Custom Apple Watch faces are here (sort of)

This app is purely a hobby that we wish to share. Installation and use is completely FREE, Both design and material are coming from internet or shared by designers, Please do NOT believe any behaviors from any other platform about charging, installation or recharging.

Jing Watch Face is offering the ability to install custom watch faces on your Apple Watch. They work by being set as the last used app and by adjusting the settings on your watch, but they do actually work.

Disclaimer: I am not endorsing this product and would advise to be wary at this time. You will have to trust the developer on your iPhone to use it and it is…well… Chinese.

Montblanc Summit II review

Frankly, Montblanc has to get those things right only a watchmaker can get really right if it seriously expects people to buy a smartwatch from it, rather than people’s go-to brands. Samsung, Apple, LG, Huawei, and even Fossil, these days, basically all offer watches that are at least a few hundred bucks (or more) cheaper than the Summit II. Price-wise the Summit II’s main competition is the stainless steel Apple Watch Series 4 in 44-millimeters wide in stainless steel, running from $749 (on a rubber band, mind you) all the way to a whopping $1,499 (again, in stainless steel), but on an Hermès leather strap with a proper folding clasp, making for a comparable setup to that of the Summit II… More at A Blog To Watch.

This feels like a reach at just shy of $1,000, but I can see the reasoning behind it. For me, however, Android Wear just doesn’t flow with the hardware the same way watchOS does and it looks too similar to offerings from the likes of Samsung.

This is Montblanc and a watch of theirs should not be indistinguishable from any other brand.

The journey continues…

I think the slow decline contributed to me not noticing the effects as quickly or taking it as seriously from the start, but zoom out and I can see the downslide as clearly as my original progress — physical change happens over months from habits created by day-to-day decisions.

I’m not nearly as unhealthy today as I was when my fitness journey first started in 2016 after I originally decided to use the fitness features of the Apple Watch. I’ve still worn the Apple Watch every day in part for non-fitness features like quick access to notifications and information like weather data… More at 9to5Mac.

A superb article!

Apple only accepts complaints by ‘letter’ (update: and by email?)

20th November: I should update this article following a call from Apple Executive Relations today. Apparently you can ask for a complaint to be logged without sending a letter, which I sent this morning as it happens, and the lady who advised me that the Apple Watch was ‘very fragile’ will be spoken to (I feel bad about that). Anyway, I have to send photos of my wife’s Apple Watch and we will see what happens from there. Must say the lady I spoke to today was very professional and allayed some of my concerns, but I remain skeptical about the strength of my wife’s particular series 4 watch.

My word. I have spent many £1,000’s on Apple products over the years and have had the occasional problem with iPhone and Macs, but on the whole the support I have received has been way above what I have experienced from any other company.

A tipping point over the weekend, however, was reached when I was advised that to get a response to a complaint I had to write a letter. Yes, a letter has to be sent to the biggest tech company in the world to achieve any kind of response. For those of you who are unaware of what a letter is it would involve typing or writing some words on a piece of paper, folding up the paper, putting it in an envelope, buying a stamp to stick on the envelope, finding a postbox (that is a red thing that you may see very occasionally) and then putting it through the slot at the top. At this point it will be collected by the Royal Mail, driven to a sorting office and it will then presumably find its way to Apple where someone has to open the envelope, read the letter and then move it to the correct department. The biggest technology company in the world…

My complaint surrounds the problem my wife is having with her series 4 Apple Watch, detailed here, and the fact that to return the watch I have to pay up front (£269). This presumes that the reason the watch has broken is definitely user error and that it could not possibly be a failure of this particular device, or what is in my opinion a design fault.

My anger was not helped by the support agent I spoke to repeatedly telling me that the screen is ‘very fragile’ and that it will break if dropped. I am sure that she was trying to make me feel better, but it had the opposite effect. It should not be fragile and especially as Apple touts the use of Ion-X strengthened glass. No other watch, not one that I have owned and I have owned many, would break in the same circumstance and so I remain perplexed as to what Ion-X strengthening really is. I guess it sounds good in the marketing, but I am seeing little evidence of the benefits.

The end result is that I am returning my stainless steel Apple Watch, scared to wear it now if I am honest and won’t pay AppleCare+ for the privilege, and my wife’s watch will sit on a shelf until it is needed for freelance etc. It’s sad, but my faith in Apple has been knocked in a big way.

Drop your Apple Watch from 2 feet and the screen smashes

As you may know I have owned a lot of watches and one thing that they have all had in common is the ability to survive life. Whether they have been £10 or £1,000 I have never had a watch crystal break from a fall, and I have accidentally dropped a few of them.

