Archive for November, 2013

I Love My Pebble, But It’s Just The Beginning

Pebble Bill Murray WatchfaceWearable tech is still in it’s infancy, but it’s definitely already arrived.  Between Google Glass, Pebble, Galaxy Gear and various fitness related pieces there are a real-deal products in the marketplace that you can wear everyday.

I was a Pebble backer on Kickstarter (#nerdcred) and it hasn’t disappointed.  Mobile Syrup does a good side-by-side with the Galaxy Gear and the Pebble comes out on top.

Overall Winner:Pebble. If we had to choose a smartwatch, it would have to be the Pebble if only for its compatibility. But Pebble is our choice because of its reliability in being a watch and a “smart” notification device.

I haven’t gotten to play with the Gear yet, but I can tell you that I don’t really need or want it.  The Pebble fills a gap in  my technology I never knew I had, maybe the Galaxy Gear will turn out to be the same way, but I don’t yet see the need to make calls from my wrist.

I am a watch person.  I’ve got ~10.  Nothing fancy, but I like watches and I have a bunch of them…and they’ve mostly sat untouched since I acquired my Pebble.  Day-to-day nobody ‘needs’ a Pebble, but at this stage I always miss it when I’m not wearing it.  I always liked the concept of the notifications, but the stand out feature for me has been the start/stop/fast-forward management of my music/podcast apps.  I’m the type to always have my headphones in and whether I’m exercising or just at the supermarket not having to make my phone out, go through my screen lock and get to my music app is just perfectly convenient.  For all the watch faces, my Pebble spends the majority of time on the screen with the smallest clock (the Music app).  I even bet it saves some battery life by not having to turn the screen on as often.

The Pebble has grown too…  Now that I’ve gotten back to exercising (sort of) the integration with my phone’s RunKeeper app makes for a nice and easy (if limited) exercise watch.   The latest SDK version adds a whole bunch of features and Pebble just announced new partnerships.  The development of apps like Glance and Pebble Cards have made for much more informative watch faces too.

Overall, it’s also a decent conversation piece.  It elicits it’s fair share of questions on it’s own and then has plenty of features to show off.

At this stage, I don’t have a Galaxy Gear and I didn’t pony up the $1500 for the Google Glass Beta, so my Pebble is all I’ve got and I love it…but it’s definitely just the beginning.

Sprint Is Awful, But At Least You Can Save Some Money

Sprint unlimited Guarantee

Starting July 12th Sprint began offering a new set of plans.  Sprint’s new Unlimited, My WaySM plan or My All-inSM plan replace Sprint’s ‘Everything’ plans and should save most people money.  I can tell you that it saves me $30-40 / month for the same unlimited service I was getting before.  Sprint wont tell you that you could be saving money, so make sure to give them a call and check on your plan.

Android Police did a nice write-up of the new plans and Pocketables gives us 4 reasons why these changes stink.  Apparently there are some changes in the fine print that aren’t in the customer’s favor, but maybe aren’t that big a deal.

Either way, I know I’m saving money, but I’m here to be pissed about something.  I’m pissed that Sprint would change these offerings that have significant benefits to their customers and and not notify the customer.  I get that they haven’t done anything illegal, it’s just a terrible way to treat customers.  If I hadn’t caught a glimpse of a Sprint ad, I never would have found out that I could be saving money with a new plan.  No doubt this is intentional by Sprint and makes them a bunch of money, but it feels more slimey than the average corporate backstabbing.

I’ve got an e-mail into Dan@Sprint.com (sprint’s fake CEO complaint line) requesting a refund for the difference from when the plans were changed over until when I made the switch.  Fingers crossed they’ll honor it, but with Sprint, I’m not hopeful.

Coin, One Card To Rule Them All – All Your Credit Cards In One

Coin - One Card To Rule Them All

Coin – One Card To Rule Them All

Coin is the wallet minimalist’s dream come true.  ”Coin is a connected device that can hold and behave like the cards you already carry. Coin works with your debit cards, credit cards, gift cards, loyalty cards and membership cards. Instead of carrying several cards you carry one Coin. Multiple accounts and information all in one place.”

Using a smartphone app and a card reader (provided), you load all your different cards on to your Coin and voila the only other thing you need to carry is your ID.

When I first saw this thing I started salivating.  It’s so smart and slick and the $50 pre-order price vs $100 retail price is super tempting (If you want the details on how it works check out the website, onlycoin.com).  I almost jumped on it right away, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized it probably isn’t for me.  That being said, according to my Facebook feed, at least 5 of my friends have already ordered.

I’m not worried about the security… In fact, the electronic tether that notifies you if you get separated from your Coin is an interesting feature and it deactivates itself if you manage to lose it.

I am worried that at $100 it has only an estimated 2 year battery life (needs to be thrown away and replaced once it dies) and that I don’t need another device I can break, lose, get wet, etc.  Right now my wallet is the only thing I can accidentally drop in water or fall on hard without rendering it useless.  I get that this isn’t a problem for most people, but I know, for me, it is.

Beyond that, I see Coin as a cool technology to bridge the gap until we’re all paying for everything via our smartphones (NFC, bar codes, etc).  As Google Wallet expands and Paypal is being accepted at restaurants we’re headed towards not needing anything more than our phones and an ID (and, if you’re me, 3 extra batteries).

In the meanwhile, check out this top 10 list of minimalist wallets to go along with your Coin.

 

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