What if your watch could actually help you run your small business? A smartwatch does more than tell you the time; it puts all the information you need to know right on your wrist. But the current crop of bulky, plastic smartwatches won't exactly make an impression in a business meeting.
That's where the Pebble Steel comes in. It takes the mature Pebble platform and puts it on a device with a sleek, professional appearance. But the Pebble Steel has more to offer than good looks. The revamped smartwatch boasts updated software and is backed by a new, unified app store that's packed with productivity-boosting applications. Just pair the watch via Bluetooth to your iPhone, Android phone or Windows phone, then get to work. See a full review of the Pebble Steel on our sister site Laptop Mag, then read on for five reasons the Pebble Steel could be the one of the best smartwatches yet for business users.
1. Professional look
Three versions of the Pebble Steel are available at launch, each sporting a sleek metal face paired with a silver steel band, a black steel band or a black leather band. Aesthetically, it's a big step up from the plastic design of the original Pebble. The new watch face is also slimmer and more compact than most other smartwatches. In other words, the Pebble Steel is a smartwatch that business users can take seriously. Colleagues and associates are likely to mistake the Pebble Steel for a standard, stylish timepiece, not realizing that it's actually a miniature computer you wear on your wrist. Those good looks don't come cheap, however: At $249, the Pebble Steel costs $100 more than the standard Pebble.
Is your smartphone constantly buzzing with incoming notifications? Frequently pulling out your smartphone to check unimportant messages and alerts can be a real productivity killer. But missing a critical message when it arrives on your phone is even worse. Putting those notifications on your wrist, so they're just one glance away, is the real reason to own a smartwatch. Updated software on the Pebble Steel makes it easy to check your alerts and get back to work. The watch flashes a preview of new messages when they arrive, and it's easy to browse and read the 50 most recent notifications right on your wrist.
3. Long battery life
Other smartwathces have more advanced functionality than the Pebble Steel. Devices such as the Sony Smartwatch 2 and Samsung Galaxy Gear boast colorful, touch screen displays, while the Pebble steel has a simple, black-and-white display and button-based navigation. But while you have to charge those smartwatches nearly every night, the Pebble Steel can run for nearly a week on a single charge. Thanks to its pared-down interface, the Pebble Steel is simply more reliable than other smartwatches. That's a big plus for business users who rely on their mobile devices to help them stay productive every day.
4. Unified app store
Getting new apps on your smartphone is easy; just open up your phone's app store and download away. The new unified Pebble app store makes it just as simple to find new apps for the Pebble Steel. Using your smartphone, you can browse through dozens of apps, watch faces and more, and you can download productivity-boosting software in just a few seconds. The Pebble app store has plenty of handy tools for business users, too. For example, your Pebble Steel can pull navigation info from your smartphone to deliver turn-by-turn directions straight to your wrist. If your business has a Twitter account, you can browse your feed from your watch. And if you need to get up early for work, the Pebble Steel can wake you with a silent vibration so your partner can sleep on.
5. App Locker
Like the original Pebble, the Pebble Steel can only carry eight apps at once. But updated software makes it easier than ever to add and delete apps from your watch's memory on the fly. Just open up the Pebble control panel on your smartphone, then change which apps are currently installed on your watch with just a few taps. For business users, the app locker means less time fussing with software installation and more time working.