From the Editor's Desk: Newer isn't always better

By Adam Zeis on 10 Mar 2014 03:39 pm

So on Friday afternoon, Pebble finally released their Android version with the Pebble appstore (and 2.0 firmware). I had played around with it a bit in beta form, but for the last few weeks I was actually just using the official app since it was way more stable. Of course I wanted the fun new features of 2.0 — but I wasn't ready to give up my good battery life or a simple to use app that easily managed both of my Pebbles. A few minutes after updating the app I knew I was in for some updater's remorse, and sure enough, here I am.

The Pebble app was great — it handled both my watches (original and Pebble Steel) without a problem. I could connect and disconnect as needed, battery life for both my watch and phone was great, and it never crashed. The new app — even with the quick fix that was added — still feels unfinished, unpolished and flat-out slow. Can I get by with it? Sure, but it's painful to use at times. 

I already miss that I can't tap anywhere to disconnect my Pebble (for whatever reason). I used to be able to disconnect, then tap to connect and I could choose which device I wanted — easy. Now I don't have that option. I get that most people won't have more than one Pebble and need to swap between them often, but now you have to either kill the app, the watch of Bluetooth to do any sort of connect & disconnect. It feels like a lot was lost in the new app that really shouldn't have been. I'm hopeful that the appstore will come along as well — it's a bit jumbled at the moment and navigating it is super slow. They did a good breakdown of categories for the most part, but I'd love a web version or even web links to get the the specific apps and watch faces. 

Most of this comes back to the fact that I'm very set in my ways and that I don't like change, so I'm sure that not everyone will feel the same way. I just found myself really missing the old app over the last two days and I hope that Pebble is quick to crank out the updates and kill the lag.

Side notes:

  • Potholes in NJ suck. I got new tires less than six months ago and already need to get one replaced. 
  • I'm still not sure if I'm excited for the new Gear devices or not, especially since I don't use a Samsung device as my main phone.
  • I've been trying to eat healthy lately and get up earlier to exercise, so if you catch me being cranky, that's why.

Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: Newer isn't always better


What about battery life? Has it changed since you switched to the new Pebble app?

Still waiting on my Steel... Stuck at "6-8 Weeks"...

Yeah it's way down now. Only made it two days over the weekend — typically I was at least 4 between charges. 

I'll agree that the new app is still pretty flaky. I've had several issues getting my Pebble to stay connected to my Nexus 5. Reconnecting is a pain!

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans App!

Yeah they messed me up too, I have a galaxy gear and a pebble and go back and forth between wearing both of them depending on the occasion,, when I wear the gear I used to be able to disconnect and close the Pebble and vice versa when I would wear the Pebble I'd disconnect the gear app but now the Pebble app will keep searching if I don't have it connected not cool.

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans App!

And before anyone suggests it force closing the app doesn't work it pops back up

Posted via the Android Smartwatch Fans App!

I haven't had any connection issues, and I get an easy four days of battery with moderate use (LG G2, original Pebble). However, it is painfully slow and sometimes won't load/unload an app or watchface at all- for no apparent reason. What irritates me the most is the lack of organization of the app store though, especially for watchfaces. There needs to be SOME level of organization for them, who has time to scroll through thousands of them looking for something????

There should definitely be a web version/ access to account from browser. Why would cloud services be foreign to wearable tech? Pebble should jump on that.

Battery life isn't too bad so far, 4 days instead of six, but getting and keeping a connection with my Nexus 5 has turned into a real pain. Plus a lot of the new apps tend to error out more often. Ironically, guess we just need to give it time.