Category Archives: Apple_Watch

Apple watchOS 3

New watchOS is loaded with new features, though none seem to be earth shattering. I updated my Apple Watch late last week (I always give a new release a couple of days to settle down before I download) and have experienced no problems. Nor have I found any significant (though Apple says version 3 is up to 70 time faster) performance improvements [8, 12]. Apple has promised improved performance with this release, but I have not used any Apps yet that reflect that. I do agree that Apps do load much faster than before.

 

Some New Features:

  1. Breathe App added to health and fitness
  2. Heart Rate App added
  3. Home App – for HomeKit connected devices added
  4. Emergency one-touch calling  by holding the side button [5, 6] – This is set up through the Apple Watch App on your iPhone
  5. Sharing of health and fitness progress [5]
  6. Watch faces manage by Watch App on iPhone [5, 10, 12, 13]
  7. Use scribbled handwritten responses to messages [5]
  8. Improved Reminders App with Siri integration [3]
  9. Digital Crown – double-click to return to last App, Single-click to return to the home screen; turning the crown uses Time Travel, zooms, scrolls [4]

 

Significant changes:

What are the significant changes I see?

  1. Glances are gone, control center added [5]
  2. Dock for frequently used Apps – Used this a couple of times, but for me it is not a major change [5, 10, 12]
  3. Ability to unlock Mac running Sierra  – I hope to use this everyday as soon as I get Sierra installed [5, 12]

 

Should You Upgrade?

At this point I say that you should definitely upgrade! Operation of the watch is snappier so that alone is worth it.

 

How to Upgrade

First, upgrade your iPhone to iOS 10. When that has been completed, place your watch in the charging cradle (it needs to already be at least 50% charged). The iPhone and Apple Watch should be in close proximity for the software download by Bluetooth. On the iPhone go to Apple Watch App >> My Watch >> General >> Software Update [8, 9, 10]. This will begin the 561MB update. It took me about 90 minutes when I updated my Apple Watch, but I have heard that the update for some users took much longer.

References

  1. 65+ new Apple Watch features in watchOS 3
  2. How to use watchOS 3: Tips, tricks and hidden tweaks
  3. Using the all-new Reminders app on Apple Watch
  4. How to use the Apple Watch’s Digital Crown in watchOS 3
  5. Apple Watch: 11 new features in WatchOS 3
  6. How to add an emergency contact to your Apple Watch
  7. WatchOS 3 Is Here
  8. Your old Apple Watch will feel brand new with watchOS 3, out now
  9. watchOS 3 Update Released for Apple Watch
  10. Three Tips for watchOS 3
  11. watchOS 3 touches down for the Apple Watch; here’s how to upgrade
  12. watchOS 3 update for Apple Watch now available
  13. Top 15 watchOS 3 Features and Interface Changes

 

Product Review of Klips

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I saw these some time ago and thought that they would be useful. The Klip is a little silicone and polycarbonate accessory for your cables, and are manufactured by Tudia. Cables often wear out where the connector is attached to the cable. The Klip is an easy way to add protection to most any of your cables.

UnknownNot only does adding a Klip give you something more substantial to pull on when you are removing a cable, it also reduces the strain on cables. They install easily: Remove the polycarbonate retaining clip (shown in white above) and the colored silicone base splits open to allow you to wrap it around your cable. The white clip is then slid back into place to hold the Klip around your cable.

Clips are available in the five colors shown in the top picture and weigh only 0.08oz each. They will easily attached to your standard Apple Lightning, 30-pin and Apple Watch charging cables. My wife and I have them in use on all three cable types.

I bought ours through Amazon, picking up a 10-piece set (a pair in each of the five colors) for $21. This is an inexpensive accessory for your charging cables, but well worth the cost. I recommend these to save on the wear-and-tear on any cables.


See my other iOS articles


 

Apple Watch News #6

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A few more Apple Watch related stores from the past couple of weeks.

Where Does it Go Next?

In “Projecting Where The Apple Watch Goes Next” the future of the Apple Watch is pondered. Apple usually runs a long term strategy so we are likely to see the Apple Watch expand its capabilities into other areas, particularly health care over the next couple of years.

WatchOS 3.0

When watchOS 3.0 arrives this coming fall there will be some significant improvements according to the WWDC 2016 keynote. The next version of the watch OS will run on all current models of the Apple Watch. One of the major improvements will be faster launching of Apps. Among the other changes: Better screens and improved and expanded suite of Apple supplied Apps.

