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Archives for : February2015

Pebble throwing

I won’t go in to the details twice, but I had one requirement in a smartwatch – it had to interact with Tasker.

It turns out that Pebble themselves have decided on our behalf to stop supporting certain apps.  My needs in a smartwatch are few but supporting Tasker is essential and Google apps are next on the list.

Pebble drop Tasker

 

Pebble want to control what information you’re allowed to see on your watch, and they want to control it all through their app.  Had I wanted such strict control I’d have bought an iPhone!  My phone is Android.  Android is open source.  Not restricted.  The app doesn’t even have a tick/untick box, warning “Tasker / Google Now may result in repeated notifications”.

The thing is, Tasker brings functionality to the watch that Pebble themselves haven’t been able to do.  With its plugins and 3rd party apps integrating with Tasker it means you can do so much more than the already comprehensive app is capable of.  As Pebble want to restrict which apps they’ll allow you to use they’re putting nails in their own coffin.  If they’re not careful these sorts of decisions will do to their watch what Blackberry and Nokia did to their phones.

A year ago, Pebble were already facing criticism for blatant favouring of the iPhone over Android.  Even at the bottom of the box showed where Pebble’s alliance lay:

Pebble Box (under) highlighted

Pebble have faced criticism for not using colour screens or implementing touch screen functionality, especially in their Pebble Steel.  By denying access to certain apps and restricting functionality, even their supporters in the Android community will start to jump ship.

What annoys me is that there weren’t any “This app will no longer be supported as of 31/12/14” notifications.  Not even “This app is no longer supported”.  If a company behind smartwatches can’t send a notification to their own product then perhaps they should consider removing the prefix ‘smart’.

However, all may not be lost.  Recently Pebble announced their app can interact with Android Wear.  The Android Wear app doesn’t even need to be connected to the app or signed in to any account.  The only requirement is that it be installed.  Time will no doubt tell whether this restores what Pebble saw fit to block.  With a little good fortune I won’t be Pebble throwing any time soon.

What a difference two days make

Two days can make such a difference.  You can fly abroad, pass your driving test, or simply master that recipe that’s been frustrating you for the last six months.

Having previously been a Virgin customer I’m aware of the speeds available on fiber-optic broadband.  We’ve used it at my soon-to-be in-laws.  The shock of its capability has long since worn off.

Four years ago I moved out of a Virgin area and instantly noticed the difference.  Email seemed to be sent and received by carrier pigeon, photos suddenly seemed as though they needed to be developed and I could get faster internet on my mobile than I could at my door.  The change from Virgin’s 20Mb to Sky’s 0.8Mb was laughable, or it would be had it not been so painful.  The thing is Sky had promised me 3Mb, they just couldn’t deliver.  So five weeks after being connected, I was free.  Even penalty free.  O2 carried the torch, delivering on the promises they’d made.  Sky bought out O2’s home broadband service, and our speeds slowed again.

No more!

Two days ago I did a broadband speed test.  I did another today.  [If you’d like to test your broadband speed, click here]

Sky vs BTIt’s costing £8 per month more but you can see the difference for yourself.  [It’s worth noting that this is the first speed test since the line was connected.  The line has not been calibrated yet so the speed may increase over the next three weeks]

 

2015-02-06 13.25.55aBT did everything without even needing a coffee and a Jammy Dodger.  I received a text from them saying the line was connected [11:42], and another a short while later [12:02] saying the fiber-op was up and running.  What made the whole lot that little bit sweeter was the text I received from Sky [13:03] over an hour after BT’s last text saying they’re sorry to see me go and they’ll write to me with the details of any charges.  They didn’t even bother to proof read it. (don?t)

Good riddance!