Should you buy an Apple Watch Series 2?

I’ve got a complicated relationship with my Apple Watch, very much love/hate at the moment. On using it a little bit yesterday I’ve come to the conclusion that the Series 2 is a do not buy in 2020. 6 months ago I would have said it was ok but with the last couple of watchOS updates it does seem like the Series 2 has been ignored and performance has gotten worse. It’s almost at the point of being unusable.

In terms of screen and sensors all’s good but in day to day use it’s bad. It can take 10-15 seconds to load the settings app and more than that to start a simple workout. I find myself constantly frustrated using it and often make mistakes because of lag in the interface.

If you’re set on getting an Apple Watch then don’t get anything less than a series 3. It seems now that the series 3 is the bottom end of where Apple now tests it’s software.

Use the technology that works for you

With the iPad turning 10 this year I’m seeing articles from people like me that celebrate it’s existence and from those that are clearly Mac first and bemoan the way it works based on their to be frank lack of day to day use of iPadOS. I know they have the ear of Apple and I hope that this time Apple aren’t listening.

For me I’ve always gravitated to technology that I enjoy using and works with my brain. I’m not Mac is bad and iPadOS is good, I just use what works best for me. I don’t care what your devices of choice are if they work for you that’s great. I’m also not wedded to Apple gear, if something better comes along I’ll give it a go.

I don’t write articles that bring negativity against something I don’t like, I just show my perspective.

You should use what you want to use and ignore those that tell you otherwise.

Looking back at the original iPad

I still have mine, on an old iOS but like the original iPhone I keep it around to remember where it started and how far we have come.

The most striking thing about picking it up again is the weight and thickness of the device compared to the 10.5″ iPad Pro that I use on a daily basis. The original iPad (WIFI) weighed 1.5lbs compared to the 1lb of my current iPad Pro.

I think the image above illustrates it well where you can see that the 10.5″ fits underneath the bulge on the back of the original one. This would be even more extreme if I had the most recent pro, but even with the 10.5″ it’s pretty awesome seeing how far Apple have come in 10 years with the hardware. Even with the Smart Cover attached it’s thinner than that original one.

Looking at the (dented) side on mine I still miss the mute switch but I do prefer the metal buttons on the iPad of today.

Looking at the bottom we have the older dock connector and a small speaker, I haven’t tested it but the stereo speakers in my 10.5″ regularly get used as a speaker for the office and sound great.

The bezel also stands out, even with my home button enabled 10.5″. The home button on the original still works and feels nice when pressed, still has a nice click to it.

When it comes to storage mine is 16GB compared to the 256GB on my 10.5″, I thought it would have been 32GB but maybe I went for the cheaper version as I wasn’t sure how much work I would do on it (turned out quite a lot).

I’ve still got the Apple cover, which has leaked it’s dye straight onto the aluminium so the back of my iPad is kind of purple these days.

Something that you’ll notice with the above shot is the fact that it doesn’t have a camera, something that all iPad’s come with now but to honest I rarely use. I literally can’t remember the last time I used it.

Looking at the differences in screen is another major difference. I’ve tried to illustrate that with the images below best I can, you’ll also notice the bezel difference.

It’s been interesting to see how far we’ve come in 10 years with the iPad hardware, it still feels like the future and has become my platform of choice. I get so much flexibility from using one day to day, be it using the keyboard or pencil or just using it sat on the sofa. It’s given me so much opportunity to be more creative and I couldn’t imagine what I’d be using now if it never came along.

Reminders doesn’t work on the series 2 Apple Watch

I’ve tried and tried but I’ve come to the conclusion that Apple Reminders doesn’t work on the Series 2 Apple Watch.

I’ve restarted my watch and even factory reset but no matter what I do the data on the Apple Watch never syncs.

Here’s what it looks like on my iPhone.

I hardly use my Apple Watch these days so it’s not a deal breaker to me using the app but if I do start using it again I’ll need to get this sorted.

