Sunday, November 8, 2015

The New Apple TV

Here's my take on the Apple TV:

The New Apple TV is a completely new device that works different to it's previous versions.  I am not quite sure why the old Apple TV is not capable of running the new TVOS.  Also, the iOS Remote app is not compatible with the New Apple TV as well.  To me, this seems strange.  Was this done purposely or due to limitations.

Apple has their reason for not making the OS available for the older version and the Remote app available as well.  After using the product for a week, in my opinion, this device is half baked.  It feels like there is something missing.  I don't know if it is the shortage of apps available or simply what is Apple attempting to replace.  Is this Apple's version of gaming console, and/or cable box replacement.  All I know, is that, the hype did not last very long.  After a few days, my New Apple TV just became a $149.00 screen saver.

After a week, I returned the New Apple TV.  I feel, in the near future, when Apple figures out what this device should replace, then I'll considering buying one again.  I am not losing faith in Apple, but simply think they are revealing products sooner than they want, because of the business need.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Lakers 2015-16 Preview

Coaching - Byron Scott

Old school type coach not the right fit for this team. The offense they run is predictable and does not bring out the best potential for this team.  Having a good offense, makes a good defense. I don't see Scott coaching this team for more than a year.

Kobe Bryant

Probably his last year as a player.  Playing the 3 is not a good idea.  Kobe, offensively, he can play any position, but defensively he is a liability.  He can't play defense anymore.  Kobe has had 3 major injuries, 3 years in a row, and now feels that he is not invincible.  This will keep him from being a competitor he was in the past.

Jordan Clarkson

Probably the best player on this team.  He is not ready to be a superstar yet.  He has improved from last year.  There is a problem, his best position is the 2.  We all know who should be the 2 on this team, if he is healthy.

Julius Randle

Would be the best player on this team, if not for last year's injury.  This is his rookie season.  His future is bright, but he needs to know when to go full speed.  He picks up fouls quickly due to his aggressiveness.  This can keep him from putting up some great numbers.

Roy Hibbert

Great defensive center.  Lakers were lucky when they got him.  He can help the Lakers defensive, but the players around him need to have his back.  On a good team he is an all-star, but on a bad team he is slow and can't get back on defensive in time to make his presence felt.

D'Angelo Russell

Great passer, looks to be a good shooter.  I think he is not ready to start right away, but has a chance to be a great player.  By the end of the season we will know how good he will be.

Nick Young

Great offensive player off the bench.  Unfortunately, plays no defense.

Lou Williams

Great offensive player off the bench.  Unfortunately, plays no defense.  He is not a point guard.

Ryan Kelly

Smart player, can shoot the 3 and plays smart defense.  Team plays better when he is on the court.

Larry Nance Jr

He was not a first round pick, but there is hope.  He is a project player.  Needs to have confidence in shooting the ball.

Brandon Bass

A solid veteran player.  Plays hard and is a good defender and post up player.  Will be playing a lot of minutes, because Randle will be in foul trouble.

There are 9 other players, which the Lakers plan to keep 4 to 5 of them.

The Lakers are about a 30 win or less team.  I really do not see them winning more than that.  Hopefully, they will be exiting at times to watch...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Smart Phone Storage Problem

Now that our smart phones have become our daily drivers, we now have a storage problem.  Storage is now the driver in purchasing your smart phone.

Last year Apple decided to launch their new iPhone with the following capacities 16GB, 64GB and 128GB.  Apple must have a good reason, not sure what it is, though.  A lot of people who were not familiar how much storage would effect them, and went ahead and bought the 16GB phone.  A couple of months in, they realized that they cannot take pictures anymore, because they have maxed their storage.  Keep in mind a lot of people have never linked their phones to their computers, because some literally do not have a computer, their phones are their computers.  Using iCloud is still not mainstream, and people are hesitant to using the cloud, feeling it may not be safe.

People who bought the 16GB phone was caused by carriers going away from contracts.  The new way of getting a phone is financing it separately.  This separates the service with the hardware.  The problem is that the financing is only for the first tier storage, if you want a higher tier storage that needs to be paid up front.  Most people chose 0, right.  

You can now payoff the hardware and just pay the service, going forward.  This sounds great right, but nothing has really changed.  The carriers are dividing your payment in 24 months, and if you add it up, your are paying about the same.

Phones are getting much faster.  This means that they can go through much more data.  Carriers are offering more data to attract your business.  Carriers are offering package deals, for example they say pay $100 and get 10GB of data for four phones.  The majority of people use about 20% - 30% of this data.

I recently changed my phone with T-Mobile to Jump! On Demand.  Why did I do this?  Even the T-Mobile store sales person told me why am I doing this?  He even recommended, not to do it.  I did my research, and I was decided to do it.  I am a person who always loves to have the latest and greatest phone.  I average less than a year with a phone.  I am constantly changing my phone, and these 2 year contracts have always been an issue for me.

