It’s been kinda quiet in “Christopher’s Corner” over the past few weeks. Here’s what’s been keeping me up late, with my summer writing projects.
This year has been an ambitious one for me. I’ve started a new job with a financial services firm in suburban Chicago in a senior leadership role. I’ve joined the Windows 10 Insider Team and am actively testing both the desktop and mobile versions of Windows 10.
In February of this year I began a smartwatch/ wearables roundup with the review of the Microsoft Band (that hyperlink is a link to Part 2 of my review. A link to part 1 can be found in the first line of that article). I followed that up in April with a review of the Fitbit Surge. I’ve also hit a couple of pot holes with Windows 10 that is really keeping me hopping. To be quite honest, things haven’t been very easy at all over here in the Windows 10 camp especially; and I’m beginning to wonder if I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew…
Here’s why – I’m also looking at the Apple Watch, trying to decipher it (I was going to say, “figure out what makes it tick,” but thought the better of it…). I’m trying to look at the Pebble Time, which I have in hand; and I’m also beginning to look at OS X 10.11 El Capitan and iOS 9 (both of which have had Beta 2 versions released).
I’ve got a whole lot of beta in my life right now; and honestly, it’s really messy.
Sometimes maybe, its just better to go it alone…
Wearable computers aren’t as intuitive as you might think. In fact, the whole category is a bit confusing. Its so confusing, that you may have trouble figuring out what is and what isn’t a smartwatch vs. what is and isn’t a fitness band, and which ones really kinda “cross the streams” and are a bit of both.
When you constantly have new players making a splash in this pool full of offerings, its hard not to end up all wet. And that’s a HUGE statement, if you take a few moments and try to noodle that one through…
So, in order to try to make things a bit easier on my wife – who’s new to the whole wearables category – and to me – who knows a bit but not totally EVERYTHING on the Apple Watch in particular – I thought it might be a really great idea to have both of us. What I experienced wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be.
This whole post should be tagged with – your mileage may vary…The videos are also a bit long. So, you may want to skip through a bit. Apple’s Personal Setup process is free, and it takes you through the initial unboxing and setup of the device, right out of the box. You can, if you wish, have them take you through Personal Setup on any product you purchase, even AT time of purchase. I saw one person unbox a 27″ iMac and another, a 13″ MacBook Pro.
If you’ve got a supported device and are testing, you’re in for a surprise…
Ring master Gabe Aul from Microsoft has released Windows Mobile 10 Build 10136 to Fast Ring Windows Insiders as of noon-thirty CDT on 2015-0-16. If you’re a Windows Insider and you’re registered for Fast Ring Builds, AND you’ve got a supported mobile device, you can expect a little bit of additional love from Microsoft today. This build replaces Build 10080, released to Fast Ring Insiders on 2015-05-15; or about a month ago.
Backup, sync and protect your data with this cross platform, cloud-based tool.
Cloud storage is something that everyone should have. Everyone. Period. Everywhere. You should also have more than one backup or instance of your data on more than one service. You should be using, for example, OneDrive AND Google Drive AND Dropbox AND SpiderOak. Yes… SpiderOak. It’s a very cool, very secure, multi-platform, cloud-based sync service, and it’s pretty cool.
Back in 2011, one of the first articles I wrote for InformationWeek was a roundup of cloud-based backup services, and SpiderOak made the cut then. It’s a GREAT service that doesn’t get half as much lime light as it really deserves. Its biggest draw – privacy. SpiderOak can’t look at your data. They don’t have your encryption keys.
Play any video on your Mac with this cool media player
Many people have asked me over the last 12 years, “Chris, why did you switch to a Mac as your daily driver when you’re a Windows expert?” The answer, is really very simple – multimedia. The Mac is so much better at handling, playing, organizing, etc. multimedia with native tools than a Windows machine. Besides, I use an iPhone and an iPad on a daily basis. Yeah… plus one or two others. This is one of the reasons why apps like Elmedia Player are really important to me. This app gives me multimedia options I don’t get just anywhere else.
I’ve had it for about a week. Here’s what I’m thinking so far…
While the rest of the world thinks that any news on the Apple Watch is passing, passé… I beg to differ. I received my Apple Watch on 2015-05-19. I waited a few days until I was able to have a personal setup session with Apple at the Apple Store Main Place in Naperville, IL, before I started wearing the device full time.
The thought for me, was multi-purposed –
- I wanted the full court press from Apple for myself
- I wanted my wife to have a pampered experience
- The Apple Watch is new and like the iPhone of 2007, a bit unknown
- The Apple Watch is a complex device, requiring knowledge of and familiarity with
a. its own UI
b. Apple Pay,
c. Notification Center, and
d. the iPhone and Apple Watch App Stores
I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert when it comes to smartwatches and other wearables. After the Pebble Steel, the Microsoft Band, and the Fitbit Surge, I’d better be. I’ve got the Apple Watch as well as the Olio Model One and the Pebble Time to consider as well before my wearables roundup is completed.
Microsoft ships firmware updates for its most recent Surface Pro tablets
If there’s one thing that I’ve been very keen on keeping up with, its all of the updates that are coming down with the Windows 10 Windows Insider program. I’m trying to stay on top of all of the changes to Windows 10, so that I can, at least, sound like I know what I’m talking about when something cool and exciting makes its way into the wild. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like much is happening, and I end up waiting and waiting for what seems like forever. Other times, I’m so busy, I could pull my hair out.
So here’s an interesting development – it’s been reported that Microsoft recently released firmware updates for its more recent Surface Pro tablets, the Surface Pro 2 and Surface Pro 3. Specifically, these updates are intended to address the following issues on each respective device: