Not quite there yet

As I mentioned before, I recently got an LG smartwatch with Android Wear. While I do find it kind of useful to be able to see what is happening on the phone without having to unlock its screen, it is also fairly obvious that the technology behind all of this is still in its infancy, and has its flaws.

One of the things they tout is the voice-control functionality. Just say “OK Google” and what you want it to do, and it is supposed to do it. I write “supposed to” as it doesn’t work that well for me. I do find that it more often than not understands the words I speak to it, even if I have to speak in English, which is not my native language (I remember back when OS/2 Warp 4 came out with voice recognition in 1996, it took quite a lot of training for it to understand my accent). Swedish is simply not supported by the voice recognition. Although it sometimes seems to understand some Swedish words, it seemingly cannot be commanded in Swedish. But then again, English doesn’t always work for me either. When I try to ask it “Show me the weather”, I more often than not get a Google search with “” as the top result. Not very useful. Every now and then it does actually show me a five-day weather forecast, but then with temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit, which is obviously completely useless (and there is nowhere to configure the units; according to LG support, it should follow the phone settings, but my phone is set to the Swedish locale, which uses Celsius, and the watch is set to UK English, which does the same).

I installed RunKeeper again, and at one time I did manage to get it to track a bicycle ride for me, although I do think it got categorised as a (very fast) walk. After that, I haven’t been able to get it to track anything, at least not by voice commands.

The watch is supposed to have a step counter, and while it does show me the number of steps for the current day, it always seems to forget the number of steps from days before. They are (almost) always listed as zero. And the pulse monitor thing always shows me the exact same pulse.

So, there are quite a lot of bugs in it. But I do like the general idea. Hopefully, there will be software updates to fix these bugs. Then I might get a smartwatch that is useful for more than just checking who is calling or who just sent that last text message or placed that last Wordfeud word.

Does anyone have any better experiences with these smartphones? Any tips on what I should do to make it work better.

Habits form quickly

I bought myself a LG G Watch R smartwatch earlier this year. While some of its functionality has been disappointing (step counter not remembering steps, voice commands not working as expected), I have become used to having it on. Today, I switched back to my old Casio watch, which is not quite as smart, even if it does keep correct time by reading the Frankfurt time signal, and has a battery that lasts for years, not just hours (I have to charge the LG every night).

But it is interesting how fast habits form. After replacing the smartwatch with the old dumbwatch, the instinct when the phone buzzes from a message is to look at the watch face to see what it is, rather than at the phone itself.

BTW, since I really did like the Casio watch, this watch face in the Android Play store really won me over.