Apple Watch is the new Swatch Watch

The Apple Watch

If you’re like me, you’ve been following #Apple since they announced the Apple Watch last fall. The common sentiment is simple: sure looks cool.

When I talk to friends and acquaintances in various circles, I also hear the following comment about the shiny iWatch: I don’t know… And that is anchored by perception based on price. If you have money burning in your pocket, the answer is – I’ve gotta have one. But for the average person these days, they still need to be convinced.

BUT the real question Apple cares about: do you want one?

Swatch vs Apple Watch
Swatch (1985 McGregor Watch) versus the Apple Watch (2015 version)

What I’ve realized is that Apple has done something no other company has done in the accessory industry with a watch since the mid-80s. Yes, I cannot recall a time since 1985 when one watch captured the attention of the masses where they considered the question: do I want one? And that happened to me too. While a youth, I had to answer that question when confornted with the Swatch brand. The watch I wanted was the McGregor Swatch. It was colorful, represented a diverse watch that had swiss movement. Ok, it was nothing special when you broke it down because it was a lot of plastic. But the STYLE spoke for itself. I could now make a BOLD statement with my watch. It didn’t require a close up look, but from a distance, others knew I had the hottest watch you could get – a Swatch.

Well, Apple hopes to convince you too that their new watch it the one you have to get.

Besides the fashion statement an Apple Watch makes with the exchangeable watch bands (yes, more are planned) it’s more about being Swiss than you think. It aims to be the SWISS ARMY KNIFE of watches. So it actually shares a cool aspect the Swatch shares – it’s swiss functionally by design.

The main difference here is WHAT you can do with your watch. It’s about style and function together. Something Apple really prides itself with in their design planning stages.

Yet I argue that one major issue remains for Apple and the entire smart watch category. Consumers are comfortable looking at their phones for the time. Period.

You get a text… you see the time.

Get an email… there’s the time.

Facebook or Twitter chiming away… you know the time.

So back to the main question: why get an Apple Watch? I would argue it’s the Beats argument. They produce a good sound with a look that’s unquestionably Beats. So for the Apple watch, it’s because they customize your watch making it stylish, cool & productive and well, you know you want one.

The challenge remains at the price point. If you’ve ever spent more than $200 for a watch, you will already be in the Apple target market. The hope for Apple is to introduce customers who never spent that much for a watch to reach deep down and spend for the money for their “most personal device yet.”

For me, I will wait. I’ve learned that Apple makes a great intro product but once they nail it, they really NAIL IT with their second version. So I hope that’s sooner than later. Till then, I may be asking Apple Watch users for the time – just to see it in action.

OS X Yosemite – Preparing to upgrade my Macbook OS

Well, I decided it was time to get ready for the latest Apple MAC OS 10.10. I’ve been running a variety of Apple operating systems since I first got my Macbook Pro in 2008. Of course, that system is still working great, but won’t be able to upgrade from the current version: 10.9 (OSX Mavericks). So that machines can’t be updated this time around, but my Macbook Air can. So my preparation begins.
OS X 10.10 Yosemite My current Macbook Air has a 256GB SSD hard drive. It’s not the largest that will fit in this machine yet I don’t want to open it up to replace a HD. My issue is that it is full. I need space! Once I’m done calculating my drive space: music, photos, videos, work documents, songs, etc I am out of room. I literally get the System Full message weekly. Not good for my system either. So it’s time to DELETE.

As I prepare for OS X Yosemite, I realize I will need to clear out about 10GB of space. That is conservative because previous upgrades were slightly larger. It isn’t as easy as hitting delete either, so I will begin today to make room for the new features, bells & whistles I must not be able to live without. Here’s some quick things that helped me. Hope they help those too in a precarious situation: keep or delete.

DEVELOPER FOLDER
First, I begin with a look at the folders I have on my system. This time around, I realized that I had the DEVELOPER folder for Xcode still installed. No longer needing it, I deleted it right away. Net result: 1.3GB

iTUNES
Next, I ran one of my favorite tools: Gemini. It scans your HD looking for duplicated. Low and behold, I found some bible teaching albums in iTunes that I also had backed up on my drive. Went into iTunes and deleted the folders individually. Result: 3GB

Note: if you add an album from another folder, it will become a duplicate files as iTunes contains the new tracks. You can also safely delete the original tracks as well once iTunes adds them.

BACKUPS
Another tool I use to visualize my drive is OmniDiskSweeper. I used to use a more visual tool, but this seems to give me the best access to these larger files and folders. You can find it in the App Store.

