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Sometimes the simplest idea produces the most useful device. That is the case with the Ditto by Simple Matters. It is a small device only 1 3/8” by 7/8” x ¼”. It is made of smooth, hard, plastic and comes in black, white, or transparent. Press the bottom at one end and the other end opens to allow you to clip it on your belt, pocket, or other piece of clothing. It can even be clipped on and worn discretely on an undershirt, bra, or waistband.

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Once connected by Bluetooth to your smartphone, the Ditto vibrates when certain events happen on your phone. The most notable of these is, of course, when you receive a call or text. You can also create favorites so only phone calls and messages from the names on the list you create will vibrate your Ditto. In addition to phone calls and texts, you can get notification vibrations for emails, and calendar events. You can also set up individual notifications and for other apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Uber, Facebook, WhatsApp, and more. You can also use the Ditto as a timer or an alarm. Unfortunately you cannot set recurring alarms.

The Ditto is easy to set up. You simply download the app to your cell phone. It works well with both Android and Apple phones.

 

featuresJust bring up the Main Menu, shown above and set up the notifications, favorites, and or alarms. This menu also has two other important selections. The “Vibrate Now” choice has a “test” button. Since the Ditto is so small, it is very easy to misplace it. I once lost my white Ditto in a pile of papers and would have never found it except for the help of that test button.

Also don’t ignore the “update” button. I have been using the Ditto for several months and during that time, the company has provided several updates that have improved the device and eliminated some glitches that I found on first use.

The Ditto allows you to set custom vibrations for all the notifications for each task. As shown in the screen shot below, these range from a single vibration to a series of five vibrations. There are also two with patterns like two vibrations, then one vibration, then two vibrations. In everyday use, all are easy to decipher.

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The notification functions of the Ditto are extremely useful. Whether you work in a noisy environment or you want to use it when you are in a church or quiet event, the Ditto will come through for you. The vibrations will work even when the phone’s ringer is turned off. I have successfully used it to receive call notifications when in a sporting event as well as when just shopping at the mall.

Ditto can also work as a kind of tether to your cell phone. It can easily be set to give off a vibration to alert you when you accidently leave your cell phone behind. The Ditto will vibrate when it is separated from your phone by more than its Bluetooth distance, which is usually around 30 feet. The Bluetooth distance depends on the phone and the environment. For many people this function alone is worth the price of the device.

When I first received the Ditto, I was skeptical as to its durability, especially the clip which seemed to be a little flimsy. However after five month’s use, the Ditto is still in perfect condition. The battery level can be checked right in the app. After five months, I am down to 25%. Another nice feature is that the Ditto uses a standard, easily obtainable watch battery and battery installation is super simple.

The Ditto comes with its own wristband. It is black on one side and bright blue on the other. It is made of a soft suede-like fabric punched with holes with Velcro for closure.  It’s not terribly attractive so you won’t be wearing it as a fashion accessory. Although the band is comfortable to wear, I found using the clip easier. I actually can’t think of any case where I would rather wear the wristband. Being somewhat unusual-looking, however, it might be useful, if you want to have people ask what you are wearing on your wrist.

Ditto wristband

The best thing about this device is that it is small enough and light weigh enough to forget that you are wearing it or carrying it in a pocket. Also the vibration is intense enough to get your attention, but is not over powering.

The primary purpose of this device is to be instantly alerted to calls and/or messages when you might not hear the phone or when the ringer is turned off. This works very well. It is especially useful for me as I often keep my phone in my purse and don’t necessarily hear it ring when I am on the go. It is also a great solution for those who might want to keep their cell phone on at work, but not have everyone in the office aware that their phone is ringing. The Ditto allows you to stay connected without having to check your phone constantly. The secondary purpose is alerting you when you inadvertently leave your cell phone behind. The Ditto is good at both in both of these instances.

If you need to get discreet alerts, this little device may be just what you need.

 

 

 

Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up’s Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.