DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

December 1, 2015

A Watch for Christmas, Part 2

Last week I introduced you to Smartwatches.  I think they are terrific gadgets…especially for the more geeky among us.  They provide lots of information as I mentioned last week when I outlined many things the two I have are able to do.  We will compare them today. By the way, the prices listed are for the versions I have (first version of each brand) not the newer versions now available.  Check current prices if you are interested in these and online for other brand names.   

The Moto 360 (original version $250) is a much prettier watch.  It has a very colorful, bright sharp screen and a tremendous number of interesting and useful watch faces.  As a matter of fact I have even made a couple of my own.  I can see very little pixilation unless I get my eyes closer than necessary to the watch. 

When you swing your wrist up to look it lights up so you can see it for a few seconds, then goes back to black.  It stays lit for a very short period of time.  You may have five items you want to check and have time to see two or three. 

There is one button control and touch screen control.  When you get a phone call you can see the number calling, and the picture of the caller if it is in your address book.  You can slide the face one way to answer and another to hang up.  You cannot use the phone to talk to the caller (Dick Tracey would be sad) so you still have to pull your phone out of your pocket or wherever it may be to answer. 

The largest problem that I have with the Moto 360 is the battery life.  It charges so you do not have to replace batteries; however, a max of 12-14 hours on a full charge is not good performance in my book.   

The Pebble (original version $149) watch faces are more limited and not color but consistent with most regular digital watches today.  It has the standard gray/black screen. (See DoubleClicks.info for a few views.)  However, that being said the watch is constantly viewable.  It uses e-ink which allows me to see the watch all the time unless in the dark.  As with the Moto 360 you flip your watch-arm up as you normally would to view the time, then the light comes on.

The Pebble has four button control without touchscreen.  The biggest PLUS for me is that once a week is usually the only charging it needs. 

They are both interesting and good functional gadgets.  Still with the charge time and the constantly visible watch faces I vote for the Pebble, even though it is not as cool and "glamorous" looking as the Moto 360.  Pebble now has some color versions which I have not seen so it may be even better now.  

Below are the Moto 360 (left) and the Pebble (right) with their chargers.

Moto 360 being charged                                Pebble shown with charger

November 24, 2015

A Watch for Christmas, Part 1

A Watch for Christmas

I recently had a chance to test out two smartwatches for an extended period of time: The Moto 360 by Motorola which came out in 2014 and the Pebble from 2012.  The Pebble was a Kickstarter project which raised over $10 million in 30 days by donations from complete strangers who liked the idea.  That was the biggest and quickest of Kickstarter at the time.

What is a “Smartwatch?”  Today “Smart” means connected to the internet like a smart-TV.  A Smart TV allows you to access the internet and watch programs there instead of on cable or broadcast shows.  So basically smartwatches are connected to the internet currently through your smartphone’s apps.  They connect to each other with Bluetooth, some with Wi-Fi, then on to the internet.

They are not quite as “new” as you may think.  The first smartwatch was called the “Wrist Computer” which was released in 1985 under the name of “Seiko Epson.”  There were others of note leading up to the current day selection of many brands and models.

They allow you to see who is calling, answer your phone, read text messages, emails, weather alerts, temperatures, battery strength of the watch or phone and more.  They both allow you to see text messages along with from and subject lines of emails and maybe a few lines of the email.  However, neither will let you answer those emails and texts with anything but prewritten messages.  These are similar to, “OK,” “I’m running late,” “I just left,” etc.  You can also create some of your own canned responses.  The two I have can give you maps that vibrate before you need to turn.  So basically they are gadgets.  Smartwatches seem to be coming out with new “smart” features most every day.  Of course there are apps which allow you to sleep better, wake up gently, count steps you take, inform you of how many calories you have burned by taking those steps and more.

The Pebble has a rectangular portrait shape and the Moto 360 was the first round smartwatch.  But as round as it is, it has what is referred to as a “flat tire.”  The bottom of the screen has a dark, flat area where the ambient light sensor and display drivers are contained.

Pebble Watch Face

Pebble Watch Face

Moto 360 Watch Face

Moto 360 Watch Face

They both have unusual chargers that do not “plug” into the watch but do have a regular USB port on the power end.  The Pebble has a magnetic charging wire with four posts that attach to on the left side of the watch.  The Moto 360 lays in a cradle to charge wirelessly except for the power to the cradle wire.

