Smartwatches: Think Tank (Attn: SONY SMARTWATCH, WIMM, PEBBLE, METAWATCH,MOTO

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general forceps

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2011
114
14
Having extensive experience with both phone watches and BT-enabled watches, I want to make an important remark to firmware/software developers for these devices, more so after having recently acquired a SONY Smartwatch.

It is simple: NOTIFICATIONS NEED TO BE PUSHED ALL THE WAY. ALL GOODS NEED TO BE DELIVERED.
In the Sony Smartwatch, a vibration accompanied by a Gmail logo is useless. Having me awake the watch, click on ‘Events’, click again on the message and only then being able to see the email message defeats the purpose of immediateness. Probably easier for me to reach out to the phone and see what the notification is about.

The right way to go is simple: everything the phone has in terms of message info needs to be pushed to the watch notification:
“Email from John Doe
To [email protected]
Subject: Dinner on Tue
->And the entire body”

Same with SMS, IM notifications, or anything. Having only the SMS or Gmail or Whatsapp logos and have to hunt down for the message in the watch is absurd.
The way the MBW-150 worked offered way more info at a glance; Sony is moving backward with this minimalistic notification approach. More is needed.

Secondly: let me disable BT on the watch (say when batt is low or overnight) without forcing me to shut down the device -> no time telling anymore.

Third: watch brightness needs to be adjustable from the watch itself (let me manage battery life myself, I’m a grown up).

Fourth: an audio beep won’t kill anyone. When I’m driving, for instance, I cannot feel the phone vibration. A CASIO-style ‘beep-beep’ cannot hurt. While I understand this may involve additional hardware and pose operational complexities, this is a nice-to-have feature.

First two remarks are KEY, and I’d appreciate not only Sony but everybody involved in such development to think a bit smart before pouring a fortune into development.

Anyone has anything else worth highlighting?

Thanks
 
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PlayStation

Senior Member
Jul 22, 2008
1,267
98
Sure dude. But first things first... I would scream that let these things display the clock at all times. Failure to do so defeats the whole watch disguise!

Sent from my GT-N7000 using xda premium
 
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gtdRR

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2006
244
26
Los Angeles, CA
Well they are moving in the right direction. With the updated firmware, that was released today, you are able to do a couple more things. You now have an option of leaving new watch faces on at all times. Also with notifications, you can now single tap the new notification icon and it will take you straight to the notification!
 

general forceps

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2011
114
14
Well they are moving in the right direction. With the updated firmware, that was released today, you are able to do a couple more things. You now have an option of leaving new watch faces on at all times. Also with notifications, you can now single tap the new notification icon and it will take you straight to the notification!

Yes indeed. Touchscreen seems a tad more responsive now also, more polished.
Still, notifications need to appear spontaneously -no need to tap- and bightness should be adjustable -too much backlight for me; always staying indoors.

But it's a good step fwd and the app in the phone is more efficient.
 

jmpcrx

Senior Member
Feb 5, 2009
200
12
diss
Hi, I'm Considering buying this watch simply cos I'm a geek I guess, but, if it is possible for sony to update the firmware/create new apps, and others also to create new apps etc, isn't it almost inevitable that more detailed notifications will be developed eventually? Or am I wrong, is it up to just sony to develope new apps etc, meaning we'll have to wait for just them to decide, taking ages etc? (Unlinke the wimm one for example)..

It does look great, but I agree, notifications really MUST include details, and if this is a future possibility, then I'll get one. (Mainly due to the wimm one not being on sale over here yet! Arrghh!)
 

userfriendlyme

Senior Member
Hi, I'm Considering buying this watch simply cos I'm a geek I guess, but, if it is possible for sony to update the firmware/create new apps, and others also to create new apps etc, isn't it almost inevitable that more detailed notifications will be developed eventually? Or am I wrong, is it up to just sony to develope new apps etc, meaning we'll have to wait for just them to decide, taking ages etc? (Unlinke the wimm one for example)..

It does look great, but I agree, notifications really MUST include details, and if this is a future possibility, then I'll get one. (Mainly due to the wimm one not being on sale over here yet! Arrghh!)

The notifications seem detailed to me I mean you see the icon if you want to read the message tap the icon once. I like the screen always on update but I won't use it often since I rather have the battery last through the week.

I've checked back ever so often and there new apps popping up so I think development will only improve. Its honestly one of my favorite phone accessories I would recommend trying it out.
 

userfriendlyme

Senior Member
Yes indeed. Touchscreen seems a tad more responsive now also, more polished.
Still, notifications need to appear spontaneously -no need to tap- and bightness should be adjustable -too much backlight for me; always staying indoors.

But it's a good step fwd and the app in the phone is more efficient.

I agree I can't wait til they update to allow adjustment of of the backlight. The notifications I find using the MMS notifier over Sony's I get no delay in the notifications. The Gmail notifier app I use for Gmail sends me the notice without delay also.
 

aleekwen

Senior Member
Feb 6, 2005
77
25
OP - fullly agree with the "at a glance" concept. Metawatch provided this for me and I have the Sony, WIMM, original Liveview and MotoACTV also.

