The Pebble & I
My phone and I have had a touch-and-go relationship ever since we met. I hated when it would interrupt my life, so I would leave it on my desk or otherwise out of sight; I'm away from my desk enough that those trying to reach me had difficulty doing so, and I would hate that, too. There seemed to be no middle ground:
- If the phone is ringing, it needs to be loud to be consistently heard, making it innevitably interrupting.
- If the phone is on silent, I'll never hear it, making me unacceptably unreachable.
- If the phone is on vibrate and in my pocket, it's close, but unreliable. But maybe that's something.
The Pebble is a smartwatch that connects to my Galaxy Nexus via Bluetooth, and my phone can send it notifications and receive basic input for everything from Phone and Messaging to Spotify and Calendar. I'd found my middle ground.
How I make the most of it
To really capitalize on this, my phone is set to Silent permanently, and I configured the Pebble to receive all available notification types. Aside from the occasional loss of connection1:
- Notifications are extremely reliable. I know people can reach me.
- I never have to check my phone. See #1.
- If I can hear the notification sound, it's not my phone. (For instance, when I'm at home I know it's for my wife, not me. With three Nexus devices, that got confusing.) See #2.
- The vibrate is subtle enough that most people don't seem to notice or care. A quick glance to my watch and I can tell if it's urgent.
1 I guarantee this will improve. Pebble isn't even done shipping pre-orders, and the only bug in the connection has to do with the Android client app not tearing down the Bluetooth connection completely when it loses it. It's a really quick fix - just twiddle the Bluetooth on your phone Off-On, and the connection will be reestablished immediately. The process should take 5 seconds tops on a 4.x Android phone, as the Bluetooth settings are available via the shortcut in the Notification Tray.
27th of March, 2013