Tag Archives: Apple Watch

Apple Watch – Activity & New Years Resolution – How I’ve managed to clear all 3 rings every day and stay motivated

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Apple Watch, staying fit, being more active and New Year resolutions. Sound familiar.

My New Year resolution in 2017 was to continue my weight loss and improve my fitness. As you can see from the screen shot above, I have cleared all 3 activity rings on my Apple Watch every day this January, with just today to complete for the perfect month.

To recap, to clear the 3 rings, you need to first do enough calories to hit the calorie goal, exercise for 30 mins per day whereby your heart rate registers higher than just walking and stand for 1 min minimum in at least 12 hours per day. Apple’s method is slightly different from a few other fitness devices eg Fitbit which set a target of 10,000 steps per day. Apple’s approach is to ensure you stay more active during the course of the whole day and raise your heart rate to complete 30 mins exercise.

This year I decided to set a lower calorie target of just 400 calories per day. This meant if I was having a long day at work in meetings or driving or something else I had a higher chance of hitting this target. I don’t know about you, but if I had failed to hit the target one day during January, I could have easily given up. With a lower target, I am feeling more and more motivated and pleased that I am smashing my target. In reality, the lowest amount of calories burnt per day is 700. Every day I complete, makes me more motivated to complete the next day. I also like receiving the various achievements awarded in the activity app. After a successful day today, I will get my successful month award.

The next difficult part is completing 30 minutes exercise per day. The simplest solution I have found is to listen to some upbeat energetic music, and walk/jog on the spot at home. Sometimes, exercise minutes are registered when I walk my dogs but normally walking my dogs doesn’t translate into enough exercise minutes. Of course I could go to the gym, but with such a busy life and living on rural Dartmoor, going to a gym is not practical.

The final aspect of hitting the daily goals, is making sure you are sharing your progress with a suitable friend or two. This really helps maintain focus and adds a friendly competitive nature to the challenge.

Now if you don’t have an Apple Watch, all of the above still applies. Don’t set an unrealistic tough goal for each day. Set one that you know you will hit to keep you motivated and compete with friend or two.

Finally good luck!

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Apple Watch – Make it a Nike Style Apple Watch for under £20 – Comparisons

Apple Series 2 Nike TP Straps

Over Christmas I had time to experiment with different Apple Watch straps. I wanted to make my plain Series 2 watch more like the Apple Nike Watch. So I bought 2 different brand Apple Watch straps that claimed to look identical to the official versions.

Apple Series 2 Nike TP Straps

So what I did was go for a black/yellow finish and the same Nike looking style strap, but in a colour not offered by Apple officially. I picked the red/black finish.

My observations are the plastic used in the third party straps are not of the same quality as Apple original straps, but they do costs over £30 less. As the straps have holes, they are slightly lighter,  and they allow your skin breathe more.

To give you a better perspective, I have filmed a short video capturing more of the differences, comparisons with official Apple straps and showing the straps against some cases, for that perfect colour coordinated look.

Video Review

In my video review, I am hoping you get a better perspective of the different straps, the quality versus and Apple original strap and some colour coordination with some official Apple iPhone cases.

Conclusion

My little experiment in discovering Nike style Apple Watch straps was a huge success. I personally prefer the black/yellow mix although I at times I like switching back to the red/black strap. The Nike looking straps looks gorgeous!

Useful Links

iMiWell Black/Green Nike Style Apple Watch – Click HERE.
Elobeth Nike Red Style Apple Watch Strap – Click HERE.

Other colours and mixes of straps are shown on using above links.

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Apple releases iOS 10.1, updates the Apple Watch, TV & MAC – Extra info not revealed and some thoughts

Last night in the UK, Apple released iOS 10.1 along with updates to the Apple Watch, Apple TV and the MACs.

I was extremely keen to update to iOS 10.1. The official changelog is as below. Some of the bug fixes had been impacting my iPhone 7 Plus but are all fixed for good.

