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I Survived Two Days Without My Apple Watch And It Didn’t Bother Me

Having forgot to drop my Apple Watch on the charger Friday night, I woke up Saturday morning looking at a 3% battery alert. So I ughed and shrugged and snapped it onto the magnetic charger then enjoyed the first day of Spring sitting in the warm sun reading a Paulo Coelho book over a cup of coffee for a few hours. I could you give you the old-school Twitter play-by-play update of the rest morning, but it ends with me standing in Home Depot after lunch realizing that I completely forgot about my charging Apple Watch and it didn’t bother me. Why is this I wondered? and then I started thinking about what I actually use my $399 Apple Watch for.

Date & Time + weather
Outside of the obvious date and time, the weather complication on the watch face was the first feature of my Apple Watch that I missed most. Although, I did have my iPhone in my back pocket, just a quick twist of the wrist and seeing the current temperature is a really awesome convenience. Plus, with a quick tap on the temperature I can view the hourly forecast for temp, precipitation, hourly and 10-day outlook.

Watch Faces
The next feature that I absolutely missed about my Apple Watch are the watch faces. Even though they are just “okay” compared to some of the faces I have seen for Android Wear devices and the Apple Watch Hermes edition, I like having the option of matching a face to an outfit, event or function. Lately weather has been crazy and making that the focus of my watch has been invaluable, where as other times, a simple clock face has reduced stress by putting less emphasis on time, appointments and activity circles.

Activity Rings
I have to admit that I am addicted to these little colorful rings. Being at a desk all day long as a programmer I tend to forget to stand, stretch and walk as much as I probably should, as well as eat sometimes, and my Apple Watch does a terrific job keeping me on track. It’s not perfect, but it keeps me a bit more motivated than when I didn’t have it around for the last two days.

Text Messages
Yes and no. I did miss receiving text messages, but because Siri has her challenges I rarely use my Apple Watch to actually respond or initiate messages. At times I try and try again with her, but the user experience of replying to messages trips itself up with too many options that eventually require me to interact with the watch face using a finger. I feel these small issues are defeating the spirit of wearable technology requiring me to still depend on my iPhone to successfully reply-to or send a text message.

Apple Pay
Ha. Usually by the time I realize the merchant accepts Apple Pay, I already have my credit card in my hand ready to swipe and it’s more work to put the card back in my wallet just to use my watch. I have a friend @bryanlewis who absolutely loves Apple Pay and uses it all the time without any hiccups; just has not been my experience.

Siri
She never even crossed my mind. LMAO! “I’m sorry James, that’s not very nice to say.” Unfortunately Siri on my Apple Watch is just as bad as Siri on my iPhone 6. Half of the time “Hey Siri” doesn’t work and the other half when it does work she doesn’t understand what I am saying or is pretty slow interpreting my words.

Third-party Apps
I honestly haven’t found many third-party apps very useful. The reason for this is the communication delay between the watch and the iPhone. I have found this to be a problem in watch apps like MLB AT-BAT, 7-minute workout, LoseIt! and Strava. The data just doesn’t keep in sync between the too devices reliably, for example MLB AT-BAT sends a notification to my phone of a game lead change. I see it on my phone, tap my watch face and the MLB At-BAT complication is a few innings behind. I tap it and open the watch app and the score is still not accurate or in sync with the iPhone notification.

Do I like my Apple Watch? Yes. I love how it looks, the watch faces are polished and fun and the complications add value to the user experience, but did I miss it? No.

Pope Blesses Instagram, McDonald’s Happy Meal VR Box #yourlifeintech week 12

Today was a big day in tech for Apple enthusiasts, but as an Apple fanboy, Apple’s “Loop You in” event honestly felt a little flat. Maybe too many rumors are getting out, or maybe the announcements just don’t have the same innovative bang as they once did. A smaller iPad, smaller iPhone, new OS, watch bands, price cuts and AppleTV: lather rinse repeat.

So in a quick glance, Apple announced a new smaller iPad Pro starting at $599 (32GB) running iOS 9.3. Maybe it’s just me, but until that amazing 9.7 inch tablet runs either OSX or a more powerful iPad edition of iOS, I won’t be trading in my MacBook anytime soon. They dropped the Apple Watch price to $299 (from $349) and introduced a new line of nylon bands ($49) and also a black Milanese Loop ($149). iOS 9.3 will be heading to your device soon and adds the color-temperature changing Night Shift, Notes with Touch ID and password support. They also mentioned a few new updates for AppleTV including folder support, Siri support for the AppStore, as well as CarPlay and updates to CareKit. Wait, what is CareKit? Anyhow, they also revealed the iPhone SE, a smaller 4-inch iPhone starting at $399 which includes many of the bells and whistles of the iPhone 6s. Unfortunately, both the new smaller iPad and smaller iPhone are missing a few features I still hope for in the iPhone 7: inductive, wireless power, or even magnetic charging like on the Apple Watch and a microSD card. It may just be me, but Apple’s events the past few years have felt a little routine and predictable, reminiscent of the Palm V/Claudia Schiffer days from 2002.

For all the hype the technology world generates, there are few truly revolutionary products anymore. But someone came very close today: Get ready for the first handheld computer [Palm Computing’s Palm V] named for a supermodel. –cNet, January 2, 2002

On another #yourlifeintech note, the Pope joins and blesses Instagram, if you live in Sweeden you can turn your McDonald’s Happy Meal box into a VR headset. Oh, and Microsoft’s new edge web browser finally supports extensions.

