WIMM One – Developer Preview

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a sucker for gadgets. Doesn’t matter if it’s an AR Drone, Android powered car stereo, or in this case a smart watch.

I first heard about the WIMM One last year, shortly after the announcement of the then vaporware “I’m Watch” (although, as of the time I’m writing this I don’t know a single person who has received their pre-order unit…), and I thought it looked like a great product, despite the fact that the fit and finish of the I’m Watch looked nicer. Plus, you could actually order one! And at $199 (available now through Amazon) how could you pass up living in the future?

Wimm one

I’d like to note that I haven’t worn a watch in at least three years, since I always have my cell phone on me. This little gadget changed that though, now I don’t leave home without it.

The Good

Apps. You can’t bill this as the WIMM’s most compelling feature, since their “Mirco App Store” how has about 30 apps in it. However, I’m still counting it as a plus, since this is after all a developer preview that’s designed to inspire people to build apps for it. And also, my old Casio watch didn’t have any “apps”.

Near silent OTA updates. I’d had my watch for about a week when I saw the folks at WIMM tweet about a new firmware, I went to check for the update on my watch and it had already downloaded and installed. Never skipped a beat.

LCD. The screen on this unit is surprisingly easy to read even with the backlight off (in most conditions), and in direct sunlight it (backlight on) it still worked well.

Call/text notifications. The best thing about this unit is the Bluetooth pairing to your smart phone. With an iPhone, currently you only get call notifications, but it displays the caller ID and optionally vibrates, beeps, or both to alert you of a call. With the companion app for Android, you can not only get call notifications, but read your text messages as well.

Calendar app. Using the developer website, you can add either an Exchange Calendar, or Google Calendar to your watch. Notifications of upcoming events will then popup on your watch, also depending on which watch face you use, you can preview upcoming events without having to load the calendar app.

Weather app. I know, I know, it’s just a weather app. But it actually displays the current temp on the app icon, something that Apple has yet to grace us iPhone users with.

Wimm one weather

The So-So

The touchscreen takes a bit of getting used to, mostly because of lag issues. Often the WIMM One doesn’t register my initial swipe, or it misinterprets a single tap for a double tap. This isn’t an iPhone quality touch experience by any means, but the performance has been optimized slightly through software updates, so I’m holding out hope that the final release will work better.

Battery life. There are days where I get a solid twenty hours of battery life, but the more regular occurrence is I get closer to eight hours. WIMM does say that if you experience poor battery life, you should disable third party apps and then reenable them one by one until you pinpoint which app is killing your battery. Honestly though, 8hrs gets me through the work day at least.

Wimm one watchfaces

The Bad

Size. It’s a bit chunky, and took some getting used to for my tiny nerd wrists.

Disabled GPS chip. Apparently the unit ships with a GPS chip, but it’s currently disabled due to “performance issues”.

Device management. This isn’t that big of an issue, especially once you get the device setup to your liking. Currently there are certain settings that can only be configured through their website and then have to be synced back down to the watch.

The Bottomline

It’s a sweet, albeit nerdy accessory. Sure both you and I could live without this device, but if you’re half as gadget obsessed as I am you’ll pick one of these up.

Wimm one watchface

Five Things iOS Could Learn from Android

Previously I featured a list of five things Android could learn from iOS, to be fair and balanced, here’s my list of five things iOS could learn from Android.
Again, this is a randomly ordered list.

1. Notifications. iOS has a terrible notification system, they could learn a lot from Android on this one.

2. Toggles. Quick toggles for turning Wifi, Bluetooth, and GPS on and off without having to opening the settings. How hard is that?

3. Widgets. For the love of all things pure and holy, please add some widgets! At least to the home screen.

4. Cloud syncing. Sure a MobileMe account let’s you sync your Calendar/Contacts/etc, but $99 a year is a joke. Go free, or go home.