Using a mouse on the iPad

I have to be honest I haven’t used a mouse with my iPad much since it was introduced in iPadOS 13 but in the last few weeks I’ve found myself gravitating to using it again. This came from a need that I used to find myself using my MAC for – managing some of my personal productivity.

Changing to do apps seems like something I do to hurt myself but after being disappointed with TODOIST and OMNIFOCUS not syncing notifications or sometimes data between devices I moved over to REMINDERS. I’m glad to report that sync works flawlessly e.g. I created a load of new items on my iPhone that I wanted to get done today. When I picked up my iPad these items had already sync’d over and were in my widget on the home screen, this is the sort of feature that will keep me using an app.

Anyway, I’d brain dumped onto a notepad (yes using pen and everything!), which aside from having them somewhere not on iOS reminded me of some RSI issues I’m working with when it comes to writing with a pen these days, but I’m getting distracted. The next stage in my workflow was to take these handwritten notes and put them into the REMINDERS app.

In the past I’ve connected my mouse to my MACBOOK, sat down and put them in – somehow it felt more productive. Well this time I decided to keep my MACBOOK in the drawer it lives in and connected my mouse and entered it all on iPadOS and I have to say that it felt just as great and I got through them really quickly. The only downside I found was the date picker is a little fiddly with a pointer but I got used to it quickly and got them all in.

The mouse of choice for me is a cheap HP wired mouse that whilst isn’t ideal for my RSI as I usually use a vertical mouse, it was ok for these smaller stints. To connect the mouse to the iPad I used a lighting to USB/SD Card adapter I got off Amazon (a really cheap one, not even branded). I hate the wires so might have to look a vertical wireless mouse if I can but found that they don’t work when I’ve tried in the past. The USB wireless dongle that goes into the iPad adapter just doesn’t seem to sync across to the mouse itself. Please recommend me a wireless mouse that works with an iPad Pro 10.5″.

This is all to say that I forgot how great the mouse support is for me to get the job done and help me with some RSI issues when I want to swap my setup instead of lifting my arm to touch the screen (remember I’m docked with a Smart Keyboard most of the time).

10 years on and I’m still finding great ways to use my iPad.

Being consistent

Being consistent is something I’ve always struggled with, I have flourishes of being really good and moments of being terrible. I’m not just talking about writing on my blog but in general. I’ll have a good spell with my mood and have a positive effect on the world around me then I’ll have a big dip and seem to make everything worse.

I don’t check stats too much but look at this massive dip in traffic over the last couple of weeks. I’ve not been consistent again, when I start to write again the traffic picks up.

I guess I’m rambling with this post but I what I’m trying to say, especially if you’re doing something creative is to try to be as consistent as possible.

LEGO retiring the NASA Apollo Saturn V set

If like me you’ve been after this set for a while you might want to jump on it.

I’ve had it in my Amazon wish list for a while but when I checked Lego I saw it’s being retired so if you want one (Lego is currently £70 cheaper than Amazon) then here’s the link I used.

Free postage in the UK and at the moment a free drag racer set worth £50.

Flexibits teases an all new Fantastical

I’ve really gotten into using Fantastical over the last few months and particularly enjoy the fact that my calendar and reminders are all in one place.

Flexibits have teased us with a new version and whilst I’m not so excited about new functionality around sharing I’m very excited to see what they do about better integrating reminders into the app.

I like the statement above emphasising the word tasks, the current version is a little lacking when it comes to managing your to do list. I’d love to be able to use just fantastical so anything they can do to improve this integration would be much appreciated.

How to turn off iCloud backup

There’s been a lot of talk about Apple not offering encrypted backups over the last week, personally I’m keeping out of this one for now but if like me you don’t need to backup your device to iCloud here is how to do it. Please make sure you are happy turning off your device backup, all of my photos, notes and music etc are in the cloud already so I don’t need this secondary backup method.

Head into settings:

Then follow these highlighted steps in the screenshots below:

Tap on iCloud:

Tap on iCloud backup:

Toggle the switch to OFF: