Saturday, 4 February 2017

Back to Stupidity

The final death throes of my Pebble watch proved too much, even for me. I'm back to my good old Casio for now.
The real question is, where to from here, smartwatch wise?

And the answer to that question is a truly sad one. There is no answer.
On one hand, one can choose between the Apple Watch and Android watches. Me, I won't touch an Android watch due to my views on Google's snooping; regardless, all members of both Apple and Google camps are compromised. They are, generally speaking, vastly expensive for what they offer, while their functionality is rather limited when compared to their cost. Yes, I know I'm saying the same thing twice, but it's important to recognise both deficiencies. And, very importantly, both require one to carry a power station along for the ride because they need charging at least once a day.
Nah.
On the other hand we have the activity trackers (read: smartwatches of inferior operating systems). You know, your Fitbits, the gadgets that track people activities and enable their makers to sell their customers most private data to third parties. Well, as long as those customers actually use the gadget, because the average Joe gets the point and dumps the Fitbit after a month or so.
Yeah, nah.

I am very much baffled by the lack of a company out there that will deliver me with a smartwatch that does one thing, pretty much, but does it well: alert me of incoming notifications on my smartphone. Sure, if that smartwatch can also last a week or so on a single charge, and if that smartwatch is waterproof as well, that would be great.
All I'm asking for is a company that gives me a Pebble.


Added on 06/02/2017:
Another vector of privacy loss involving smartwatches is wifi tracking. To sum the problem up quickly, every time your wifi enabled gadget gets in touch with any wifi network, it tells that network about all the other wifi networks it knows. Thus, you walking around a shopping mall with wifi enabled on your phone allows the shopping mall to know where you live and work as it tracks your movements around the mall (and I'm invoking the shopping mall example because in Australia this is exactly what they do).
Apple showed some weak signs of dealing with this vulnerability since iOS 8. However, it does not seem to have said a word about using similar strategies on its Apple Watch (where, it has to be said, one cannot simply switch wifi off and keep the phone "alive" through Bluetooth; it's both or nothing). I asked that very question at an Apple shop, but even after several escalations they were unable to provide me with an answer.
So there you go.

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