Only very recently I was able to stop using MetaWatch and switch to the Sony only for this. See my blog @ augmentedtraffic.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/finally-true-real-time-at-a-glance-notifications-on-sony-smart-watch (you need to cut & paste into a browser since I have < 10 posts).

I use Tasker/K-9 combined with my app to get "at a glance' on a SonyWatch!
I am still testing battery life, but it seems OK. I haven't put the app on the market as yet as it is very customized to my use cases and it may be a bit too much for others to use. The only thing I am currently missing from the MetaWatch is the next upcoming appointment. I have everything else I was using (notifications at a glance, phone battery life, location, weather). I even added my last Withings scale weigh-in :)
 
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benjymous

Inactive Recognized Developer
Jun 29, 2010
268
75
blog.grapefruitopia.com
Ok, I've got both of the 1st Gen MetaWatch models (The bt2 Analog and Digital ones), and maintain a popular fork of the Android MW software (see link in my sig), so I'll try and answer your points in relation to that watch.

1) Yes, MW will display your notifications as soon as the phone does - gmail is a little tricky as google keeps changing/modifying/revoking permissions with the official gmail app, so the information available to the watch manager app can be a little sketchy. If you use k-9 mail, you'll see the sender and subject. It doesn't display body text yet, but that is doable. Gmail would also be fixable by just making the app go to the gmail server directly and pull the message text when the new mail notification comes in.

The fork I maintain has an "Other notifications" Option, that lets you selectively display any android notification, although the OS limits how much information we can actually pull. If anyone has requests for additional notification support, then I'm happy to try adding it, assuming the developer of the app has provided intents or an api to access that information.

Currently notifications will stay on screen for a few seconds, then disappear (except for the SMS notifications, which, on the digital watch can be set to stay on screen until dismissed, as you can see the full body, and scroll) - On the digital watch you can configure a button to redisplay the last notification again if you missed it, and there's an on watch menu of all the previous notifications which is only a few button presses away.

2) Yes, all the MW models have a menu option (on the watch) that let you disable BT without turning off the watch, so you can still tell the time

3) Yes, the Analog MW model has menu options to configure the OLED brightness. There's nothing to configure on the Digital model, as it has an always on LCD screen (though there's an option in my fork of the app to automatically turn on its light when a notification comes in)

4) The MWs don't have a speaker, but they do have a powerful vibrator inside - it's pretty hard to miss it when it does vibrate, and the app lets you configure different vibration patterns for different notifications, so you can know what sort of message it was without even looking.

Let me know if you've got any other questions!
 

general forceps

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2011
114
14
MW has some very good stuff, I'm quite familiar with it.
Pity -both for MW and SW- is the poor pixel density. I believe MOTO has a much better display.
B/W displays appear sub-optimal to me and definitely not the direction the market wants to move toward.

Also, beyond the immediate 'at-a-glance' notification, can you read within the watch the full email or notification in MW? This is also a key element.

One more topic I missed on SW is that once connection is lost we need not only vibration but some on-screen display, like a warning sign or something. This feature prevented me from leaving behind a SGSII in a bar when I was using my ancient MBW-150. Vibration won't typically suffice.

I survive 2.5 full days with heavy notification traffic with my SW. How long you stay unplugged with MW under heavy traffic?

Thanks for the good discussion.
 

benjymous

Inactive Recognized Developer
Jun 29, 2010
268
75
blog.grapefruitopia.com
Also, beyond the immediate 'at-a-glance' notification, can you read within the watch the full email or notification in MW? This is also a key element.

As I said, the current software doesn't support that, but it's something I'm planning on adding.

SMS messages currently support this - you can page through a long message, then dismiss it when you're done, so I just need to add the code to pull out (and strip html from) the body text - I know for certain that it's easily possible using k-9 mail, gmail will probably need work to talk to google's mail server directly to get the message text.

One more topic I missed on SW is that once connection is lost we need not only vibration but some on-screen display, like a warning sign or something. This feature prevented me from leaving behind a SGSII in a bar when I was using my ancient MBW-150. Vibration won't typically suffice.

Yes, it'll display a "No watch connection" icon in the top right of the time display, which is pretty hard to miss!

I survive 2.5 full days with heavy notification traffic with my SW. How long you stay unplugged with MW under heavy traffic?

I tend to get 2 or 3 days, depending on what I'm doing - 3 days for medium traffic, 2 for heavy traffic (usually when I'm developing features, so pushing lots of data to the watch)

3 days = Taken off the charger on Monday morning, needs to go back on the charger Wednesday evening before I go to bed.

I could probably get much longer battery life if I manually turned bt off each night, and back in the morning, but I like having my watch vibrate in the morning when the alarm goes off! Perhaps adding a "bt sleep" mode to the firmware would be a good addition.
 
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tjrhine

Member
Oct 6, 2009
42
7
How long does your battery last on the Sony Smartwatch if you keep the small digital clock on at all times?

