Before I get into letting my thoughts out, let me answer one important question -
Why pick Metawatch over Pebble?
The simple answer to that is that there was no delay in shipping. Metawatch was delivered to me in less than a week after I ordered it.
The Metawatch was listed on Kickstarter on July 27, 2012 and raised USD 309,436 till August 20, 2012. They started shipping in September 2012.
Pebble on the other hand, was listed on April 11, 2012 and raised USD 10,266,845 till May 18, 2012. They started shipping in Jan 2013 and have not even completed their Kickstarter orders.
They are a small company trying to do big things; they are shipping fast, which is awesome!
This is the first watch I have ever owned. I have never in my life worn a watch, just because it seems weird to have something wrapped around your wrist.
I have thought about using the previous gen iPod Nano with Lunatik or similar cases, but they did not appeal to me that much. When Pebble took the internet by storm, I was still sceptical as to if it would work iOS or not and if I had much use for it.
It was an impulse buy, and when I saw how people were crying out for help in the forums I was thinking if I had made the right choice or not. They are using a Shopify page to sell all of their watches. I am not saying that, that is bad, it’s just that it is a little disconnected from their main portal.
I don’t know how many people are on the team, but the whole forum/website is really understaffed. All of their twitter support requests are diverted to email but they have a fairly quick turn around time over email queries.
You can follow them on twitter here @meta_watch just so as to get latest updates.
This was the latest watch face which was added in the previous firmware update v1.35
After using it for the last 2 weeks, I can say that I have stopped reaching for my phone as much as I used to.
The Metawatch team does not advertise this anywhere, but notifications from all apps installed on your device work.
I’ll tell you more about how to enable it further, but the fact is that this is something which has changed how I use my phone all together.
I have my phone on silent most of the time during the day, and whenever the watch vibrates, I glance upon it to see if the message is relevant or not.
There are other watch faces which can be used with a few other widgets like Calendar, Weather and the Battery level of your phone as seen below.
Also, if you move far away from the phone, the watch vibrates to signal that you have been disconnected from it. Even though this can be turned off, I thought this was a good addition.
During the past 2 weeks, only one person I met, actually was able to see that this was a smarter watch, and thought that it was a Pebble.
If you are also wearing a watch for the first time, I should tell you that people think that you are in a hurry if you are looking at your watch all the time. I had never experienced that, but that’s exactly what happened when an attendant at a food joint offered to prepare the meal quickly. *chuckles*
The watch also allows me to control the music I have stored on my phone. I don’t really use the iPhone as an iPod but I find it to be a useful feature if I connect my phone to a dock.
MetaWatch is running on OpenSource software, and you can go ahead and hack it if you feel like.
You should know that if you order the Metawatch Frame like I did, you will not be able to order the Developer Clip from the site as it has been Out-of-stock for a long long time. All you get is the normal charging clip with the watch itself.
Specifications - Metawatch Frame
The one thing which I would have loved to have known before I ordered the watch was how much it actually weighed.
No such hardware specs have been provided on the Shopify page which the Metawatch team has created.
- Handset compatibility : iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, Android (various)
iOS compatibility: iOS 5, iOS 6
- Double injection molded PU, co-molded with PC body
- Mineral hardened glass lens with anti-glare coating
- Titanium finished stainless steel top ring
- 3 ATM water resistant (you can shower with it, or do the dishes)
- Screen Size 1.16 inches
- 96x96 mirror polymer network display
- Vibrating alerts
- 6 buttons
- Rechargeable (5-7 day battery life, more on that later)
- Dual Mode Bluetooth 4.0
- 3 Axis accelerometer / ambient light sensor
iOS App - MetaWatch Manager (MWM)
The app allows you to set the different watch faces and easily customise the widget settings like refresh interval and reverse the widget colour.
However, it has to be kept running in the background on your device and you cannot go into the iOS multitask bar and close it down.
Battery life and Charging
The watch can be charged using the clip which comes along with it. It connects to the back of the watch using the 4 connector pins shown below.
Battery on the watch lasts around 5 days for me. I have charged it twice in the last 2 weeks.
You might think that the impact on the phone’s battery life is a lot. Actually, as my phone remains on silent most of the day and hardly comes out of the pocket, the battery life has increased.
Last but not the least, I have tell you how to enable notifications from all apps. This is pretty simple actually.
After you have connected your watch to the MetaWatch Manager iOS app, just go to Settings App > Notifications > Select the App you want notifications for.
Scroll down, and disable and enable back the setting to “View in Lock Screen”. That’s it! You will not receive all notifications of this particular app to your watch.
This procedure will have to be repeated for all the apps you want to see notifications for. Also, if your watch disconnects, this will have to be repeated.
I know it’s a pain, but this is what it is till the time we see any updates from Apple or the Metawatch team.