Apple watch – review after a year

I got the Apple Watch last year and I have been using it for every day ever since and I love it. Below is a brief review after using the watch for over an year.

tl:dr I love it and it is totally the best smart watch you can get.  (You may want to wait a few months as apple watch 2 might launch in Oct 2016)

Pros:

  • Works great as fitness tracker. It has tracking for most common workout needs you may have.
  • Notifications on the watch have been a huge time saver. Huge time saver while driving or in meetings. Some times you can take a step forward and acknowledge messsages (A quick reply is just a tap away).
  • A plethora of apps have evolved. They help  with tracking productivity and reminders etc
  • Siri works well.
  • Bling aspect is still true as was when it launched.
  • Watch faces and the interchangeable bands help suit the mood/trend/fashion.

Cons:

  • Was too slow. (Not any more, watchOS 3 fixes it and the speed increase is phenomenal).
  • Battery life wasn’t  great. I8 hours wasn’t great in comparison to the fitbits and Garmins that last for a week. Not much of a deal breaker for me.
  • Sleep tracking isn’t part of the watch at all. The pillow app fixes this. I wish the watch had native tracking like the Fitbits do.

Watch OS 3:  It is a phenomal update that would be coming to the watch soon. I am testing it on my watch, it isn’t stable yet, but it opens up the watch in a multitude of ways and adressess most of the complaints and restrictiveness it had.

You may think, I am just an apple fan boy and hence my fanatcism with it. Actually I have tested the Fitbit Surge (still own one),  Fitbit  Flex  and  a Garmin Vivofit as my daily activity trackers/ smart watches. So far, the most satisfying experience has been from the Apple watch and hence my recommendation above.

iOS -Keyboards

iOS has come a long way since the version 1.0, in fact it has been 8 years since the OS was first launched. To be truly judgemental, version 8 has seen the most exciting features ever since the launch of App store. Since this is a very detailed post on iOS 8 Keyboard Extensions and there are quite a lot of features that shipped with iOS 8, its better you check out the full list of features elsewhere here.

Extensions across iOS has been the most talked about feature of this release, and I have been looking forward to third party keyboard extensions ever since I saw the swipe keyboards on Android. iOS 8 brings keyboard extensions to all iOS 8 supported devices which are iPhone 4S and later models, iPod 5th Generation, iPad 2nd Genartation and later and iPad Mini all versions. Here is how some popular third party keyboards work and how they fare so far in real life. But before that some Continue reading iOS -Keyboards

Analytics 3d

After reading my review of Analytics Pro, Richard from Codefrontiers sent me a promo code for trying their new app called Analytics3D. Below is a brief opinion of mine after using the app for the past week.

A very interesting app approach to view Google analytics data on you iphone or ipad. I must say the app is good. It adds a bit of spice to the monotonous apps that can just show Google Analytics data on your iDevice of choice. What I like about the app is that it has a gestures to navigate within categories. The location of visitors is my favorite feature. The bars on location view in a 3D is really cool. If you already are using an app for Google Analytics and you are interested to try something cool and a different app, this is the app for you.

As much as the app is cool, some functions/gestures aren’t obvious making it a bit confusing initially. Once you figure out it feels obvious. In all Analytics3D is a cool app, worth a try. Ideal for individuals who have blogs or personal sites and are not digging deep into their stats data, but just trying to get an overview of how their site is faring Its on the store for $2.99 and u can download from here

Analytics PRO review

Ever since I moved to the self hosted blog, I have played around with measuring traffic on the site and i get to closely observe and learn about site analytics and web metrics. It has been over 6 months since I moved to godaddy in november i have had traffic stats enabled on my site and my goto analytics solution has been google analytics. I must say I have tried a lot of analytics solutions like statcounter, clicky, Piwik. I have always retained Google Analytics, Not just because its free but more so because it has a lot of tutorials and support communites to learn from.

Ever since I have turned analytics on, I always needed an app on the phone to check the stats from Google analytics when I am completely off for a few days without my machine. There are quite a long list of apps which are free and quite handy and basic. I ve tried a few may be 3 of them, and then I just bought the Analytics pro(App Store link, look at the screenshots) app. Its on the store for 6$ and i must agree its worth every penny of it. I like this app so much that i just prefer using the app more than the google analytics site itself.I used 3 free apps for their various features and now all three have been replaced by one app “Analytics Pro”.

So whats so special about the app you ask?

The single most reason why i would suggest you to buy this is that, you wont find a feature thats missing from the google analytics site. Well you can’t do everything on the app, but i must say that is the max any app would be allowed to do using the google’s api.

The app is slick, well thought out and neatly crafted.

I am sure after months of use that the app is very secure. It uses OAuth to connect to your google account. Which i think is quite safe. Though i dont have a proof to substantiate, I can definietly acknowledge that nothing has broken with my google account since i started used the app.

It supports multiple sites if you have them linked on the same google account or with multiple google accounts.

You can do a tonne of customization and choose from past 7/14/21/28 days along with a look at today and yesterday. You can choose your own time frame as well if you need and choose to have a 7 day running average on the graphs and so on.

Content and Traffic Source drill down is phenomenal.You should just try it, Its so damn detailed, that hardly would you notice that you are on the app and not on the website.

Most importantly if you have goals set on Google Analytics site, you can track them on the app in your choice of currency from the 25 supported which is really cool. The app does display e-commerce tracking if your site has been configured for.I have no idea how the e-commerce tracking works though, since i don’t have an e-commerce site

If you are looking for a whole list of features please read them here.

While I bought the app purely based on the screen shots on the app store, I haven’t been disappointed at all. There may be a lot of apps for Google Analytics on the app store but this has been the best of the lot of what I tried.All my needs of tracking my site on the phone using Google is being taken care by Analytics pro. My Go to app for tracking. I use it daily and I would recommend it to you as well.

Sennheiser Adidas CX 680i Sports Headset-Review

Its been over 6 months since I bought the Sennheiser Adidas CX 680i Sports Headset from Infibeam for a great deal. I think now is probably a good time to write a review of it,given i have used it, crashed with it and enjoyed it over past 6 months.

Some background

If you are a regurlar here at my site you would know that I’m a cyclist and and my primary phone is an iPhone. Since the apple ear phones were almost onto their end of life last July, I started looking for ear phones. My requirements were very specific as follows.

  1. Brilliant Audio Quality.
  2. Must be specific for use with an iPhone.
  3. Affordable.
  4. Must have some kind of sweat/water resistance.
  5. Durable (should last for a year at the very least)
  6. Comfortable.

With these criteria in mind and kind of products available in the market in India, I finally narrowed on the Sennheiser Adidas sports series. Luckily there was a CX 680i which was the model I liked. It suited my needs.I think it has been discontinued and the newer ones are called 685 series.

The HeadSet

I chose the in ear headphones not that I am big fan of those but because they suit the cyclist with a helmet :).

  1. The Headset is really very light and you dont feel a thing when they are in your palm. It is about 15gms i beleive. Not that i wanted something heavier, I just mentioned it coz, you dont feel a thing on a ride and thats great.

  2. The audio quality is simply brilliant. These ear phones have redefined the way I prefer to listen music these days. May be its just me, probably these were the first time I heard such high quality audio on a good headset. Nevertheless its totally worth the price. The headphones are quite balanced I must say, Over the past 6 months I’ve heard all types of music and it delivers on all kinds of music consitently, unlike dr dre beats which prefer a lot of bass in the music.

  3. The Ear adapters are pretty flush and come in three sizes, Small, medium and Large. I use a medium. It just needs a bit of getting used to, then they just disappear. If you are already used to in ear headphones, it wont take really long. Now i literally feel nothing in my ears even after i plug the headphones in the earphones. The Music just flows.

  4. I must say there is a more noise cancelation especially at high volumes than you would have thought there will be. I really wasnt concerned of noise cancelation at all given that I would prefer hear the horn sounds of vehicles behind me on the road than get ridden over by the vehicles. The noise cancelation is pretty good when you are in bus/ train on your commutes. On the bike I just keep the volume a bit low so that I can hear vehicles behind.

  5. The cables are really long and helps me when i am riding with my iphone on the jersey pockets.

  6. The headset survived a crash I had like a week after I bought them, though there are cosmetic damages, the functionality is still perfect. The crash was so bad that i had to stay off the bike for almost 25 days. you can see the plastic scraped off near the mic(small hole) while I went flying at around 30 odd kmph due to a pinch cut. . May be i got lucky it survived, but i must say these will last a year or more with normal use. Have used it in all sorts of sweaty environments and have never had any issues with the ear phones what so ever.

The only thing I hate about them is that they came in a fluorescent yellow colour which is not my choice at all.Its a compromise I made considering the value of the ear phones. I looked at the newer models from the series and i must say the Sennheiser CX 685 Adidas Sports In-Ear Headphones is pretty much the same except its without a mic but with better colours. You still do get the Sennheiser Adidas CX 680i Sports Headset on Amazon, which is totally worth it if you can stand the colours. Hope you found the review useful.

Updates as on 11th march 2014:

Its been over a year and half now, these headsets are still going strong. I have been using them almost everyday and I do not see any difference in the sound quality. The headphones do get dirty from time to time and you just have to use some wet wipes and they just get back to their radiance. Minor scuffs are showing up on the cable housing, but not enough to cause me to stop using the headset on my bike commutes. I expect them to last another 8 months to an year at this rate. Will keep you guys posted.

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