5. App store queuing. I buy an app on iOS and it takes me out of the app store and to one of my homescreens, I want to buy another app I have to go back into the app store. Huh?

Five Things Android Could Learn from iOS

These aren’t ordered in any particular manor, just a random list of five things that iOS does better than Android 2.2.

1. Style. Android is nice looking, but a little utilitarian in places. Whereas iOS is sleek and stylish to the very end.

2. App badges. Androids task bar notifications are great, but badges are handy for those lower priority apps, not to mention inbox counts.

3. Centralized settings.  I really like the fact that iOS lets app developers include a settings page inside of Settings.app.

4. Parental controls. Android seems to be lacking even basic options for parental controls.

5. Remote wipe. Yes,  they have APIs to enable applications to do this, but let’s see a native app ship with the OS.

Mobile Browser Shootout

Everyone is entitled to their own favorite smartphone, but I think we all can agree that some phones just do certain things better. Today, let’s take a quick look at how various mobile browsers fair in the Acid3 test.

Default browsers for the platforms:

Android 2.2

No screenshot, because I haven’t rooted my Droid X yet. I know, I know, I fail at life…

webOS 1.4.2



webOS 2.0 (developer beta)

Wait… the performance of the browser actually went down with a new build of the OS?


iOS (tested 3.1.3 through 4.2)


Third-party browsers:

Skyfire 2.3 Beta (Android)


Opera Mini 5.1.21126 (Android)


Opera Mini 5.0.019802 (iOS)


iPhone vs. Android – Part 1: Acquisition

This series offers a comparison of the iPhone vs. Android experience.

First, a little back story. I’ve owned several iPhones over the years, but all the while have kept a cheapo Alltel/Verizon phone with which to make actual phone calls. And while AT&T has improved the data network quite a bit over the years, I’m ready to move onto something more reliable. That and consolidate to just one phone.

Naturally, since Palm/HP and its webOS has handsets made for midgets and Blackberry’s are about as user-friendly as a porcupine, I decided to go with Android, specifically the Droid X. Over the next few weeks I plan on chronicling the process of switching from iOS to Android.

This part of my experience might be rather skewed, as I never bought an iPhone anywhere near launch. Never waited in line, even for an hour or two, in fact my first iPhone was mailed to be almost 6 months after they were originally released.

That said, the one time I did acquire an iPhone in a retail environment, it was actually rather pleasant. Three months after the iPhone 3G was released I decided on a whim, to go pick one up for work, I pulled into the local mall, walked into the AT&T store and then approached one of the six employees aimlessly wandering around the store and asked for an iPhone. Moments later one was brought from the back, and I walked to the counter to active it. A few simple questions, and I was all ready to go, and out the door. Total time spent: 15 minutes.

Droid X
Admittedly the odds were not in Verizon’s favor when I walked into the store to purchase my Droid X. Even though I fully expected to have them mail the actual handset to me, I was making the trip anyway because I needed to move my current phone from Alltel to Verizon, as well as add my phone to my wife’s Verizon account since she gets a lovely discount for being an employee of the local hospital.

I cleverly planned my appointment to coincide with the commencement of tailgating for the football game that afternoon, in hopes that there would be fewer people on the store. It kind of worked, I only had to sit around for 20 minutes.

After my “short” wait, I got my new phone ordered in about five minutes. One guy told me it’d take seven days to get the phone, another staff member said just two days. I wasn’t able to move my account over until the new phone arrived however, since my old phone was an Alltel handset.

In the mean time I was left dreaming of my new toy, suddenly my iPhone seemed sluggish and bulky, even though the Droid X dwarfs the iPhone.

Actual time for the phone to arrive? Four days.

Thankfully it arrived earlier enough in the day for me to head back to the Verizon store. After a  two minute wait, they moved my account and activated my phone in about ten minutes. Much faster.

The victor?
I’m going to call this one a tie, since if I’d ever bought an iPhone this close to launch there would’ve been some extra waiting involved.