Dave Masterson's thoughts on technology happenings, personal experiences, travels, work, fun, etc.

Thursday
Aug202015

Apple Watch +3 Months

My Apple Watch on the charge cableI'd say 90 days of constant use would be a good measure of the new Apple Watch. It was a great birthday gift surprise from my girlfriend and I hopped right into the habit of using it. Most days I would wear it out and around at work appointments and for different workouts. This is what I found...

  • The battery lasts a full day, and it charges quickly. The USB cable it came with magnetically attaches to the watch. If I wanted to recharge and "top off" in the middle of a day, it did so very rapidly. When I was in "workout" mode, it definitely used battery power more aggressively.
  • I never used it in a pool, but it has been on some very sweaty workouts of riding or running. Accuracy is claimed to be better when you carry the iPhone also, which I don't often do. Using the GPS feature in the Apple Watch alone yields a generous interpretation of distance. I'd run a mile, the watch would say I went 1.1 miles. Oh well, I'm not a stickler for exact mileage or times. 
  • I really use the haptic (tapping sensation on your wrist) features with notifications. When I receive texts, GMail, Slack or WeatherChannel alerts, I glance down at my wrist and see what's happening. IT works for incoming calls, a few times I took the call or listened to a voicemail on the watch. It's not loud, but it works to my satisfaction. Texting and voice capture (Is Siri in there, too?) works well on the device. When I put my car's bluetooth on and paired with my watch, the Siri connection was garbled and it messed up easy statements. I don't believe that's a function of the watch, that's probably the VW Beetle from 2012 interacting with my iPhone 6.
  • I do change the watch faces quite often - I use the "COLOR" watch to match my clothing. I usually do this as a demo for someone that hasn't seen an Apple Watch. Soon, I believe in Fall, we will be able to incorporate our photos into a watch face. That will be cool!
  • I have used it as an alarm clock - VERY NICE! When I want to wake up early on a Saturday am and it's a late sleep-in for my girlfriend, I wear Apple Watch and it does its thing nicely. I wake up and leave the bed while she gets to sleep, no alarm or sound of an iPhone skipping around on a nightstand! This is another feature expected to improve and operate independently of the iPhone in WatchOS 2. 
  • I do find myself checking my heart rate every once in awhile, that's a neat feature.
  • I loaded Shazam! music capture app, I've only caught a few songs with the Watch app, but it does work.
  • I would be interested in trying a metal band, the method by which you swap bands is very simple. Apple has a few, but I'll wait for good thrid party bands to surface. I spoke to an Apple Store Genius who said one guy came to the store with a watch that had a cheap third party band stuck in his watch. They couldn't get it out at the store, his watch had to be sent back for service.

I'm a happy Apple Watch user! I know the next release of software opens up the processing power of the watch so as to be more independent of the iPhone - that will lead to nice new possibilities. I will keep an eye on nice metal bands and I'm always chatting with the Apple store and Experimac folks about new and useful apps. The Apple Watch is a winner for me!

-dm

Tuesday
Jun022015

Apple Watch

It's coming - an Apple Watch courtesy of my wonderful girlfriend. I played with one at the Apple Store, sat through an interesting demo with one of their genius guys, it was neat. 

I'll have a nice personal experience-rich report shortly after it arrives!

Monday
May112015

The Vocabulary Wheel? 

I loved this! For anyone that writes articles or makes frequent posts to social media - this will help. How many times can you portray a similar feeling with different words? For just such instances, we have the vocabulary wheel...

Enjoy!

-dm

Tuesday
Feb032015

Grammarly wins.

How overdue is this for a tool YOU WILL USE every day? A quick download of Grammarly as a plug-in for your browser gives you the best proofreading system ever. It works on PC versions of MS Word and Outlook, not on Mac versions of MS Word as of yet. It's free, with an option to pay for more advanced critiquing of your writing available in the pay per month membership model.

I installed Grammarly as a plug-in for Chrome browser. I have a free account, so I can login from my PC at home or MacBook anywhere else. It quickly spell checks and analyzes the grammar validity of my musings. It checks for punctuation, wordiness, tense, use of colloquial phrases and more. It claims to learn your writing style, I haven't been on Grammarly long enough to see or benefit from any of this, but exciting if it's true. 

Once on their system, you can type in Outlook, in your browser (Think long Facebook posts...) or cut and paste your writing into their window on their site for the corrective process to take effect. I do read many online articles each day, it's such a relief to know tools like this are available to assist those who don't write well and remain as a nice reminder of "the rules" if you are more involved with online publishing.
Have a look, let Grammarly surprise you with corrections and suggestions you wouldn't get from regular old Microsoft spell check. Wordpress postings, Twitter, whatever you do, Grammarly can help sharpen your message. At the very least, it will keep you clear of producing and sharing embarrassing grammar and spelling mistakes with the world! 

www.grammarly.com

-dm

Thursday
Jan152015

Fearless!

Regardless of your faith leanings, this guy is impressive! In recent speeches, he refutes centuries of closed-mindedness on behalf of the Catholic Church by stating that the longstanding theory of evolution has merit and is real! (Story here). Now, in the wake of radical Islamic terrorism feats in Paris, Australia and Africa, Pope Francis comments on security warnings and threats to his safety as he travels to the Pacific Rim this week...

"I am in God's hands," he said, joking about having asked God to spare him a painful death.

"Am I afraid? You know that I have a defect, a nice of dose of being careless. If anything should happen to me, I have told the Lord, I ask you only to give me the grace that it doesn't hurt because I am not courageous when confronted with pain. I am very timid," he said.

Count me among your fans, Your Holiness!

-dm