Also, because of Easter weekend, and I’m going on a short vacation, there is a strong possibility that there will not be a #yourlifeintech week 13 update.

Top headlines from Week 12 of 2016

As Apple vs. FBI looms, WhatsApp and others look to increase encryption
Skype for Web upgraded, now supports dialing mobile phones, landlines and more
Now an F-16 can launch a swarm of 3D-printed carbon fiber drones
Instagram is switching its feed from chronological to best posts first
Chevy’s new Malibu keeps teens safe from themselves
Waze helps you plan future trips based on expected traffic
Nixon’s Android Wear smartwatch is water resistant up to 100 meters and Michael Kors’ Android Wear smartwatches can change faces
A Clever New Strap Brings EKG Readings to the Apple Watch
Western Digital’s 314GB drive offers RPi a low-power solution
10 Apple signs deal to power part of iCloud with Google Cloud Platform
11 Google Is Reportedly Selling Its Crazy Robotics Lab, Boston Dynamics

Our favorite article for week 12

1 On the outside, this gizmo looks identical to a regular book of matches, but tucked inside you’ll find eight tiny, waterproof and magnetic flashlights the size of matches.

Apple Event, GoT S6 Teaser and Bezo’s Blue Origin Reusable Rocket #yourlifeintech week 11

Up in the sky, look! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, wait … no, it’s just a U.S. military drone flying over your house but the Pentagon maintains all of them obeyed laws restricting the use of these drones at home, and yeah, if you let us have a master key to your iPhone’s encryption we promise we won’t abuse it. Meanwhile, also flying the friendly skies will be 20 recently leased Boeing 767s for Amazon.Com that will be used to ship packages to customers in North America and save Amazon lots of money, but will not necessarily get your packages to you any faster if you’re not a Prime customer. Also, did you know that half all Americans believe the Zika virus is fatal (spoiler alert: it’s not). Facebook recently acquired Masquerade, an app that allows to easily swap your face with a monkey, zombie or maybe Leonardo DiCaprio and post it to all your friends which is way more interesting to share then a potentially deadly-plague-like virus spread by Mosquitos (we’re kidding). Just don’t forget the bug spray this summer.

Oh, and winter is coming, Game of Thrones releases Season 6 teaser.

Top headlines from Week 11 of 2016

1 Jeff Bezos and his space company Blue Origin plan to launch manned space missions by 2017, tourists trips by 2018 as the competition with Virgin Galactic and SpaceX heats up. In fact, Blue Orgin’s New Sheperd rocket quietly and successfully became the first rocket to fly above the Karman line and return to Earth with a vertical landing and repeat, beating Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

2 Twitter offers stock and cash bonuses to keep disheartened workers. However, I’m confused, wasn’t it back in October 2015 when Jack Dorsey returned to Twitter and  laid off 8% of its staff and now it’s trying to hold on current talent by offering stock and cash bonuses. This poor bird keeps keeps flying into windows.

3 Apple sends out invites for March 21 event. We aren’t popular enough to get one of ourselves (yet) but there seems to be a lot of exciting rumors for upcoming Apple releases, such as the iPhone 6c, iPad Air 3 and the next-generation Apple Watch. The new Apple Watch is rumored to include a front-facing camera with FaceTime support and a better Wi-Fi chip so it could be less dependent on the iPhone. It still be rectangular though, with no rumors of a round edition.

4 A recent Department of Defense report revealed that the Pentagon admits to deploying military drones over US cities. Although it was “less than 20 missions” between 2006 and 2015, the documents don’t state their purpose or what happened despite a current policy which forbids spying on U.S. Residents. And, the government wonders why Apple doesn’t want to build a back-door for them.

5 Whole Foods will add rooftop solar farms to more stores, 100 more stores to be exact and, it would be nice to think this is part of a sincere sustainability move for the organic food giant, but as more organic food markets are moving in on Whole Foods market with lower prices, it appears it’s more of a cost-cutting move.

6 After buying the fitness trackable company Misfit, Fossil announces $95 Q Motion activity tracker that also tracks sleep and looks a lot like Misfits latest trackable, which being a Q Reveler owner, is a serious disappointment that Fossil would even consider putting it’s brand on that device’s design.

7 New MIT code makes web pages load 34% faster in any browser by creating a dependency graph. The software, which is titled Polaris, is written in JavaScript making simple to implement, however, in order for a web site to benefit from the system, the site’s servers must run Polaris’ dependency-tracking measurement platform. Read the white paper by James Mickens to learn more about the technical details. This is exciting news for web development  community, but unfortunately we couldn’t find any software to download to try Polaris or the dependency tracking measurment platform for ourselves.

8 Facebook pays out $15,000 bounty to close but that allowed access to any users account, and targets 25% of the web with new WordPress plugin for Instant Articles. On April 12th at Facebook’s F8 conference, we will open up the Instant Articles program to all publishers—of any size, anywhere in the world.

9 A new bionic fingertip allows amputees to feel rough and smooth by using a series of sensors to detect undulations in the surface beneath them, converting the physical feel into electric signals. These signals can then be injected into the nerves of a patient. We wonder at what point will cyborgenetic technologies like this will become an enhancement to the human body providing us with additional capabilities, perhaps even for a job or just for the fun of doing it.

10 Microsoft’s SQL database now runs on Linux. Honestly I never thought I would be writing anything with the words Microsoft, open source and Linux in the same sentence, but since the departure of Gates and then Ballmer, the Redmond based company with CEO Satya Nadella’s leadership is making a new Microsoft.  The company is even working with the creators of key Linux distribution, Red Hat and Ubuntu to get the program running smoothly. SQL Server for Linux won’t officially ship until mid-2017, but there’s already a preview for corporations that want a peek.

11 Google’s Go-playing artificial intelligence has claimed victory in a historic match against Korean grandmaster Lee Sedol winning a three straight games in this best-of-five series, but computers have been beating humans in games like checkers and chess for the last 25 years, so I guess humans kind of suck at board games anyhow.

Our favorite reviews & articles for week 11

1 Amazon’s latest series will be based on the cyborg short-film, True Skin. It may be a little too Fifth Element for some, but the 6 minute short-film is worth watching and with a good plot line it has great potential.

2 I bet you didn’t know the Macbook power-block has an obvious design flaw and Ten One Design has a genius fix for just $20

3 Review: Hoverdock for Apple Watch @thegadgeteer

SnapChat Hacked, Google Car Crashes and Apple Joins Twitter #yourlifeintech week 10

“Hound .. how smart is water?” If water wasn’t already smart, it’s just gotten a little smarter thanks to Brita’s smart Wi-Fi Infinity Pitcher that automatically orders new filters when you need them through Amazon’s Dash and you might already be wondering why I started off by saying “Hound“? Siri, Google and Alexa have a new frenemy and his name is Hound, an incredibly fast and accurate speech recognition and language understanding assistant for more than your iPhone or Android phone. Hound also works with the Raspberry Pi which has recently been upgraded with a 64-bit chip and embedded Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for not much more than what you probably spend at Starbucks in a week.

Also, this past week, a French student has created an open source smartwatch OS based on Linux, which could become a competitor for Android Wear and Tizen, Amazon quietly removes encryption for Fire devices, the Popslate indiegogo project puts a second, e-reader style screen on the back of your iPhone and yet another teacher is busted when a student finds nude pics on her phone – a lesson to be learned the hard way on why you should passcode (and encrypt) your phone.

Oh, and SkyWall announces the first drone capturing bazooka, protecting your backyard from the impending drone takeover, clouds are possibly seen on dwarf-planet Pluto, astronaut Scott Kelly returns from space after a year.

Here is a quick glance-summary
from Week 10 (Feb29-Mar5), 2016

  1. Snapchat gets phished and exposed 700 employees personal information
    Source: Slashgear
  2. Google says it bears some responsibility for first accident caused by self-driving car
    Source: Mashable
  3. Indonesia tells Google and other Internet firms to pay tax or risk getting blocked
    Source: Mashable
  4. Microsoft Band 2 Price Drops Even Further, Now $175 at Best Buy and Microsoft Store
    Source: SmartwatchMe
  5. Six Flags launches new Virtual Reality Roller Coaster
    Source: digitaltrends
  6. Amazon removes encryption support in latest Fire OS update
    Source: Washington Post
  7. Apple creates a general support channel on Twitter @AppleSupport
    Source: TechCrunch
  8. Samsung releases 16TB SSD, officially making it the world’s largest drive
    Source: slashgear
  9. McDonald’s Is Transforming Happy Meal Boxes Into VR Headsets
    Source: Wired
  10.  Amazon’s Kindle gets a big update including a personalized home screen, new MyReadingList  and sharing made easier
    Source: Amazon

The Apple Stand-off: Justice Vs. Privacy
Apple and FBI testify to Congress while Apple supporters: Google, Twitter Facebook Airbnb, eBay, GitHub, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Square and Squarespace, among others (except former CEO Bill Gates) file a brief urging the U.S. District Court in California to deny the motion to compel Apple to comply with the FBI’s request.

  1. Apple scores iPhone legal victory that may help in FBI fight
  2. Read Apple’s opening statement to Congress over its FBI fight
  3. San Bernardino Survivor’s Husband Writes Powerful Letter To Judge Supporting Apple
  4. F.B.I. Error Locked San Bernardino Attacker’s iPhone
  5. Twitter, Reddit and more file brief to support Apple vs the FBI
  6. San Bernardino DA says seized iPhone may hold “dormant cyber pathogen”

Our favorite reviews for week 10

  1. Fitbit Blaze reviewed at wareable
  2. The Tin Mill Tipe, Natural Titanium Pen review at the-gadgeteer

Skinomi® TechSkin screen protector for Apple Watch

I don’t care how tough you say your Gorilla or Ion-X glass may be: scratches happen, and just last week when I glanced at my Apple Watch Sport edition I noticed one of my biggest fears, a scratch. Yep, the Ion-X glass on the Apple Watch Sport is not as strong or durable as I thought. Of course, I was basing my confidence level on what the Apple Watch Sport web page says: 

To keep the Sport collection models as light as possible, we used aluminosilicate glass — the same material used in the windows of space shuttles and high-speed trains. It’s fortified at the molecular level through ion exchange, with smaller ions being replaced by larger ones to create a surface layer far tougher than ordinary glass.

