I became a pebble user since yesterday evening and let me tell you one thing - never have I ever been attached to a product so quickly. Fitbit is a great company, I even bought Ionic during Thanksgiving - only to return it last week as I wasn’t quite “thrilled” using it for a while.
The thing manufacturers need to understand that UI and simplicity embraces love. And I abolutely love my Pebble watch since last 16 hours. There are so many things to love about Pebble watch - I’m sure if you are a pebble user you know what I’m talking about. Yeah, the bluetooth connectivity can be wobbly and then dictation doesn’t work. But who cares, at least I’m happy with the always on display and timeline. There are few things I would like to add:
I was hunting for the perfect smart watch since last few months. I first got Apple Watch and got thrilled with its OLED display, only to return it within first few days! The reason - nagging need to charge it every evening. I later got Garmin Vivo series (two models), it was all good, but they sucked at notifications. Again, my purpose was a smart watch with good notifications. Fitness was secondary. Then I made bad decisions trying watches on and off from amazon - some where good but I felt something was still missing.
It wasn’t until October that I decided to get Apple Watch (this time with LTE) and Fitbit Ionic during thanksgiving sale. Apple watch was returned back to store within 48 hours, given that LTE connection was so inconsistent. I kept Ionic for a while, but then I realized that this watch was again emphasizing on fitness aspect more than notifications and/or other features. Sure, Ionic has offline payments and more “features”, but nothing there was still something missing …
… except when I was at Hacker Dojo and someone emphasized, “I still use Pebble watch (gen 1) and I couldn’t stop using it”. This was Monday evening. I Pebble 2 shipped same day from amazon. In the meanwhile I began reasearching more about Pebble aftermath since Dec’16. You won’t believe this - I spent upwards of 10 hours yesterday online, researching more about Pebble’s origins and the time period when Pebble was to be handed out to Fitbit. In the meanwhile I was also lurking around on Pebble forums and let me say one thing - never have I come across a community of people so passionate about something that the discussions topics are created by every given day when the product itself was discontinued some 13 months ago!!!
I work at a hardware startup in the heart of silicon valley. The one most important thing that’s hard to gain is the passion-loyalty-trust of community. You can gain traction of users, but what I have seen on these forums and fan videos on youtube is the absolute love for this watch, engineered by some of the talented engineers back at Pebble (whom I don’t know, but you guys have gained a great reputation at least in my mind). I was so moved by this announcement that I thought of dropping by someone I know (a cold contact who is a venture capitalist) to see if anything could be done to save this community. If all it takes is one engineer, it’s fair to hire one full time software engineer - one of the original developers of Pebble ecosystem and ask him/her to support/maintain Pebble ecosystem. I know I might be speaking out of my mind, but considering a salary of 130k per year, a kickstarter of 200k would should convince Fitbit to provide another 18 months of support to Pebble ecosystem i.e. until 2020.
I would say pie thing - most watches around in the market seemed to be designed keeping in mind planned obsolescence. Or the release of the next new watch would imply that one should get rid off his/her old one and go ahead and buy a new one. That’’s not the case with pebble … the more I started looking around, the more I saw people who are the creative types, disrupters … still using Pebble gen 1 watch. Based on how much inventory is out there with the third party supplier, I would say someone should step in and make a decision if supporting Pebble ecosystem beyond June is worth it? If it is worth it, I don’t mind collaborating with few people here and there to raise money for this community. Bear in mind, the idea of raising money is just an idea; it’s more difficult than it seems to raise money (but still worth a shot).
I’ve attached my amazon shipping receipt for skeptics who think I might have been a troll. Stay positive, pebble community!
Sign up to Pebble Junkies on Facebook.
Or to Pebble discord
Oh, there’s one thing that I would like to add. I was out at a party yeasterday … with a casio watchface, no one even noticed that I was wearing a pebble watch or even smart watch as a matter of fact. 80% of people were wearing apple/fitbit/garmin watches, and the remaining 20 -> the casio and timex fanatics made me realize that my pebble was the smartest “casio look-alike” amongst those 20 percent. A woman that I know very well passed this remark, “There you go, you bought another Casio after string of smart watches!”
There’s more costs involved than just a developer, there’s also server costs (like the app downloads & forums) and maybe the costs of an email support person and/or forum moderator.
There’s also the costs for the Speech-To-Text API. I’m not sure what Nuance’s pricing is, but Bing Speech charges $4 per 1000 requests. I’m most worried about losing my voice-to-SMS features, and I’d pay an annual fee to Fitbit to keep it alive on my Pebble Time Steel.
I signed up for the Ionic discount pricing, and I really want to support Fitbit… but the Ionic doesn’t have dictation for speech-to-text & Snowy. I use those a lot more than I expected to. I’m surprised there’s no official stainless steel bands either. I love the idea of FitPay, but I’m not convinced it will work with my Australian bank or credit cards. So if I have to switch watches, I’d be taking a serious look at the Skagen Falster with Android Wear before the Ionic.
(I think what I really want is for Fitbit to release the Time 2 Steel.)
You should join the Pebble subreddit, if you’re not already on there, especially considering the numbered days of this forum. You’re clearly very passionate about Pebble, rightfully so. I have brought up the idea of paying to keep the lights on in the Pebble subreddit, and people seemed generally for it, but we’re not the ones in charge.
Realistically though, the best chance Pebble has of living on is in the open source Rebble operating system. Once that’s a mature operating system, all it would take is some chinese watch manufacturer (or a kickstarter?) to make an e-paper watch with the operating system already created in Rebble. Even if it’s a blatant copy of Pebble, I think that’s exactly what we’re trying to achieve.
Every few weeks there’s another Android Wear device crapped out, and it’s the same as all other Android Wear devices. If it’s the same operating system, then it’s basically the same device. What separates Pebble/Rebble from the others is the brilliant and simple operating system, along with the epaper display. OLED just does not work on your wrist unless you want to replicate a tiny version of your phone.
I think what I really want is for Fitbit to release the Time 2 Steel
I really hoped this would happen. Pebble Time 2/Steel but with access to Fitbit ecosystem. Would have been perfect for me.
Same as you! Just want Pebble. The design of Fitbit not my type. See how’s it going after June 2018. I have apple watch but most with me is Pebble time2. Pebble is much easily to use and faster to reach what I want. Touch screen on a small surface is a problem for me and I dont want to shout to Siri to reach the app!
I find quite a lot Australian are using Pebble:slight_smile:
Fitbit should just start making Pebble Time Steel smart watches. I’ve never owned another Pebble (so I guess I’m biased) but this is the perfect watch for me. Now that I have a Samsung Galaxy S6 phone, the Bluetooth reaches to the basement of the house from my phone in the upstairs bedroom. The effing basement! Best watch ever!
Bluetooth is phenomenal on PTS (probably also all Pebbles, but I only have PTS). Mine stays connected from one end of house to the other, which is 50 or so feet away.
Fitbit has until July to announce the next smartwatch, which better be essentially a Time 2 (the new steel they canceled)… before every last pebble user leaves their ecosystems entirely.
They really missed the boat with the ionic like we all feared.
Same here. I can even leave my phone in the house (lower level) and still get my texts and emails.