Tag Archives: smart watch

Video

The *best* smartwatch app (Android): Augmented Smartwatch Pro

Video description: Shows how Augmented Smartwatch Pro v 4.0 makes the Pebble watch even better. Note that app supports Pebble, Sony Smartwatch, and Metawatch.

My Take:

I’ve been using the Augmented Smartwatch Pro Android app with my smartwatches over the past few weeks. It extends smartwatch capabilities in such a useful way that I consider it a “must have” app.

Here’s how I’m using it with my Sony Smartwatch — it’s highly configurable so you can set it up to best fit how you use your smartwatch:

  • The “All other notifications” section lists nearly every app on my Note II, and based on my selections, Augmented Smartwatch Pro pushes notifications for Carbon for twitter @ messages and my Conscious app mindfulness reminders.
  • I recently learned about its robust Fitbit daily data support, and now can see how long I slept, how many steps I’ve taken, calories, etc., displayed in charts (!) on my Sony Smartwatch. For a fitbit data geek, this is nirvana!
  • It periodically pushes Wunderground weather info, including rain alerts (requires user to obtain a wunderground api)
  • I can also configure Augmented Smartwatch Pro’s quiet time settings to ensure I don’t receive smartwatch notifications during the night.

What I’ve listed above barely brushes the surface of the functionality the app brings to smartwatch use. I highly recommend it. The developer is both responsive and very experienced in writing smartwatch-related apps.

There’s a free version available, too. Strongly suggest going ahead and getting the Pro version — as smartwatch users, it’s in our best interest to support active, hard-working smartwatch app developers!

hello, pebble: initial impressions

Pebble

In April 2012, I contributed to a kickstarter project for the Pebble watch. It was a new product that would allow the wearer to link the watch to their iOS or android phone and receive a variety of notifications. Because the watch face itself is software based, the user could select from different watch faces rather than having just one standard display.

Fast forward to February 2013: My Pebble watch arrived yesterday!

Having had a day to play with my new Pebble, here are some initial impressions:

  • It’s lighter and thinner than expected
  • The epaper display is bright and easy to read in ambient light
  • I’ve only needed to use the backlight at night — it’s not super bright but does illuminate the display well enough
  • It’s large but not as large as I’d feared
  • It’s very easy to pair with the Pebble android app
  • The watch band is soft & flexible

Before my Pebble arrived, I’d already installed the Pebble android app. Because the official Pebble app currently has a limited set of notification in settings (incoming calls, SMS, calendar reminders, email, Google Talk, Google Voice, Facebook, WhatsApp) I looked online and found there are more android apps to extend Pebble integration:

While email notifications work well using the native Pebble android app, I found them distracting and turned them off. Note to Gmail two-step authentication users: You’ll need to set up an app-specific password in order to receive Gmail on your Pebble watch.
 
Samsung phone owners need to be aware that due to an apparent Samsung firmware bug, enabling the Pebble in their accessibility settings also turns on Talkback for some phone functions. Example: Now whenever I open a folder, my Note II (audibly) says “The folder is open.” I’m not hearing text to speech across the board, just in some limited instances. If it bothers you, you can try this fix (I just tried it, and it worked on my Verizon Note II):  http://www.productigeeky.com/faq/#1
 
I’d love to see a battery % status display on the watch (or within the Pebble android app). Even so, I love my Pebble and look forward to seeing additional functionality and integration enabled as developers get up and rolling.

Edited to add: Here’s a good video by The Verge that shows Pebble watch in use.