Are you chomping at the bit to get an Apple Watch? Are you the type that can't wait for access to the next version of iOS or OS X? Well, you can't get an Apple Watch yet, but Apple is letting the general public gain access to beta versions of their operating systems. Apple started this early access program last year, and it is a way for them to test features in the real world before it is considered FCS (First Customer Ship) ready.
Apple has given us so many choices when it comes to the Apple Watch. The case comes in three metals, each with different shades and a wide assortment of bands, and two sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm. The potential downside is known as paralysis of indecision, or analysis paralysis. I can't even decide what to call it, that's how tough it can be to make a decision!
At the Apple Watch announcement, Apple didn't spell out the differences between the 38 mm and 42 mm versions of the Apple Watch, but we are learning now that the larger device has a larger battery. It makes sense, from what we learned about the new MacBook. Apple loves to cram batteries into every nook and cranny. There is a precedent, as the iPhone 6 Plus has a larger battery than the iPhone 6 (but it also needs a larger battery to power the much bigger screen.)
I've been a big fan of the Apple TV for a while. In addition to Netflix and consumption of various forms of media, the AirPlay feature is a lot of fun. I can wirelessly project my iPhone or iPad's screen to a big screen using the Apple TV. There are even games that take advantage of AirPlay to project a different view to the public. Our family likes to use Party Doodle which works like Pictionary, and the iPad screen shows the clue while the Apple TV only shows the drawing in progress. Games like Real Racing let you use your iOS device as a controller and see a different view of the track, and fellow racers, on the big screen.
JVC gave me a set of Extreme Fitness HA-ETR40 earbuds ($39.95) to try. This sporty pair of earbuds with microphone should meet the needs of most athletes. It's waterproof and washable, so sweat won't be a concern. The customizable fit makes sure the earbuds will stay put during a workout.
Bracketron gave me an EZCharge ($24.95) Dual High-Speed USB Charger to try. It could be the best car charger you can buy, and I say that because very often, such car chargers are free, as promotional items. But in this case, you get what you pay for. This car chargers offers a lot of features that make it worth paying for.
The Apple Watch announcement is behind us and it's time to "spring forward" and look ahead to the next announcement! The huge focus on fashion in the watch product line may spill over to the iPhone. Originally, the iPhone was only available in an aluminum and black form. Later white was added, and then silver, space gray, and, of course, gold. The iPhone 5c brought plastic colors too, but those are on the way out. The iPod touch product line came in assorted colors, but that product line seems to have been abandoned. Now, just as former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts brought her fashion sense to Apple Retail and the watch offerings, she may be influencing Apple to go pink with their flagship iPhone.
At the March 9 Apple event, Apple introduced "Force Touch," which is basically a binary version of touch sensitivity, for the trackpad in the new MacBook as well as for the Apple Watch. Those devices can now distinguish between a touch and a hard touch. This isn't exactly the kind of touch sensitivity that a Wacom tablet would offer, where it recognizes multiple degrees of force. That can be great for artists who want heavier and lighter lines based on pressure.
We've "sprung forward." Now we know what the specs are for the Apple Watch, and most importantly, what it will cost, in each configuration. We know that the somewhat smaller watches with a 38 mm case (height) will cost $50 less than the 42 mm ones. We also know there is no functional difference between the smaller one and the larger one. For my money, I will probably get the smaller one. It should be somewhat less bulky and perhaps more importantly, $349 is closer to an impulse buy (at least as Apple products go) versus $399. As an app developer with several watch apps on the horizon, I know I need to own an Apple Watch. But that doesn't mean I need a fancy one.
Would you take fashion advice from Apple's Tim Cook, Eddie Cue, Jimmy Iovine, Phil Schiller or even Dr. Dre or Jony Ive? If so, you would probably wear an untucked dress shirt with a button undone or a slim fitting dark t-shirt all the time (except when getting knighted by the Queen.) Thankfully, their fashion sense didn't dictate our options for the Apple Watch.