My wife, however, made the mistake of dropping her series 4 Apple Watch from 2 feet onto the bathroom floor, onto the little rug around the toilet, and look what happened-

It appears to have landed on its edge and cracked the entire screen from end to end which I would argue is ridiculous. Just look at how the screen is attached to an Apple Watch and you can see where the problem is-

The screen is raised way above the case which makes it prone to damage from a variety of incidences, large and small, and in my opinion is an impractical design which is open to damage.

Add to this the fact that the Apple Watch is not heavy and that Apple touts the screen toughness, I cannot understand how it could break so easily.

Anyway, I started a chat with Apple and-

Alejandro
Thanks for contacting Apple Support. My name is Alejandro. Please give me a moment to look over your information.

Alejandro
Hi Shaun! I hope you are enjoying your day so far. I see that you need help with your Apple Watch?

Shaun McGill
Yes, it’s my wife’s Apple Watch series 4. She dropped it on the floor from about 2 feet and the screen smashed. How much is a repair for an incident like this?

Alejandro
Let me go ahead and help you with that

Alejandro
May I know in which country are you located?

Shaun McGill
UK

Alejandro
The out of warranty service fee for your Watch model it’s £286.44

Alejandro
You can double check this here: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/watch/repair/service/pricing

Shaun McGill
wow. Didn’t realise it would be so much and that it can break so easily from a 2 foot drop. OK, thanks for the information

Alejandro
It has been a pleasure Shaun! I really hope you are satisfied with my service and the information provided

Shaun McGill
Not really

£286.44!

How does a watch guy fall for the Apple Watch?

IMG_4895

When I reviewed the series 4 Apple Watch a few weeks ago I was somewhat disparaging about certain aspects. The battery life was a big downside for me, but perhaps more than anything the fact it is not a ‘real’ watch stuck with me more than anything.

I returned the watch to Apple and was happy enough, but something was nagging at me. A sense that something was missing and this was enhanced by continuing disappointment with Fitbit’s latest products. The Fitbit Charge 3 has proved to be as poor as the Fitbit Versa in terms of accuracy and with fitness currently being very important to me it was time to give up on a brand that had helped me get to the weight I was at 21 years old and which made me fitter than I had been since that age.

My experience of Apple Watch fitness has been poor over the years for a number of reasons. I don’t like the rings idea and in particular the ridiculous stand ring which is a novelty at best. However, the hardware is very accurate and I have found much consistency in the step counting, calorie calculations and the heart rate averages. This builds confidence and has given me a platform to build a fitness setup that works for me – more on that in a future article, but it’s safe to say that I have replaced the Fitbit hardware and software with arguably a much better solution.

So, the fitness was covered, after much research, and I took a punt and bought another series 4 Apple Watch. In the first few days of use I realised what had been nagging at me previously.

It’s the little things that build up to create a solution that in time feels necessary. These two examples may feel incredibly pointless, but they exemplify things that the iPhone could not do in certain situations-

I was in a meeting with a senior manager at work and my wife sent me a message asking if I wanted to walk the dog after work or if I was happy for her to do it. Being that it was a cold day I didn’t fancy ending my day getting even colder and the senior manager was sat directly opposite me so I could get my phone out without it seeming too obvious. I caught the message on the Apple Watch and managed to scroll down and send ‘OK’ as a response. The result was an hour saved later in the day and I could stay a little warmer.

The next day my daughter attended her first night at Police Cadets and was very nervous about going. We dropped her off and she had to fill in some forms, but she did not know all of the details required, which would likely have made her even more nervous. I didn’t have my iPhone with me when I saw the panicked message on my watch asking for a list of information so she could complete the forms. I replied, she was happy and the nerves subsided a little for her. This may sound unimportant, but she has had a hard time of late and attending events with groups of people is a big thing for her, and in that instance the watch helped.

So that was some of the use case covered and after wearing the Apple Watch for two weeks straight it kind of became normal. Worryingly I wasn’t missing my Oris watch as much as I expected, but there was one aspect that still bugged me. The Apple Watch felt like a bit of plastic strapped to my wrist and offer zero personality to me which is a problem for those of us who have obsessed over watches as the only bit of jewellery we wear.

I am fortunate in that I could sell a watch which would pay for a stainless steel series 4 Apple Watch and that is what I did. The final part of the experiment was to see if it felt like a real watch on the wrist while offering the functionality that I had become used to.

With the addition of a few straps to play around with I found that I started to enjoy the look of the series 4 and to this day it has remained on my wrist as my main fitness tracker, time teller and assistant which ensure I miss nothing and that my iPhone gets less use than it did before.

