It’s that time of year - Apple releases new software and hardware.
This is my 3rd (or 4th?) Apple Watch - I've tried out every generation Apple since the first version Apple released. I opted for the cellular version and set up that feature for a few months. It works great but I don't have a regular need for making/taking phone calls on my watch without my iPhone nearby.
This iteration of the watch is the 42mm, Space Grey. I choose the 42mm over the 38mm after my first watch. I really appreciate the increased screen size.
One of the new bits coming out of this years WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) is a Pride watch face. Vertical rainbow stripes move in and out of the field in 4 patterns. Two complications are included.
There is a hack to get it now* or just wait a few hours until after today's WWDC18 keynote address beginning at 10am Pacific.
*Change the date/time to after the keynote on your iPhone but going to Settings/General/Date & Time. Open the Watch app on your iPhone and voila! there's the new watch face. Add it to your watch. Check your watch for the Pride watch face and after it appears, change your iPhone Date & Time back to current (or set to Automatic)
In the spirit of my continued goal to improve my health and wellbeing, along with exercise, I’m changing the way I eat. The challenges I am facing is that I live alone and cooking for one makes it difficult to avoid waste and boredom, my schedule is often affected by last minute changes, and…I’m a picky eater. My biggest challenge is that I don’t make good food choices when I’m hungry. It’s too easy to drive through fast food, order a pizza online or just eat a whole bag of chips for dinner.
A friend (thank you Ben!) suggested Catered Fit www.cateredfit.com - my referral code for $20 off for each of us is 12BFF20
This is my third week and it’s working out very nicely! I’ve enjoyed about 95% of the food - high praise considering every meal comes with at least two vegetables. I did make a deal with myself that I would at least try a bit of everything.
Here are the details; I opted for the Paleo plan which is their version of reduced calorie meals, 300 calories each on average (for a female, more for males). 3 meals a day, 5 days a week. If I miss eating a meal they have lasted to easily 3 days after the intended day. They offer 4 meal plan types; Classic, Meatless (and here you can choose between Pescatarian, Vegetarian, or Vegan), Paleo (Gluten-free and Diabetic friendly), or Combo. The last option is great if there are several people with different preferences in the household. You can choose up to 4 foods to exclude (shrimp and hard-boiled eggs are among mine) but they don't change their recipes based on that, you might still need to make your edits in the actual meal option that you choose. The week before you get the option to select your dishes - 3 choices each day for breakfast and 6 choices each day for lunch and dinner. You can also cancel a day if you know you won’t be able to eat the meals. I’m not sure if that rolls over to the next week or reduces the charge for that week. They will not be delivering on Christmas/New Years Eve or Christmas/New Years Day. Catered Fit currently delivers to Los Angeles and South and Central Florida.
Coffee, Snacks, Desserts or Juices can be added for an additional charge or increase a meal to 'Athlete' portion if you need more calories. A small juice sample was included last week that was delicious (kale, green and red apple, pineapple juice). I may give one or more of those options a try soon and will post an update. I make sure to have my own snacks available (these days it's usually a Honeycrisp Apple) or I make some tea. Hunger pangs are often a sign of dehydration and not really a calorie deficit.
Their packaging is 100% recycled and the ingredients are locally sourced.
My price for the Paleo plan of 15 meals per week is $150 total. Meals are delivered the evening before (about 6:30 pm for me) in an insulated bag with an ice pack (you pay $10 for the bag which is yours to keep, and put it out with the old ice pack before your delivery arrives). When I’m ready to eat a meal I plate it (because it looks nice, not because I have to) then heat it up in the microwave in a few seconds.
Every meal has been fresh and reheated well. There were only a couple of vegetable sides that just didn’t work for me - your mileage may vary. I’m very happy with the food, service and the price is fantastic! The photos are my actual meals. Advantages of this service, for me, include fewer visits to the grocery store, less food waste, and better eating. Biggest benefit besides eating more (many more!) vegetables is that I feel a LOT better every day.
Upgrading to High Sierra
Apple is releasing the version of its Mac operating system, macOS High Sierra (10.13) on Monday. Like all major OS updates, it offers some obvious new features as well as under-the-hood improvements.
