November 13, 2012
One of the more promising iPhone accessories of 2011 is back. UP, the fitness- and sleep-tracking wristband accessory by Jawbone, is once again on sale. Whether it is any better than the first version remains to be seen. When UP arrived, I was one of its biggest proponents. For $99, Jawbone promised a fun and easy way for me to track my exercise, eating habits, and the hours that I slept each day. My UP wristband worked perfectly, until it didn't. And I wasn't the only one with problems. It soon became clear that UP 1.0 wasn’t really ready for prime time. Eventually, Jawbone pulled it from the market and offered disgruntled customers a free replacement or full refund. In my case, I received both. When my first UP died, I wanted a replacement, not the refund. For seven days, Jawbone support provided me with steps that they hoped would bring my wristband back to life. When the troubleshooting became exhausting and didn't work, I asked for a refund instead. Even then, Jawbone support wanted to retain my business. As such, I received a full refund and also a new UP in the mail. Regrettably, my second UP was no better than the first since it wouldn't work with my iPhone 5. However, a significant refresh of the free UP app seems to have changed this. My first-generation UP is now working, although I unexpectedly will soon be receiving an UP 2.0 in the mail. As I was completing this article, Jawbone send me an email indicating that a free UP 2.0 was on its way. It came with this message:
We've worked hard this past year to make improvements to the band and the app that create a better overall experience and generate more meaningful insights about your daily activities. In appreciation of your loyalty, feedback, and continued use, we would like to thank you with a complimentary UP.This is a nice touch and I can't wait until my new UP arrives. When it does, I'll certain let you know how it works. In the meantime, I encourage UP 1.0 owners to download the new app and see if that makes a difference. Hopefully, you too will be receiving a commentary UP 2.0 very soon. Please note: My receiving a complementary UP was NOT the result of being a member of the press. This was based solely on my purchase of the original UP in November 2011.