Friday, December 6

WatchNote - Pebble Smartwatch - Evernote integrated!

I finally feel like it was worth buying a Pebble, with recent support for Amazon MP3 music (where all my music lives), and now, more importantly, an iPhone and Android app that had somehow escaped my attention since August: WatchNote.

One of the biggest reasons I carry a big-screened smartphone (still packing both my Droid Razr MAXX and now my new Google Nexus 5) is for notes! Grocery notes, work notes, to-do-lists, miscellaneous notes, notes, notes!

Keeping Evernote live up on the phone screen is a bit annoying however, not to mention the frequent required sacrifice of a hand while shopping, and the "here's my phone steal it" aspect of things, or "I set my phone down to pick something up where did it go" anxiety.

WatchNote, at under two bucks ($2USD) from Google Play, is an awesome complement to my $5/month Evernote subscription. You can sync your WatchNotes to Evernote, edit them in Evernote on your preferred Evernote devices, and sync back to WatchNote for display on your Pebble. Only a tiny bit Goldbergian :)

I wish I could select existing notes in Evernote to sync to WatchNote. For now, I'll just copy old Evernotes into the new Evernotes in the Pebblenotes folder for WatchNote.

The synchronization when notes get updated is a little clunky, as it has to go between Evernote client, Evernote server, WatchNote app, Pebble app, but it works. (Again, only a LITTLE Rube Goldberg here.) I wish the WatchNote app had a manual sync/refresh function like Evernote itself does, but I can't seem to find one presently. I have been shutting the app off and restarting it to force a sync, which lead me to realize (perhaps it should have been obvious) WatchNote needs to be actively running in order for the Pebble app to retrieve/update notes.

All in all very well worth a coupla bucks! I highly recommend it to all Pebble owners, ESPECIALLY Evernote users - but it's standalone note client would also suffice for most basic note needs.

Monday, February 18

Seven days with Pebble: E-Paper Watch for Android and iPhone

So after MUCH ado, and much waiting, my Pebble finally arrived, about a week ago. I was in the first 1/5th or so of backers on Kickstarter, and I ordered black, so I lucked into a fairly early delivery. My only disappointment here is that the item was delivered sometime between a Friday afternoon and Sunday -- I happened to notice the small package on my porch returning from grocery shopping Sunday morning -- and shipping notification from Pebble showed up 24+ hours later, on Monday. I'm just happy it didn't disappear, or get soaked in rain or snow. It did manage to show up a bit dirty/greasy however, needing to be wiped with a rag when I pulled it out of otherwise clean packaging.

My seven-day impression remains about the same as my 24-hour impression. It's a nice toy, it brings out my childhood Dick Tracy gadget dreams, and I eagerly await availability of the SDK so I can put my own apps on it. It's convenient while driving, and in meetings. It's a security bonus when you're traveling public transportation and have to worry about thieves snatching cell phones out of hands.

The E-Paper screen is pretty quick and responsive, but definitely has an oily sheen at some not overly aggressive viewing angles. It's also very prone to glare, and to fingerprinting and smudging. So far, no scratches, but I have yet to pull my typical clumsy wrist-smack in a doorway that I manage to pull almost every time I'm wearing a watch.

Battery life seems pretty impressive. Not impressed with the waterproof magnetic mechanism for the charging cord, however -- it falls out if you look at it funny, much less try to move the watch around on your desk while it's charging.

I would recommend this to geek friends, but I'm guessing most iPhone types will be happier awaiting the inevitably more expensive smartwatch that Apple is rumoring.

Monday, January 7

CES: Magisto "magical video editing" - the next Instagram

Fresh from CES, we have Magisto. I strongly suspect this is going to blow up and get acquired like Instagram, as long as the proportionately higher overhead of video vs. static images does not prove to be a serious handicap.

Available for both Android and iOS.

Quick test/demo/sample: