Apple WATCH Utility face settings

Jason Snell on his six colors blog features the Utility watch face as one of his favourites. I think I will use this face a lot too. My preferences are to have the alarm in the top left corner, timer in the top right corner, analog time in the middle, and full date along the bottom. On second thought I might have the date in the middle too and my next calendar item on the bottom. Good thing these preferences can easily be changed.

Apple WATCH Utility face settings

Almost what I want but with temperature in Celsius or with other time information like an alarm or timer in the top corners.

Apple Modular Watch Face Needs the Option to Emphasize Local Time

Along with Stephen Hackett, MacStories and six colors I too have reviewed the Apple Watch faces and think the Modular face as the closest to what I want but with the same desire that the option be available for local time to be in the middle complication so it is more prominent and larger. It was also announced that third parties will be able to include complications for supplementing Apple watch faces but I hope Apple will introduce a new and improved Modular watch face to be a better template with more choices. The easiest solution is just to allow local time to be included in the middle complication. This would be a better choice than the current choices of the current day and date, the time and name of your next calendar event, detailed textual moon phase or sunrise/sunset data, current weather, stocks, activity, alarm, timer, stopwatch, and world clock. None of of the current choices do I want to be the most prominently displayed information.

Apple Watch Modular Face with Date prominently displayed in the middle complication area.

Stephen Hackett on Apple Watch Faces:

I’ve been wearing my Apple Watch for a couple of weeks, and while I’m still churning on my review, I wanted to share my thoughts on the ten watch faces that come with the device. While having so many options is great, many of the faces have frustrating limitations in the ways they can be customized or used.

Stephen Hackett has a nice rundown of the watch faces included in Watch OS 1.0. I’m still experimenting with my Apple Watch Sport (which I received a few days ago) and playing around with watch faces and complications.

Here’s Stephen’s take on the Modular face:

On the face of it (sigh), Modular seems like a huge winner. Why take up space faking being a real timepiece when the watch is digital?

Pros: Big, easy-to-read text with lots of flexibility.

Cons: The time is locked to the upper-right corner; I’d love to have it be the biggest thing on the Watch face. Having three complications across the bottom is nice, but can feel a bit cramped.

While I can read an analog watch, it still takes me a second of parsing, and I don’t want that on a device I’m supposed to quickly look at every day. Even if small, the cognitive load required to understand time on an analog face adds up over time, and, more importantly, I need a watch to show me the precise time (down to the minute) for work purposes.

That said, I do wish that Apple offered more personalization for the position of complications on the Modular face. It’d be nice to have time in the middle of the watch face and a smaller calendar complication in the upper right corner.

∞ Read this on MacStories

(Via MacStories)

My Take on the Apple Watch Business Review

My choice of Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Sport

  • 42mm Case
  • 7000 Series Space Gray Aluminum
  • Ion-X Glass
  • Retina Display
  • Composite Back
  • Sport Band

  • Black Fluoroelastomer
  • Space Gray Stainless Steel Pin
  • Like most revolutionary products the Apple watch is misunderstood.

    Apple watch Review 2015-05

    I think it will work best in using it for a few things it can do well instead of trying to use it for what the iPhone with its bigger screen is better suited for. I plan to use it for brief interactions that are simple enough that they fit on a small screen.These are some of the interactions that are most valuable to me to keep focused and not to be distracted.

    iPhone Extension Trick

    MacSparky, of MacPower Users fame, has a cool trick for being more productive when calling people who have an extension for their telephone number. Instead of entering the phone number in contacts as 866-6790×1567 use the special character (;) for prompting the extension 866-6790;1567 so when you call you will be prompted to add those 4 digits with one tap. You can also use the comma (,) for those cases where you want to automatically enter numbers after a short delay.

    You can set the commas and semicolons in the Contacts app on your Mac, which is obvious. Not so obvious is the fact that you can add commas and semicolons on your iPhone too. To do so, press the symbol button on the dialer and then “pause” for a comma or “wait” for a semicolon.

    You can use dashes (-) and spaces in the phone number to make them easier to view because these characters are ignored. To find the extensions in Contacts to convert to the ; character just do a search for the character x if that is what you used previously.

    Upgrading & Obsolescence

    Upgrading and Obsolescence

    The mobile computer (aka smartphone) is a rapidly growing market and is one of the most competitive in the computing domain. More people have smartphones than any other type of computer and for many of them the smartphone is their only computer. Suppliers of smartphones and mobile computer software are driven by the market and profit motives to rapidly introduce new features each year to maintain or hopefully increase their competitive edge. The cycles of product development are also still driven by telecommunication carriers who sell cellphone handsets and service packages which typically now are based on 2 year contracts.

    Only relatively recently has a new company with computer design origins revolutionized cellphone product and services which were previously completely monopolized by telecommunications carriers which decided what handsets were available and what upgrade policies if any were supported. Prior to the entry of the Apple iPhone, telecommunications carriers directed handset manufacturers to develop handsets exclusively for them and the policy for upgrades was that subscribers would become eligible for new phones when their contract was close to expiring. If you wanted new software in most cases the answer was buy a new cellphone.

