The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Nvidia, in the past of other companies such as Iagination Technologies, MIPS, Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Watch and fitness band

After the Withings Activite' Pop failed to satisfy, I have reverted to a slightly updated version of what I have been wearing for the past year: a semi-smart watch on one wrist, and a fitness tracker wristband on the other.

Before their watery demise, I was wearing the Basis B1 watch, and a Jawbone UP.   I bought the Basis watch first. I later bought the Jawbone UP, at first just to get vibrating alarms - but I liked the UP iPhone app so much more that it became my main fitness tracker.   I mainly used the Basis as a watch, to tell the time, and because it had a display so that I could see how many steps I had done without opening my phone.

Now I am wearing a Pebble Smartwatch, and a Jawbone UP2.

The UP2 because I continue to prefer its app, and for sleep monitoring.  The Jawbone UP was able to tell whether I was awake or asleep automatically, but only the Misfit watchapp can do that on the Pebble - and it interferes with other watchapps, like the Jawbone UP watchapp, which actually counts steps. 

Interference between watchapps is the bugbear of the Pebble.

I was therefore a bit disappointed to learn that the UP2 has separate modes for sleep and awake.   Automatically detecting is the entire reason I got the UP2.

The Pebble SmartWatch  (a) because running the Jawbone UP watchapp displays steps taken in almost real time - i.e. because it has a display.   (b)_Swimming.  (c)_Other smartwatch goodness: (c.1) calendar (via SmartWatch Pro), (c.2)_notifications about email and text (mixed blessing, needs better filtering), (c.3)_bus and train schedule. (d) Because I can write my own watchapps, in my own copious free time. 

I can already feel the gravitational pull:  I am frustrated when something that could fit in the smartwatch's limited form factor is not available as a watchapp. Just as I prefer to use my cellphone for most things that fit on it, I think the same will apply to the watch.   The cellphone just has a bigger display, and the MacBook an even bigger display, and a big keyboard.

If we had goggles...


Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

One of the big reasons that I bought a Jawbone UP2 to accompany my Pebble Smartwatch was that I liked how my original UP (R.I.P.) automatically detected sleep.

I was unhappy to learn, then, the UP2 has a sleep mode distinct from an active mode.

Overnight I decided to test it by disabling the Pebble activity tracker, and wearing the UP2 to bed without putting it into sleep mode.

I was unhappy when I woke up, and for quite some time after (half an hour? more?) to see no sleep report. Why would Jawbone disable automatic sleep detection? Many UP2 users were complaining.

But after a while (an hour?) the sleep report appeared. I suspect that Jawbone does server side processing to infer heuristically that I user is sleeping.

Good enough for me!

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

I uninstalled the blue Jawbone "UP - Tracker Required (UP/UP24/UP Move)" from my iPhone.

I installed the purbn;e app for UP2,

Now my Jawbone UP2 steps are NOT getting sent to Apple Health. Apple Health has a placeholder, a wireframe white icon, for the original UP - because I told Apple to retain UP data when I uninstalled it. Actually, used to have - now it is gone. (Probably after unistallimg and reinstalling a few times.)

But the new Jawbone UP2 is not being transferred to Apple Health.

Possibly because I have the Jawbone UP watchapp on my Pebble Smartwatch?

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

:-) The Jawbone UP2 records steps made at my treadmill desk, at my usual "zombie shuffle" pace of 0.4 mph.

:-( Unfortunately, I have to have the UP2 tucked into my socks on my legs.

My ankles are too thick for me to wear it around them, as some people report.

Doesn't work in my pocket.

Certainly does not work on my wrist.

But at least it works when worn at our near my feet.


By the way: the Withings Activite Pop did not work tucked into my socks. Nor does the UP app on my Pebble.

The Basis B1 was instructive: at first it counted steps on both treadmill desk and staitionary bike, as well as on a portable bike I sometimes carry on business trips. But after a software upgrade, the capability went away.