I've had my watch a little over a week and haven't been able to make it through the day yet even with minimal notifications. The battery life has been very disappointing.
 
Last edited:

general forceps

Senior Member
Jan 15, 2011
114
14
@benjymous:
I forgot to note that I shut it down when I go to sleep. In the morning I turn it on with no pairing issues, so we'd be looking at 18h/day actual uptime, for a total of say 45h per charge. Not stellar by any means.

@tjrhine:
It didn't even cross my mind to have the screen on full-time. It is obvious you won't make it tremendously far (I think the bat has a capacity below 130). No way. I push the button to get the time, I can live with this.

I also need to report that the glass is far from scratchproof. That's something that really pisses people off. Next HW release should DEFINITELY include at least Gorilla Glass and certainly a bigger battery. The thickness of the plastic clip and the strap can be each reduced by about half a millimeter that combined gives you 1mm that they should invest in a bigger capacity batt.
And obviously, a standard usb port.

Please keep ideas coming folks, thanks.
 

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    Ok, I've got both of the 1st Gen MetaWatch models (The bt2 Analog and Digital ones), and maintain a popular fork of the Android MW software (see link in my sig), so I'll try and answer your points in relation to that watch.

    1) Yes, MW will display your notifications as soon as the phone does - gmail is a little tricky as google keeps changing/modifying/revoking permissions with the official gmail app, so the information available to the watch manager app can be a little sketchy. If you use k-9 mail, you'll see the sender and subject. It doesn't display body text yet, but that is doable. Gmail would also be fixable by just making the app go to the gmail server directly and pull the message text when the new mail notification comes in.

    The fork I maintain has an "Other notifications" Option, that lets you selectively display any android notification, although the OS limits how much information we can actually pull. If anyone has requests for additional notification support, then I'm happy to try adding it, assuming the developer of the app has provided intents or an api to access that information.

    Currently notifications will stay on screen for a few seconds, then disappear (except for the SMS notifications, which, on the digital watch can be set to stay on screen until dismissed, as you can see the full body, and scroll) - On the digital watch you can configure a button to redisplay the last notification again if you missed it, and there's an on watch menu of all the previous notifications which is only a few button presses away.

    2) Yes, all the MW models have a menu option (on the watch) that let you disable BT without turning off the watch, so you can still tell the time

    3) Yes, the Analog MW model has menu options to configure the OLED brightness. There's nothing to configure on the Digital model, as it has an always on LCD screen (though there's an option in my fork of the app to automatically turn on its light when a notification comes in)

    4) The MWs don't have a speaker, but they do have a powerful vibrator inside - it's pretty hard to miss it when it does vibrate, and the app lets you configure different vibration patterns for different notifications, so you can know what sort of message it was without even looking.

    Let me know if you've got any other questions!
    1
    Having extensive experience with both phone watches and BT-enabled watches, I want to make an important remark to firmware/software developers for these devices, more so after having recently acquired a SONY Smartwatch.

    It is simple: NOTIFICATIONS NEED TO BE PUSHED ALL THE WAY. ALL GOODS NEED TO BE DELIVERED.
    In the Sony Smartwatch, a vibration accompanied by a Gmail logo is useless. Having me awake the watch, click on ‘Events’, click again on the message and only then being able to see the email message defeats the purpose of immediateness. Probably easier for me to reach out to the phone and see what the notification is about.

    The right way to go is simple: everything the phone has in terms of message info needs to be pushed to the watch notification:
    “Email from John Doe
    To [email protected]
    Subject: Dinner on Tue
    ->And the entire body”

    Same with SMS, IM notifications, or anything. Having only the SMS or Gmail or Whatsapp logos and have to hunt down for the message in the watch is absurd.
    The way the MBW-150 worked offered way more info at a glance; Sony is moving backward with this minimalistic notification approach. More is needed.

    Secondly: let me disable BT on the watch (say when batt is low or overnight) without forcing me to shut down the device -> no time telling anymore.

    Third: watch brightness needs to be adjustable from the watch itself (let me manage battery life myself, I’m a grown up).

    Fourth: an audio beep won’t kill anyone. When I’m driving, for instance, I cannot feel the phone vibration. A CASIO-style ‘beep-beep’ cannot hurt. While I understand this may involve additional hardware and pose operational complexities, this is a nice-to-have feature.

    First two remarks are KEY, and I’d appreciate not only Sony but everybody involved in such development to think a bit smart before pouring a fortune into development.

    Anyone has anything else worth highlighting?

    Thanks
    1
    Sure dude. But first things first... I would scream that let these things display the clock at all times. Failure to do so defeats the whole watch disguise!

    Sent from my GT-N7000 using xda premium
    1
    Have you looked at the Metawatch at all? That ended up being my choice. Waiting for delivery.
    1
    Have you looked at the Metawatch at all? That ended up being my choice. Waiting for delivery.
    Good choice RedRamage. I have the analog Metawatch and expect the new iOS digital version any day. Latest phone console release and functions here
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