So I bought a Jawbone Up24 on March 3rd and felt all pumped to start using this small device to gain some awareness about my health habits. I won’t do a full review now, but I will mention a couple issues.
One is a general problem with tech companies rushing products to market before they are ready. Companies seem reassured that they can promise firmware updates to their customers, but this is annoying if not very problematic for those needing to use the device they bought.
For years I’ve had a Garmin Forerunner 305, which is an amazing GPS exercise device! No problems whatsoever. It is, however, too large to wear around like a watch. So this brings me back to the Jawbone Up24.
As I mentioned, this won’t be a complete review, but there are a some problems that have come up in the first week of owning the Up24 worth mentioning.
One particularly bothersome one is that my Up24 doesn’t always gather my sleep data–one of the main reasons I bought it. I press the button to start the sleep monitor, sleep, then wake up and press the button again. Sometimes Up shows my sleep data, other times it doesn’t. One trick I discovered, if the data isn’t entered automatically, is entering sleep data manually. This is no big trick, but the “trick” part is that the Up seems to have the data recorded inside it from your night’s sleep, so when you manually enter your sleep time it populates your phone with the proper data. For example, if you enter 10PM to 6AM, after syncing your Up it will show the time you were awake, in light sleep and deep sleep. This is a pretty handy workaround, but this doesn’t always work either! Sometimes, it will just show a big “block” of sleep without any sleep details.
One to the problems is that of being “Not Plugged In.” This morning, I woke up and my Up24 would not sync with my iPhone–the only brand that currently “works.” After pressing the button and a few times, I could see my Up was unresponsive, so I plugged it in just to see what would happen. After a couple minutes, it was responsive again! Lest you think I let my batter run dry, nay! nay! My Up was charged and ready to go for another seven days upon hitting my pillow for sleep, so I have no idea what happened or why. Up just froze.
I went ahead and manually entered my sleep time, but did this time I didn’t get any useful data…no deep sleep, light sleep or wake time calculated. Yesterday the sleep monitory worked fine, so I wasn’t horribly saddened, but it did make me want to give my Up a little more attention–to investigate.
For the first time, I plugged my Up24 into my computer as instructed in the little manual and downloaded the “Updater.” Please note the name “Updater.” After everything was installed on my Windows 7 laptop, I restarted my web browser, but the notification icon said that my Up was “Not Plugged In.” So, I restarted my laptop to try again. Same problem still! This time, I search the Jawbone forum to find out more. It turns out, unsurprisingly, I’m not the only one with this issue! The answer given on the forum, by an administrator, was that the Updater only charges the Up… What?? OK. So I hit the “Reply” button to ask the administrator the obvious, “Why is it called an ‘Updater’ if it cannot update nor even connect to the Up device?” When I hit reply, though, instead of allowing me to ask my question, the Jawbone forum forwarded me to a useless page with no opportunity to reply! So, this is why I decided to post this story–I couldn’t post on the Jawbone Up forum about it.
Here is a screenshot of the forum answer from the Admin about why the “Updater” doesn’t work:
The hopeful statement at the end is, “…at this time.” So this brings me back full circle to the beginning of my post. Tech companies are rushing gadgets to market that aren’t ready.
To be fair, technology is difficult to develop and make to “just work” like a spoon or a hammer. As a computer professional, I get this, so at this point I’m hopeful that Jawbone will eventually get the Updater working and…um…updating the firmware on their Up24 devices. Until then, guess I have an expensive pedometer.
Feel free to comment or ask any questions here! You won’t be forward to a useless page telling you to buy more useless gadgets!
I hope this helps someone.