Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Apple Watch Series 3 and Watch OS 4

History


L and I have been wearing the Apple Watch "Series 0" (The original version) since it was released.  They have become a welcome part of our daily wardrobe. We use them for notifications, workouts, controlling the lights, using Apple Pay, and even telling the time.  They are a second more intimate screen for our phones.

Every OS release for the watch has added new features and fixed issues and annoyances with the older versions.  Every release has also left the original watch feeling a little slower and little less responsive.


Series 3 

We chose the non-LTE Aluminum Series 3 this time around. The same sizes as before, but without the space-grey finish.  I got the 42mm and L again got the 38mm.  We can use all of the watch bands from the older watch.

Why no LTE?  The extra upfront price for LTE combined with the $10 monthly fee per watch just weren't worth it to us.  We don't find ourselves wishing we could use the watch to make calls or play music in situations where we do not have our phone with us more than a few times a year.  I think we can disconnect for a few hours without missing this feature.  I'm sure this will be a great feature in the future.

Water resistance is a great feature that we are happy to have.  Not worrying about a rainstorm or a trip to the pool will be nice.

The speed and responsiveness of the Series 3 is night and day compared to the original watch.  Everything is faster.  This is all the justification needed to update.

The battery life of the Series 3 is amazing.  I can easily got 2 days between charging now.  With Watch OS 4 I was just making it through a day with the Series 0.


Watch OS 4

Watch OS 4 brings a number of refinements that remove confusion and simplify the watch.  There are welcome improvements to the heart rate monitoring, workouts, and list view for the awful application grid.

The new Siri watch face has promise, but it needs 3rd party app integration. The Toy Story watch faces are cute, but not something I'm likely to use.

The new Now-Playing screen now lets you change the volume with the crown.  Finally! Much easier way to the adjust the volume. I use this every time I cut the grass and I have no idea why it was not this way from the start.


Wants and Desires

Watch OS 4 does a better job of showing the watch face when I turn my wrist. But, I still wish there was a subdued always on time.  You can find this feature on competitors devices. Apple just needs to find a way to do this with the Apple Watch that maintains the great battery life.

Custom Watch Faces.  I expected Apple to release a Watch Face API by now.  There could be a whole section of the Watch App Store dedicated to this.  I know there are issues with managing intellectual property theft here. But, it just makes so much sense to allow people to design and sell their own watch faces.


Conclusion

L and I both very happy with this upgrade.  It was worth the wait and we have very few complaints.  Time will tell if we will regret not getting the LTE version of the watch.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

New Apple Products - Quick Take

Apple Watch Series 3 with Optional Cellular

I love my Apple Watch, but I still have the "Series 0" Apple Watch. I'm ready for a new watch and I'm very happy to get the faster processor and the water resistance. I don't think the cellular option is for me, I don't use my watch in situations where I don't have my phone and need to get phone calls.

The new Sport Loop bands are super comfortable BTW.

Apple TV 4K

I know it's more expensive than other 4K streaming devices, but I'm very excited to get this upgraded Apple TV. We use the Apple TV everyday. It's the primary way we consume content on the TV.  We do have an HDR capable 4K TV already.  Anyone want to by a 4K Fire TV box?

iPhone 8 and 8+

I would have already ordered the 8+ except for the existence of the X.  Faster processor, better camera, and wireless charging. All reasons I would have bought this phone.

4K video at 60 frames per second will make your video look great on the new Apple TV.

iPhone X

Face ID looks good, I expect it to be as good as Touch ID in every way except for a few cases. Like using Apple Pay. But, thats something I do more on the Apple Watch.

The OLED screen looks good in video, but I bet it's stunning in person. Every OLED screen I have seen has been great.

The Notch doesn't bother me. Developers can work with it, and will surely create some interesting interfaces that deal with the notch and the curved edges in new and surprising ways.  The Notch seems to really bug some people, but I don't think it's that big of a deal. It will likely go away in a future phone, but I don't hate it.

Both cameras have optical image stabilization.  This will make a big difference with low light images.

Plus everything I like about the iPhone 8+.