Buying the Apple Watch Series 3 in 2019.

The difference between thinking and knowing what you want.

Why do I want to talk about a two year old piece of tech? Well I bought one of these as they were just lowered in price last week by Apple with the release of the Series 5 Apple Watch and I feel as a layperson, my views on the Series 3 today in 2019 might be of interest to those reading and haven’t bought one yet themselves, but might want to.

I’ve held off buying an Apple Watch ever since they were first announced, the watch never felt capable. In the ideals of ideals I would prefer a digital watch of this caliber to last at least a week on a single charge, and I’ve always thought the Apple Watch was conservative in its design. I don’t mind if it were bigger, even the Series 5 still isn’t my ideal watch size, make it bigger! Heck give me that wrist device Leela has from Futurama, a device that comes with a larger interface,bigger battery and assumingly, more body function trackers please. A man however with expectations can dream.

I bought the Series 3 not just for the lower price, but also to temper my expectations, I allowed myself and this is ridiculous; to be disappointed with a $200 dollar purchase as opposed to an even more expensive purchase towards a later Series watch and expecting it to do more.

Go figure with that logic. But it’s working.

Because I paid less, I knew it could do less, and with expectations set to low, somewhere down the road of ownership I’d be also eventually surprised by its utility. I figured if the Series 6 came out next year, it would be an even greater improvement of course over the S5 and I’d have a better idea of how a future watch could serve me because I’m now in the ecosystem. Getting into this purchase for example, it didn’t bother me when in the Apple Store; I found out I can’t listen to podcasts locally on the watch. It only has remote functions. That means I can’t take just my headphones and Apple watch for simple supermarket journeys where I thought I could leave the iPhone at home.

Next time I guess? I know the sim version is more autonomous, but wifi in HK is so prevalent here there really is no need to buy that model.

I’ll allow the Apple Watch to disappoint this one time then. Nothing is perfect. 

Since getting this watch, let me tell you a few things I’ve realised and that I like about it.

First I don’t know what tech bloggers are talking about when they say they can shower and the watch is almost fully charged again, and charging the Apple watch everyday isn’t actually an issue for them. Because of the slow charging times on the watch, I’m left wondering how long does it take for tech bloggers to shower? It must take a long time to wash the lies and the tall tales of Apple cum off their bodies. I find the charging to be incredibly slow and the charging cable too long. Also the box is a silly shape. Sorry, I slipped a few negatives in there (the box isn’t really a big deal).

Currently while working at my computer or sitting down with a student are the best times to charge the watch. I’m moving around the least during those times so the Watch summaries at the end of each day are more inline with reality.

The Apple Watch lasts more than 18 hours a day.

I’m really happy with this. That’s Apple’s rated battery life. I’m finding I’m charging it every other day, and that’s with me sleeping with it; turning the watch to airplane mode. It makes a huge difference to the battery life. First night I slept with it, it drained by 60%, then realising my error, I changed the settings and its just a 2% drop in charge. I don’t have a fixed schedule for charging, I’ll just try and run it down to 5%-10% whenever and then charge it back up.

Never being a hard core watch owner myself, I don’t care about the delay in moving my wrist to see the time for when the screen turns on. So I’m quite comfortable with the delay, which really isn’t a delay. I think that perceived negative to be overblown.

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Sometimes I think the mainstream tech bloggers lose sight or perspective on some things us lay people will live happily with. Okay, you have a series of classical watches because you’re a nerd, but most of us don’t care they tell the time instantly when you glance at it, and if your boss gets upset because you’re checking your watch in a meeting then its his/her ego that is the problem, not the watch’s inability to tell you the time on the sly.

Instead of buying the Series 5 with its always on screen, why not be not passive in meetings and admit the meetings are too damn long. Suggest the stand up meetings thing, we all know stand up meetings are far productive and you’ll get closer to completing the Move circle on your watches. Also the boss isn’t a true capitalist either if his/her ego is getting in the way of a succinct meeting so you can all get back to work.

</rant>

Normally for me when checking the time I do one of three things, I ask someone ask for the time, I have to look at the top of the computer screen for the time or I tap my iPhone’s screen for it to tell me the time, compared to those three things, the watch is actually faster, and it’s always on my wrist!

I don’t even have to go to the computer or look for my phone or talk to anyone anymore. Life is good.

For some perspective, I haven’t owned a watch since the 00’s.