Update

Update

And for the Apple Watch, watch OS3 fixed the following –

Update

But the update also including extra fixes not listed.

– At the same time as going live with iOS 10.1, Apple Pay got switched on for Japan.

– For UK citizens using the Three UK network, iOS 10.1 was a huge and important update and the new carrier update to Three 26.0 fixed 4G connectivity, other connectivity problems and issues connecting to a Three Home Signal Booster. I am on Three UK and can confirm the change. The specific issues were with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

– Worth noting is everyone can now use the Portrait mode in the camera app, although it is still shown as in Beta. However, it works extremely well.

Updating the Apple Watch

I updated my Apple Watch as soon as my iPhone 7 Plus was on 10.1 by going into the Apple Watch app on my iPhone and manually checking for the update that was around 61mb. Word of warning, it took me about 25 minutes to update

Apple Watch – The true differences between Apple Original and Third Party straps and bands

  

I really like my Apple Watch. However, it comes with a steep price tag as do the extra watch straps. But is there really any difference between the cheaper non Apple straps and an original Apple strap? 

Well since owning an Apple Watch in September 2015, I have visited my local Apple Store and tried on several times various watch straps. I also own the official blue sports band and the Milanese loop, both of which fit perfectly and are have not had any defects. 

So what about saving some money and using a third party watch strap or band for the Apple Watch. Well, firstly despite all the reviews you can read on Amazon, the quality, fit and finish in my findings shows that none of the third party alternatives are of the same standard as those sold by Apple. (Where possible text in bold is also a link to Amazon so you can read more about the item). Now, the balance is the cost. Third party straps and bands often cost a fraction of those sold by Apple. This means you can recreate that look for a lot less and often with more colour choices and different types of straps and or bands. 

The photo above shows a Pugo Top Euro Genuine Leather band for the Apple Watch. It got delivered on 4th January 2016, and as you can see is not lasting too well. Fortunately, I bought this via Amazon for £21 , so I can return this for a refund. Whilst the Pugo band looked identical to the Apple leather loop, it felt nothing like the Apple original. I doubt also that leather was used or I should say genuine leather in the Pugo band. 

However, I did buy a Snugg Leather strap in both red and black leather. This is more like a traditional watch strap and has proven to be a good buy. 

Now let’s take a look at something by Spigen. Below is photos of the Spigen Rugged Watch strap and the Spigen Watch case. I got the watch case out of curiosity and also because it was on offer. 

  
Spigen is a well known brand and consequently the strap fits really well. The watch case does too, but it’s not for my liking. The case also comes with 2 screen protectors. 

So the moral of the story is if you want original masterpieces by Apple you will have to pay the high price. Some third party straps and bands are poor quality while others are ok and other more choice too. 

Note Tapper for Apple Watch – complete with keyboard

Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest. Note Tapper for Apple Watch came to my attention as a solution I needed when adding notes via Siri wasn’t private enough or suitable. 

What makes Note Tapper unique is that it takes notes using its own keyboard. So let’s step back. You first install the app from the App Store. Click HERE.

After installing the app on your iPhone it installs on your Apple Watch. If you open the app on your iPhone it provides instructions on how to use the app on your watch. 

  

Above and below are screen shots of the instructions. 

  

So let’s have a look at how the app looks on the Apple Watch. Below are screen shots from the Apple Watch. 

  

Nice and bold. Just press the plus to add a new note. Above are your existing notes. 

   

And the keyboard continues by sliding up or down the screen to reveal the other keys. 
 

Adding text or numbers is a breeze. Instead of squinting at a small keyboard, the developer decided to make it easier to enter text by sliding up and down to reach other aspects of the keyboard. It makes for more accurate data entry. 

  

Adding a date or part date to a note is possible too. Tap on the field(s) required and use the watch crown to rotate to your desired selection. 

And that is it. A simple, easy and private way of taking notes. Currently, notes are only stored on the watch. I did get in contact with the developer and he informed me that iCloud sync is being planned for the next update. 