Unfortunately it may be strong enough to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, but it’s no match for the edge of my oak end table. So naturally, within minutes I had the Amazon app open and my new Skinomi Techskin protector arrived the next day.

Before ordering, however, I did some quick research on screen protectors, having not really ever been satisfied by any for my iPhone. In fact as of this writing I still do not use one on myiPhone.  What I learned is that there are basically two styles of protectors: film and tempered glass. The latter, typically being the more expensive of the two materials. Some companies make screen protectors using both while other companies like Clear-Coat don’t (read Clear Coat’s reasoning).

Tempered glass, also known as tougher glass, is a type of glass that breaks differently than normal glass. Instead of shattering into large chunks it crumbles into small, smoother-edged pellets.  It’s most commonly used for automobile windshields, but also found in buildings, food service and mobile devices. You have probably heard of Corning’s Gorilla Glass. A tempered glass protector is a multi-layered screen protector. It has a bottom layer of absorbent silicon, PET film and an optically clear adhesive tempered glass and oleophobic coating. It may not be anymore scratch proof than your current mobile devices Gorilla Glass, but it does add an additional layer of strength that just could shatter itself before the manufacturers screen. That alone I think has some value to it.

Film based screen protectors are thin sheets of plastic cut to your devices manufactured screen size. They mainly are a PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and TPU (thermoplastic polyreuthane) material. Unlike tempered glass, they typically only offer protection against light scratching and don’t add any additional strength to the screen which could prevent shattering of the device’s manufactured screen. Often they are cheaper than tempered glass protectors, although, they do tend have more air bubbles if not properly applied.

The Skinomi® TechSkin screen protector that I purchased is a film based product. It came packaged with screen solution, a cleaning cloth, quick 3 step instructions and 6 film protectors for the Apple Watch 42mm Sport.
FullSizeRender

Putting on the protector was simple and flawless. Spray the screen lightly with the water based solution and then peel a protector off the sheet and apply. The water based solution will allow you to slide it around a little bit. Once you get it perfectly position use a credit card to firmly adhere it and push out any air bubbles. At first, the protector will be a bit blurry, but don’t worry, over the next several hours as the water based solution dries the clarity will restore itself. My only real complaint about the product is the plastic feel is not as smooth as glass and sometimes my touch doesn’t register because of the tackiness from time to time and requires a harder push. Otherwise, it has no air bubbles and already a few scratches so it’s definitely doing its job and protecting my Apple Watch.

Source
Purchased a 6-pack from Amazon

Pros

  • Easy to put on
  • Comes with 6 pre-cut pieces of film in the pack
  • Includes cleaning cloth which can be used for other things
  • No air bubbles and edges have not lifted after 2 weeks of use
  • Great value for the price
  • Reusable packaging for easy storage

Cons

  • plastic glare and touch
  • easily scratches (scuffed it up with a fingernail, but that’s its job and 6 are included)

Recommendation
For added protection against screen shattering buy the Skinomi tempered glass version 42mm or
buy the Skinomi tempered glass version 38mm. Otherwise the film based product will be suffice.

Facebooks Lets You React &Like, #MWC2016 and Google AMP #yourlifeintech week 9

To like or not to like has always been the burning question on Facebook and now they’ve made it a little easier to answer by adding some love, haha, wow, sad and angry “reactions”. My reaction to this week in tech is probably “wow” and “sad”. And, despite the Mobile World Congress in Spain was going on with lots of great announcements from the Samsung S7, Oral-B Genius, Garmin Vivoactive HR and Meizu PRO 5, an Ubuntu powered smartphone, it was heavily over shadowed by the ongoing standoff between Apple and the FBI.

Then there was Time, Inc. considering to buy Yahoo! core business and Google plans to speed up the the mobile web with their new AMP project.

Oh, and Spotify moves itself onto Google’s cloud.

Here is a quick glance-summary of a few top headlines from Week 9 (Feb22-Feb28), 2016.

1 Mobile World Congress in Spain
Companies including Garmin, LG, Oral-B, Samsung, Zuckerberg, Google, Lenovo, HP and other big brands in tech made some big announcements this past week in Spain for smartphones and wearables.
Source: Pocket-Lint

2 Amazon raises minimum order for free shipping to $49
If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, shopping at the online retailer just got a little more expensive, unless you order $25 of books, then, it’s still free.
Source: Mashable

3 Sony making phones again in the US announcing the Xperia X at Mobile World Congress in Spain.
Source: CNet

4 Western Digital buys San Disk despite China investor backing out and a top shareholder in London urging Western Digital to abandon the planned buyout by arguing that the deal was too expensive, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Source: Arstechnica/WSJ

5 Siri is coming to Mac OS X 10.12 According to a new report from 9to5Mac, Siri is slated to debut as one of the flagship features on OS X 10.12 later this year. Hardly a feature Apple has ignored, the report notes that Apple has been testing Siri on the Mac for three years in order to get the functionality and implementation just right.
Source: Yahoo/9to5Mac

ad_week9Stance is an amazingly versatile, compact tripod that mounts directly into your iPhone’s charging port. Watching your favorite videos, using FaceTime®, and positioning your phone’s camera to capture amazing photos and videos. [advertisement]

