Tag Archives: Apple

AppleWatch first impressions

I received my AppleWatch (the “developer special”, 42mm blue sport band) Friday, and so far I’m happy with it overall.

For the last year, I’ve been wearing a Pebble Smartwatch and I’ve gotten used to receiving notifications on my watch. I got into the habit of keeping my phone in my pocket most of the time and just looking at my wrist when I get a notification.

The Pebble & AppleWatch notifications are very different. With the Pebble, the phone still makes a sound & vibrates, and then a few seconds later I’d feel a vibration on my wrist and it would appear on the Pebble. The Pebble often disconnected or would stop receiving notifications every few days. The AppleWatch notifications are more subtle and a lot less annoying – instead of vibrating, it makes a soft ‘ping’ and taps me on the wrist. While the Pebble always presents all enabled phone notifications, the AppleWatch only presents notifications when the phone is locked. The AppleWatch also gives you a lot more control over which notifications are presented.

I find that “activate on wrist raise” isn’t always reliable. I’ll often activate it unintentionally, and many times it won’t activate when I want it to. Hopefully future software updates will let you adjust the sensitivity.

I’m very happy with the AppleWatch’s battery life. After a day of normal use, the battery is usually at 50% or more, and I charge it every night before I go to sleep. The Pebble claims 5-7 days between charges, but I found about 4 days is more realistic.

Applications on the Pebble are an afterthought and are inconvenient to access, requiring navigating through the menu. Apps are a central feature on the AppleWatch and are a lot easier to access, by pressing the digital crown, although the app screen is cluttered and can be difficult to navigate. Hopefully the UI will improve in later software updates.

Glances on the AppleWatch make applications easier to access and launch, although having many glances enabled means swiping through a long list of items to get to the one you want. My favorite use of a glance is the Transit app, which can instantly show me the next departure time of the two nearest MUNI lines.

I was hoping the AppleWatch would replace my FitBit One, which I lost on several occasions and I often forget to put in my pocket. This is one area where the AppleWatch doesn’t quite measure up. I still use the FitBit for sleep tracking, and the AppleWatch doesn’t let you enter meals and doesn’t measure flights of stairs, like the FitBit does. I also find that the AppleWatch and FitBit report different numbers of steps and distance traveled.

 

Happy 30th Birthday, Macintosh!

Thirty years ago today, on January 24, 1984, Apple introduced the Macintosh. I bought my first Macintosh about a week after it was introduced, and since then I’ve owned many other Macs. Here’s a more or less complete list of the Macs I’ve owned:

  • Mac 128
  • Mac 512
  • Mac SE/30
  • Mac IIsi
  • PowerMac 6100
  • PowerBook 100
  • Duo 270c
  • StarMax clone
  • Blue & White G3
  • Original iBook
  • White iBook
  • 12” Aluminum PowerBook
  • “Yikes” G4 tower
  • DTK (first Intel Mac for developers)
  • Several 15″ MacBook pros
  • 13” MacBook
  • 27” iMac
  • Mac Mini
  • 2012 MacBook Air
  • 13” Retina MacBook Pro
Although I was programming before the Mac, I’m not sure what I would be doing now or where I would be if the Mac didn’t exist.

How far we’ve come

To see how far we’ve come since 1984, just compare the specs of the first Macintosh with today’s iPhone 4GS:

1984 Macintosh 128.png

We now carry in our pocket a device with a faster processor, more storage, and a higher resolution screen in a much smaller package than the computer we had sitting on our desk 27 years ago. Today’s Macintosh is many times faster, with a very different CPU, and has many times more storage, yet it’s still recognizable as a Macintosh and still has the same elegant simplicity.

R.I.P. Steve Jobs

Apple reports that Steve Jobs has died:

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

Apple’s home page is now a tribute to Steve Jobs.

Screen Shot 2011-10-05 at 8.06.19 PM.png

Steve Jobs truly changed the world. His influence has impacted the music & entertainment industries as much as in impacted the computer industry. The devices he created changed the way we listen to music, watch movies, and interact with our phones.