I only recently realized that a complete backup of your i-devices can be really large folders. I mean really large. Deleting my iPad backup and I gain 8GB. Tempting…

If you use cloud-backups such as Dropbox or OneDrive, you may think you’ve moved folders or files from your computer to the cloud but often times you will have them on your HD plus in the cloud. You’ll have to stop the sync between them and remove the folder from your computer to lose the duplicate nature of those folders. Use with caution. My gain was 500MB

Do I need to keep deleting? Perhaps I will have to clean up my computer even further than I have today. One tool I love is CleanMyMac 2.0 – definitely worth the investment. It finds all sorts of goodies like language files (Russian, Arabic, Spanish, etc) that I don’t need – so hit scan and clean and they are gone. This didn’t help me this time around

Finally, you can use ONYX for a squeaky clean setup prior to the upgrade. This eliminates caches, history folders, user preferences and all sorts of system clutter. Use with caution as you can easily be overly aggressive with this tool. The other tool they make is called Maintenance and is highly recommended as well. This would be a finishing touch before you hit UPDATE.

YOSEMITE REQUIREMENTS:

Yosemite Apple Macbook & iMacAs of this post, there are no official space requirements posted by Apple for the final release version of Yosemite OSX. If you’ve upgraded your OSX before through the App Store, you may remember the space needed for Mavericks was close to 11-13GB. The clean install of Mavericks was 11GB. The previous version required 16GB. So we are hopeful this one will be below 10 but I won’t hold my breath.

Comparison: If you are a Windows user, version 7 required 20GB and Windows 8 increased to approx. 24GB. So be grateful your requirements with a Mac is only 10ish GBs.

Compatible Macs able to upgrade to Yosemite:

  • iMac (Mid-2007 or later)
  • MacBook (13-inch Aluminum, Late 2008), (13-inch, Early 2009 or later)
  • MacBook Pro / MBP (13-inch, Mid-2009 or later), (15-inch, Mid/Late 2007 or later), (17-inch, Late 2007 or later)
  • MacBook Air / MBA (Late 2008 or later)
  • Mac Mini (Early 2009 or later)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or later)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

Basic Yosemite Requirements:
Mac needs at least 2GB of RAM, 8GB of available storage and at least OS X 10.6.8 already installed.

CONCLUSION:
If you’re really lazy, you could dump nonessential folders onto an external HD and then move them back when your upgrade is complete.

Important: Perform a Time Machine backup once your machine is clean. Then and only then proceed to upgrading your OS X.

Always be cautious deleting & cleaning up your machine. And good luck with the OS X (10.10) Yosemite upgrade!

UPDATE: The new Yosemite is really slick. It took me about 20 minutes to update my 2011 & 2008 machine. Yes, my old late 2008 Macbook Pro was available for the update for free. AWESOME.

What I noticed when I went to download was the warning tell me what the actual space requirements were for Yosemite. Drum Roll….

Yosemite OS X 10.10 Requirements

Just 4.81 GB required for this upgrade. Loving Apple today. Very slick guys. Loving Yosemite and all it has to offer. At some point I will see what the actual effect of the upgrade was on space but for now, it’s great. Loving the integration and once iOS 8.1 is released, complete tie-in features will be available.

The Day Before…

It will happens in exactly 24 Hours

Just 24 hours from now, you'll learn why you need the new iPhone and other cool Apple stuff.
Just 24 hours from now, you’ll learn why you need the new iPhone and other cool Apple stuff.

I love mobile technology and the promise it holds: to give us freedom and ultimately mobility. To be able to do what I need to do at my computer and yet so much more – because of the design, shape and ways it can be used (consumed). In order to help us get closer to the full potential, equipment and software must be design with these goals in mind. The OS and Device equation must be embraced together in order to achieve maximum utility.

Last August, I posted a sarcastic Blackberry opinion about their latest device. Yes, the Blackberry was one of my favorite phones of all times. For me, it did four things really well: made reliable calls, texts, chat and of course, email. However, innovation lags when it came to their App Store and allowing others to develop on their platform. This severely hindered their efforts as they also didn’t nail down the touch phenomena. They held the keyboard (and ability to type) higher than the other benefits of touch. So it lagged and slowly died to devices like the iPhone (the only other true Equipment+OS company) and then to Android. Sure enterprise users moved to Apple once they got their act together with enterprise connections and management. However, in the end, the consumer won. Their preference won.

Deja Vu – Another iPhone is Coming

So on the eve of the new iPhone 6 release, I find my comments about last year’s Blackberry ironic.

> Bigger, Better
> Sharp & Vibrant (larger screen)
> Light & Durable

Apple knows a bigger screen will do well and that’s what they will finally deliver. They didn’t break their formula of running two years with each model – think 3 & 3G, 4 & 4S, 5 & 5S. See my point? We will predictably get an iPhone 6 tomorrow and next year, a 6X (six-something-or-other). Are they planning to keep the current size available in a new model? Will they offer two or three sizes? Will the phablet concept (phone-mini-tablet) become a new category for them like the iPad “mini”? Does it really matter?

Consumers are always looking for the newer, faster, better (bigger if better, thinner if still durable, etc)… it’s how we are wired. So will tomorrow’s iPhone (9/9/14) be a success for Apple? Only if consumers see it. So, yes, of course. Will we want more on 9/10/14? Yup.