Russia wants to fly spy planes with new high res cameras over U.S. to test their new advanced digital cameras. So, How does Washington respond at a time when Moscow and Washington are at odds over Syria and Ukraine and senior U.S. defense officials have identified Russia as the No. 1 existential threat to America?
Source: Washington Post

Japan considers treating bitcoin like real money and consumers will be able to swap out virtual coins for physical legal tender. However, once it becomes more regulated by country, wouldn’t that defeat the initial goals of an independent currency?
Source: engadget

Boston Dynamics upgrades Atlas with a smaller body, lighter frame and is also now battery powered. Watch the video to better understand why once the robots take over the world they’re mean to humans.
Source: engadget

Google Fiber comes to SF; AT&T sues Louisville to stop Google Fiber from using poles. The AMP project must be Google’s “plan B” in making the Internet faster because Google Fiber seems to be running into quite a few roadblocks on the Information Super Highway.
Source: Fortune

10 The battle for Net Neutrality turns 1 and many of us don’t even know what that means. Well, imagine if Comcast decides to limit your Internet connection speed to sites that aren’t owned by them or potentially even blocking them. The Net Neutrality fight is about keeping the Internet equal for everybody regards who services they purchase. Companies like Time Warner, Comcast and AT&T don’t want the Net to be like this.
Source: CNet

ad_week9Stance is an amazingly versatile, compact tripod that mounts directly into your iPhone’s charging port. Watching your favorite videos, using FaceTime®, and positioning your phone’s camera to capture amazing photos and videos. [advertisement]

The Apple Stand-off: Justice Vs. Privacy
More tech CEOs, like Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and Sundar Pichai have stepped up to support Apple, but Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates has sort-of, maybe not, offered his support, as Apple and the FBI get ready to testify at a Congressional encryption hearing on Tuesday, March 1, 2016.

1 In an interview with Bloomberg TV this morning, Bill Gates said he was “blindsided” by and “disappointed” with reports that he sides with the FBI.
Source: FastCompany

2 Why The FBI Chose To Try The Apple Encryption Case In The Media. Cases like this are usually tried under seal as a national security matter, but the FBI sought a very public showdown.
Source: FastCompany

3 FBI Has Asked Apple To Unlock As Many As 17 iPhones In Last 4 Months. Newly unsealed court documents show that the FBI’s request of Apple in the San Bernardino case is probably not a one-off.
Source: FastCompany

4 NYPD wants access to ALL iPhones (with a warrant). The New York City Police Department says they’d like Apple to unlock every iPhone currently subject to a court-ordered search.
Source: Slashgear

5 Apple and FBI to testify at Congressional encryption hearing. FBI director James Comey and Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell are set to testify.

ad_week9Stance is an amazingly versatile, compact tripod that mounts directly into your iPhone’s charging port. Watching your favorite videos, using FaceTime®, and positioning your phone’s camera to capture amazing photos and videos. [advertisement]

Our favorite reviews for week 8

1 Eve Energy with Siri
http://the-gadgeteer.com/2016/02/22/control-and-monitor-any-device-plugged-into-the-eve-energy-using-siri/

2 RAVPower 20100mAh External Battery Review: Large and in Charge

RAVPower 20100mAh External Battery Review: Large and in Charge

3 Razer Blade Stealth Review: a true MacBook alternative at last
http://www.slashgear.com/razer-blade-stealth-review-a-true-macbook-alternative-at-last-26429207/

4 The SanDisk Ultra USB Type-C Flash Drive Is Ready for the Revolution!

The SanDisk Ultra USB Type-C Flash Drive Is Ready for the Revolution!

Our upcoming reviews &articles

1 Making fitness wearables and food tracking work for you
2 Skinomi® TechSkin screen protector for Apple Watch
3 Kenu Stance for iPhone

The eSim, 5G and Playboy Trades Nipples for Good Design #yourlifeintech week 8

Well Hell hath finally froze over with playboy trading nipples for good design as the publication pivots itself away from nude photographs for the first time in their 60 year history. Although, I wouldn’t expect to see the new SFW March issue of Playboy landing in your dentists waiting room anytime to soon, but now we can all honestly say that we read it for the “articles” and “art”. Meanwhile, Sport Illustrated is innovating the swim suit edition with Google-style VR goggles. Poor Twitter is still catching up and trying to be the cool kid again by adding video-sharing to direct messages, but it seems like all the cool kids are using Instagram. Is Twitter looking to take the same yard-sale road as Yahoo and setting itself up for a possible sale? or fly into a “public benefit corporation” like Kickstarter did last year?

Then we have Nissan’s self-parking chairs and Apple’s fix and apology for Error 53.

Here is a quick glance-summary of a few top headlines from Week 8 (Feb14-Feb21), 2016.