Links for 2011-8-19 through 2011-9-4

Links for 2011-8-19 through 2011-9-4:

  • A Jobs Program In America This is what Obama needs to do. Of course the Republicans won't allow it.
  • FoundSF San Francisco history.
  • Old S.F. Browse old photos of San Francisco by date & location.
  • productivity – What is your most productive shortcut with Vim? – Stack Overflow Nice overview of Vi commands.
  • What they’re "protecting" us from – Anil Dash It's a choice whether you, or anyone else, wants to accept the falsehood that liberal values are somehow in contradiction with business success at a global scale. Indeed, it would seem that many who claim to be pro-business are trying to "save" us from exactly the inclusive, creative, tolerant values that have made America's most successful company possible. I side with the makers, the creators, and the inventors, and it's about time that the pack of clamoring would-be politicians be put on the defensive for attacking the values of those of us on this side.

Posted by Postilicious

Links for 2011-8-9 through 2011-8-19

Links for 2011-8-9 through 2011-8-19:

  • What they’re "protecting" us from – Anil Dash It's a choice whether you, or anyone else, wants to accept the falsehood that liberal values are somehow in contradiction with business success at a global scale. Indeed, it would seem that many who claim to be pro-business are trying to "save" us from exactly the inclusive, creative, tolerant values that have made America's most successful company possible. I side with the makers, the creators, and the inventors, and it's about time that the pack of clamoring would-be politicians be put on the defensive for attacking the values of those of us on this side.
  • Ex-Health Insurance Executive: Rick Scott HMO Debacle Goes Against His "Obamacare" Rhetoric – Broward/Palm Beach News – The Daily Pulp Wendell Potter — a former health care insurance executive who most recently left his post as the head of communications for CIGNA — has been following up on the Pulp's post on Florida's newest HMO policy for state employees, and agrees that the decision to allow just one HMO provider per county is a bit strange.

    The way Potter sees it, Gov. Rick Scott is now "doing exactly what he falsely claimed federal reform would do."

    Now working as a senior analyst at the Center for Public Integrity, Potter says Scott used to be at the forefront in the crusade against the so-called "Obamacare," and even though the governor wasn't dropping facts about the new program, he's doing exactly what he led people to believe would happen — limit competition.

  • Firicat.com online collaborative Wolof dictionary
  • 21 ways to monetize your game – blog – 36peas.com
  • Kuriositas: The Secret Cities of Yemen

Posted by Postilicious

Links for 2011-04-15 through 2011-04-21

Links for 2011-04-15 through 2011-04-21:

Posted by Postilicious

MacBook Pro disappointment

When Apple introduced the MacBook Air late last year, they called it The Next Generation of MacBooks. I was really hoping the new MacBook Pro would inherit many of its attributes, such as the thin profile, light weight, and standard SSD. Although the new models are a nice improvement over the old MacBook Pro, with faster processors & improved graphics, they’re still just as big and heavy.

After using the 3 pound 13″ MacBook Air, I will never go back to a big laptop that weighs 5 pounds or more. I would have preferred to see much thinner MacBook Pros with no optical drive and a standard SSD drive. Despite the slower processor, I find my MacBook Air to be almost as fast as my old 15″ MacBook Pro thanks to the much faster SSD. I would still love to see a “super MacBook Air”, with the fastest CPU & graphics from the MacBook Pro and 8GB RAM, but without too much extra size & weight by keeping the SSD and eliminating the optical drive.

Echo Chamber Effect

I’m sure you’ve heard the stories that Steve Jobs has “6 weeks to live”. I’m not sure if it’s true or not – I certainly hope it isn’t, but I don’t consider it a credible news story. It’s still just a rumor.

The original source of that story is the National Enquirer based on a few photos and a doctor who diagnosed his condition and predicted how long he has left based only on looking at a photo without having any direct knowledge of Steve’s medical history. This is not good journalism.

The story was picked up by 9to5Mac and developed a life of its own as other sites reported it as fact. Until Steve Jobs himself or his representative makes a statement, it’s still just a rumor.

How Mac App Store Updates Should Be Done

As you probably know, Mac apps that you bought previously can’t be updated through the Mac app store. This is causing a lot of hard feelings between loyal customers and developers. Here’s a proposal for how app store upgrades can be implemented, with Apple’s cooperation.

  1. Apple needs to allow an unlimited number of promo codes for the Mac app store. This is the only change Apple needs to make.
  2. Developers who wish to provide updates can set up a page or script where a customer enters their current serial number.
  3. With a current serial number, the developer can issue a promo code. If they wish, they can charge an upgrade fee for the promo code.
  4. The customer then uses the promo code to download the app from the Mac app store.

Voila! Everyone is happy. The customer gets a free or discounted upgrade from the Mac app store, and the developer gets another sale or download, which increases their ranking and allows the customer to rate their app.