Tag Archives: Apple Watch

Apple Watch – The Real Story from WWDC 2019 – Editorial

At WWDC 2019, Apple showed off the new version of Watch OS. The big news wasn’t the new watch faces, or new features to the health app it was the few changes to the operating system that will make the biggest difference to using the Apple Watch since it got launced.

Currently, if you want to use an Apple Watch, you need to use an iPhone. This is frustrating if you say wanted to use your Apple Watch with your favourite android phone, because this was not an option.

Now with the new Watch OS beta, Apple has included the Apple App Store directly on the watch. This paves the way for the Apple Watch to be used either completely untethered, or even with any phone of your choice.

Why would Apple consider doing this? Well it is no secret iPhone sales are in decline. Apple has maintained profits by pushing the average price of the iPhone higher and higher. However, this doesn’t stop the decline of sales of the iPhone.

It is no secret that the Apple Watch is the number one selling smart watch world wide, and likely the biggest selling watch period. So with an App Store on the watch, this leaves Apple with an option for people to buy the watch without needing an iPhone and even with the possibility of using it on another platform, like android.

If Apple enabled this, just imagine the exponential increase in sales of the Apple Watch. Who knows the Apple Watch one day could be the actual replacement for the iPhone, or a version of it.

Picture Source – Apple

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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!

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.