Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Watch Changeover

Back in November of last year the Pebble went on sale and I bought myself one as an apertif in preparation for the Apple Watch coming into my life. Six months later my Apple Watch arrived, so I set down the Pebble and switched over. During my first couple of days with the new watch, I missed my Pebble a lot. Why? Two reasons.

The main thing I did on my Pebble was home automation - Nest Thermostat, TCP Lights, WeMo Fan, etc. The apps just aren’t there on the Apple Watch yet. I suspect this is because HomeKit still isn’t complete and launched and so Apple isn’t allowing other home automation apps onto the watch just yet. I did realize that IFTTT Do has an Apple Watch companion app so I was able to get a few things setup on it: Turn on Bedroom Fan, Turn On/Off Nest. This is going to go away with time.

The second thing is that the Pebble has four physical buttons to do anything and can leave an app up and running that is really awesome. A whole lot of features of the Apple Watch require swiping and tapping on the screen. The main time I want to use the watch is when I’m taking care of the baby (often holding him in my arms) which makes swiping and tapping impossible. I like to play music (or podcasts) and then use the watch to pause/unpause the stuff playing. On the Pebble there was a nice easy physical button to do it. On the Apple Watch I have to wake the watch, swipe down to glances, and tap to pause/play. Super annoying.

Give it six months and I won’t be holding a baby all the time, HomeKit will be complete, and the watch app ecosystem will be a lot more robust. We might even have native watch apps by that point.