My wife also bought a series 4 as she was experiencing the same Fitbit problems as I was and strangely she went for the gold 44mm version. She is tiny and has small wrists, but she felt that the bigger watch looked better proportioned and despite its size it really does look good on her. Big watches on petite women always look good in my view.

The next step for me will be to see how the cellular functionality changes my usage and when my contract is moved over in a couple of days I will write about that experience, but for now I find myself surprised at the fact I am not wearing a real watch anymore and just a little bit sad at the thought of it.

£339 or £12 for an Apple Watch Strap: you decide

I love well made products and will gladly pay for a quality brand that will last me for many years, but there are moments when the price gap is just too much.

Screenshot 2018-11-10 at 16.55.55

£339 and beautifully made

There is little doubt in my mind that the above watch strap, available direct from Apple, is exceptionally well made. There is little doubt that it would look great on the wrist, but for just £90 more you can buy a whole Apple Watch series 4.

Screenshot 2018-11-10 at 16.56.24

I have just received the above strap. It is also very well made.

Having just received the strap above from Amazon for £11.99 I must say that it looks great and is very soft on the wrist. I don’t care what other people think about what is on my wrist, but I do care about saving £327 on something that is in many ways the same product.

The mix of colours struck me when I saw the Hermès offering and I get that with both products. It so happens that I went for the one that I could buy 29 times before I reached the expense of the official one.

As an aside, look at the two product images above. They are identical in almost every way, Not sure how legal this is…

APPLE WATCH SERIES 4 – FINAL THOUGHTS

I feel like a man in 2007 who doesn’t want to give up his basic Nokia phone. I can see the future coming and I don’t want to admit that one day I may need a smartphone.

The future will overtake me and I will own an iPhone or Android phone like everyone else and wonder why I ever thought my Nokia was enough for me.

I kind of feel this way about the Apple Watch. I can see a time when it could be essential, when it could be a product group that is viewed as an oddity if you do not have one strapped to your wrist. With time and the advance of technology it is conceivable that smartwatches will offer so many benefits that they becomes a must have item, and at that point they will also become fashionable and potentially luxurious.

It is hard to imagine at this time, that a device so small can be so essential, but open your mind just a little to consider the advancement of voice control, the miniaturisation of technology and the progression of power management, and it feels possible that the usefulness of such devices will outweigh the pleasure some of us get from mechanical timepieces.

Balancing gaining pleasure from a mechanical object against the sheer utility of a gadget is not easy because it is like comparing oranges and bricks, but with only two wrists and the propensity to cover just one of them at a time, something has to give.

While it is possible that a watch on one wrist and a smart device on the other could become normal, I suspect that will not happen. The inconvenient truth is that the smart one will make the elegant one feel redundant, even for those of us who love mechanical watches, and it will be a no-brainer for the rest of the population (98% minimum) who care little for watches.

There is, however, a difference between watches and phones, and history cannot be a completely accurate guide here. No one had emotional connections, not strong ones, to their basic mobile phones. There is no sense of real history, no passing down through the generations and thus they are automatically replaceable. You will never see a vintage Apple Watch that is valuable or that can even be used in the future, and at no point will one ever be seen as an emotional object which is kind of strange for something you wear.

I suspect that the Apple Watch, and the other smartwatches, have come along at the right time. In a moment when young people tell the time with their phones and when even many older people do not bother with a watch. The time is ripe for a new product category and those of us who love the tradition of mechanical watches are in the most minor of minorities.

Onto the Apple Watch itself.

I was hugely disappointed with the Series 4 at one point because of the battery, but that seems to have settled to the point that 45 minutes of charging per day will likely be enough to keep it running the rest of the time. It still irks me when compared to the likes of Fitbit and Garmin, but it is manageable.

The Series 4 is a huge improvement design-wise over the previous four models and that screen matters more than you may expect for making touch points feel natural and for displaying the information you require without the need to squint. The way it hugs the wrist has been improved a great deal with a flatter sensor at the bottom, the Series 3 sensor lifts the entire watch from the wrist, and a more consistent form throughout.

It is extremely fast, extremely convenient and for a variety of tasks could be considered essential. For runners who want music and podcasts on the move and who do not want to carry a phone with them, the cellular version will be close to perfect.

For those who are new to fitness and who do not realise that Fitbit and Garmin do a ‘much’ better job in this area it could help them become much more healthy. And for those who for whatever reason find the iPhone impractical to use when working, the notifications and basic interactivity will feel more than a little useful.

Apple has moved the Apple Watch up a huge notch with the Series 4 and it feels like the iPhone 4 to me. The sudden design change and extra usability will make it more appealing to more people, just like the iPhone 4 did, and look what followed. If the Apple Watch Series 4 is the iPhone 4 equivalent, I am very curious to see what the Apple Watch Series 10 will be.

