This week in Mobile Tech Manor #6: Enter the Apple Watch

mobile-tech-manor-large-22The week is over and it’s time to look back at the gadgets that came and went along with other tech stuff that played a part in Mobile Tech Manor (MTM), aka my home office. This weekly column discusses the things that shaped how the week passed and also gives me a place to share anything of interest I run across.

Enter the Apple Watch

imageThe big arrival at MTM this week was the Apple Watch. I bought it late last week on impulse. I believe Apple will annoumce that both iOS 9 and watchOS 2.0 will be released soon so the timing felt right. I’ve spent some time getting familiar with the UI and the features of the watch and so far I like it.

It hasn’t all been peaches and cream, however, as no notifications were appearing on the watch at first. Checking online showed it’s been happening to some Apple Watch owners since its release. I tried all of the suggestions given online and it still didn’t work, until suddenly it just started preperly showing notifications.

That’s important as one of the most useful features of a smartwatch is to show notifications. The whole point is to keep the phone in the pocket yet be able to see incoming text messages and the like. It is a very useful gadget with this working properly.

I wasn’t sure that would be the case. but the UI is very intuitive and easy to use. Running apps is straightforward and the performance of the Apple Watch is decent.

Speaking of apps, I’m surprised how many iPhone apps already have watch versions. They are installled along with the iPhone app and you don’t have to do anything to get them on the watch. Some app developers are building useful watch features, and I’m still discovering the benefits of them all.

Having used the Apple Watch for a few days I see what all the fuss is about with Force Touch. It expands the UI functionality without adding any complexity to the mix. Just push the screen, which feels just like pushing a physical button, and do something not displayed before the action. I can’t wait to see this implemented on the iPhone.

I got the Watch edition in stainless steel with the Milanese loop band. It is very comfortable to wear and the band is the best I’ve ever owned. It’s easy to get the fit perfect and the magnet end holds it in place.

Working together

I’ve worked in coworking spaces a lot over the years, and this week signed on with one nearby. It’s a new facility that rents both coworking space and offices.

imageThe Level office is only a few blocks from my apartment so it’s very convenient. It has full office amenities, not the least of which is fiber connectivity of 100/100. It’s the fastest I’ve ever used.

I wrote about it and why coworking is a good idea for some home workers on ZDNet.

App of the week

Given the time spent getting familiar with Apple Watch apps, I didn’t play with much else. I will say that I like the watch features of Fantastical for the iPhone. Keeping on top of schedules and things that need to get done is a useful function for a smartwatch, and Fantastical does that by making good use of the small watch display.

Wrap up

That’s how the week unfolded in Mobile Tech Manor. With the addition of coworking into the routine Mobile Tech Manor is indeed mobile. It’s not a fixed office, it’s an ideal of working anywhere that’s most efficient.

See you next week.

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