Yahoo takes a step towards possible sale. I bet someone somewhere is thinking what I am thinking and Yahooo! should have bought Google way back in the summer of 2002.
Source: NY Times

2 Comcast outage hit cable and internet service across U.S.  The outage affected communities including the San Francisco Bay Area; much of the East Coast from Philadelphia to Boston; parts of Florida, and Washington, D.C..
Source: Engadget

3 Samsung Galaxy 6, S6 Edge will get Android Marshmallow. This is great because for many Android customers the version of the OS installed on their phone when they buy it is the only version of Android they will ever see unless they upgrade their phone.
Source: CNet

4 A $7 smartphone is launching in India. Ringing Bells has not revealed too many details about Freedom 251, but is likely to be 3G-enabled. Sure, it’s not LTE, but would you sacrifice some speed and performance for a phone that won’t cost you $500, or $25 a month for 24 months (AT&T)?
Source: Mashable

5 Tim Cook gains support in fighting court order to unlock iPhone from Google CEO, Facebook and John MaAfee says he can hack it in 3 weeks or will eat his shoe on live TV.
Source: Wired/Mashable/Arstechnica

WaterField Designs is an innovative SF designer & manufacturer of bags & cases for the tech-savvy who want to stylishly & responsibly transport their gear. Connect with us and find that perfect bag or case! [advertisement]

6 Virgin Galactic unveils new Virgin Galactic VSS Unity and Recommits to Space Tourism. Tickets to space are on pre-sale for around $250,000.
Source: FastCompany

7 Samsung Gear S2 debuts the eSim. The specifications for eSIM were just approved by GSMA, allowing them to be used in devices like smartwatches, tablets, and fitness trackers. This is exciting stuff because soon we may finally be able to be tether-free from our phones.
Source: Slashgear

AT&T starting to test ultraspeedy 5G in Austin, Texas which  would mean a more responsive network that could let a doctor remotely perform delicate surgery with robotic hands. That sounds cool and all, but I don’t think I ever want to hear a surgeon say “can you hear me now?” to their assistant.
Source: CNet

9 Hoverboards may be seized or recalled due to fire risk; Amazon offers full refund
Source: USA Today

10 Alibaba buys 33 million shares of Groupon via a Groupon: Buy $11 million shares and get 33 million – LOL – in all seriousness people seemed to like this. Groupon’s stock opened 35% higher the next morning.
Source: CNBC

WaterField Designs is an innovative SF designer & manufacturer of bags & cases for the tech-savvy who want to stylishly & responsibly transport their gear. Connect with us and find that perfect bag or case! [advertisement]

Our favorite reviews for week 8

1 Withings Activite review
http://www.wareable.com/withings/withings-activite-steel-review

2 Waterfield Designs Staad Attache review
Source: the-gadgeteer

3 Five common photo lenses & when to use them

5 Common Photo Lenses & When To Use Them

Our upcoming reviews &articles

1 Making fitness wearables and food tracking work for you
2 Skinomi® TechSkin screen protector for Apple Watch
3 Playboy March SWF Issue (maybe it will have some #yourlifeintech articles)

IRS hacked, Moore’s Law Is Dead and Google shuts-down Picasa #yourlifeintech week 7

Twitter’s iconic little blue bird flew itself all over last week announcing a change to their timeline that has left everyones feathers a little ruffled. Twitter announced that will be displaying timeline content by relevancy, departing from its chronological roots, which as their active user base shrinks in Q4 may have not been the wisest decision.

Instagram FINALLY supports multiple user login, kickstarter reached their 100,000 project milestone, Runkeeper jogged into the arms of Asics, Google’s AI software can now be legally considered the “driver” of a car and plenty of new rumors about Apple’s iPhone 7 as well as the release date of Samsung’s S7 announced.

And, India banned Facebook Basics.

Here is a quick glance-summary of a few top headlines and our favorite reviews from Week 7 (Feb07-Feb14), 2016.

1 Obama’s new cybersecurity plan sticks to the basics
Keep your operating system and apps up to date, two-factor authentication and please, please use some common sense when surfing the Internet and opening e-mailed attachments from people you don’t know. And, maybe hire a professional.
Source: Wired

2 Donate Your Old USB Drives to Fight North Korean Brainwashing
One of my favorite stories this week. Instead of tossing your old USB flash drives into that never-seen-again junk drawer, consider sending your chunk of cheap flash memory into North Korea, and it becomes a powerful, even subversive object—one that a new activist project wants use to help chip away at the intellectual control of the hermit kingdom’s fascist government.
Source: Wired

3 More signs Verizon is reportedly looking to buy Yahoo! and Time Warner buys MySpace
Back in the early days of the Internet these two dinosaurs ruled the territory, but maybe now it’s time to let evolution take its course.
Source: USA Today/Engadget

4 The RIAA now counts audio visual streaming numbers towards artists total album sales and still gets it all wrong, but are you really surprised?
Source: Wired

5 IRS website attack nets 101,000 e-filing taxpayers credentials.
Maybe they should have piloted President Obama’s Cybersecurity Plan? LOL
Source: Arstechnica

Need a case for your iPhone, Galaxy, Nexus, LG or Apple Watch? Spigen: Sleek, simple, and smart accessories for your mobile device. Connect with us for new products, special events, and fun giveaways! [advertisement]

6 GMail now warns you if your freinds aren’t using secure email
With more and more net-security stories taking shape these last fews weeks, with the IRS being hacked, Mac OS X Sparkle hijacking and hackers exploiting power-grids through air conditioning units, maybe using secure email isn’t that bad of an idea or inconvenience.
Source: Arstechnica

7 Thousands of Mac OS X apps vulnerable to hijacking
You don’t hear the words Mac, hijacking and vulnerability in one sentence all too often, but this exploit is actually a scary one for Mac users and fixes may be slow coming since it requires all developers using Sparkle to update their apps and there isn’t anything Sparkle can do universally.
Source: Arstechnica

