Tag Archives: android

Pebble Time Steel First Month Look

It’s actually only 3 weeks, oops.

I got the Pebble Time Steel gold version. My friends got the steel grey and black ones. They were definitely not as cool looking as the gold one. From a looks perspective the red leather band is a home run, paired with the gold. Black bezel also even looked OK like this.

And here we get to the heart of the problem with the Pebble Time Steel, and Pebble Time in general–that display just does not look good. Colors are dimmed and contrast is like 3/4 of what it was on the original Pebble. Why? Because the new display is a TFT LCD where the crystal layer has to be semi transparent in order to work passively and work with a backlight. When light is filtered partly by the LCD layer, this is how you generate different colors. The original Pebble is B&W, so it either completely blocked light or none at all, giving you better contrast than the Pebble Time screen. Both old and the Pebble Time has so-so viewing angle but the Time really loses out in the dark versus the original Pebble.

The Pebble Time Steel has the added problem of, I think, really demure styling. This watch would work well for women, if it’s a tad on the big side. But that also means it’s quite small as far as smartwatches go and great for people who doesn’t have manly wrists. It looked definitely more stylish than the original pebble, which is something people who dig the Pebble Steel might not prefer–that one is bigger and manly.

I think it does not lose to the Apple Watch on looks, side by side. It definitely does not look as manly, though, without that large crown and less angular styling. I think if you are the stereotypical urban hipster tho, it will look good.

Pebble recently unveiled the Pebble Time Round which looks wicked, but if it follows the same design language, it will be for people looking for a wristwatch for women or people who want something that’s design-wise smart but not aggressive. We don’t know what display it will have, but looks like it’ll be the same as the other Pebble Times.

Pebble Time’s display is slightly worse than Pebble Time Steel’s display because the steel forces the way the glass bond to the display to be closer. It improves the viewing angle and slight ups the contrast. I think this makes Pebble Time Steel a no-brainer choice over the Pebble Time pretty much all around. The styling isn’t even that different between the grey or black ones. They are really two watch lines that aren’t different enough design-wise to be saying you prefer one over the other, especially given the extra $150 you can get more battery life and more durability, and slightly improved display.

To be honest, functionality is already pretty OK for the Pebble. What has to be improved is the looks. I don’t think the Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel has achieved enough to call it that. Maybe the PT Round? It is definitely differently looking.

As for the software, it’s faster and less buggy. It uses a different companion app than the Pebble/Pebble Steel. I run it on android, and it’s solid. What I don’t like is the timeline interface, because it’s kind of useless and I don’t want to be pressing a lot of buttons on the watch. Maybe once devs can hook better Pebble apps into it?

The new reply and voice dictate is definitely nice and I appreciate it, even if I don’t see myself using it just because it takes a little getting used to and I’ll have to force myself into doing it. Not a killer app but definitely cool once someone figures out how to integrate it into Google Now.

Battery-life-wise it’s great. Seven days minimum with a wonky PlexFit on it even.

I can get a Pebble Time Round for $200. I might bite. I don’t know. I dig that white one. Maybe for Christmas to give to somebody?

Random Google Doodles

On Gingerbread and OS Frag

It’s easy to whine and cry about not having the latest and best Android OS on your smartphone. Google’s approach to their first-party wares is to service devs, which naturally meaning offering the newest thing on the block. It’s pretty awesome consumers can get to use them too, especially now that the Nexus S is slated for several carriers beyond the N1.

But what is the real incentive? People want the latest OS, it’s part of the shopping criteria. Naturally it becomes something of a marketing item. I mean, they can get away with sticking Froyo on a mid-range smartphone now. It’s like saying “oh hey it’s ok that my $400 15″ desktop replacement only runs Windows Vista but my $2000 Alienware runs Windows 7.” Makes no sense.

Of course the nature of RISC and platform specific platforms that are today’s smartphones means you can’t easily do this kind of PnP, but given how fast the ROM community work on the latest Android kernels, I find it a little incredulous. I understand that rolling out a kernel on this stuff, in carrier terms, is not trivial. But I also think people are being played for the Android Sweets upgrade game. I hope people realizes this.

Which is to say I doubt OS version frag is not likely going to be a problem now that we’ve hopped into the 2.1+ bucket. Device frag, though…I guess if you’re still rocking a G1, more power to you.

On privacy and security of personal data

So there’s that Google ad going around. Yea, it’s selling things that are precious. More so than phone hardware or computers, at least. But Goog makes its pay on ads, so ultimately they’re just selling us ads by leveraging all that user data.

If I’m going to make available my personal info (anonymized) for commercial purposes, I should get something in return? I guess at the very least I get better ads, and I think that’s a core goal of Google. But that’s more or less true for everyone doing the same thing. Compare them to Facebook though, Google seems just a safer, less prone-to-what-happened-to-Sony kind of alternative. Despite people still get their Gmail accounts compromised, at least I have a 2-step auth option, and with Android, a very powerful cloud personal computing environment that is basically free to use. Nobody is offering this, at least for free.

So, yeah, I get something for giving up privacy and personal info if I stick to El Goog. And from a trust/security perspective, they’re probably more secure than most! And more scrutinized than most. In light of the ongoing Sony PSN problem, I think it’s safe to say that security is probably a lot more important than the fact that they have your personal info to begin with. I mean, think about it, do I trust Facebook? Probably less than PSN…

You can see that ad here.


Lastly, I pick on FB only because I can’t think of any other honeypot for hackers that is going to ruin more lives. Short of high security/military kind of thing, which are probably a lot more secure on the basis of being less trusting and much more restricted.