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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

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Observations on moreFit Slim Fitness Tracker

After switching to Android late last year and subsequently giving Eliza my Apple Watch Series 3 I have been wanting a simple fitness tracker for playing basketball. In most activities in my life I can keep my phone on me but for basketball I always miss out on tracking those steps.

I wanted to purchase something inexpensive that, if it were to break playing street ball (which it inevitably will), I wouldn’t mind replacing it.

I found the moreFit Slim Fitness Tracker on Amazon. It is undeniably a knockoff of FitBit but that didn’t bother me at all. On the day I was researching these Amazon had a lightning deal on them for $17 so I jumped at getting one.

moreFit fitness tracker

Here are some random observations that I’ve had after using it for a few weeks:

  • It works better than I anticipated. At $17 I thought it wouldn’t work at all or would be a terrible experience but thus far it has exceeded my low expectations.
  • The software is where it lacks the most but for my use I just need the step count to be pushed into Google Fit. Google released an update to Fit that broke this functionality so for a few days I had to enter the information manually. Which wasn’t terrible. I was happy to have the data. Google has subsequently released an update that has restored this feature though.
  • The accuracy is on par with my Google Pixel 2 XL. The numbers are not exact but I cannot say the margin of error matters at all for my purposes.
  • The device also tracks my sleep – which is a side benefit that I didn’t anticipate – so I’ve been wearing it 24/7. It is comfortable. I don’t even notice I have it on.
  • The battery lasts longer than a week in my case. If I let it drain my guess would be two weeks. I use a similar approach to my Apple Watch battery strategy. So I’ve set a reminder for me to pop the band into my computer’s USB port (via a dongle because Apple) every Tuesday for 15 minutes.
  • Tracking my sleep has been interesting. It has caused me to desire a battery quality sleep. I’ll be interested to see if I can somehow improve my sleep quality.

For my use this little moreFit is working just fine. I can see myself wanting a higher quality software experience (and better waterproofing) in the future but for this outdoor basketball season I’ll be just fine.

Horace Dediu on Apple Watch revenue

Horace Dediu:

From a revenue point of view, I believe next year’s fourth quarter will see the Watch generating higher revenues than the highest quarter for the iPod.

Let that sink in. Amazing. Some flop.

The Apple Watch is less obtrusive than a phone

Jeremy Keith:

I’m always shocked when I’m out and about with someone who has their phone set up to notify them of any activity—a mention on Twitter, a comment on Instagram, or worst of all, an email. The thought of receiving a notification upon receipt of an email gives me the shivers.

Me too.

I thought this might be a good time to bring this topic of notifications back up. Not only because Jeremy wrote about it but also because I now own an Apple Watch – which may seem counter intuitive to this whole distraction free discussion.

However, I’ve found the Apple Watch to be a lovely little device that can easily be set up to unobtrusively notify you of important things. In fact, I believe it is less obtrusive than an mobile phone.

I have a few notifications turned on for my phone:

  • Text messages – I get very few of these
  • Calendar reminders – I live by these
  • Dark Sky rain alerts – I like to keep dry
  • Night Sky condition and object alerts – I heart the universe

I am not notified of any social network activity or emails. Those things I dive into when I feel like it.

With this set up I feel I’m very rarely distracted by a notification. And now with the Watch, I can say I’m less distracted during a conversation with the persons in front of me physically.

Here is a scenario: you’re have a chat with someone and you get a text message alert. Your phone either makes an audible noise or it vibrates and the screen illuminates. The other person saw and/or heard the alert. So now they know your brain is wondering what that alert could be. Even if you don’t break eye contact with that other person, they know and you know you have a message waiting. With the Apple Watch I get a gentle tap on the wrist when I’ve gotten a text message. The screen does not illuminate. The other person doesn’t know I’ve gotten an alert. I’m able to stay present and check the alert when there is a break in the conversation. In this way, I think the Apple Watch is less obtrusive than a phone.

First day with Apple Watch Series 3 (audio)

Recorded on September 22, 2017.

I’ve been writing a lot about the Apple Watch Series 3. So, of course, you want to hear me yack about it. Enjoy.

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Apple Watch sales so far

Horace Dediu, doing what he does best:

Overall, about 33 million Apple Watch units have been sold since launch and they generated about $12 billion in sales. Coupled with a 95% customer satisfaction score, altogether, this has been a great success story. But only 2.5 years in, it’s still act one.

An incredible beginning for this product.

Side note: I don’t blame people for comparing the Apple Watch to, say, Rolex because Apple themselves are the ones that brought it up. But I don’t feel it is an oranges to oranges comparison. I do not view the Apple Watch as the same product as a Rolex. I have a lot more to say about this but I’ll save it for an upcoming post.

Marco Arment on needed watchOS updates

Marco Arment:

But limitations in watchOS 4 make it impossible to deliver standalone podcast playback with the basic functionality and quality that people expect.

His post focused on updates that are needed for podcast apps to make sense on watchOS.

After using the Apple Watch Series 3 while traveling for the weekend I expect to see a massive OS update from Apple in watchOS 4.1 and 4.2 to enable much more capabilities for developers through APIs. The Series 3 is not being fully tasked by the third-party apps currently. Not by a long shot.

How to save battery life on the Apple Watch Series 3

Follow me on Twitter. And be sure to read my blog.

The following tips are very likely no-brainer battery saving tips for most of you and I’ve only used my Apple Watch Series 3 for a single day so feel free to completely ignore me. However! Here is my current strategy for saving battery power:

  • Only turn on Cellular when needed – If I have my phone with me or I’m home, I’m turning off cellular. If I go for a hike or a walk or a paddle, and I do not bring my phone along, I’ll flip up from the bottom of the watchface and turn on cellular in Control Center. Simple. I gain tons of battery power and I lose nothing.
  • Turn off Raise to Wake – This will be a controversial choice. I know we all want Apple to figure out how to leave the watchface on in some way, but for me the sheer number of “wakes” that the watch does compared to the actual number of times I look at it is staggering. A very, very gentle tap turns the watchface on.

By doing these two things I seem to be getting far, far better battery life than all of the reviewers thus far. And, I haven’t really lost anything in the meantime.

I’m seeing some reviews for the Apple Watch Series 3 that complain about the watch apps, such as Uber or Lyft, still relying on the iPhone app. Remember, no developers have had this watch yet. Give them 90 days and they’ll all use cellular.

Pre-Apple Watch chat (audio)

Listen to me ramble on about the Apple Watch for a few minutes.

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WatchDots

WatchDots:

Personalize the look of your Apple Watch™ Sport with WatchDots™. Available in a variety of colors, WatchDots™ are precision cut, durable and thin. This is how the Apple Watch™ Sport should look.

Personally, I have no issue with the red dot on the Series 3. We’ll see what I think once I have one in my hands.