  • Some of the specifics include:
  • New App dock for the watch
  • Share and compete with friends in fitness
  • Use Scribble to send messages
  • Take advantage of Apple Pay through Apps
  • New Health feature Breath
  • Improved accessibility

An in-depth explanation can be found in “Why watchOS 3 Will Be Nimble and Nifty” and “8 reasons you’re finally going to wear your Apple Watch“. I already wear my Apple Watch every day pretty much 24 hours a day (except when I take it off to charge). These changes will just make it more useful!

 

Apple Watch News #5

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There have not been a lot of Apple Watch articles lately. Here are a few that I thought were interesting.

Interesting Complications

The article “7 Awesome Apple Watch Complications You Should Try” gives some suggestions as to watch complications you might want to try. These include a calendar, weather, fitness, health, travel, automation and sports App.

None of these appeal to me, but you might find them of interest to customize your Apple Watch.

Price Cut Boosts Sales

When Apple cut the price of the Sports version by $50, the sales went up 250%. Read more here.

Mute/UnMute Time to Stand

I like the ‘Time to Stand” notification. It helps to remind me to get up and move around when I am setting at my desk or in front of the TV. Sometimes though you may want to disable that reminder. In “How To Mute (or Un-Mute) the Stand Notification on Your Apple Watch” how you can mute those alerts and then manually reinstate them is described.

I am not sure this will be something that I will use, but some may find it useful.

Have a Wet Watch?

Officially the Apple Watch is “water resistant but not waterproof”. The technical rating of IPX7 means that it is “protected from accidental submersion in 1m of water for up to 30 minutes, but it has not been tested against the entry of dust.”

Apple recommends not bathing or showering while wearing your Apple watch (Duh!). I have heard of a few in the media that have tried that (at least once) without running into difficulties. Myself, I am fine with taking my watch off for the short time while I shower.

If your watch gets wet (through accident or design) dry it off as soon as possible. If it gets really dunked and shows problems, you can try using silica gel packs to draw out the moisture, but that may or may not work.

Apple Watch News #4

Not a lot in Apple Watch news the past few weeks, but these were some stories that caught my eye. Perhaps there will be new announcements at WWDC next week.

Control your Apple TV

Apple has built-in remote control software that is available for your Apple Watch (read “How to use your Apple Watch to control your Apple TV“). I have both, but I am not sure I want to use the tiny screen of the watch for that purpose. It is interesting to see that Apple thought of offering that feature though.

Hide Glances

Apple Watch includes several default ‘glances’. Some I find more useful that others. In “How to Hide Glances on Apple Watch” you can find how to customize which of those ‘glances’ are visible. I have already used this method to remove ‘glances’ I am not interested in such as ‘Stocks’.

Designer Bands

Coach will begin offering bands for the Apple watch on June 13.

For me the plastic band that came with my Apple Sports watch is perfect for my use. For me a watch is a functional tool not a fashion statement.

My Flawed Apple Watch

In another review of using the Apple Watch for a year Abdel Ibrahim wrote “My Flawed Apple Watch Has Become a Necessity“. As with so many I have read, this is mostly positive while pointing out a few of the Apple Watch’s short comings.

Fueling Growth

In a more positive perspective, this Macworld article (“How the Watch could fuel Apple’s next growth spurt“) looks at a more rosy future for the Apple Watch, citing slow beginnings for both the iPod and iPhone.

I am of that mind as well. I still can’t tell anyone that they absolutely need an Apple Watch because of the ‘xyz compelling App or feature’, but I wear mine every day. I also expect to see much more growth in the Health area with the watch over time.

Apple Watch #3 -Time in Words, 12 Reasons and Other Stories

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Several small articles have show up on the Apple Watch.

Time in Words

According to “This free Apple Watch complication displays the time in words” you can now get a free complication that shows the time written out in text. Not exactly something that I want but it may be just what you are looking for.

12 Reasons

In “12 reasons I still wear my Apple Watch every day” another user tells why she likes her Apple Watch. Except for the “Apple TV Remote” and “Spinning Planets”, I have to agree with her on the use cases.

One Year On

Various Engadget editors in “The Apple Watch, one year on” shares their opinion after a year with the Apple Watch. Some views were negative, but over all the responses were positive.

Another Year in Review

My God-Awful Year With the Apple Watch” certainly has an eye catching title. Some negative comments, but again, mostly positive.

Nice to Have

In “After a year with Apple Watch, it’s time for a frank appraisal” there is another review of the Apple Watch after a year of use. His summary is ‘Nice to have, but not essential’.

Only 52%

Strategy Analytics reported in April that while global smart watch shipments grew by 223% to 4.2 million units, Apple’s share was only 52%.

I think any of the other smart watch manufacturers with products on the market long before the Apple Watch would be thrilled with owning 52% of the market after only one year!

