Category Archives: Daily Thought

Just a thought or two that trickles from my stream of consciousness.

Apple Watch – First Impressions

I was one of the foolish ones that ordered an Apple Watch back in April without having seen an actual watch. I think I’m overly geeky…not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I’ve now had my Apple Watch for 36 hours and I must say, I really like it. I actually like it a bit more than I thought I would!

Apple Watch 101
I took this photo using my Apple Watch as a remote control for my iPhone.

There are so many ‘little’ things that over the course of a day really seem to simplify things just a bit. Not having to look at my iPhone as emails wander in, people retweet me, meetings are getting ready to start, reminders to stand up every now and then, knowing when the sunset will occur, and watching the Apple stock price. No killer app, but lots of little things make it a killer technology that integrates so well with the iPhone.

I’ve been playing with the built in Camera Remote app on the watch. When you start the app your iPhone will launch the camera. You then see the view of your iPhone camera on your Apple Watch. You can click one of two buttons: a three second delay or an immediate snapshot. Sometimes I’ve gotten burst images and other times I haven’t. I’m not yet sure why that is. When you do the three second delay the flash will blink three times (I wish that could be turned off). This is a great feature if you want to take a shot with the camera on a nice stable surface, or get a great selfie with the main camera (and not the front facing low res camera).

I’ve only tried one other photo related app at this point – Hydra. I really like the Hydra app on my iPhone, but it seems to have some bugs when trying to use it with the iPhone. Several times the app on my iPhone as well as the app on my Watch just show up as a black screen that seems frozen. The times when it worked it would take the photo but in no way did it indicate the photo had been taken. I’m guessing this one still needs a bit of work. Since hardly any Apple Watches shipped until recently, I’ll give developers a bit more time to iron out the kinks before I form a strong opinion.

There are still a lot of those “why doesn’t my Watch do yada yada yada” moments, and I really don’t understand some things at all. My Watch also crashed twice and rebooted – I’ve since updated the OS to 1.0.1 so that problem may be gone. Definitely a few things I’d like to see improved…but overall I love my new watch. I hadn’t worn a watch (other than my Garmin while running) in years, so it still feels strange on my wrist.

I’ve barely played with my Apple Watch and still have a lot to learn (I’ve barely scratched the surface). My fingers are crossed for many great photo related apps moving forward and I’m so glad I bought the watch! I’d have been even happier if Apple had bought it for me! 🙂

Before Snapshots Were Digital

As the old song says, the boys are back in town. As you may have noticed, there haven’t been many posts here in recent weeks. I’ve been out in California. My father passed away after a four month struggle with cancer. He was a cinematographer for many years (primarily working on documentaries with PBS), and then tinkered around with a new way to produce tempeh (he was a vegetarian for more than 40 years), created some great art, enjoyed modern photography, and played tennis every day during his retirement. I hope I can get as much fun out of my retirement as he did!

Back in the ‘old days’ of photography – when pictures were developed in darkrooms – he took a lot of great shots. Here are two that just show the simple joy of childhood.

Having nothing but fun on a sunny day by the farmhouse.

Having nothing but fun on a sunny day by the farmhouse.

Nothing more fun than running with a frisbee.

Nothing more fun than running with a frisbee. That’s me!

Now that I’m back in town…posting will resume once again. 🙂

If you would like to donate to a charity, he requested donations go to the Farm Sanctuary.

Why I’m Buying an Apple Watch

Many people have been discussing the Apple Watch for the past months, but tomorrow is finally the day when you can pre-order the brand new product.

Some really want one, some don’t, and others are waiting to see one in person. I’m going to order one for one reason – the camera remote function. From Apple:

Apple Watch can be a viewfinder for the iSight camera on your iPhone. So you can take a perfect selfie or join the group shot. See a live preview of what your iPhone sees, then snap the photo or set the timer on the camera.

Besides just shooting a photo, I’m curios if we’ll be able to control/toggle video, or flip from standard video to slo-motion video using the watch. I have a feeling in this version 1.0 of the Apple Watch we’ll only get the ability to snap a photo. In future versions I’m hoping for more. I won’t be awake until around 8am Eastern Time so I won’t be one of the first to pre-order and may not get my watch on April 24th…but as soon as I do I’ll let you know how it feels. Hopefully before June. 🙂

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Update: I randomly woke up at 3:25am and ordered my Apple Watch. Shipping estimate…June. Ugh.

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Apple Releases Photos, Retires iPhoto and Aperture

Apple let us know that Photos would be arriving in early 2015, and that day has arrived. Apple released OSX Yosemite 10.10.3 today which included Photos. This app replaces both iPhoto and Aperture (a high end photo app). I’m sure some will be happy but many others will be frustrated by the changes.

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You can learn far more about it on the Apple Photos page. When you first start Photos an introductory screen will appear and start providing a lot of information. I’ve been an Adobe Lightroom user for many years on my Mac and have briefly played with Photos. I like Photos more than iPhoto, but am not yet sure if I’ll start using it.

What I’m more interested in is getting the new “iCloud Photo Library” up and running on my computer, iPhone, and iPad. The iOS operating system was updated to version 8.3 today and that includes fixes for that feature. I’m going to be sure to back up my iOS devices first, since when I played with the beta version of the new iCloud Library a few really strange things happened.

In a month or so I’ll let you know what I think of it all.