I’ve worn a Pebble watch for about a year now, and it’s great for my particular use case, which as you’d expect involves not caring if people around me think I’m a huge nerd. (The Pebble is a large, relentlessly nerdy object to have on your wrist.)
While huge nerds like me will love the Apple Watch, I still think it will be a bridge too far, no matter how “intimate” they make the thing. Getting notifications on your wrist is and will probably remain a nerdy thing and not something normal humans are interested in. (For “interested in” read “recoil in horror from.”)
Apart from the dark horse of what currently secret functionality the Apple Watch will include, the main things that will set it apart from the Pebble will be the integration: Apple can make it do things Pebble just can’t. We don’t know yet what that will be. And whereas the Pebble looks like a nerd gadget, the Apple Watch will be much sleeker.
But will that be enough to get the masses interested? I’m doubtful.
From what I’ve read on the Internet from people who’ve bought Pebbles and Android Wear watches to get a jump on the Apple Watch experience, there are three main schools of thought: 1) Lordie! Having notifications on my wrist is the bomb! (I fall into this category); 2) My wrist keeps buzzing and this is so annoying kill it with fire; and 3) Meh. I don’t really need this—taking my phone out of my pocket isn’t exactly arduous.
Note that most of the discussion centers around notifications, since that’s the most obvious thing the Pebble and Android Wear watches do.
And I do like the notifications my wrist and don’t find them oppressive since I turned off a lot of notifications on my phone before getting the Pebble. To me having the phone buzz in my pocket means I need to know what it’s saying, so most notifications are off.
This probably counts as a life hack/tip: Turn off all notifications that aren’t crucial. Everywhere. You’re welcome.
But the Pebble does more than just notifications. For my use case, it’s a watch, a timer and a music controller. I do a lot of physical therapy to alleviate my IT band syndrome, and having a timer set for 40 seconds right there on my wrist is huge. And I mean huge in the same way that a remote control is huge: When I first heard about remote controls for TVs I thought it was the silliest thing I’d ever heard. What kind of lazy bastard can’t get off the couch to switch the station?
Well, me, as I learned five minutes after using a remote control for the first time.
Same thing with having timer functionality right there on my wrist instead of using a separate device.
But I’m a professional alpha nerd and the kind of person who buys a Pebble or Android Wear watch in order to write about it on their blog or talk about it on their podcast is also a huge nerd, so what the normal humans will think when the Apple Watch hits the street will be very interesting indeed.
For myself, having an Apple-quality color screen on my wrist will sure be nice. But much love for Pebble who were the first to show that a wrist computer is a useful thing.
Though I still can’t wrap my head around how millions and millions of people will agree.
Nic reports his experiences so far with voice computing from Amazon and Google and is a bit mystified at the reaction to Apple’s HomePod.
After a few weeks of using iPhone X I’m ready to join the congratulatory choir.
Nic is interested in smart homes. His contractor let him know how the wealthy are already using them.
Apple’s neglect of the pro market is causing a lot of gnashing of teeth in Apple-nerd circles, but it’s true to Apple’s vision.
There is unrest in the Mac community about Apple’s commitment to the platform. Some are turning their eyes to building a Hackintosh to get the kind of computer Apple doesn’t provide. Here’s what it’s like to run a Hackintosh.
Car nerds are dealing with some cognitive dissonance as car technology changes.
The Oasis is Amazon’s best e-ink reader to date, but it’s not good enough for the price.
Nic buys an Amazon Echo and is indubitably happy with the fantasy star ship in his head.
The problem isn’t ads. The problem is being stalked like an animal across the internet.
The DS416j is a nice NAS for light home use. Just don’t expect raw power.
The Core Dump is moving to GitHub Pages. This is a good thing, most likely.
Thoughts on Apple Watch after half a year of daily usage.
Predictably, the Paris attacks brought the anti-encryption crowd back out of the woodwork. They're at best being willfully disingenuous.
Things to consider when planning to build a site on a compressed time table.
Nic provides some basic not-too-paranoid tips for securing your digital life.
Installing Jekyll on an EC2 Amazon Linux AMI is easy. Here are the steps.
After wearing the watch for over a month, Nic has thoughts on its future. Spoiler: Depends on how you define success.
Turns out “it's just a big iPhone” is a stroke of genius.
Some technical terms still confuse people who should know better, like journalists.
How to host a static site on Amazon S3 with an apex domain without using Amazon’s Route 53.
People fear change, so new technology is used as as a faster version of the old. This makes technologists sad.
Nic loves his Pebble and looks forward to the Apple Watch, but realizes he’s in the minority.
Nic loves books, but he loves their content more.
Nic is worried about the fragile state of our technology and thinks you should be as well.
Nic tries to understand the WATCH. It doesn't go well.
Nic thinks home integration could be Apple’s next major category. Read on to find out why.
Nic is frustrated with his Kindle and would love to see Apple make an e-ink reader.
The iPhone was announced Jan. 9, 2007. It now occupies a huge chunk of Nic’s life.
Nic is very impressed with the speed of the iPhone 5S and iPad Air.
Nic buys a Nexus 7 to test the Android waters.
Nic outlines some of the risks of ceding comments on news stories to Facebook.
Nic is bemused by the sturm und drang surrounding the iOS-ification of Mac OS X.
Web publishing used to require heavy-duty nerditry, but no longer.
Nic is creating an e-book. He shares what he’s learned so far.