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

Entries in siri (2)


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!



Strangely not on board - yet.

After a prolonged wait for the new iPhone 5, I see it, I get the new features, but I'm not bowled over. Maybe it will take an in-person demo or experience for me to leap in? It's great that the screen is larger, the LTE service will make the data as fast as cable or DSL, plus this new one has faster camera processing and better low light performance. Wonderful. The body is slimmer and lighter. That means iPhone 5 would fit (slide!) better in my back pocket. The larger screen conforms more to the 16:9 widescreen standard for videos, which are more commonly being taken on smartphones than ever before. The A6 onboard processor is the fastest one yet. And it sips battery power, iPhone 5 is slated to last for 8 hours of talk time and 10 hours of video playback time.  The ear buds have been redesigned, and iPhone 5 has 3 microphones - front, rear and bottom. Very nifty tech upgrades I admit.

So all this and I'm not excited? I think I'm more excited about iOS6. New features, most of which my iPhone 4s can do, will be the benefit. Siri will improve, but most of all, tell me autocorrect will snap out of it's mentally warped state. I am anxious to see the new Apple maps, USA specific, they say it now includes buildings and structures in the options for viewing! These features are good and I'd use them.

Maybe the real reason why I'm less likely to queue up at the Apple store September 21st is because regardless of what this phone or any other phone were to evolve to include, I have changed. I am not as "phone centric" as I was back in say, April or May. Example - I don't have a Facebook app on my phone. I seldom tweet and upload the pictures like I once did. Evidence is no more glaring than my Klout scores, once very high, now settle in to the "normal user" range since I don't publish social content as often. I am more engaged in real life with real people. I have made more forward strides since May than I did the first five months of the year. I found my smartphone to be a tremendous distraction every day. A great tool, but unchecked, a big distraction for me.

Will I get an iPhone 5? Maybe. I won't rush over and buy one instantly even though I don't have any AT&T restrictions hanging over me with regards to contracts, etc. I have found some balance from the craziness of the "smartphone euphoria" I was experiencing. I take advantage of the brilliance that is an iPhone and the apps I own. I sometimes leave my phone in my car, at my desk, every once in awhile even at my home! And everything is ok if I don't parse my text messages or social media every 10 minutes. Really, I'm good with less iPhone in my life. So to the good folks in Cupertino - nice job on iPhone 5. I like what you've done and I may join you in your latest venture, but only when I am sure it won't lead me to the recursive land of unproductivity.