For 79p this is a no brainier app for the Apple Watch. 

Note Tapper for Apple Watch

Response from MyFitnessPal regarding issues with the Apple Watch

I am currently experimenting using the Apple Watch and FitBit Charge HR with MyFitnessPal.

I was seeing a difference in steps taken on the MyFitnessPal app versus steps used and converted as extra calories for the day when using the Apple Watch. The FitBit Charge HR doesn’t have any problems.

So I emailed MyFitnessPal support and below is the response received.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We’re sorry for any inconvenience you’ve come across. When you connect your Apple Watch, the steps are recorded throughout the day on your homepage as you have observed. When our program updates your adjustment in your diary, we pull the data from your Homepage periodically. Therefore, as your steps increase over time, the steps in your diary will not reflect that unless they are updated. We are definitely working to improve this aspect of the program and appreciate your understanding.

Well I hope this is fixed as the variance can be as much as 200 steps adrift to 5,000 steps adrift. I am also trying an alternative app to MyFitnessPal called MyNetDiary. It is still early days with this app so don’t have any conclusions yet.

Apple iPhone 6S – Apple Watch versus FitBit Charge HR – Part 2

A few days ago I mentioned I was going to try and see whether using the Apple iPhone 6S with the Apple Watch or Fitbit Charge HR would work as a better solution for fitness.

This is an interesting exercise as my wife is using her iPhone 6S and I am using my iPhone 6S Plus. We are both testing the Apple Watch and Fitbit Charge HR to see which one works best.

We are both syncing data from the Apple Watch to the Apple HealthKit app which in turns syncs the steps to MyFitnessPal. My wife noticed that MyFitnessPal under the home tab showed the correct step count value synced across from the Apple Watch. In the Diary tab at the bottom, the number of steps shown was up to 50% inaccurate meaning the total number of extra calories created that day were down by a fair amount. This can make a lot of difference if you needed extra calories for a snack in the evening.

So as I had the same issue, I did some investigation and noticed in the Apple HealthKit app it displayed my wife’s Apple Watch twice. So a call to Apple Support and I was advised to wipe the phone clean and restore from iTunes. What was scary was the guy from Apple Support did not know the to save your HealthKit data you need to backup to iTunes using encryption. Restoring a backup from iCloud will not bring back historical health data. This is not good as not everyone uses a PC/Mac so therefore backing up to iTunes is impossible.

I also emailed MyFitnessPal re the inaccurate steps showing in the Diary tab and whilst I have not had an email back yet from MyFitnessPal it now shows different text in the Diary tab. My wife opened the app on her phone, and it had the previous text entry under the Diary tab. MyFitnessPal had done something to my account.

So how is the FitBit Charge HR going. In one word, it just works and really well. For pure fitness it is far simpler and easier to use. It also syncs really smoothly with MyFitness Pal.

So how does the Apple Watch compare? To be honest it is a totally different device that can do so much from paying for goods, controlling my weather station and more. As a fitness device is works fairly well but it is not perfect. Activity is minus the GPS map tracking. After a workout you can’t read your heart rate scores taken throughout the time exercising. All you get is a heart rate summary. On the other hand I do like how the Apple Watch makes you stand up every hour and also displays your activity.

If I had to choose just one device for fitness, currently the winner goes to FitBit.

It is also worth noting that FitBit has just had a Class Action lawsuit taken against them that alleges that the heart rate tracking in the Charge HR and Surge, are inaccurate and by a significant margin.

Apple Watch versus FitBit Charge HR – Editorial

Last year I wrote a review on the FitBit Charge HR using it with MyFitnessPal. My review is here – https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/02/17/fitbit-charge-hr-review-including-using-it-with-myfitness-pal/

I used my FitBit Charge HR to monitor my sleep, activity and compete with a few friends to keep me motivated. I also linked my FitBit with MyFitnessPal to coordinate the food intake with my fitness and weight loss. The two pieces of technology together were very successful and a joy to use.