~Dave Geipel

Downton Abbey, the Brady Bunch and the Jetsons

Three shows (Downton Abbey, the Brady Bunch and Jetsons) each share a common theme: an interesting housemaid helping around the home.

Ok, so I am not making a full set of direct comparisons between the three, but what first got me thinking about this was how much Alice (the housemaid) on the Brady Bunch and O’Brien (Called Miss O’Brien too on Downton Abbey) looked alike. The more I thought about the two, the more comparisons I started making about their role in each family and how it reflected the time period. What I concluded was that the period or time difference wouldn’t change either character. One is conniving, deceptive and manipulative while the other is funny, quirky and full of heart.

Downton Abbey's Miss O'Brien and the Brady Bunch's Alice
Miss O’Brien from Downton Abbey looks like Alice from the Brady Bunch

Both Downton Abbey and the Brady Bunch are very popular shows that either have or had a strong following. But the differences between each family (and their helpers) are almost opposites.So what would that look like in today’s culture?

I guess the next evolution or change is moving away from people to technology and robots. Perhaps Rosie from the Jetsons will be a reality. Think of a Siri that works and can perform real tasks in the home. Or she or he (Siri) acts like Carson from Downton and tells someone else to do this or that command. Like everything else, we can’t stop the move toward robotics and artificial intelligence. Why not have a household helper who doesn’t talk back, gets the job done right the first time and doesn’t ask for a raise – only needs basic maintenance. And if you don’t like it, no worries. Next year, you can get a new one with more features for a lower price. Or perhaps a new personality you can download or voice (like your GPS or Siri voice).

Again, this quick thought originated watching the sneaky O’Brien (Sarah O’Brien) and her discussing how she is a servant and how “they pay us to do as we’re told. That’s all.” Then several months later seeing Alice (Alice Nelson) in action in the Brady Bunch while watching it with my kids and how Alice didn’t complain, had a smile on her face most times and real care and concern. Here was someone who cared not for one person, but the entire family. It made me think how in today’s world, the “old ways” from just fifty years ago, let alone one hundred years ago and the blend of technology really does change people and the personalities they present. Both can do a great job (minus the talking back or side comments) if they apply themselves. A work ethic makes all the difference.

I am glad that people are still people. There are different varieties, some more pleasant than others. And grateful that some of them are only ones that “play one on tv.” Back to my kids. I really am grateful they are learning to
do a good job in everything they do. Some small attitude changes here and there and a strong work ethic will pay them dividends. Just watch out for Rosie, she’s already becoming reality.

Now if we can just get those flying cars in the Jetsons or even the Hover Board (floating skateboards) from Back to the Future… I am sure Google or Apple are already working on it.

iTunes 11 – Updated Design & Commerce… but missing the Steve Job’s touch.

So I am an Apple fan. Took me a really long time to be convinced it was superior to others. The iPod started it and the iPhone finished it – both putting Apple on the map for Music and Mobile convergence and domination.

One of their secret weapons in their business is not just the device, but also the software. Unbeknownst to most, iTunes is likely to be the most profitable digital commerce store in the world. They currently generate something like $8 Billion in revenue from iTunes and are on track to generate $13 Billion next year.

Just this past week, Facebook announced they are going to sell iTunes Gift Cards off their platform – just to get a piece of that business.

So when Apple released their new update today, everyone judged it based on look and feel. Some noted that it’s darker. Bolder. Love how it color matches my album in the details view for the album. Yet it also seems to miss some of those special Steve Job touches. It appears they may have focused on key areas like how they we monetize iTunes in new ways… increase per-subscriber/customer revenue… sell more digital goods?

I think we can begin to see it in our playlists (store results showing us what we don’t have or own)… and other presentation techniques users are familiar with like coverflow within the store (like the App Store on the iPhone has today). But it’s still missing something. That will vary a little for each person, but nothing truely special about it. It just didn’t get my reaction when I went from Windows Media Player to using Zune and their store and player 4-5 years ago. Zune really made an impression. iTunes 11 – seems safe. Perhaps that’s how we can describe Apple from now on… safe!

I do have to say it looks more like my iPhone than the old iTunes. I am just left to wonder – what would Steve Jobs have done differently? I sure hope they keep asking those questions or I fear these small nuances that made Apple so special are not left out in an attempt to beat the old-apple.

Regardless, the new iTunes 11 pushes Apple forward. The question that remains is where it’s going. Time will tell where Tim Cook and the rest of the Apple team want to take us and if we’re all willing to follow.

Some new pictures of the look, feel and features.

Welcome to iTunes 11 by Apple.
New Album view in iTunes 11. Notice how it matches the main color of the album? Really Cool.
New iTunes 11 store – likely to drive new revenue as they tweak the store and optimize the results for each person.
iTunes 11 – new design and look and feel.