Apr 10, 2022
2 mins read
Today, I can feel comfortable recommending Pinetime as a Smartwatch option to those who care about Privacy!
The above sentence may sound a bit odd to read at first. I'm about to explain why I hadn't been able to explicitly recommended it for privacy (in the past).
Big changes in Pinetime since then. And I've been excited to go along for the ride
(ie: upgrading my firmware, using it 😆)
Mainly, I wanted it to help me track my heartrate goals, and steps during workouts.
Smart devices with data we can 'own'! It had been at least 10 years since I carried a watch (with smartphones and everything providing time)! And I'm not exactly trusting of most "Smart" devices, especially considering some revelations coming out concerning smartwatch data sharing.
(See This Story As An Example)
In January (when the first video was made), I knew bluetooth was on (all the time - at that time). This wasn't such a big deal to me personally, I wanted to use it during workouts mainly... but deep down I always desire a way to turn bluetooth off!
The day has come! 🤩
Hearing news of a firmware release/update, I decided to upgrade my firmware.
Better yet, why not make a video out of the process?
TODAY'S VIDEO: UPGRADING PINETIME FIRMWARE / FEATURES
PREVIOUS "FIRST IMPRESSIONS" VIDEO CAN BE SEEN HERE.
When I started recording this latest video, I was unaware of one thing: the newest firmware I was installing during video recording (1.9.0) offered the ability to turn Bluetooth OFF completely.
Great News (To Me!)
Of course you need to turn bluetooth back on anytime you wish to pair with a phone / update firmware, but to me, that's no big deal. It's not something you need outside those moments.
Everything else I'm using on the phone (heartrate monitor, pong game, step tracker), is self contained in the watch, not requiring bluetooth connection for my purposes.
Turning Off Bluetooth
Swipe screen right
Enter "Gear" Icon Settings
Scroll Down To Bluetooth:
Next Tap "Bluetooth" (Seen Above)
Bringing You To Enable / Disable Bluetooth:
That's it. It's now disabled. Make sure to go into these settings to enable it anytime you need to pair or upgrade firmware.
But... Is It Really Disabled? 🤔
Scapy Python Script: Pinetime Setting: Bluetooth On:
And Now, Pinetime Bluetooth Off:
(the grey boxes include other bluetooth devices, not Pinetime)
No Infinitime Devices seen during sniffing session with Bluetooth Disabled We're off to a good start! 😀
(Greyed out boxes to prevent displaying local bluetooth identifiers unrelated to Pinetime)
Now I can feel a bit more comfortable wearing it everywhere. And finally say: it's more privacy friendly!
Of course if you are paired, bluetooth will be on for that. Don't forget to re-enable / disable, as needed.
Thanks for reading / watching.
Feel free to leave a comment / question.
JF's Dev Blog (Great Work On Pinetime!)
Infinitime FOSS Firmware (Pinetime)
Infinitime Contributors (Github)
Pine64 (Hardware Maker Of Pinetime Focused On Linux / FOSS Community - Maker Of Pinephone)
(let me know if I missed a related link by comment or email)