Both FitBit and MyFitnessPal have updated their software to provide a better experience. However, since last year the Apple Watch has arrived and I have linked this up to MyFitnessPal as well.

After several months I will update you with my thoughts on whether the Apple Watch really is a decent fitness device that takes on FitBit and the FitBit Charge HR. My goal is weight loss.

Now don’t scream at the screen and say they are different devices and prices. Of course they are but I want to try and document my thoughts in this process.

Keep tuned and have a good weekend.

The Apple Watch – One Month Later – review 

  

I have had the Apple Watch since I received the new iPhone 6S Plus. I’ve not really dedicated a post covering the Apple Watch as I have had some teething problems with iCloud and iTunes Match. Fortunately, these all seemed resolved. So now I can spend some time talking about why I stayed using the iPhone and that has to do with the wider hardware and software Eco system. The hardware includes iPad, MacBook and the of course the Apple Watch. 

I think I was lucky to get the Apple Watch when watch OSv2 arrived, otherwise I reckon I would have been somewhat disappointed with the original firmware. I looked at the 3 Apple Watch models and choose the steel finish with the Milanese strap and a spare sports strap. I like the blue sports strap as its marginally more comfortable than the Milanese strap, but doesn’t look as posh. But now I never wear the blue sports strap. Should I wish to swap the band, Apple make this process so simple with the push to release mechanism. 

So what do I like about the Apple Watch. The attention to detail in the build. I like the look of it on my wrist. However, my wife and I were discussing the real need of the Apple Watch and we both agree it is not necessary to own. If you want to get fit, buy a Fitbit Charge HR for £100.

However, what I have found as the month has progressed is how I start to use it for small things and let it help me speed up some routines or processes that I would use my iPhone for. 

  
Some of the flash stuff I like using on my Apple Watch is taking phone calls usually when my hands are engaged and my iPhone is in a different room. There is a slight delay while it hands off the call to the watch. This is only a viable option in a quiet room as the volume is not very loud. However, background noise does seem to get partially removed which is a plus point. 

  
  
My weather station statistics can be displayed on my Apple Watch and even includes a complication. I can take measurements with Qardio Blood Pressure monitor, monitor my walks across Dartmoor using Viewranger GPS. Replying to notifications via voice is accurate. Sending heart beats to my wife or little hand drawings is silly but fun at the same time.  Using Hey Siri command, seems hit or miss.

  
The fitness aspect of the watch works as described and links nicely into the activity and health app. As apps develop with the new firmware I can see more clever stuff being possible on your wrist. However, less is more so it I don’t let all my notifications hit my wrist. The Taptic vibration is also a lovely aspect of the watch. 

  
But as I originally said,  it is not a must have item, just a cool and clever item to have. Maybe that’s why Apple are trying to steer its focus away from a tech need, and more a fashion need!

Regardless, I really like it for its style, apps and geek factor.

Recent Phone, Bluetooth Headphones and Audio Equipment reviews

There have been several reviews over the last few weeks. Below are the links. Over the next few weeks there will be more reviews covering new smartphones and the brand new Chord Mojo which has taken the audio world by storm.

Apple iPhone 6S Plus incl Apple Watch review (continuously updated) – Now 14 Parts
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/07/apple-iphone-6s-plus-the-review/

August SE20 Mini Radio and Portable Bluetooth Stereo System Review
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/15/august-se20-mini-radio-and-portable-bluetooth-stereo-system-review/

August EP650 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones Review
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/14/august-ep650-bluetooth-stereo-headphones-review/

August EP610 In Ear Bluetooth Stereo Sports Headphones review
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/13/august-ep610-in-ear-bluetooth-stereo-sports-headphones-review/

August EP636 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones review
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/12/august-ep636-bluetooth-stereo-headphones-with-nfc-and-mic-review/

Honor 7 Smartphone review
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/05/honor-7-review/

Suaoki 40W 8A 5 Port Compact USB Charger
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/09/29/suaoki-compact-40w-8a-5-port-high-usb-charger-review/