I don’t even remember the last watch I wore, because once I owned my first iPhone, the phone could be utilised in so many ways, I’m simply downsized what I owned, out went the clock, the radio, cd player, calculator and of course any ambition of wearing a watch.

What I do remember were the straps that came with the watch being part of the deal. Customising watch straps was never a consideration.

I’ve never bought a watch strap separate for a watch in my life and the idea to customise a watch with my perfect strap to complete me, sounds like a joke. I will never accessorise this Apple watch with another strap. Seriously I cringe when tech bloggers lament about the more expensive varieties of straps out there. Fuck off. #beyondinsanefirstworldproblemswhiletheamazonisburning

When I was in the Apple Store I could choose either a black Nike strap or a white one, fine. I’m happy with either, I’m not going to get caught up in #straplife.

I do have nice things to say about the strap itself however, it feels great on the skin and the strap is so cleverly put together, how did watch companies settle for the current strap solution for this long? I like how the strap tucks under itself 

The fitness functions and ergo the date to be gleaned; the actual things I felt were worth the asking price alone are amazing to have, I can see why “all your data belong to us Mark Zuckerberg” wants you in his ecosystem, it is truly empowering to know so much about oneself. Since owning an Apple watch, I’ve already skipped on taking the bus for a few journeys and avoided eating a cookie or two in order to be a better me.

In addition to that I’m actually taking note of all the journeys I don’t take, and deducting the savings against what I spent for the watch, in a way to prove that this thing can justify itself beyond the data collection. I love knowing how long I’m standing for, the calories I’m burning and just talking into a text message instead of typing it out.

The Move tracker however is something I’d like to adjust upwards, why is it only a 30 minute minimum? The minimums are also too easy to achieve. I’ve realised I can walk to the nearest MTR station to my house, burn a ton of calories, have the watch tell me that I’m technically doing a workout (or one time it says I’m on the elliptical) and include that “workout” into my minimum of 30 minutes of exercising.

The bar the watch sets, is so low, but Apple know the lifestyles of millions of people, so maybe the bar has to be low in order to encourage everyone to consider living the healthier lifestyle so they live for longer and buy later series of Apple Watches. I’d like to though increase in increments, the physical activity I can do.

One hesitation I did have with ownership of an Apple Watch was being interrupted directly on the wrist as I go about my day. That isn’t turning out to be the case because I only ever really talk to one person on iMessages and thankfully Facebook via WhatsApp doesn’t have a complication for the Watch. WhatsApp users aren’t able to badge me. There is a 3rd party company offering a complication, but you have to pay. That’s a good incentive to not install it.

Upon setting up the watch, the iPhone side loads all the complications it can related to the apps you have on the phone. “Oh you have it on the phone here, the watch can have it too”.

You have to consider everything that was installed, but it takes two minutes. iMessage functionality is a nice bonus however with Siri perfectly composing my spoken words into text.

This purchase really is about understanding what is going on with me body wise. I have a digital scale, I use a sleep tracker on my phone and I felt the Apple Watch would compliment those devices to fill out my profile. I just need the watch to prick me now and again for free blood testing as opposed to going to the doctors. A foot massage or a handjob would be welcome also. You can see I really wanted this watch for body tracking and to measure me. 

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I did originally want to buy a secondhand Apple Watch to save a bit more money but the prices are fluctuating and are trading fast online so much I saved myself the stress and bought new. Also these batteries don’t last long either, so any savings I made by buying second hand would catch up with me probably a little later on with an expensive battery swap.

</zerowaste mention>

Some final tidbits, I got to say I like the ability to ping my phone, the ability to automatically unlock my Mac, Spotify is something I can see myself using more of because of the watch, the remote functions with Castro, the camera app and its overall functionality are helpful. Importantly and oddly, it really does feel like a watch instead of a computer. The computering stuff just gets out of the way, keypresses are at a minimum. As for the screen size itself, now having used it for nearly a week, it isn’t *that* bad, it makes me happier I bought the Series 3 even over the discounted Series 4 that are still in stock. I can deal with it and I’m actually content with this until something that can justify the need for a larger screen is released.

This is the first time I’ve bought a serious bit of tech with a clear understanding how it can serve me and how long I would expect to use it for. I think I choose correctly. For the moment though, this is a really cool piece of tech. If you’re considering one, I hope my opinion helps.

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This article is actually the written script for episode #76 of the Loose Rants Podcast. If you fancy listening instead of reading, then look for ‘Loose Rants” on Spotify or iTunes or go to www.jonathanjk.com/podcasts.

Only A Second Hand iPhone From Now On

Well, it’s not because of the price exactly.

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We as a society are fortunately at the point now where the computing performance of the iPhone is so good that it can replace or forgo entire traditional computers for enough people. It’s plenty enough to drive all our applications and games. What are these modern incarnations of personal computing forgetting to do for us?

Last year In 2018 I bought an iPhone Xr, it came with the fastest processor Apple currently made for iOS and the Xr is equal to the much higher priced Xs Max in day to day use.

It is perfect for what I need it for, and even though it doesn’t come with a second camera lens, I still have my iPhone 7 plus which isn’t that different from the 8+ or the Xs series. The iPhone 7 Plus is also already three years old so the iPhone Xr can clearly last just as long (with battery replacements ;-)). And whatever I can buy second hand after the Xr is going to be an improvement by default of making technological progress.

There is already a huge grey market for Apple iPhones so my idea isn’t original, other people are buying second hand already. I could have bought the 8+ this year but didn’t because I wanted the larger screen. The Xr seemed to have enough advantages over both what it replaced (the 8+) and what was released with it (Xs and XS Max). The Xr purchase has now become my stake in the ground where I had always desired to have at least one new phone every other generation. Now there is no real need, me still using the iPhone 7+ is proof of this and it’s time to enjoy life in the grey market.

I’m not buying second hand to save money per se, I’m not buying second hand to protest against Apple’s prices either. I’m going second hand because as mentioned are good enough so why pay all them dollars anymore for brand new and why pay for the extras that come with the iPhone that are essentially creating more waste.

Waste? You mean the manuals and the power adapter?

Yes, I’m talking about the barebones crap that comes in the box, the same set of manuals that barely anyone reads, the stickers you have to justify sticking somewhere (I’ve ran out of ideas to place mine) and the power adapter stays in the box. I don’t need all that stuff anymore and Apple won’t just sell me an actual naked iPhone like the grey market will. It’s to overlook the packaging when you’re only buying one iPhone, but the scale at which Apple operate today shouldn’t be overlooked when the run off from the in the box accessories isn’t going to be fully utilised

Apple sold 200 million iPhones in 2018*. Did everybody read the manual again? Are you using the weak 5 watt adapter? I didn’t, I have multiple USB cables, external batteries, and USB ports on my computer and my power sockets. Everything other than the phone is surplus to requirement. I can’t be the only one?

Apple could address this problem if they wanted to.

  1. Don’t put the adapters in the box and lower the price enough to simply reflect there is less.

  2. Don’t put the adapters in the box but offer them for free in Apple Stores to anybody who purchases an iPhone if they ask for one.

  3. Remove them entirely and gouge customers further by offering for sale only the Qi charging solutions and power solutions that already exist in the accessories section.

  4. Leave it solely to the 3rd parties to cater to this problem.

Anker the third-party solution for charging iPhones either with external batteries or with specific wall warts is on the recordas saying they would like to build the power solutions for Apple so Apple can put less in the box.

And in the latest episode of the Talkshow, John Gruber and Joanna Stern they were discussing the ideas behind what will Apple do in the future with regards to putting adapters in the box.

Their conversation implied that Apple will continue shipping power adapters in the box regardless.

Now I’m not sure Apple would split up the contents of the iPhone box to another company or have such a basic power adapter as freebie or made into a must have accessory purchase. Then again, the MacBook Pro doesn’t come with the extra length cable either because Apple either wanted to nickel and dime you from what came in that particular box or they are actually being environmentally friendly. I’ll let you decide.

But both conclusions however could easily justify their behaviour towards reducing the waste that comes with selling millions of iPhones.

Putting all the manuals and power adapters in the box is wholly unnecessary now in my opinion, and it creates huge amounts of e-waste simply because of the scale which Apple operates at. Everybody basically has a multitude of means with which to charge their iphones.

And as I get more into zero waste, I’m thinking more and more about how to lessen my impact on this planet while at the same time not necessarily giving up the things that I need with which to operate on this planet. This post reflects one of those ideas. If enough people do the same, Apple might change their practices.

I thought I’d share this idea and I’m looking forward to what I’m going to buy at a cheaper price point that’s going to be better than my phone today while lowering my environmental impact.

*But the phone market shipped 1.5 billion chargers.




It Shouldn’t Take The ‘Crazy Ones’. It Should Be Everyone

This whole iPad isn’t thing.