13 Million

Along the lines of the note above, IDC projected  that Apple shipped about 13 million watches in 2015. The article “Is Apple Watch Really a Flop?” includes projections on all of the smart watch vendors. Apple is shown to have 61.3% of the 2015 market with the closest competitor having only 15.2%.

Clearly the sign that Apple Watch is a failure.

 

So how do I summarize? The Apple Watch does not have that ‘killer App’ that makes it essential (at least right now). Most users like the Apple Watch and wear it regularly in spite of early reservations. While the media seems to call the Apple Watch a failure, the numbers to me show the start of a good, long term business.

Apple Watch News #2 – Why They Are Not Worn, Apps Must be Native and Wearables Dominance

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There seems to have been more stories about the Apple Watch in the past few weeks. Perhaps because it is now just over one year old.

Why people are not wearing their Apple Watches

CNET asked some of their editors who owned Apple Watches how they felt about them after a year. The full article is “7 reasons people aren’t wearing their Apple Watch“, but the seven reasons are:

1) It does not do enough
2) There are limited strap options
3) The phone is faster
4) It is too complicated
5) It has uninteresting Apps
6) Just not for me, do not like to be constantly connected
7) There is no killer feature

Of that list the only objections I can even partially agree with are #1 and #7. I had stopped wearing a watch years ago, but now wear my Apple Watch every day. I will not say that it is essential to me, but I would surely miss it if I had to give it up.

Apps must be native

Starting June 1 all Apps being submitted to the App store must be native, that is they must run without a tethered iPhone.

This may limit what some Apps can do, but in the long term I think it is best for the platform.

Wearables Market

Business Insider in “The Apple Watch is winning in the battle of fitness trackers” claims that smart watches, such as the Apple Watch, are capturing a growing share of the wearables market, taking market share from the fitness-bands. They also predicted that by 2020 the Apple Watch will make up about 40% of the luxury-watch ($350+) market.

That really sounds like the ‘failure’ that many have branded the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch News #1 – No Killer App, A Year with my Watch and Finding a Business

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As I mentioned before, I really like my Apple Watch. I haven’t seen the need (yet) to write the more in-depth type of technical articles I sometimes author for OS X and iOS. I do think that some of these short topics might be of interest though.

Apple Watch Does Not Need Killer App

I liked this article (“13 awesome Apple Watch tricks that prove it doesn’t need a ‘killer app’“). I am not sure if I agree that these are ‘awesome’ tricks, but it is always useful to know more about what your Apple Watch is capable of. I have sent messages from my watch, answered my iPhone, and handled notifications.

I find now that I am at a loss when I do not have my Apple Watch on.

A Year With the Apple Watch

I have had my Apple Watch almost a year. I found this article (“A year with the Apple Watch: What works, what doesn’t, and what lies ahead?“) a very thorough review of the Apple Watch. I pretty much agree with everything this author says. If you are considering an Apple Watch, this is a good overview to read.

Finding a Business

I thought that the article “How to find nearby businesses on Apple Watch” gave a good explanation as to how to use your Apple Watch to search for a nearby location. I can see how using the “Nearby” option could be useful. Unless my iPhone is buried away and difficult to get to though, I would most likely just use it for the larger screen.

No One Needs an Apple Watch

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I saw the article “A year after its launch, it’s now clear that pretty much no one needs an Apple Watch” today, and I agree no one needs an Apple Watch – at least not yet. I’ve had an Apple Watch now for almost a year. I had stopped wearing a watch, relying on my iPhone, but since getting the Apple Watch I am back to wearing a watch every day!

I have been asked by others if they should buy an Apple Watch. That is a hard thing to answer. It really depends on what they want to use it for. I do not feel there are compelling Apps right now. I do find it useful – glancing at the latest Slack and Messages updates, seeing how I am progressing in daily exercise, occasionally using Just Press Record to note something down for later reference and YES simply checking what time it is.

I don’t need my Apple Watch, but I certainly like it!

Product Review – GearTies

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I learned about these useful accessories from my wife. She had ordered some through her place of work and had found them to be very useful binding up the various cables she carries in her computer bag.

I went to Amazon and found both 4 x  3″ (multi-colored as pictured above) and 2 x 6″ (black) packages available for $2.98 each. I ordered several packages of each and have found them to be very effective in managing charging cables, headsets . . . anything with wires.

Using one of these I can carry around my iPhone earbuds now in my pocket without them getting all tangled up. I have also used these to bind up the power cables I need when traveling (iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch,) to keep them from tangling as well.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Reusable

 

Cons

  • No mixed length packages that I could find
  • No choice of colors

 

These have become an essential part of packing for any trip and for simply keeping my day-to-day cables manageable. Anyone with electronics should get a few packages of both sizes.


See my other iOS and OS X articles