Apple Watch, a 3 month update

After years of speculation, months of anticipation and weeks of waiting, I finally took delivery of my Apple Watch at the end of May (2015). It was a real buzz to be the proud new owner of a highly anticipated and somewhat envied piece of technological gadgetry. So after almost 3 months with the Apple Watch, what are my feelings? Well, in a nutshell, I am a left a little underwhelmed. There is no doubt that Apple have forever changed the way I look at a watch, and have really raised the bar from what I now expect from wrist wear. For example, all of my other watches (which just tell the time…) are pretty much obsolete, and I highly doubt I can ever look at them in the same way, reducing their functionality to aesthetics and jewellery.

You may have read my previous blog post about the Garmin fenix 3; this is what I consider to be my first ‘real’ venture into the ‘smart-watch’ market. It does so much more than simply tell the time and record my fitness activities; informing me of notifications from my smart phone, viewing the weather, my calendar and even having the ability to control music from my smart phone were all very novel and welcome features. The Apple Watch does all these, and probably better, but recently, I have still found myself wearing my Apple Watch far less, and my fenix 3 far more.

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So I finally got my Apple Watch!

After many weeks of waiting, my 42mm space grey Apple Watch is finally here! This model has been in particularly short supply and having ordered on the 10th of April, I was given an ambiguous delivery date of “June” which later changed to “4-6 weeks; May 27th – June 9th”. This was quite a disappointment considering that I had preordered on the very first day that preorders went live! I knew that the Apple Watch would be in short supply, but this has been one of the most frustrating waits ever. Fast forward to now, and I have finally received it. Has it truly been worth the wait?

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Thoughts on the new 2015 MacBook

Like many others, I was super excited when Apple announced the new 12″ MacBook with retina display at a special event in March 2015. I was initially hopeful for Apple to unveil an updated MacBook Air with retina display, but better still, we (the consumers) were pleasantly surprised to receive a whole new category of the Macbook!

I preordered the new MacBook on the day preorders went live, April 10th (the same day preorders went live for the Apple Watch). A large part of my day on the 10th was spent in Brighton, collecting my race pack/mumber for the Brighton marathon, as well as visiting the Apple store to try-on the new Apple Watch. There was also the issue of deciding which specifications I wanted in my new Macbook. But I digress. I finally settled on the 1.2Ghz/512GB model and was quite disappointed that by the time I had preordered, shipping times had slipped to 3-5 weeks. This essentially meant that my delivery window was 15th May – 29th May. Bummer. Fast forward a few (long) weeks, and I finally took delivery of my new MacBook on May 19th!

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Preordering the Apple Watch

When Apple announced the Apple Watch in October last year, like many other tech enthusiasts, I was overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation. Finally, in January 2015, we got word of an “official” release date; 24th April. Preorders were due to open on 8th April, 8:01 GMT. Excited as ever, I did some research and decided to preorder (online) a “42mm Space Grey Aluminium Case with Black Sport Band”. Like a child on Christmas morning, as soon as preorders went live, I logged onto the Apple website to confirm my (pre)order. To my disappointment, the website was still being updated! I waited until 8:05am like this, finally reading on a macrumors forum that the app was working fine. I made my selection and proceeded to the checkout, receiving a confirmation order email at 8:08am. I was disappointed to see that the estimated delivery date for my order was shown as 18th of May, almost a month after launch! A simple 8 minute delay in preordering resulted in this.

The same day, I went into Brighton to collect my race pack for the Brighton marathon on Sunday (12th April). I decided to visit an Apple store there to take a look at the watches in person. They were all located behind a secure glass cabinet, so potential customers could look, but not touch! I was fortunate enough to be booked into an appointment at the store shortly after, to try on the watches in person.

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First impressions of the iPhone 6 Plus

I am not going to be reviewing the iPhone 6 Plus in this post. No, Sir. There are plenty of in-depth reviews online detailing the pros and cons of Apple’s latest handsets. I simply wanted to share my own views on the iPhone 6 and initial thoughts.

