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Category: Digital Awesomeness

Apple Watch OS 1.0.1 Released

Apple today released version 1.0.1 of Watch OS for the Apple Watch.  My initial unscientific opinion is that glances are much faster, and third-party apps are much faster, although you will still notice a delay on initial load.

You can initiate the update from the Apple Watch app on your iPhone (under General > Software Update).

Apple’s requirements for performing the upgrade are that the Apple Watch is:

  • in range of your iPhone
  • connected to its charger
  • charged at least 50%

You will also need to enter your passcode on the Watch to authorize the upgrade.

The release summary says that the update includes “performance improvements and bug fixes”.  The detail calls out:

Improved performance for:

  • Siri
  • Measuring standing activity
  • Calculating calories for indoor cycling and rowing workouts
  • Distance and pace during outdoor walk and run workouts
  • Accessibility
  • Third-party apps

Display support for new Emoji characters.

Additional language support for:

  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • Swedish
  • Russian
  • Thai
  • Turkish

There are some security fixes as well:  Watch OS 1.0.1 Security Content

 

Online Apple Watch Personal Setup

Apple’s extending that concierge service feel that I got from the try-on appointments. I got this email this morning inviting me to schedule an online Apple Watch Personal Setup appointment.  It’s not entirely clear from the wording of the email if it’s live or a selection of canned videos.  Either way, it’s an interesting development.

The email also mentions that you could alternatively schedule a personal setup appointment at an Apple Store, like you historically could for your new Mac or iPhone.

You’ll need a computer or iPad to view the video, as your Watch and iPhone will be tied up during the setup process.

I’m interested to try it out, but I have a commitment this evening, and I’m not likely to let scheduling a session delay me setting up the watch and using it for too long 🙂

So, What Can You Do With an Apple Watch?

While you’re waiting for your Apple Watch to arrive, which can be into July, depending on what you ordered, you can drool over all the 2,100+ apps in the App Store that have Watch functionality.  And you can also learn what the built-in apps from Apple can do as well.

Apple’s put together a series of Guided Tour videos of the Watch.  The big pane at the top is the Welcome video, giving you an overview of the basic functionality of the Watch, and how to get around in the Watch, with taps, swipes, the Digital Crown, the Friends button, and Force Touch.

After that, there are videos dedicated to functions of the watch.  The layout of the page implies that there might be more videos coming as well.

  • Messages
  • Faces
  • Digital Touch
  • Phone Calls
  • Siri
  • Maps
  • Music
  • Apple Pay
  • Activity
  • Workout

For those who would rather read than watch videos, hit the “Explore” button at the top to get a menu of old-fashioned pages describing certain aspects of the watch, such as this one on the built-in apps.

The amount of content here shows how much Apple tried to build in to the watch for launch.  It also demonstrates that we will have a lot to play with when we get our hands, er, wrists, on one of these.

Screen shots of all the Apple Watch apps

If you’re like me, you’re wondering what apps are going to be available for the Apple Watch, and what they’re going to look like.

You’re not alone.  The folks at AppAdvice have put together a site at WatchAware that’s collected screen shots of all 2,100+ currently approved watch apps, and composed them in an Apple Watch face to give you a good sense of what it will look like.

So there’ll be no shortage of things to try out when your watch arrives!

 

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Some Apple Watch pre-orders shipping early

There may be hope for some Apple Watch wannabe early adopters.

Despite getting up at 3am on April 10th to pre-order my Apple Watch, by the time I got my orders placed, delivery times were already out to 4 – 6 weeks.  But today, the order status was changed to “Preparing for Shipment” and my credit card was charged, meaning it should arrive well ahead of the quoted May 13.

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I got no official communication about this, only the notification from Apple Pay that my credit card had been charged.

Unfortunately the order that got accelerated is for my 2nd-choice color.  That of course is the reason I ordered that configuration in the first place—I had a feeling it would have better availability.  After seeing it in person, it’s now a distant 2nd place.  So do I wait, or take the bird in the hand?

Acompli for iOS & Android

Microsoft Simply Rebrands Acompli as Outlook for iOS & Android — and That’s a Good Thing

Unlike Google, which a while back snatched my previous favorite email client Sparrow, and seems to be folding it slowly if at all into the Gmail app, Microsoft has, within two months of acquiring Acompli, rebranded it to be the Outlook app for iOS & Android.  And that was an excellent move.

Acompli had already become my default email client on both platforms, because of its savvy with both Gmail and Exchange.  It works seamlessly with both, with email as well as calendars.  It can manage attachments between email, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox.  And it has a People tab that consolidates all of your interactions by person.

So, in the short term, I’m pretty happy with this development — other than that I now have to migrate my data.  It’ll be interesting to see whether the product improves or declines on Microsoft’s watch.