8 Einstein theory of general relativity confirmed as LIGO detects gravitational wave from black hole merger
Yes, space, gravity, or something like that has waves just like the ocean, but I will let the die-hard Big Bang Theory fans explain it all.
Source: Forbes

9 Moore’s law is dead or nearing to very close to it’s end
Yep, another one of those brainy news stories that rippled through the tech world that I am going to let the brainy people explain; something about circuits doubling every year on computer chips.
Source: Arstechnica/Fast Company

10 Apple owned 2/3 of Smartwatch market in 2015
Source: TechCrunch

11 Google plans to shutdown Picasa Spring 2016
Source: The Verge

Need a case for your iPhone, Galaxy, Nexus, LG or Apple Watch? Spigen: Sleek, simple, and smart accessories for your mobile device. Connect with us for new products, special events, and fun giveaways! [advertisement]

Our favorite reviews for week 7
1 Killing the password with wearables
http://www.wareable.com/wearable-tech/kill-the-password-pin-2290

2 MiPow Playbulb Sphere Lights The Night…Anywhere
http://geardiary.com/2016/02/12/mipow-playbulb-sphere-lights-the-night-anywhere/

3 Double the storage of your macbook
http://the-gadgeteer.com/2016/02/13/tardisk-can-double-the-storage-of-your-macbook-in-5-minutes/

4 Booq Cobra Brief
http://geardiary.com/2016/02/14/booqs-cobra-brief-is-a-traveling-professionals-best-friend/

Our upcoming reviews &articles
1 Moov Now, your AI personal trainer
2 Lose It!
3 Making fitness wearables work for you

Fitbit’s New Alta, Yahoo Layoffs, Apple Pay and Elon Musk gets Mad #yourlifeintech week 6

Happy Birthday Me! & Facebook. On February 4, Facebook turned 12, and I like to think that I just “leveled-up”. The bigger the number in games is usually better, right? Anyhow, it wasn’t me or Facebook that took center stage this past week. Oh no, it was Elon Musk, who didn’t appreciate a fellow venture capitalists critical blog comments over having to wait an extra 2 hours for Musk to show up to a Tesla event where he was of course the headline show. So in Musk’s disapproval of the criticism, he cancelled the fellow’s Tesla order publicly via Twitter. Lesson to learn is not to piss off Musk or he will cancel your order. Although, I’d like to know the reason Musk was late. Did his Tesla run out of power? or, maybe it was that electric plane he is trying to build? or, even worse, did he get stuck in his own Hyperloop. Humor aside, maybe one of his 6 kids had a basketball game that ran late? Either way, in my opinion, both were inappropriate in their of handling of the situation. You can read more at FastCompany. Oh, and there was Yahoo laying off 1500 or so people.

Here is a quick glance-summary of a few top headlines from Week 6 (Jan31-Feb07), 2016.

1 Fitbit blazed into the week announcing their new fashionable Alta, but is it sexy enough to win over the hearts of the consumer and compete with similar fashionable activity trackers like Fossil’s Q series or even the Jawbone UP?
Source: Arstechnica

2 Dutch police are training Eagles to grab drones from the sky. Now this is actually a pretty cool idea. What animals could we train next? How about dope smelling Squirrels?
Source: Mashable

3 Sesame Launches a venture arm to invest in startups that help kids. Don’t misread that headline. Although, some toddlers may have some creative and innovative ideas.
Source: Fast Company

4 Google is now the most valuable company on Earth. Sorry, I should have this saved space to link to something that we already didn’t know, like if you actually had somewhere in the ballpark of $500 Billion dollars how would you spend it? On a fleet of Lexus self-driving cars which are now roaming in a suburb of Washington? or maybe smart bathroom mirrors that update you on news events and current weather?
Source: Mashable/Fortune

5 Yahoo lays off 1500 workers, shuts down Games and announces make or break plan. Unfortunately the link to this article on Yahoo! News was removed. Nah, kidding, just google it.
Source: CNET/Wired

You’ve seen Lose It! on the Today Show, in the NY Times, or heard it mentioned on Howard Stern. Isn’t it time to join the millions of others who have downloaded Lose It! and give it a try yourself?[advertisement]

6 Amazon Retail Store goes beyond books but probably won’t be opening hundreds of bookstores like some stupid CEO was quoted saying.
Source: Recode/CNET

7 Oral Roberts University and Christian college says mandatory Fitbits won’t track sex, but they will track hand-jobs if you have your dominant wrist set appropriately. You can switch from left-to-right as needed in the Fitbit app’s settings.
Source: Engadget/ORU

8 Apple Pay adds 32 new US Banks and Credit Unions to Apple Pay. This is great news but still lacks the merchant support. 6/10 stores I visit daily still do not accept Apple Pay.
Source: iMore

9 Microsoft buys AI powered keyboard App SwitftKey for $250 million
Source: Mashable

10 Microsoft wants to put data centers at the bottom of the sea Aye, Aye matey! Modern day Pirates will now be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi while pillaging the open seas.
Source: Engadget

You’ve seen Lose It! on the Today Show, in the NY Times, or heard it mentioned on Howard Stern. Isn’t it time to join the millions of others who have downloaded Lose It! and give it a try yourself?[advertisement]

Our Favorite Reviews for Week 6
1 Flowstate. If this app had a free version I would totally try it, but right now I can just as easily press the backspace button.

2 Smartwatches, like the Fossil Q Founder, are coming for the mainstream, but what defines these devices as “smartwatches”? Yes, they tell time, but outside of displaying notifications what makes them “smart”?

Our Upcoming Reviews
1 HomeBrite Smart LED Bulbs
2 Moov Now
3 Lose It!

 

First 48 Hours with Apple Watch

Crime investigators say that the first 48 hours are the most critical if you’re going to catch a killer. The Apple Watch is certainly no killer in the world of smart watches but the first 48 hours for most tech is where first impressions are formed and ultimately the do-or-die decision to return an item or not is made by consumers.

So for me, is the Apple Watch a do or a die gadget? Admittedly I am late to this party, but have chosen to make a late appearance for a reason. I didn’t like WatchOS1 that much. I felt it was extremely limiting, much like the first iPhone when it was released back in 2007, which I would have never bought on my own. Even still, WatchOS2 feels like a sheltered child with an over protective parent, Apple, whom needs to trust its developer community a little more and let the WatchOS grow wings and fly into the digital horizon of greatness.

IMG_4347 IMG_4364

A good example of trusting developers more and letting the OS spread its wings a little wider is allowing them to release custom watch faces. Simple, right? But, yeah, Mickey Mouse is cool with the second-tapping foot and all, but I would love to have a face with my favorite baseball team, the Red Sox, with the second hand like a bat swinging around the watch face. Fun, right? Or, maybe allow developers to develop stand-alone “complications” (this is what Apple calls those little widgets like, Date, Activity, Timer, Weather that are on the watch faces) that aren’t required to be part of another iOS app, such as an alternate battery-levels icon. The current one looks too similar to the Activity “complication” but as a user, I’m stuck with what mom (Apple) gives me.

The app marketplace has grown quite a bit with existing app developers adding WatchOS support, but I feel the adoption has been slow and limited. Some of my favorite apps apps outside of the standard Apple apps (like the Activity and Music apps as shown below in last screen-shots), for WatchOS include: Yelp, Shazam, My Fitness Pal, Wunderlist, and, yeah, that’s about it.

IMG_4346 IMG_4345 IMG_4365

IMG_4367 IMG_4342 IMG_4368

What I like

  1. Watch faces and the ability to customize with available “complications”.
  2. Music control of Apple Music and ability to sync playlists when not connected with iPhone.
  3. Activity and Workout app. The Activity app has a great user experience. The Outdoor app has lot of potential including more exercises as well as analysis of live data for real-time AI coaching. I know Apple typically leaves this type of development up to third-party developers, but right now they could really run away with the game against other teams like Fitbit and Moov.
  4. Maps navigation via watch face so you that you don’t always have to be glancing at your phone while driving. Turn-by-turn voice guidance is still provided with Siri through the iPhone.
  5. Apple Pay done right. They implemented it so you your phone is not required to use Apple Pay. This is great for those times you take a run, leaving your phone at home, and stop to buy a Gatorade at 7-11.
  6. Siri, at times, works with the right voice command, such as, “Set a reminder to take out trash when I get home” will set a reminder in the Reminders app and notify of you via your iPhone GPS when you arrive home. Other commands that are useful are: “How long until I get to home or to work”, “Add bread to shopping list”, or “what is the weather like in …”

What I don’t like

  1. The price. $349 for the 38mm Sport is a lot of money for the current tech it offers.
    2. No built-in Wi-Fi. This would help it situations where your iPhone and Watch are separated. It would allow you send texts via iMessage, as well as maybe even  place calls via Wi-Fi calling (AT&T). Update: Wi-Fi is available if your iPhone has previously connected to the network and the network is not public (e.g., Starbucks) or on a 5Ghz band. The phone icon on the “Connected” glance (swipe up and left from watch face) will become a cloud when connected to Wi-Fi.
  2. While separating out Apple Pay and Wallet, Passbook is also a separate app. This is most noticeable when you arrive at Starbucks. Double-pressing the side button only shows the current bank or credit cards in your “wallet” excluding other passport passes.
  3. No GPS. For me, this is a biggie. At the lowest price point of $349 I expected this. It would allow me to be completely iPhone free on a run or bike ride.

A few tips

  1. To return to the last app you used double-press the digital crown.
  2. To quickly access Apple Pay double-press the side-button.
  3. To take a screen-shot, press the side-button and then the digital crown. Your screen-shot will automatically be saved to your photo app on your iPhone.
  4. Press and hold the side-button to power-off the Watch, enable power-reserve or lock the device.
  5. Send your heartbeat to other Apple Watch users by clicking the side-button, select your friend, tap the Digital-Touch icon (center icon) and the lightly press two fingers on the display. Your heartbeat will show up on your friend’s watch until you lift your fingers.

Despite my quick-criticisms, my first 48 hours with the Apple Watch has been a fun, a new user experience that I don’t regret. However, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to trade-in my old iPhone 5 for a $200 Apple credit and that I only paid $228 out-of-pocket, which is still a lot of money for a device that honestly only mirrors my iPhone 6.

Product Source:
Purchased from Apple store, 42mm, Sport, $399.

Website:
http://www.apple.com

Order at Amazon and save!
$295 (38mm) – $354 (42mm) Sport Edition