Next week we will take a look at my comparison between the two types of smart watches as they are different in many ways.

January 21, 2013

2013-01-21 WSVA Show Notes

Today we covered the technology news of the days, sites you can visit and use along with HGTV shows, the Kardashians and even…yes, Paris Hilton.  What those last ones you may wonder.  To find out check out the podcast from today.

Tech News
Structural Shift in PC Market
Worldwide PC shipments dropped 4.9% in the fourth quarter pointing to a structural shift rather than just a weak economy, according to new data from technology research firm Gartner Inc. (IT)

"Tablets have dramatically changed the device landscape for PCs, not so much by "cannibalizing" PC sales, but by causing PC users to shift consumption to tablets rather than replacing older PCs," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "Whereas as once we imagined a world in which individual users would have both a PC and a tablet as personal devices, we increasingly suspect that most individuals will shift consumption activity to a personal tablet, and perform creative and administrative tasks on a shared PC."


Apple Rumored to be developing a new "Have to Have" Gadget
The idea of a smartwatch is nothing new; we’ve seen plenty of wrist-borne accessories designed to work alongside smartphones, and even some running smartphone platforms themselves. Pebble, with its e-ink screen, looks like it will be quite nice (if it ever actually ships), especially for iOS users. What about an official Apple smartwatch, though? You can wear an iPod on a wrist strap, but that’s not quite the same thing. Well, Apple might just have a full-blown smartwatch project in the works, at least according to some new rumors out of Asia.

Supposedly, Apple and Intel have been working together on this smartwatch, which would feature a 1.5-inch OLED display. The watch would talk to your iPhone over a low-power Bluetooth connection.

Ron’s Android App Recommendation
(this app can be found on Google Play from your Android phone,
tablet or viewed on your PC from the link below.)
Pitfall

Remember 1981 and Indiana Jones? Do you also remember Activision’s Atari 2600? Finally, how about Pitfall and Pitfall Harry? I remember it well as I spent many hours trying to avoid the jaws of the alligators on my Atari system.

The graphics are significantly better that the old sprites and game play from the last century and now you can play it on your phone!

Escape the wrath of an angry volcano while collecting ancient treasures in PITFALL!, an adrenaline-fueled, free-running adventure set in a deadly jungle with twists and turns that will always keep you on your toes.

Interesting article about the original.

USB Pet Rock
USB Pet Rock!
It’s back, it’s bold it’s beautiful! Just like the original up updated for the current times.


About.Me
about.me
About.me is a free service that lets you create a beautiful one-page website that’s all about you and your interests. Upload a photo, write a short bio, and add your favorite social networks to show the world the big picture of you. We’ve focused on enabling you to:

Quickly build a personal web page that points visitors to your content from around the web. It is like an online business card.

Check out mine at About.me/rondoyle or my personal one I made myself.


Futuristic A-Frame Glasses Will Adjust to Fit Any Face
gizmodo.com
For some, the task of finding a pair of glasses or sunglasses is an epic task. Not only do you have to find a pair that compliments the shape of your face, but they also have to fit your face. With that in mind, designer Ron Arad designed the A-Frame line of glasses that can expand and contract to sit comfortably on any face address the latter issue.


Wonder Page
www.wonderpage.com
Wonderpage is a new visual, private & social bookmarking tool, it also serves perfectly as browser start-up page with super sweet bookmark grid display.

It gives you a thumbnail of each webpage you "bookmark" so that you can make this your home page on your browser and get to the places you visit regularly online very quickly.


WakerUpper
wakerupper.com
At this site enter the date, time, phone number and message; then your phone will…

  • Set a wake-up call at a specific time.
  • Remind yourself of important events.
  • Remember to take medication on time.
  • Escape from a boring date or meeting.
  • Remind child or spouse to do chores.
  • Set reminders for tasks and follow-ups.

My Space
myspace.com
Justin Timberlake is the one that is bringing back MySpace.

Will it succeed this time around? Who knows, but Justin is making a stab at it. It is very different, check it out and see if you think it will make it against Twitter, Facebook and all the other social networks.

That is all for this month. Take a look around, let me know your thoughts about all the links and info today.


Have a great month until Jim and I see you next month on February 18th.

Thanks,

Ron

Powered by WordPress

%d bloggers like this: