BertozziBytesize: The Pebble smart watch reviewed.

I have always liked technology, I had an iPaq when others had paper diaries, I wasted time with a ZX81 when I should have been out making dens and more recently I bought a Pebble watch when others wait for the Apple Watch or ignore the whole thing. I read a lot about the Pebble online before I bought it, and I have to say overall the reviews were positive. I have now lived with it for a month and decided to share for anyone else who is considering buying one.

The first thing to say is it seems to work better with the android devices than the Apple ones. The Android companion app is better as well. The second thing to say is that I have noticed just how the general population is not at all hooked up to this tech and/or interested. Finally I have realised that wearing two watches is strange and so if I am going to give up my Omega it needs to be for a bloody good replacement.

I only bought the watch to fill in the tech gap until the Apple watch which I am certain is going to be a game changer, I believe it will create a market like the ipod did, and the reason I think that is because the Pebble gives you a glimpse of how a wearable device like this could improve day to day without actually delivering entirely.

My biggest disappointment? – you can only hook up one device at a time, I missed that in the reviews and was the greatest let down. Many of us carry multiple devices and we cant watch them all so having a wearable device help you not miss what is happening on the second or third device would have been useful. The connection to the iPhone is buggy and is hard to connect, it should be much simpler, this becomes irritating but once it is connected there are some nice benefits.

a) I don’t miss calls so much – don’t tell people though, they will know you are ignoring them
b) One small thing I had not considered but like is if your phone goes off in your bag or somewhere embarrassing, a quick touch of the button on the watch and you switch it off with out too much fuss
c) It does have a good golf GPS and Runkeeper App which hooks up seamlessly to the phone
d) If you receive a text, Whatsapp message etc you can delete from the phone via the watch and not go into the phone to do it.

There is more, lots of Apps which I have not explored too much as they all seem very basic. In fact that is the issue for me. It is like going back in time when you buy this device. The world has moved forwards to much to have buttons and not touch screen, to have black and white instead of colour. The phone is just not clever enough. Why does it need to be clever? well the main reason is that the Pebble does not replace enough functions of the phone and so the phone remains close at all times. If the phone remains close at all times then I agree with the sceptics who say it would be quicker to just pull out your phone rather than fiddle with the watch. However if you have a watch that can reply to texts, talk, listen, swipe, watch, find and so on and so on then you would leave your phone in your bag or pocket a lot more and if we do that we spend more time looking around us and at other people. That can only be a good thing.

So would I recommend the Pebble? No. Just more hassle with limited upsides. Just wait for the Apple watch which is coming very soon.

The world would be a better place if more companies were like Apple

Gordon in Brand republic comments on that Apple does not even like its customers and sites some bad PR from Jobs to a student..this is my view

That is the least of it. I am a fan. I have bought 7 ipods in its various guises, three iphones, one ipad, one Mac. Not to mention all the accessories. I am also annoyed that they continually update, that one charger wont fit the next gadget, they wont take flash on ipads and so and so on. Apple treat their customers like s*** and their products are a means to a greater battlefield Steve has with the wider marketplace.

That said, the products are generally very good. We forget that before them, PCs were very dull, we had walkmans and the phone was a functional accompliment and nothing more, there was no buzz in this sector so without them the rest would still be producing dull products.

And thats what they do well, good products. Yes they / he annoys me but I have given up caring, all this anti Apple stuff is boring and repetitive, they make good stuff and changed a market.

My last point is this; if more companies took the route Apple has taken ie great products, great design, attention to detail, quality packaging, wads of innovation, the world would be a far better place.

The iPad is fantastic.

People said it would change the way we computed, it does, it makes me think the laptop is a bother to open! In fact I am now walking around with my 3 week old in a sling and typing this, could never do that on a laptop.

Publishers need to change though, they are not taking advantage of this great piece of kit. It’s more immersive, a more personal experience than the laptop. I can see this rapidly becoming my favourite gadget after the iPhone 4 I am about to buy.

A small criticism is that it does look too much like an iPhone, not sure why it bothers me, but it feels a bit like they could not be bothered to do something different. Anyone seen the new windows phone? It looks new and fresh and I was hoping the iPad would try something new. On top of that I wish some of the mainstream app makers were already geared up to deliver their apps for this, I mean no official Twitter app? No linkedin? Come on these machines are designed for staying in touch and will become the business mans friend so it seems strange.

There is no doubt this has changed the computing landscape and I am sure when the next generations come out the iPad will become evermore versatile. So to those wondering whether to go for it or not, the answer is yes..

Google is a mirror on society..very scary search suggestions

Marco Bertozzi:12.05.2010

Have you had a good look at the search suggestions on Google? Well I thought I would do 5 searches to see what comes up and see what the populus is searching for day to day, holy shit its worrying! Here was what I typed in..

Where do I…
How do I…
Who do I..
When do I..
What do I..