For the moment, however, it is still not for me and for two reasons. Firstly my love for mechanical watches which may be on borrowed time and secondly the fact that the Fitbit Versa, Ionic and various Garmin smartwatches are more practical on a day to day level, mainly because of the battery life. They most certainly have their faults, of that there is no doubt, but they have been designed to give the user what they need without the requirement to charge it too often and to mess about making it work how they need it to.

I have moments of clarity where I just sit and think. Moments when I don’t want to be interrupted and just need to consider what happens next, and as silly as it sounds in those moments I like to look at my watch, play around with it and just enjoy it. The Apple Watch is not for those moments and it is not for people who want a zero hassle experience, and if they did want a smartwatch I would still have to recommend one that does not require a daily charge to get through the day.

Apple Watch Series 4 – Day 4. The battery

Yesterday the Series 4 was charged to 100% when I left home for work at 6:05am.

At precisely 3:07pm it had dropped down to 65% with one outdoor walk monitored using GPS – this walk was approx.. 35 minutes. The rest of the usage was standard notifications and just telling the time.

It took until 3:57pm to get back to 100% which may not sound like a bad time, but take that to charging from 0% and you get 114 minutes. That, in my opinion, is a lot of time to have to charge a smartwatch each day, and it is time that gets in the way of what you may have bought it for in the first place.

Photo 24-09-2018, 15 25 01

Now, I get that most people will plonk their Apple Watch on the charger overnight and that they will start the day at 100%, which should get it through the whole day, but what about sleep tracking?

I realise that this is not a standard feature of the Apple Watch, but boy does Apple bang on about the fitness and health benefits of the product, and it cannot monitor one of the most important health areas? Using a third party app such as AutoSleep does this very well, but it means that you have to wear the watch all night and then you need to find time in the day to charge it. You need to find approx.. 2 hours.

Anyway, forget all of that because it is not just about sleep tracking.

Firstly, it is about the hassle and having to remember to charge it every day. This is an annoyance and one which should not be there in 2018, and especially not in a watch. There is no excuse for it if you ask me and especially when I look at what the competition can do.

Take the Fitbit Versa, the Ionic, the Garmin smartwatches and many others. Five days of continuous battery life with GPS, sleep tracking, heart rate sensors, workout tracking and in some cases an always on screen. How can they do that when Apple can barely manage one day?

There is a very good argument surrounding the quality of the display and the completeness of WatchOS, but why would you push the limits of battery performance on a device that you wear? It is a huge downside for anyone who really does want to use the Apple Watch all of the time, and especially so because Series 4 is otherwise quite brilliant.

I find the Apple Watch to be a device that could potentially offer many advantages that collectively build to create a new type of device that can take you away from your phone for extended periods. It needs to be seamless in operation though and for this to happen you don’t want to be worrying about where the power is coming from.

As good as the Series 4 is, until Apple realises that sometimes you have to accept the technical limitations of the time to create a truly positive user experience the product may feel like a struggle to some users. With such potential a product like this needs to be extremely easy to leverage in terms of the capability it offers, but for me personally that means looking at the fundamental issue of power.


I will return to this subject in a few days because the today I was at 68% by 6pm. Go figure? Maybe it is taking time for the battery to charge up fully – we shall see.

Apple Watch Series 4 – Day 3. Oooh, aaah.

This is getting tricky now.

I have decided to not go into too much detail about all of the features and the myriad things you can do with the Series 4. Those things have been covered by people with more time than me, better video cameras and so much knowledge of every aspect of the device. These people look at the Series 4 from the angle of someone already embedded in the world of mobile technology whereas I prefer to look at it from the perspective of someone considering if a smartwatch will benefit me and if it is worth giving up other things for. In short, the 98% of people not obsessed with technology.

It is getting tricky because I am really liking the Series 4.

Photo 23-09-2018, 20 12 23

The novelty factor is always at the back of mind, but I have owned a lot of Apple Watches in the past and this is the first one that feels truly useful and worthy of being a watch. It’s super fast, easy to navigate and looks great on the wrist. The battery is a big problem for me in that a day of usage is just about feasible, just about, and so I would need to be regimented in how I charge it.

I am going to stop the review here for a few days and will be back with my final thoughts at the end of the week. It’s Oris vs Apple Watch time and there is no option of using both. If the Apple Watch is to be my fitness tracker it would be a daily wear and in my view is not something you wear occasionally. It would also need to replace my Fitbit and that may be even harder to manage. Time will tell I guess.