Motorola Moto X Play
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/01/motorola-moto-x-play-review/

LG G4 – 4 month review
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/09/24/lg-g4-4-month-review-the-ultimate-package/

LG G4 – main review
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/06/04/lg-g4-the-review-all-26-parts/

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact 23mp Camera Test
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/08/sony-xperia-z5-just-how-good-is-the-new-23mp-camera-see-for-yourself/

Huawei Watch review
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/09/21/huawei-watch-my-review/

Samsung Note 5 Dual Sim review
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/09/22/samsung-note-5-dual-sim-first-impressions/

Apple iPhone 6S Plus – The Review

I have written many posts covering my views on the new iPhone 6S Plus and Apple Watch, so for ease I have created this post whereby all further sections will now appear as well.

Panoramic Shot from the iPhone 6S Plus

Stunning Panorama over Dartmoor #iPhone6SPlus

Part 1 – Day 1 Experience plus Rose Gold plus Apple Watchhttps://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/09/26/the-apple-iphone-6s-plus-day-1-experience-photos-and-views-on-rose-gold-and-apple-watch/

Part 2 – Camera First Lookshttps://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/09/27/just-how-good-is-the-camera-on-the-apple-iphone-6s-plus-my-results/

Part 3 – Apple iPhone 6S Camera vs S6 and LG G4https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/09/28/photos-from-the-iphone-6s-plus-more-opinions-on-the-camera-quality/

Part 4 – More photos with the iPhone 6S Plus and my views https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/01/more-photos-from-the-apple-iphone-6s-plus-and-views/

Part 5 – iTunes Match and iCloud Warningshttps://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/07/02/warning-icloud-music-library-and-apple-music-details-to-be-aware-of/

Part 6 – Apple iPhone 6S Plus – Time Lapse testhttps://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/02/apple-iphone-6s-plus-my-time-lapse-test/

Part 7 – iCloud – it really doesnt workhttps://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/02/apple-icloud-surely-it-just-works-editorial/

Part 8 – iOS 9 and iPhone Data Usage warning plus fixhttps://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/03/warning-check-your-iphone-running-ios-9-for-data-usage-details-and-fix/

Part 9 – Shooting with Sun Glare on the iPhone 6S Plushttps://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/04/apple-iphone-6s-plus-shooting-with-sun-glare-tips/

Part 10 – 2 week review of the iPhone 6S and Apple Watch https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/06/apple-iphone-6s-plus-icloud-apple-watch-part-3-the-lows-highs-and-findings/

Part 11 – iPhone 6S Plus Photography special with details on apps
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/12/apple-iphone-6s-plus-photography-special-video-and-photos-part-1/

Part 12 – Apple iPhone 6S Plus and Apple Watch update
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/14/hows-the-iphone-6s-plus-and-apple-watch-going/

Part 13 – Camera Shootout – iPhone 6S Plus vs Moto X Play vs Huawei G8
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/16/camera-shootout-apple-iphone-6s-plus-vs-huawei-g8-vs-motorola-moto-x-style/

Part 14 – Syncing and Notifications – solved
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/16/that-syncing-feeling-notifications-between-the-iphone-and-apple-watch-solved/

Part 15 – Extreme Low Light – Photography Special Part 2
https://gavinsgadgets.com/2015/10/20/apple-iphone-6s-plus-extreme-low-light-photography-special-part-2/

Apple – My verdict on all the new announcements – iPhone 6S, Apple TV, iPad Pro and new Apple Watch options

Yesterday, Apple carried out a near perfect 2 hour masterclass keynote speech, announcing a wide range of new products. Here are my initial thoughts on everything.