Only when I had done this did I realise that if the suggestions reflect what people are searching for then we are in trouble! So what did I learn? Well first of all we worry about a few key things in life..our Blackberrys and iPhones, sex, tax, life in general and Facebook.

There are a myriad of people out there with some fundamental life decisions to be made. Now I am all for starting with a broad search but I particularly like these two; ‘Where do I begin’ and ‘What do I want to do with my life’ fantastic questions! These people have focus issues and or are high as kites and probably sitting in student digs somewhere looking for a short cut. You might think they are in trouble but there is a group of people who have some of the worst issues imaginable.. ‘Where do I find Chuck Norris’ now thats not your average question but seemingly one many are getting their heads around. Politics in the last few weeks has been a hot topic so I would not be surprised if Nick Clegg was one of many searchers against ‘who do I vote for?’ or perhaps Gordon was a number of those asking ‘who do I inform when I move house?’

Life, sex and babies comes up a lot as you might imagine. The second or third suggestion down when you search ‘What do I’ is repeatable for this blog, take a look yourself, it’s not your average question!

There are whole life stages covered in there too. Some of the top suggestions in response to those questions above included:

1. What do I get my girlfriend for Valentine
2. When do I ovulate
3. How do I know if I am pregnant
4. When do I have my first scan
5. When do I stop paying child maintenance
6. When do I retire

People are clearly turning to the web for the big questions, I imagine they start big and work their way through to the important detail questions such as the oft searched ‘where do the Inuits live!’ Christ it goes on and on, weird and wonderful questions that Google is shining back at us…

The state of Facebook is now very much revealed by these searches with most of the ‘How do I‘ search suggestions being around FB. Mainly ‘how do I close my account’ Much has been made of the FB situation, interesting to see how that goes but I think Google is reflecting a little of the sentiment of the population at the moment.

Finally and probably the best reflection of society is the ‘Who do I’ section. A true reflection of our obsession with celebrity with ‘who do I look like’ how is Google going to tell you that? Where does it start? Such a weird question and I think expecting more of Google than one should do, probably easier to answer the question ‘where do I begin!’ Which celebrity do I look like? Who do I share my birthday with? It seems a constant need to associate with celebrity, it’s a sign of the times I am afraid.

So what do I conclude? I conclude that the world’s population has gone mad! What else can I take out of it? Probably best not to dig too deep!

After 2 years of iPhone, should you buy a Google Nexus One?

Marco Bertozzi:04.02.2010

I have read a lot about the Nexus One, more than I should have I suspect! Much of it is technical, detailed analysis. One reviewer was commenting on the weight distribution of the phone! That’s all well and good but not what most people are interested in, the question is ‘If I have had an iPhone for years should I buy a Nexus One?’ Just answer thats what I will do.

I really wanted to like the Nexus One, after spending all that money it was vital I actually liked it! My first impressions that absolutely stand out compared to the iPhone:

Just so quick. This is your day to day usage, this is the diving in and out of apps, looking at the web, all of that stuff that you might not think about, but when you see it all speeded up you realise the benefits. Any iPhone user is unlikely to complain about the speed of their phone but that’s because they have nothing to compare it to, once you use the Nexus One you will find the iPhone slow, especially in the opening of the apps, no more waiting.

It does feel very shiny and new! The screen is amazing, you really notice it. Anyone who likes new gadgets will love the feel of it, everything comes alive in your hand. I am personally not keen on the colour, and I don’t think the layout of how the apps and buttons work is as intuitive as the iPhone although you quickly get used to it. The four home buttons at the base of the screen are used a lot to access functions within apps as opposed to being built into the app like on an iPhone, again I prefer the simple iPhone layout. The track ball could be useful in text mode but I think it ruins the look and is really not needed.

The App store and the Apps themselves are lacking on the phone, they feel less finished, a lot less of them and it is an area where the iPhone dominates, lets see how long that lasts. Anyone who has had an iPhone and moves to the Nexus will be frustrated by the fact nothing crosses over, sounds obvious but it feels wasteful having all those apps that I have invested in just sitting on my iPhone, yes you can still use them over WiFi but it would be good if the developers allowed you to transfer to the Nexus One if you bought them on the iPhone, or at least at a discounted rate.

Overall it is a great phone, the keyboard is not as good as the iPhone, more fiddly but again you will get used to that, the touch screen is designed for the phone to be held at an angle which means if you aim straight down you often miss your target, frustrating but again you get used to it. The speech to text functionality is very hit and miss in my opinion, its fine if you talk very clearly and slowly, it will be useful in some circumstances but not everyday usage I would say.

Overall I am pleased with it, most things people moan about are simple functionalities that people are not used to, does not mean they are bad. As with all things, give it some time and it will be second nature. It feels very special and even an avid iPhone user will have to admit it feels like a different league. That said it has some way to go in a couple of areas, annoying you can’t sync your Outlook Calendar, but I reckon they will be continually sending upgrades as time goes by. The biggest thing of all for me..I am glad to be back in the early adopter bracket, everyone has an iPhone now, it bores me.

As a footnote if you have a iPhone bluetooth handset, it will sync with the Nexus One, so at least thats one thing you will not be wasting on your swap to N1.

Apple tablet, islate, whatever, I cant wait..

Marco Bertozzi:24:01:2010

Lets start with what it could look like, here is a video giving you an idea. Think large iPhone, we hope including 3G or 4G connectivity.

Why is it so exciting, well for me it is simple. I love the iPhone and how it works but get frustrated by the size, clearly for a phone its great but with the islate you can enjoy that fluid iPhone experience but with a screen worth having. Is this meant to replace the home PC? I dont think so, thats not what I need. I have a laptop at home if I want to do work stuff, or I have a work lap top, no this is for browsing, blogging, emailing, videos,social media, it will be great for that stuff.

On top of that if it has 3G then I can use it anywhere without wireless which would be great, it may serve as a hub at home for my music, will it stream to my TV? If I buy Apple TV it may double up with that? The possibilities are endless, thats why I am excited.

Its unveiled tomorrow so lets sit back and see exactly how good it is, heres to a new way of computing!

Google Nexus One launches at 6pm is what to expect

Marco Bertozzi:05:10
All the rumours suggest the Google Nexus One phone will launch today at 6pm. I think the hype is bigger than the phone to be honest but why not see for yourself. Engadget has done a topline review of the phone, click below to see what they think..if I had seen the phone, which of course I have not, I would say it is underwhelming..

The cost without contract will be pretty much on par with the iPhone so its not quite going to be the phone of the people but will challenge the iPhone, it will also be unlocked so accessible to all if you fancy splashing out.

iPhone app for Linkedin upgraded

Marco Bertozzi:31.12.09
After what seems an eternity Linkedin have at last upgraded their iPhone application to a more sophisticated and user friendly version. I am not sure why this has taken so long when you know how many new versions have been produced by the other social networking services.

Every button provides a well known Linkedin service

What is strange is that Linkedin really should have been ahead of the game as their game is business networking and the iphone could have been a valuable piece of armoury for Linkedin if they had got this service up and running quicker. All the stats indicate that Facebook users do most of their updates via their mobile, this is something I am sure Linkedin are well behind on.

The most interesting option is the ability to Bluetooth profiles between users which would have been invaluable as all the networkers converged on the conferences around the world, iphone in hand. I think there could be more options based on geo based searches, a little like the way Twitter has transformed conferences by people following each other as they tweet, could Linkedin not have a similar option for those using Bluetooth and within range?

Anyway it’s here now and it’s a good layout, a little too similar to the Facebook layout but at least a lot simpler than before. They have broken out all the various things you can do with Linkedin and given each one of them a button so now the application 100% replicates all you can do on the PC which has to be a good thing. Now they just need to make the most of what mobile can offer.

Resist The Powermat, just plug your phone in the wall

Marco Bertozzi: 22.12.09
Out Christmas shopping at the weekend I stood in John Lewis staring at The Powermat (, I knew I would, I knew at some point I would come face to face with The Powermat and grapple with my desire to buy the latest gadget versus the voice of reason inside me saying, just plug it in the wall, its a rip off!

If you are not sure what powermat is about, check the video out below:

Basically you have a mat, you plug that in the wall. You then buy a cover for you iphone / blackberry / DS, whatever, you put your cover on and just plonk down on the mat and it wirelessly charges your device. If they dont make a back for your device you can plug it into a cube thing and put that on the mat, or for apple products they have a cradle that fits any ipod and you put that on the mat…CHRIST, JUST PLUG IT IN THE WALL. The upside is that it charges multiple devices, is that worth the money?

Powermat have used Facebook a lot and it does make me laugh as everyone is saying the same, why is this easier than plugging into a socket. Oh I did not mention the price..£70 for the mat and then about £30 for each individual case that goes on your device! You can see then why I was stood there in John Lewis staring at it, I wanted it, I really did, but you cannot justify it, this is a proper gimmick for now, it has no value in its current format. £100-£200 just to charge your device? As one Facebooker said..’Its a F******’ charger!

I know I will come face to face with it again and again I will have to decide whether i should buy one, normally I give in to these things but I dont think I will this time until the price is a third of what it is now. Lets not forget though that this technology will soon be built into the phones and laptops themselves so you wont need to waste money on a receiving device, thats when it gets interesting. Imagine if your phone has the technology built in and your car is the charger, just pop the phone down on the dash and you are charging, your desk, your coffee table? Bring that on, for now its a waste of cash.

Click here for the new Google phone photos

Marco Bertozzi 14.12.09
The new Google phone photos are now being leaked in every direction, there is a lot of discussion over what phone it actually is, the majority believe it to be an HTC.

The key things with this phone are:

1. It will be unlocked so open to all
2. It is Google born and bred software

It is meant to be very slick and better than the iPhone although time will tell! Click on photo below to see all the photos.