So, I was not initially planning to purchase the iPhone 6 (but somewhere in the back of my mind knew I could not resist!). Being unable to get to an Apple store to personally view the phones, I pre-ordered online and reserved for in-store collection. I opted for the iPhone 6 plus; 64GB. As my iPhone 5 had 64GB of storage, which never reached capacity, decided this would be the best option.

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Kindle Paperwhite 2 review (2013)

Although I purchased the original Kindle Paperwhite back in in October 2012, I was enticed by the additional features of this upgraded model. In particular, I was looking forward to the increased resolution of the screen and “next-gen light”, which I felt may provide for an even more paper-like reading experience. My 2012 Paperwhite did suffer from a minor case of the ‘blotching’ issues at the bottom of the screen (which didn’t disturb my personal reading experience). I have just received the upgraded Kindle Paperwhite earlier this morning and this is definitely not there with this new version. However, I have still been pondering over whether or not the new features justify an upgrade from the previous generation. Here are my thoughts.

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The ultimate mobile device

When using my 13” rMBP, I have often been tempted to lean over and touch the screen for quick navigation. This habit is largely due to spending a vast amount of time using my iPad each day. However, when I use the iPad (with a Logitech Ultrathin keyboard), at times I miss the ability to point and click, particularly when using pages or keynote. It is a strange conundrum, and I have always envisioned a device that combines features from both devices.

With a number of laptop/tablet hybrids on the market, I have often wondered whether Apple will take the plunge and join this growing trend. Whilst out and about, I often take both my MacBook and iPad. Both devices are essential for my day-to-day productivity, and merging the best features from both devices would be a great enhancement for productivity and ease of use.

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Can the iPad replace your laptop?

The iPad has come a long way since it’s initial launch back in 2010. With increasing storage capacities, powerful mobile processors, amazing productivity apps and a range of bluetooth keyboards, the iPad has quickly become a candidate for replacing my laptop. Or has it?

I recently purchased the Logitech Ultrathin keyboard cover for my iPad. Since attaching it to my iPad, I have begun to notice a decline in how much I use my 13″ rMBP. Of course, there are certain tasks I will still use the MacBook for, however the ease and ‘always on’ combination of the iPad see me reaching over for it as a first option.

Pairing with the iPad is quick and easy. Simply select the keyboard from the bluetooth option, after which the iPad is pretty much always paired. Battery life is fantastic, with Logitech claiming upto 6 months on a single charge (with 2 hours usage per day). In all honesty, I don’t turn the keyboard off and a single charge has lasted me 6 weeks, with a few hours of usage per day.

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My take on the iPad mini

First impressions
When Apple unveiled the inevitable iPad mini in late October last year (2012), I was sceptical. I knew it would be successful, as most gadgets from Apple establish a market, sooner or later. However, I was already convinced that there was no place in my life for the iPad mini. I already owned an iPhone and 9.7″ iPad, and could see little value of implementing another iOS device.

After venturing to the Apple Store a few times and having a play, my mind slowly began to change. Online reviews were positive, the lack of a retina display was not so apparent on the smaller screen and in a nutshell, the mini was very, very aesthetically pleasing. I finally took the plunge during a trip to the Apple Store in Covent Garden, and asked a member of staff to grab me a 64 GB (wifi+LTE) white mini.

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Kindle Paperwhite review

Almost two weeks ago (at the time of writing this review; October 2012) I received an email from Amazon, showing off the Kindle Paperwhite. I recently purchased the Kindle Touch in August, and my initial reaction to seeing Amazon replace the UK market with this device so quickly was not positive. Being unaware of the US-exclusive existence of the PaperWhite, I took some time to read reviews about the new features, and immediately realised that this was what I wanted from my Kindle Touch. The additional features in this upgrade seemed sufficient to justify the purchase and soon after, I pre-ordered Amazon’s latest offering.

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS
-The Kindle Paperwhite ships in its original box and was highly nostalgic of the Kindle Touch. On opening the box, the Paperwhite is the first thing you see, wrapped in a plastic film cover. A usb cable and quick start guide are also included.

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