The Best Smartwatch UI

Pebble Timeline UI

… Can be found on the new Pebble Time. End of story.

The more I see of it the more I’m convinced that the interface on the Apple Watch is a hot mess. And Android Wear goes too far the other way, as in it’s too simpleā€”in the vast majority of use cases you’ll either be shouting into your wrist to initiate a Google search, a search that has to be completed on your phone, or reading and dismissing notifications from your phone on your wrist.

Pebble, on the other hand, has designed a UI for your wrist that’s both intuitive and useful. Three buttons on the right side of the device allow you to navigate through events and other actionable items in your past, present and future. I honestly don’t even know what the button on the left is for.

If you’re having trouble understanding Pebble’s Timeline UI, you can watch this needlessly complicated demonstration by members of the Pebble team, using coloured blocks for some reason:

Or just let Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky demo it on an actual watch. Scrub ahead to the 2:05-minute mark in the video below:

At this point watch aficionados are probably thinking that this new Pebble is the ugliest thing they’ve ever seen. With its massive bezels and overall toyish looks I’m inclined to agree. Fortunately, in terms of smartwatches it’s also your cheapest option. Maybe that’s why it’s set a new record for the most backed Kickstarter project ever, beating the previous record-holder, the first-generation Pebble.

If you’re interested either the $199 USD Pebble Time or the $299 USD Pebble Time Steel you can still save some cash by backing either product on Kickstarter. But be warned: it’ll be hard to not get caught up in all the enthusiasm… I keep having to remind myself that I don’t wear a watch!