Judie and I received Huawei Mate 8 smartphones at CES 2016. The phablet is amazing but won’t work with our Apple Watches. We also picked up the amazing Withings Activité Steel Fitness Watch. It’s a great tracker but doesn’t do notifications. Fortunately, the Ditto notifier fills in that gap in a manner that is both inexpensive and discrete.
After getting my Withings Activité Steel, I put away my Apple watch and went back to Withing’s approach to tracking steps and serving up alarms. I love the light, sleep look and feel of the watch. Having the refined look of steel rather than the colorful appearance of the version I reviewed after CES 2015 is a pleasure. It looks like any simple men’s watch but offers the added benefit of tracking my activity. I thought I would miss my Apple Watch but quickly discovered that I appreciated not having a watch that pinged me each and every time I got a notification. I get a lot of notifications and it was becoming a distraction. Still, I missed having the option of knowing when an email or text came in. That’s where the Ditto notifier comes in. I received one at CES and have been rather impressed by this sub-$40 gadget.
What is Ditto? We created Ditto as a kind of anti-gadget – something to free people from worrying about their smartphones and to be more present in life. Ditto is tiny and elegant. No buttons, switches, lights displays, or cables. Less is more.
The Ditto is a simple gizmo that lets you know when you have a new message. Setitng it up is simple and using it even simpler. Once you have the Ditto in hand you simply download the free iOS or Android app and let the app walk you through the process of setting things up. After that, I had a wearable device that lets me know when something new comes in without making more of an issue of it.
This is what it offers:
- Notifications for Incoming Calls: You’ll feel it vibrate when someone you’ve chosen as important is trying to reach you.
- Notifications for Incoming Texts: You’ll feel it vibrate when someone you’ve chosen as important is trying to text you.
- Notifications for Incoming Emails: You’ll feel it vibrate when someone you’ve chosen as important has sent you an email.
- Notifications for When You Leave Your Phone Behind: Ditto has a built-in wireless tether. When you’re about to leave your phone behind, Ditto will vibrate to warn you!
- Silent Alarm: Ditto makes a great silent wake-up alarm. Wear it on your wrist and don’t disturb your partner. Or use it as an alarm for important events, reminders or as a timer.
- Notifications for Third Party Apps: Use a third-party chat service? Want to stay on top of your social media notifications? You can customize Ditto to alert you about notifications on a number of popular apps including WhatsApp, Hangouts, Facebook and Snapchat.
- No Cables, No Buttons, No Recharging: Since Ditto never needs charging, just leave it with your jewelry or wallet. That way, you’ll remember to put it on in the morning. Ditto will remind you when it needs a new battery.
- Download Ditto App: Free iOS or Android app to select Favorites, customize vibrations, set alarms and more.
I downloaded the app and let it walk me through the setup process. The app even made connecting to the iPhone’s Bluetooth a simple and quick process. After that I went through and decided which specific notifications I wanted turned on. Email- check. Text messages- check. Calendar appointments- check. Tethering in case I leave my phone behind- Check.
I then went into the setting for more apps and turned on the Facebook and Facebook Messenger notifications.
I didn’t turn on the Alarm or Timer settings but was glad to know they were there if needed. Finally, there is also a setting for Favorites. When this is turned on the Ditto will only notify me when messages from those people come in. It is a great way to limit the number of notifications I receive.
Perhaps the best thing about the setup was that each type of notification can be set to have its own number or series of pulses. There are a finite number from which to choose to I had to double up a bit but I was able to separate out most so I can not only know that I received a notification but can also know what type of notification it is without having to pull out my phone.
With the Ditto set up I put it into the included wristband and put it on. Over the course of lunch I was able to know when messages came in but was able to leave my phone in my pocket.
You can also clip it directly to your clothing.
Ditto is Tiny and Discreet. We made Ditto as simple as possible because Simple Matters.: Just wear Ditto close to your body and don’t worry about constantly checking your phone.Free yourself from smartphone anxiety and Don’t Miss Out – on important calls, texts or messages.
Testing out the Ditto quickly showed me its worth. This is an inexpensive device that does what it promises to do without trying to do too much. I do wish there were more options for specific notification arrangements and there was som degree of learning curve required in order to know what type of message was coming through but it was a fairly east curve to get behind. Perhaps my biggest issue with the Ditto is the fact that it tells you when you get a notification without actually letting you know what the notification is. That was my issue with having a pager and I quickly found that it raised, rather than lowered my anxiety. For that reason I think it is best advised to use the favorites feature so that only specific notifications come through. Still, if you want an inexpensive way to get some of the features delivered by most smartwatches deliver this is a terrific option. You can check it out here.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Ditto notifier.
What I Like: Small; Inexpensive; Configurable; Lets you get notifications discretely; Easy to set up
What Needs Improvement: Gives limited information; Limited number of vibration combinations