I realized that the initiation into Jump! On Demand is a loss for me, since I needed to trade in my iPhone 6 Plus at a loss.  Going forward, I can now trade in my phone 3 times a year, my monthly fee is $15 (iPhone 6 Pricing), and $8 (Insurance Fee).  This is less than what I pay for my daughter's iPhone 6 monthly $27, no Insurance Fee, and the phone has to be paid off in full before she can upgrade.  Believe me, T-Mobile does nothing for free.  Here is the breakdown:

  • $15 monthly for 18 months = $270 (iphone 6 model fee)
  • $9 monthly for Insurance
  • $12 x 18 months = $216 taken from trade in value of my iPhone 6 Plus, the remainder applied to my current bill (key to paying 0 to start = the phone you trade in has to have the value difference x 18 months of what you would pay for a 2 year monthly payment). 
  • $649 + My Local Tax 9% = $707.41 for my new iPhone 6
  • The remaining $221.41 is paid after the 18 months, if I do not upgrade to another phone, during the 18 month period.

Every time I upgrade to a new phone a new 18 month agreement kicks in.  What are my chances that I will stick to phone for 18 months, 0%.  I have never, had a phone for 18 months.

This all works, if I stick to the 1st tier storage (iPhone 16GB), right.  I had an iPhone 6 Plus with 64GB of storage, and I had used about 45GB of it.  I needed to go down to about 10GB of storage to make this work for me.  How was I going to do this?  

I deleted all apps that I downloaded over time, and never used.  I turned on iCloud Photo, and I am using Apple Music, so I deleted all music from my phone.  This brought me down to about 15GB.

Ok, this was close enough, and I decided to take a chance, and get the 16GB iPhone.  Once I got the phone, I did not do restore from backup, I did, "Start as a new phone."  I downloaded the apps that I use, and turned on iCloud Photo (unselected "Download and Keep Orginals"), and Apple Music as well.  I am at about 4GB of storage used.  I don't know what happened to those 11GB, because I mirrored my phone to where I was at 15GB.  I have enough room for pictures, videos, podcasts and music.  

What I am doing, going forward, I will move pictures and videos, I take, to the cloud and not store them on the phone.  Podcasts are not an issue as I listen to them, I delete them.  As for music, I will create a play list of favorite songs, and select store to phone, so I have music when not connected.  I also downloaded Google Photos, and I have a File Transporter, where I can back up there as well to be safe.

Problem solved for me, for the moment.  My next phone in a couple of months will be the iPhone 6s 16GB, and I still can upgrade 2 more times, if this does not work for me.  I am curious to where those 11GB went?

Monday, May 11, 2015

First Impressions Of The Apple Watch

After using the Apple Watch for a week I have my first impressions.  The first thing I did notice that there is definitely a learning curve involved.  If you think you will be able to just get the Apple Watch and master it, you are in for a big surprise.

Preparation for the Apple Watch

There some features you should master before you start using your Apple Watch.  Notifications should be properly set up on your iPhone or your Apple Watch will be buzzing like crazy.  Create a playlist on your iPhone with music you would like to play without having your iPhone nearby.  Select a few pictures from your photo library as favorites so you can have on your Apple Watch.  The first time you sync to your Apple Watch do not select all apps to be added to the Apple Watch.  Add them gradually as needed.  Keep in mind, that you have a limited amount of apps that can be in glances.  These apps should be the apps you use frequently.

Battery Life for the Apple Watch

Battery life has been good.  I have been able to have it on all day without having to charge during the day.  In 7 days of usage, I had only 1 day where it dipped below 20%.  Keep in mind I used my Apple Watch from about 6AM to about 10PM.  That's about 16 hours, which is pretty good.  Better than what I expected.  I was planning on buying an additional charging cable, but it looks like, for the start, it is not needed.

Features After Using The Apple Watch

I have noticed, if the iPhone is active your notification will not buzz you on your Apple Watch, because it knows you have an active iPhone open.  I have tested this by texting myself while my iPhone is active.  I receive the message on my phone and my Apple Watch in the message app, but not in the drop down notification.  I have heard people say that they do not get some of their messages, and it is probably due to having their iPhone active that is causing this.

Bluetooth, remember bluetooth only works about 30 feet from the receiver.  If you try to use features that use bluetooth on the Apple Watch, well, they will not work once you are about 30 feet from your iPhone. I thought that all the features on your Apple Watch will work as long as you are in range of the same Wi-Fi, but that is not the case.

Emails,  I have forwarded my email addresses that I use and want to appear on my Apple Watch to my iCloud email address, and now I get my emails I want to see.

Physical Wear And Tear On The Apple Watch

As soon as I got the Apple Watch I put a case on the Apple Watch, yes a case.  It was the Spigen Body Armor Case.  It does not look that bad.  In fact, it makes the Apple Watch less conspicuous.  After using the case for about 5 days I noticed my stainless steel Apple Watch still had some nicks on the steel.  I guess it does not matter how much you protect it.  I have stopped using the case for now.  Maybe in the future when I feel I need to protect the Apple Watch for special situations.  Expect the Apple Watch to get nicked no matter how you much you try to protect it.

