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a short diary of some part of my life.

Posts tagged Apple

Peace – a must have ad-blocker for iPhone & iPad

Untitled

Forbes.com w/ & w/o ads

The title says it all. Peace allows fine control over what you want to see on your iDevices. You can block ads, trackers, any kind of social media extensions and commenting system.

I’m all for supporting a website but when it gets really annoying to read their contents and they are valuable information, I would install an ad-blocker. Sorry but some websites’ ads are just unforgivingly bad. Peace allows you to download only the necessary files, you don’t need to download a huge amount of data just to view a website. This is a very useful feature for mobile users, users who use cellular data.

For those who value online privacy, this is your way to safe haven. One of the main reasons why a website can be very slow is due to trackers embedded to the website. You have to load all those trackers when opening the website. Once I installed Peace, I cannot believe how fast my browser experience is now and how bad it was.

Peace is not a free app. I’m not fond of buying free apps, we need to support apps developers more than ever, especially Indie developers who are now slowly withering.

Update: The developer – Marco Arment has since pulled the app off the App Store. There is a good alternative – Purify

Now that reviews of the Watch are out and settled, there seems to be very few people covering how durable an Apple Watch is. Here are my findings:

The Band

Let’s start with the band. Mine is the 42mm stainless steel with black sport band. It is noticeably more supple than other brands rubber bands. It’s super comfy and it does not attract attention. I barely get other people noticing that I’m wearing an Apple Watch.

I got the Apple Watch on launch day so it’s been a few months now. It does not show noticeable wear and tear. Scratches are minimal. The only thing that I notice is when I take off the watch. There are wear marks under the bands and I consider them as normal wear and tear since the bands are pretty much squeezed to make perfect fit on my wrist.

The Case

The stainless steel case takes a lot of beating. It’s a wrist watch and it will take a lot more beating. If you own(ed) a classic iPod with stainless steel case back, you’ll know the case will get scratch easily. This is exactly the case with Apple Watch SS. I don’t worry about it getting minor hairline scratches or swirl marks. I also consider them as normal wear and tear. If I’m bothered with having too many scratches already, I can easily buff them off with Mother’s Metal Polish. This is the product that I also use to buff out scratches on my polished car wheels lips.

The Glass

The glass as expected, is still pristine condition. No scratch or whatsoever. I bumped it to wall, corners and so on. It does take beatings very well. I don’t baby my watches. They go with me whatever I’m doing. And I don’t always work in a clean office environment.

The Crown

It gets sticky when it accumulates enough of my sweat. In this case, follow Apple’s official instructions: Get help with the Digital Crown on your Apple Watch

I always try to clean the crown with the exact same method after taking a swim in the pool or beach. More on this later.

In any case, the crown on my Apple Watch does get sticky from time to time. And after a good rinse, it’s just as good as new.

Taking a bath with the Apple Watch

Some might wonder why I would take my Apple Watch to the shower??

  • I don’t want the hassle of taking it off and putting it back. I might forget putting it back. This has happened multiple times.
  • I like getting important notifications. In my line of work, I need to get information as quickly as possible.
  • My morning chores are quite hectic so one less thing to worry about is crucial. I start wearing my Apple Watch the moment I wake up and I take it off right before I go to sleep.

The Watch seems to have zero issues with tap water. You don’t need to worry about wearing it in the shower.

Wearing it to the beach

The only two things that I worry about are salt water deposit and sand stuck in the digital crown. Unless I play with the sand, I don’t take it off. The moment I take a bath after spending some time on the beach, I rinse my watch and leave it under fresh water to avoid having salt water deposit.

On a recent to the beach, I spent basically everyday playing and swimming on the beach. My hotel room was also in front of the beach. So the Watch is exposed to the beach 24/7 for a few days. The Watch is fine. I’m sitting in front of my MacBook two weeks after the beach vacation, the Watch looks like new.