I wish I saved the blog post I wrote back on my Wordpress account in 2012 about my previous computer purchase. I spent some time praising the joy of owning a retina MacBookPro and I remember typing, “this might be the last laptop I will own”.

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This thinking came from all the power and versatility of the device I typed the review on at the time, it was spec’ed with the highest custom options available (about $28,000 HKD at the time). I felt I wouldn’t need another Apple laptop ever again. It felt that powerful in use.

Since that time however, Apple have tried to prove my now half decade old assertion correct. My 2012 purchase still feels greatly justified against the newest iterations of the rMBP. Everything after 2015 feels like a bigger than normal compromise one would want to make with an Apple product. Normally the balance in new features against the removal of the old ones works itself out. These newest devices haven’t had their “balancing” work itself out still and Apple won’t save face by adding back some legacy just to make it easier

Clearly Apple think they’re on the right path with their laptops. Who am I to argue? Seriously though, the MacBook Pro’s are a no-go for me

What else then could I upgrade to instead? I figured the iMac, (I know not a portable) actually was the next most appropriate because the price to performance ratio was much better and I’d only need one bloody dongle to move forward judging by the peripherals I own and the legacy ports still available to the iMac.

The October Event

The 2018 iMac update didn’t come as many presumed it would, Apple updated other we were crowing about and consequently the prices on those devices rose, just like with the MacBook Pro’s. This gave me reason to be concerned; that Apple is going to do this with the iMac line. Time will tell on that front.

The iPad was also updated and judging the product from the event’s marketing, it was supposed to be faster than any current laptop (around 92% to be exact) on the market and be a replacement for a laptop.

My laptop has been off the market since 2015 so I did some mental calculations that made an iPad Pro purchase seem like the logical choice in terms of its low price (relative to what’s available and what I paid six years ago for my main machine).

Ironically those “relatives” allowed me to sidestep the conversation people were having about the increased price of the new iPads because my personal circumstances gave me different criteria to compare against. The cost of computing for me, actually got cheaper, by a third.

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A 2012 MacBook Pro at $28,000 divided by 6 years of ownership equals to $4,666 per year. Using that as my baseline a $18,000 purchase (the 1TB iPad Pro* including pencil, stand, keyboard, 4TB WiFi hard drive) over 6 years would come out at $3,000 per year.

I think it’s reasonable, not just for me, but for anyone, it’s prudent to think longer term for computing purchase and it’s not out of the question to realise an iPad can be still be useful after 4 years. Heck the current iPad mini still sold by Apple hasn’t seen an update since September 2015. Apple seem to think so to. Again who am I to argue? :-)

I think I need to make another assertion :-p – “I can keep this iPad as my main machine for the next four years at least”.

The big conversation online however is whether an iPad can replace a laptop. This conversation was held previously for laptops replacing desktops and look what happened, nobody cares now.

At the moment people care again about going from laptop to tablet, while others clearly see the power of the alternative in an iPad.

What do I do on a laptop that CAN be done on an iPad?

Two things slowed my 6 year old laptop down, editing video with Final Cut Pro and browsing Reddit.

Those two things CAN and are being replaced as Jonathan Morrison recently illustrated to his large audience and Henny Tha Bizness has been showing how he works on an iPad since before this year’s conversation about whether creative work is possible on the iPad really kicked into gear.

Apart from some asides (Xcode), there really is no excuse or argument against not seeing a large subset of non-traditional (pilots, medical staff and sports tacticians) and traditional professionals (photographers, video and drawing artists) alike, using the iPad Pro in some sophisticated ways. People are proving it today, not later when iOS 13 supposedly will fix everything wrong with the iPad.

I’ve already edited my next YouTube video with an iPad and it was faster than I thought. Of course because the hardware is enabling me more than my laptop can but in addition, the capability of Luma Fusion in this case for manipulating said video is also making possible.

The desktop to laptop transition was an easy one because the UI paradigms and desktop metaphors kinda stayed the same across all the platforms during that time.

This next transition from laptop to tablet requires not only newer UI workflows, but pioneering, creative minds that say ‘yes’ in the face of a chorus of ‘no’ or ‘not yet’.

I’m saying yes, and my bank account agrees with me.

*As a general purchasing rule I believe buying the very most is the wisest thing to do when making an Apple purchase. It grants you longevity while using the computer and removes any performance doubts if you had skimped on an upgrade.