Final Impression

My overall impression is still high.  I may post again after a month and see if my impression is still high.  My recommendation to purchase the Apple Watch, if you do, be patient and give it time.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Lakers 2015-16 - Roster

Here is my take on the current Lakers roster:

Carlos Boozer - Free Agent - Good leader and veteran, but very good chance will not sign with Lakers.
Dwight Buycks - Free Agent - Good prospect, but probably will not make team next year.
Ed Davis - Signed (Player Option) - Has said will opt out of 2nd year.  Good player, depends what offers he gets.  If it is where the Lakers can match, they probably will.
Jabari Brown - Signed - Good prospect, very good chance on making the team next year.
Jeremy Lin - Free Agent - Good back up guard, just did not fit on this team.  I think Lin needs to be on a winning team to show his potential.
Jordan Clarkson - Signed - High upside, if he continues to improve he can be a superstar in this league.
Jordan Hill - Signed (Team Option) - He had highs and lows.  If Lakers do not pick up new free agents, they may pick up his option.
Julius Randle - Signed - Unknown, since he did not play this year.  Potentially a great player.
Kobe Bryant - Signed - Nothing to say.  If he is healthy he will be great.
Nick Young - Signed - Great back up, but he needs to grow up and play D.
Robert Sacre - Signed - Has a chance to make team, but needs to play like a 4 year player.
Ronnie Price - Free Agent - Great veteran on the team.  There simply may not be room for him on the team.
Ryan Kelly - Signed - He is a good fundamental player, but needs to play with confidence on the offensive side of the game.
Steve Nash - Retired.
Tarik Black - Free Agent - Good chance of returning.  Has potential to be a key player on the team.  Hopefully, no one will out bid the Lakers.
Vander Blue - Free Agent - Good prospect, but probably will not make the team next year.
Wayne Ellington - Free Agent - Good player, depends what offer he gets.
Wesley Johnson - Free Agent - Good player, depends what offer he gets.

I highlighted 10 players I hope the Lakers will keep. With 2 - 3 additional rookies and 2 additional B - A free agents.  This team can probably make the playoffs.  Barring injuries that has plagued this team the last two years.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

My  (Apple) Watch Buying Experience

On April 10, 2015 Apple made the  Watch available for sale.

I have been through this before with previous Apple launches.  Should I buy or should I wait? That was the question, but this time I am definitely buying.

I heared rumors that inventory was going to be short.  I was not taking any chances.  I was determined to order as soon as the store opened.

My biggest concern was, which will I order. I wanted the Aluminum Silver with the Black Sport Band.  Apple did not have this option.  If you wanted the Black Sport Band, you would have to order the Aluminum Space Grey.  I also liked the Stainless Steel Silver with the Back Sport Band.  It came with a $200 mark up.

Minutes before the launch, I was still undecided.  I was going to pay with an Internet credit line, I have, to make online purchases.

Midnight approached, I decided to get the Aluminum Space Grey.  I had a feeling that would be the one that would be the highest in demand.  It would be easy to re-sell if I did not like it.

As the clock passed midnight, I kept hitting refresh on my Mac Internet Browser, nothing.  I remembered last launch the Apple Store iOS App worked better than the Mac Internet Browser.  I launched the iOS App, and sure enough, the store was open.  I selected the watch I wanted, and tried to pay.  OH NO!  My pay option was not available.  I tried again, maybe I'm doing it wrong, nope.

At this point, I decided to go back to my Mac Internet Browser.  The time was about 12:08 AM.  The iOS showed the watch available.  The store was now open.  I quickly selected the watch I wanted, and it came back with a 4 to 6 week shipping time.  I immediately adjusted my order to the Stainless Steel model.  I was thinking this one can't be delayed, it more expensive.  It came back with 4 to 6 week shipping time.  I laughed in frustration, Apple has done it to me again.

Since I am going to have to wait till almost the end of May, what the hell.  I might as well get the stainless steel.

After I completed my purchase, I noticed an option to make an appointment to try on the watch.  I might as well sign up or later I will have to wait for that as well.

They only one appointment left at my local Apple Store for April 10, 2015 at 9:30 PM.

The next day I went to the Apple Store, and stood by the table where all the  Watches were.  I notice that the watch looked much smaller in person.  I was greeted by an Apple sales person, they very polite, and told me they would call my name as soon as it was my turn.

The sales person approached me, she looked very tired. I was her last appointment of the day, I get it.

She asked me which watch I wanted to see.  I told her the stainless steel, since that was the one I ordered.  I was also intrigued with the Milanese Loop band.  I ask to try on that band as well.  The Milanese Loop band felt really good and was very easy to put on and take off.

When I got home I check the availability for the Milanese Loop band and it said shipping in 4 to 6 weeks. Ok, I decided I will order tomorrow morning.  When I got up the next day to order, it stated ships in June.  That's great...

The waiting time begins...

Update on my purchase.  I had a second watch fitting appointment and decided to cancel the Milanese Loop band and replace it with Black Leather Loop band.  My shipping time improved with this change.  My new order is expected to ship in May with my watch order.