New iPhone 6S and 6S Plus

The new iPhone has a new 12mp camera that coupled with the new A9 processor and digital image processing chip allows for 4K video recording, live photo capture and a whole lot more. Apple made the point that by increasing the MP they did not sacrifice pixel quality. The tech specs show that the camera sensor has got smaller not larger with the iPhone 6S. Instead of 1.5 microns it is now only 1.22 microns. As a comparison , the LG G4 camera sensor is 2.6 microns in size with a f/1.8 aperture. The iPhone 6S is still only f/2.2. Despite these specs, the proof is in the pudding and time will tell.

3D Touch now comes to the iPhone (or Force Touch). The front camera is now 5mp. With all the other features and tight hardware and software integrations, the iPhone makes for a compelling package, albeit at a high price.

A new pink colour is now available too.

iPad Pro

The iPad Pro is a giant iPad with a 12.9 inch screen. It has the new A9X processor and has bespoke accessories from the new keyboard with speakers and the Apple Pencil. The Apple Pencil is a stylus for the iPad Pro. The iPad Pro looks excellent but at 713g for the WiFi only model and 723g for the WifI plus LTE it is just too heavy. Also, it pricing invades the MacBook Air or Macbook line up. Surely, it is better to buy one of these and run proper desktop apps? Beautiful product if you like that sort of thing.

Apple TV

The new Apple TV with TVos shows promise. A clean user interface, using siri and a new remote control that also adds as a game controller. Proper game controller can be used with the Apple TV too. Current limitations restrict apps to 200mb with the other app components needing to be held in the cloud. So probably more of a casual gaming option. Siri searched other TV streaming platforms which I thought was a neat feature. Overall, I really liked the new Apple TV.

Apple Watch

So just in time for the holiday season, Apple launches a whole range of new straps, watch finishes and special edition straps. This is surely going to be a popular Xmas stocking filler. Watch OS2 was shown off too and looked very promising.

Data Storage Costs

Finally, Apple reduced the size of their cloud data costs, making the service far more reasonable and competitive.

Final Thoughts

Personally, I thought Apple nailed it. Tight integration of engineering, software and hardware shone through. Whilst I remained optimistic, Apple’s share price has dropped 2.16 following the keynote speech.

So what are your thoughts on the Apple product announcements?

The Press say “Apple Watch is a Doomed” or “A Flop”

If you head over to macrumors.com or dailymail.co.uk the Apple Watch is heading for a disaster. Back in April 2015, 200,000 Apple Watches were being sold per day. Now that number in the US has possibly plummeted to as low as 2,000 watches.

What planet is everyone on?

I may wear a LG Watch Urbane currently, but I bet LG has not even sold 2,000 of these in the last 3 months. Apple have entered the smart watch space and taken it by storm, and now are the number one selling smart watch brand, and by some crazy huge margin.

I have looked at all the features of the Apple Watch and wish some of those were on my LG Watch Urbane. LG still haven’t sorted out their Health app and syncing the heart rate from the Urbane. Google updated Google Fit and broke the heart rate monitoring on the Urbane. Meanwhile, Apple sells thousands of watches every day. Seems Apple has the upper hand.

Some perspective. The Apple Watch is a non essential item, a luxury item, yet it sells really well. It will continue to sell over a longer period of time, as all jewellery does.

For now, Apple is in a good position. If the numbers completely dwindle, well then a new strategy will be needed.

Apple Watch impacts Swiss Watch Makers Shipments – details

“The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FSWI) has announced today that for the first time since 2009 exports of traditional timepieces are down, and it looks like Apple Watch is to blame.

Wristwatch exports from Switzerland fell almost 9 percent between April and May, according to the FSWI numbers. The news comes on the heels of the launch of Apple Watch on April 24th, which combined with fluctuating currency markets to cause the industry’s first slump in over six years.

“Watch exports to the U.S. in the lower price segments could also have had some negative impact from the launch of the Apple Watch,” analyst Patrik Schwendimann told Bloomberg. The U.S. market might only grow by a low single-digit percentage this year, slowing down from 6 percent growth in 2014, he said.”

Just shows how much of an impact Apple has made from never selling a watch to gaining market share especially in the high profit margin area.

Source – http://www.cultofmac.com