Wednesday, September 24, 2014

iVapor Smart Watch - why wait for Apple?

Apple announced their entry to the smart watch market.   The press, predictably enough, oohed and aah-ed about how wonderful the Apple watch was gonna be.   Certain lucky reviewers got the see the future product up close, but did not get to actually manipulate it.   Even without actual hand-on interaction, there was no shortage of glowing reviews of what the watch was going to be like

So why wait for the Apple watch?   Really, why?   I love my Moto, and I am not willing to wait until 2015 to have a smart watch.   I can get significant value from my Android watch in the six months that will make me a more discriminating customer.    Why wait?    Technology is not a lifelong commitment.   I have bought more than one smartphone/media player/laptop/fitness-band.    Besides, it takes Apple three versions to get it right, so I may skip the first two generations.

So until Apple comes late to the party to make their big splash,  I am going to continue enjoy the timer/email/translator/life coach/etc. already on my wrist.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Domo arigato, I love my Moto - banishing the myth of poor battery life

There is no shortage of Android watch reviews from the "professional" reviewers who use the tech for a few days and rush to judgement to grab a headline.   Not every tech relationship is love/hate at first sight.  Like "must-see" TV, it can take time to appreciate and evaluate a device.

I am on my second Android watch.  I have the LG, and that introduced me to the glories of  of Android wear.  I used it to display my boarding pass for a Delta flight.   I read my email on my wrist.  Then my Moto arrived, courtesy of Google I/O.    Since it was my second device, the setup was minimal.  (Pair, and done)  ]

I realized after a few days of wear, that my Moto was more comfortable than my LG.  The round display looks good, and there are no corners/edges that dig into my wrist.   Looking at the display screens of both, I find I can see information just as well on the smaller Moto as the rectangular screen.  

Many of the early reviews complained about the battery life on the Moto.    That tells me the  reviewer  used it less than 2 days.     As you continue to use and charge the Moto, the battery life increases.     After a week of ownership I lost my Moto on a Friday night.   Fifty hours later when I  claimed it from the lost and found, the watch still had 4% of the battery left.

That's better than my smartphones.    

So, my Moto is my Android watch of choice.   I just wish I could get a prettier band instead of the hyper-nerdy black.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Love at first byte - the Surface Pro 3 is my dream PC

In interests of full disclosure, I own 2 iPads, and an iPhone 5s.  There are 2 more iPads and 2 more iPhones in my household.   So obviously, I am no stranger or enemy to Apple.

But I love, love, love, the Surface Pro 3.  Really - it is almost everything I have been dreaming of in a PC - plus a few things I didn't know I was looking for.   That type keyboard/cover with the magnetic connection and the tilt - so easy.   I was reminded of what a pain every other keyboard, including the sleek looking Apple wireless, is to pair up and recharge.  Sooner or later the keyboards run out of juice, and it is never convenient to recharge.   And the connection - no Bluetooth pairing, so it is instantly on.  The magnetic coupling means no fumbling with cables, or matching ports.  You literally slap the keyboard on side of the table and it is ready to run.

I find the spacing on the keys totally typical..   I don't even think about it.  The kickstand on the back of the tablet makes it stand up at the same angle as would my laptop screen.    There is also a touchpad mouse controller on the keyboard, so I don't have to use an external mouse.   Or I can just touch the screen.    The screen is so readable, with that 4:3 aspect ratio.  

The PC has an i7 processor and and 256 gb storage.  That means it runs as fast and stores as much as my previous PC, but weighs half as much.   Considering I was already carrying an ultrabook, I still noticed the reduction in weight.

The only thing I still depend on my iPad mini for is the 3G connection.   If I could put a SIM card in my Surface to connect to the Internet, it would be perfect.   I don't understand why the vendors think that a Windows tablet only needs to connect to Wifi.    Carrying around an external Internet connection is like constantly carrying a power adcord because there the vendor thought because electric power was available no one would need a a battery.  

I also like not having to constantly locate the iPad equivalent to everything I do on the Windows PC.   Until the cloud storage vendors came of age I was frustrated by all the backflips I had to do to find and use files.  Each app may or may not connect to my cloud storage, and might or might not coordinate with the app I wanted to use.

The Surface Pro 3 is simplifying my life.    Windows 8 is still confusing me, but at least I can switch over to the desktop.