Pebble’s latest iOS app (and I guess Android as well), removes the Pebble watch reliance on Pebble’s servers and means that the device can last a lot longer than the end of 2017, or at least that’s how it seems.
I’m still hopeful that someone else will bring out a real alternative firmware for Pebble soon. I’m hoping that Rebble will do something, but there’s been no update on their site since the end of January. There will certainly be enough Pebble users to make it worth their while, or at least I would imagine so. I’d happily pay for something new from them.
I’m a big fan of Workflow. It’s an amazing app for automating pretty much anything in iOS. I’ve been using it since it first launched and it’s got better and better with every release.
Now Apple has bought it. In some ways I think that might be good. It might mean that automation and even scripting becomes a part of iOS at its core. On the other hand it could be a bad thing. I’d hate to see something as innovative as Workflow get dumbed down by Apple. That would be terrible.
Only time will tell what happens next but my hope is that Apple really build on the foundations that Workflow have laid down and add more to it.
Today I got an email from IFTTT with news about their service. This is quite normal. They add to their service on a very regular basis. However, I wasn’t expecting the new addition to be a city. Louisville to be precise.
Whilst this was a bit of a shock, and also somewhat confusing as well initially it now makes perfect sense. IFTTT started off by connecting web apps and social services. Now it’s so much more. It moved on to hardware, IoT and more. Now it’s connecting physical locations and it makes perfect sense.
I hope that this continues. I’d like to see more and more connected cities hooked up to IFTTT, especially London. Well done IFTTT.
I’ve been a fan of all things ZX, especially the 81 since they first came out and I’ve always been drawn to them ever since. I realise that as a computing platform they are really ancient, retro, vintage even. But even so I think that these are somewhat lovely old computers. So when I saw this today I thought that it was something I’d love.
My ideal would be a ZX device that was portable. A bit like the retro gaming devices made with raspberry Pi, but I haven’t heard of anything like that. So the Minstrel ZX80 Clone is currently the nearest thing, and looks pretty spectacular too.
There is a ZX81 emulator on iOS, but that’s not the same at all. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t the same as having some hardware to play with. I’ll be keeping an eye on the ZX80 clone.
For ages I’ve been trying to find better ways to make use of my Pebble Time. I’ve tried music related apps. There weren’t many. You can see above the ‘chordinator’, but there was also a metronome, and even a synth controller that I could never make work sadly.
I did stumble over some other briefly useful apps, like a headline app for BBC news, and a public transport app that was brilliant, although it seems to have given up now. They were good, but never amazing.
So now it seems that at some point in the not too distant future the Pebble will stop working completely. Which is really disappointing. Apparently Fitbit intend to keep things going for a year. That’s nice, but what’s going to be more interesting is what alternatives might spring up for Pebble users. Things like alternative operating systems. I’ve been doing some research on this. There were a couple that looked interesting.
This was another possible, but has now been bought up by Google so it looks like it’ll become a part of Android Wear. So it’s a dead end.
This is actually an iOS app that lets you create and install custom firmware. Which might be useful in time.
Aside from that it doesn’t look particularly good. I’m hoping that users will develop a community based solution to this. That’s the best outcome. The worst outcome is that Pebbles will be bricked and become obsolete. I really hope that doesn’t happen. I’d like to think that my Pebble has some life left in it. This is especially important for two or three reasons.
I’d started looking into building my own Pebble app as I couldn’t find any that really did what I wanted.
I’ve got a Pebble re-phone kit that I literally got out the day before Pebble got bought.
I’m still waiting for a Deus Ex Aria smart strap from kickstarter
So it would be nice if the Pebble itself lasted a bit longer.
Time will tell what happens next. As for my own next steps, I still plan to tinker around with this stuff, and as I do I’ll post any results worth sharing.
I’m really loving experimenting with the Fossil. It’s a great old smartwatch from before we called things smartwatches and before we knew what a wearable was. Hopefully in the not too distant future I’ll have some apps for it too.
I know it’s hard to do hardware. I really do know that. But a year late is a long time, and you start to worry that actually you’re never going to see this device ever. It does bother me a lot now. I was really looking forward to this one but it still hasn’t come about and as far as I know they’re still having problems with it.