Drowned on the beach

  • The thing screams quality.
  • The sport band wobbles just a little… But super comfy.
  • The digital crown is a clever idea. It really does help going thru the watchOS.
  • The force touch and taptic engine now feel like a must for future Apple products.
  • IMO, the screen sucks. The black levels are great but the white levels seem washed out. OLED is now better than LCD. Just look at Samsung S6 Edge.
  • The pixel density is not high enough. I can clearly see it’s not sharp enough.
  • The screen is barely readable under bright sunlight. iPhone 6 is better under bright lights.
  • If I disregard the white levels and the pixel density, I do think OLED is what Apple should after for the next iPhones. It’s laminated to the sapphire glass. By just looking at it, even under the sun and off, it’s beautiful.
  • I really feel that this is the next-gen watch. I don’t see this replacing my mechanical watch but I don’t think I will wear my mechanical watch as often as I used to be. Mostly because I want to complete those activity circles. If I don’t wear the Apple Watch everyday, I feel like I’m missing the rhythm of watching my activity progress.
  • After a week of heavy usage, I can probably use it for two straight days without charging. I’m now using it just like it is supposed to be used. Glancing when only needed, light app usage, and a bit of fitness tracking. I wake up at 5 AM and I go to sleep at 9 PM. The battery is usually at 45% on the first night.
  • I don’t think charging it every night is a hassle. It’s like putting your watch off for the night.
  • I don’t think I will be buying the second version. I don’t think the tech is here yet, not anytime soon.
  • The longevity of the battery is the real problem. This is a disposable iPhone accessory. A very expensive one.
  • You would have to use this to understand how it will fit your life.

I like how Apple design the innards to be virtually shock-proof. The S1 is encased securely. Unlike fitbit where the battery and some other parts not protected at all from vibration. There are cases where fitbit constantly and periodically fails. This could be the reason.

Fitbit Pulse

If anyone can make a battery swap as elegant and simple as possible, it’s Apple. Remember how they designed the hell out for the first unibody 13 inch MacBook battery latch. The latch and each supporting parts are very sturdy and beautiful. I would even keep the machine for its engineering beauty.

There are two things that would tempt me to get the next version(s):

  • The battery needs to be swappable, easily.
  • Faster processor.
  • The watch face needs to have solar charging, just like Casio G-Shock.

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I don’t mean to bash Android Wear but by looking at these two videos, you can get an idea how lost Apple Watch competitors are. I think Apple has once again showed how this should be done. It’s not about being the first but the first that does it right. We consumers are not guinea-pigs.

Computers are now commoditized items. Just like phones and soon smartphones, or they already are. Microsoft are now getting more and more into making consumer items, while others like IBM, Dell, and HP have embraced enterprise market, leaving much of the consumer market to Apple.

BYOD ERA

It’s funny when people suggest that Microsoft should have gone enterprise-only when clearly the trend is going toward BYOD (bring your own device). Maybe people are forgetting something vital here. Those who choose BYOD, will ask their IT dept. to support the products they bring. Well, the products they bring are mostly consumer-oriented ones. What happen if they keep asking the IT dept. to support them? Sooner or later, those enterprise products makers will have to support consumer products.

CLUNKY

See, the main problem is, most of the time, enterprise solution is clunky, slow, ugly, not user-friendly, and very expensive. When people ask IT dept. to customize everything to their likings, people want their solutions to look like say Apple software or product. They want them to intuitive, easy to use and colorful.

The issue does not stop there. Once there are demands for such enterprise products, those old dogs won’t be able to give their customers with the suitable solutions. Why? The reason why they got out of consumer market was because they couldn’t compete, for various causes and reasons. One of them is they couldn’t make a decent software for consumer. Who’s gonna provide the suitable solutions? Newer players, like SalesForce. They could easily come up with their own ERP as what they already have, their CRM. But SalesForce is still too expensive for small to medium businesses.

EXPENSIVE

Saas from SAP and the likes are most of time priced over the top. Soon, they won’t be able to charge that much. The upgrade price is thru the roof as well. Don’t even mention the option to switch. They don’t exist. Even if they do, you will likely face a severe headache. So there are:

  • the software price
  • the implementation price
  • the upgrade price
  • the need to assemble a competent IT team
  • the need to maintain your servers (if there is any)
  • the need to pay AWS type of services
  • the need to pay for dedicated internet line, and so on.

The list can go on to virtually limitless. I’m not kidding. Now, imagine from the list above, how much will you end up paying? Even if you are running a big corporation, it’s still a major purchase and a pain in the butt to implement.

ERP OPTIONS

There are various ERP out there, but there are very few that looks easy to use or even intuitive. New software companies should have no problem producing one that is easy to use, intuitive, beautiful, and customized to various industries. They should also have no problem offering much more reasonable pricing structures. The old dogs, they won’t be able to do all that because all that will directly affect their business model and their bottom line.

I think the time will come and the idea of why Microsoft should embraced enterprise-only market is flawed. IMHO, the key is to go somewhere in between and make a killing there. But for those Saas makers, they are in deep trouble. In time, their offerings will be commoditized, just like what has been happening with Office suite.