    Apple revolutionized the smartphone market when they introduced the iPhone touch screen multi-sensor multifunctional (phone, computer, camera, video-cam, GPS, health sensor, etc) device with new models and new operating systems every year and a rich set of apps at ridiculously low prices. Most consumers have enjoyed these new developments and cannot imagine the bad old days before these choices were available. Apple’s competitors like Samsung/Google, Blackberry, and windows phone have copied Apple’s innovations and struggled to compete. While Google introduces new versions of the Android operating system every year there are long delays before widespread use by consumers because software upgrades are usually associated with the purchase of a new phone. Apple iPhone operating system software (IOS) every year introduces new free features that are backward compatible with several years older iPhones within limitations of the older technology. In effect consumers benefit with software refreshes which allow them to get more value from their old phones. Eventually old phones can no longer be supported by the new software because to do so would hold back software innovation that is dependent on supporting capabilities of the hardware.

    With this background what is a consumer to do about hardware/software upgrades and obsolescence? Let’s look at two bookends and a compromise in the middle.

    1. I want the Latest and Greatest

    The majority of the marketplace wants the newest and best hardware and software and are willing to pay for it. If you are in this category you will upgrade your phone every 2 years (when your contract renews) and upgrade your software every year to take advantage of the new software as soon as it is available. You also typically would be a regular purchaser of new apps.

    2. My phone is Good Enough

    If you are in this category you purchase a phone and are satisfied with the features so you want to keep it and have it supported for as long as possible. With an Apple iPhone you usually benefit from 2, 3, or even 4 software upgrades before your phone is no longer compatible with new software versions. Eventually your phone is obsolete but it needs to be kept in mind that it is just as functional as it was originally and actually has improved somewhat with new software. For later software upgrades where it might just barely be compatible you need to decide if the new features are worth the potential tradeoffs in performance. For a limited time when the new software is introduced Apple provides the option of going back to the previous version of software if that works better for you. One disadvantage of the phone becoming obsolete is that it won’t be supported forever as any remaining bugs in the old software are no longer actively being worked.

    3. I am a late adopter but I don’t want my phone to be obsolete

    There is a middle ground between the 2 bookends. If you are not that eager to have the newest features you have the option of being a late adopter. This involves buying a new phone every 3 or 4 years to keep it modern enough for it to be compatible with most of the new software. To keep costs down an option is to buy an older model phone which are usually heavily discounted but the tradeoff is that these models are already closer to obsolescence. The choice becomes whether to buy a new phone every 4 years or a 2 year old phone every 2 years, or a 1 year old phone every 3 years. A possible advantage of buying a new phone every 4 years is you have the latest and greatest every 4 years vs. having a 2 year old phone which is always lagging behind if new features matter to you at all. A 3 year cycle has the disadvantage of not aligning with cellphone carrier contract renewal intervals which could involve contract penalty fees.

    Do you have a strategy for dealing with smartphone upgrades and obsolescence? Hopefully this article has clarified the context and options to choose from to get the benefits that are most important to you.

    Review: uNu DX Protective Battery Case for iPhone 5

    Review: uNu DX Protective Battery Case for iPhone 5:

    We did run a battery test with DX to ensure there were no differences in battery performance between the two cases. In our testing of Meridian, it was able to provide a 99% recharge to a fully depleted iPhone 5. Under the same conditions, DX actually provided 105%. Although somewhat higher, the results are certainly in the same ballpark; it’s impossible to tell if there is more advanced circuitry, or the conditions were just a bit different.…

    I have been very pleased with my Unu and it has been a lifesaver on extended trips away from a power outlet.

    (Via iLounge | All Things iPod, iPhone, iPad and Beyond)

    IOS 8 Overview

    Frederico Viticci has done a wonderful job summarizing the new IOS 8 capabilities that have been announced yesterday. There is a lot to learn about and the potential with the new tools is exciting to think about. Developers will be busy this summer. This fall is going to be something to look forward to with the matching new devices being launched as well.

    This is getting ridiculous. Critics are going to have to up their game with all the fixes and enhancements Apple is introducing with IOS 8. Apple has been busy and who knows what will be announced by other developers with all the new toolkits.

    WWDC Dreams Come True

    Ted Landau wrote a WWDC summary which almost perfectly expressed my thoughts. I too was impressed how Apple has addressed some longstanding issues of iCloud and app communication. They have also managed to bring together the best evolution of OSX and IOS and still have them retain their strengths.

    One very significant item Ted left out was the evolution of photo management which is very hopeful even though iPhoto improvements announced for the Mac are delayed past the next initial release of OSX. Photo management is a difficult problem but Apple has recognized that partial photo streams and storage weren’t sufficient. Upgrading iCloud storage is a breakthrough as making photos accessible beyond the local device storage limitations is hugely important.

    Although developer tools don’t provide the flashiest short term publicity they strengthen the platform in the long term by enabling third party developers to add value. In these latest OS releases Apple has provided many ground breaking capabilities for developers to do amazing things with extensibility, continuity, iCloud, and even a new language. I can’t wait to see what my favourite developers will do with these new capabilities.

    IOS 8 Inter-Application Communication

    With WWDC just around the corner in the first week of June it is exciting to anticipate the possibilities for IOS improvements not the least of which is improved inter application communication. This would go a long way in supporting capabilities which could really advance the possibilities for workflow improvements. 9to5Mac has an article that discusses the possibility for running two applications in landscape mode that could exchange information through drag and drop.

    The following video is a suggested design for how this feature could work.

    How Split screen multitasking might work in IOS 8

    iPhone and iPad from a Sharp Canadian Perspective