to offer. I also did extend the length of time the screen stays illuminated...

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Pebble Time is now available to everyone via big box stores
Jul20

Pebble Time is now available to everyone via big box stores

Pebble is keeping its word by moving Pebble Time from crowdfunding to online superstores. To begin, only those who supported the campaign on Kickstarter were able to get their hands on one of the smartwatches. Now, Pebble Times are available for direct purchase — complete with a next-day shipping. The smartwatch company is still working to fulfill the 78,000 preorders from the campaign and has hit its share of snags along the way. Both Android and Apple compatible, the company ran into trouble in June when the Pebble Time Watch app sat in “approvals limbo” in the Apple App Store. Thanks to the massive following Pebble has, social media campaigns were able to push its iOS app out of uncertainty and into the hands of the public. You might also like: Pebble pledges $1 million to encourage smart strap development Pebble touts the Pebble Time’s standout features as including the color E-Paper display, a 7 day battery life, durable glass lens, a curved ergonomic design, thousands of watch faces and apps, and water resistance up to 30 meters. Its Timeline feature “turns moments you care about — notifications, calendar events, weather, sports scores, breaking news, missed calls, app alerts — into pins that let you see what’s ahead or catch up on what’s already happened.” Pebble promises the new feature will allow Time wearers to “live ‘now’ to the fullest.” Pebble Time is available in white, black, and red via Amazon, Target, Best Buy, and GetPebble.com. Better yet, register for the Wearables.com Pebble Time giveaway, and win one for...

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A cooler summer camp: Austin Spark League throws kids into startup environment
Jul10

A cooler summer camp: Austin Spark League throws kids into startup environment

“The larger movement to teach kids coding is awesome and very much needed. But, we found that coding camps were just that: coding,” Nick Hahn of Austin Spark League tells Wearables.com. “Austin Spark League is focusing on the broader picture of educating around product development as a whole.” Kicking off its inaugural year, Austin Spark League (ASL) is a “startup style” summer program for teens that goes beyond a “coding for kids” curriculum, run by Hahn and cofounders Ben Littler and Justine Tan. Over the course of two weeks, a team of instructors will lead 15 to 20 kids between the ages of 13- and 18-years-old towards finding their “spark” — “that path leading them to the intersection of passions, paychecks, and proficiencies,” as Hahn puts it. We spoke to Hahn a few weeks before the session kicks off about his motivation, the program’s relationship with Pebble, and the future of wearable tech. You’re a grown adult with lots of things to do, why do you want to spend your summer teaching kids? I have always had a passion for sharing the knowledge that I’ve gathered through the years — especially the knowledge gained through making mistakes. I’m an optimistic futurist and have strong faith in humanity. I think we should each be trying to make sure those who are coming after us don’t have to stumble the same ways we did. I’ve spent time mentoring adult students in the user experience and interactive design fields and saw how much help I could be by even sharing a little. Austin Spark League is grander vision of this style of hands-on mentorship. I hope to help as many students possible explore paths in the technology and creative fields. Coding camps are not uncommon nowadays, so what makes ASL unique? To make a successful product you need a whole lot more than the skills to code — even if that is your primary role. It’s important to understand that when creating something (through code or otherwise), that in essence you are solving a problem. . . it’s your duty to understand the problem that you’re solving, to be a broad thinker, and not just build something as directed. Ultimately, we’d love to be able to help students make a more educated choice about what path they might take after high school. What major to pick (or not) and what career path might make them successful and happy in the long term. Tell me about the startup mentality you conduct this summer camp with? In a startup environment, founders have to wear so many hats. We want to show our students what each of these hats are...

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This week in wearables: Fitbit, Oculus Rift, Andy Murray, and more
Jun12

This week in wearables: Fitbit, Oculus Rift, Andy Murray, and more

There really is no “slow news day” when it comes to the ever-changing wearables industry, is there. From the forthcoming Apple Watch update to the delayed release of the highly anticipated Huawei Watch, we’ll catch you up on the biggest news from this week. 1. The Apple Watch is a mere two-months-old, but it isn’t too soon for Apple to make changes. At the company’s WWDC 2015 developers conference, a wide array of small improvements were announced in the form of watchOS 2, the watch’s newest operating system. Will added capabilities like HomeKit and Apple Pay be enough to keep the technology tycoon afloat in the wearables industry? 2. Custom optics, integrated headphones, and constellation tracking are just the beginning of what Oculus has in store for the final consumer version of the Oculus Rift. Say goodbye to 2D gaming, and say hello to revolutionary entertainment. 3. Tennis pro Andy Murray officially announced his partnership with equity crowdfunding firm, Seedrs. We can only expect that Murray will bring his competitive nature from the court to the office as a new company advisor. 4. FitBit partnered with Parkrun, U.K. fun run organizers, this week. With the introduction of fitness trackers to the Parkrun community, FitBit hopes to teach, equip, and encourage people to get up and get active. (Oh, and to sneak something else in here, Fitbit got hit by a second lawsuit from Jawbone.) 5. Earlier this year, we got a good look at the Huawei smartwatch with hopes of seeing its quality design and functions in markets soon. But with a few compatibility hiccups with Android Wear, you can expect to see the watch release delayed to sometime in September or October. 6. OriginGPS launches the Multi Micro Hornet designed for low power consumption, small form factor, and high sensitivity for location services in wearables. 7. Have no fear because the Pebble Time is almost here! Pebble is teaming up with BestBuy and is preparing for pre-orders from non-backers which start on June 22. Retailing at $199, the wait is nearly over. Ready, get set,...

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Pebble Time ships, backers reap the rewards of Kickstarter investment
May26

Pebble Time ships, backers reap the rewards of Kickstarter investment

The 78,000 eager customers that helped fuel the Pebble smartwatch Kickstarter to record numbers are finally seeing a return on their investment. The company begins its first round of Pebble Time shipments May 27 and expects “all Pebble Time Rewards to be manufactured by the end of the month.” While still finalizing mobile apps to be paired with the device, the company announced on their Kickstarter page that “the apps will work exclusively with Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel when they arrive on iTunes and Google Play,” noting that current apps on these platforms will still exist to manage original models. Pebble currently partners with Pandora, RunKeeper, eBay, and Jawbone, among others. Pebble Time connects with the user’s smartphone and features a colorful e-paper display (meaning you do not sacrifice battery life for aesthetic interface — it lasts for a full week!), built-in microphone, 64KB of RAM, and sensors including an accelerometer, 3D compass, and ambient light tracker. Constantly focusing on ease of use and information digestion, the product also stores as many apps and faces as possible — an important upgrade from the previous generation. Available in July, the Pebble Steel is a water and scratch resistant model made of stainless steel. The launch comes on the tail of the Apple Watch, notable in great part for its highly mixed reviews, as well as the LG Watch Urbane, deemed “wonderful but frustrating” by some. Pebble’s presence as an underdog and the smartwatch’s differentiating features (such as its retention of physical buttons in lieu of a full touch-screen face) make it an interesting contender for top dog in wearable...

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