The more obvious changes include:
Photos - persistent side view with new filter choices (keyword, media type, date, etc), Expanded import view, Curves, and Selective Color editing tools, improved Face recognition, Live Photos editing, more categories for Memories
Safari - autoplay blocking, Intelligent Tracking Prevention, Safari Reader always-on option
Mail - optimized storage to take up 35% less space, improved search
iCloud - iCloud Drive files sharing, iCloud storage family plans
Siri - new more natural voice, new Apple Music skills, music-related trivia
iMessages - they can now be stored in the cloud allowing syncing between devices
Notes - notes can be pinned to stay at the top of your list
A change you won’t see is the new APFS (Apple File System) - this is how an operating system finds and stores ‘stuff’. The new file system helps to save space, better duplicate files, faster directory sizing, and take snapshots of your system to improve backups. If you’ve kept your iOS up to date, you’ve already seamlessly moved to APFS on that device without knowing it!
High Sierra also adds support for HEVC for 4K content.
What to be careful about - those of you still using Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 might want to consider upgrading to the latest version of Office or using alternate document editor (there are several including Pages that included for free from Apple). Office 2011 is no longer supported by Microsoft which leave it vulnerable but also means that it’s functions could start breaking down rapidly.
As always, follow these guidelines when preparing to upgrade to a new OS:
Backup! - in at least two ways/places
Check that your hardware can run the latest OS: All Macs introduced in mid-2010 or later are compatible as well as MacBook and iMac computers introduced in late 2009
Check that the software that you used regularly will still work with macOS High Sierra, in particular, and non-Apple apps.
Apple ID: have that login info handy as you will need it getting started with macOS High Sierra
Feel free to contact me if you need help.
Yesterday Apple announced their latest product upgrades for iPhone: 8/8Plus and iPhone X (pronounced 'ten', not 'x'), Watch (series 3/with LTE) and tv 4K(5th gen). You can watch the full keynote here. In a nutshell, faster processors, face recognition to replace TouchID, and wireless charging for the iPhone. Cell phone function built into the Watch and 4K and HDR for the tv 4K. Notable is where this announcement took place - Apple’s shiny new Steve Jobs Theater on the new Apple campus. This inaugural keynote included a lovely tribute to Steve Jobs on the 10th anniversary of the iPhones debut.
iPhone 8/8Plus and iPhone X
The question I get asked often: should I upgrade my iPhone? If you always have to have the latest ‘thing’ then of course, but really the answer depends on your individual needs and preferences. In general, if your phone is 2 years old or more, I would say yes.
The biggest reason: speed. The processor in these new devices handle tasks much faster and uses battery power more efficiently. Those two facts alone are enough to make this upgrade a noticeable improvement.
If you want more details Apple has outlined the differences between the various models of iPhones on this page: https://www.apple.com/iphone/compare/
Here are my highlights for all models (X, 8, 8Plus):
- A11 Bionic chip
- Wireless Charging
- Optical image stabilization
- True-tone flash
- Portrait mode/Portrait Lighting (X, 8Plus)
Here’s why I’m getting the iPhone X. This phone is the special one. The One More Thing. The screen size is bigger than the screen on the iPhone 8Plus (and my current 7Plus) while the overall dimensions of the phone are smaller! It’s like magic. Apple has designed this phone with an edge-to-edge OLED display with HDR that doesn’t require backlighting - allowing the phone to be smaller. This will fit more easily in my hands without giving up the larger display that I have come to love. The iPhone X will be unique in that it will use FaceID (facial recognition) to unlock the phone. No more home button. Much more secure than even TouchID. I’m sure it will take a bit of getting used to. I’m also looking forward to the Animoji feature that uses the facial recognition hardware to create moving emojis based on my facial expressions. Cute! Of course, those features come at a premium price (and slight delay).
If you aren’t excited about the iPhone X newness, the iPhone 8 and 8Plus are excellent choices.
has been updated to Series 3, with a built in cellular option. The latter will include the ability to take and make phone calls, texts messages, stream music, use Siri, get app alerts, etc. on a cellular network (same phone number/carrier as your existing iPhone). It means you can go for run/walk and leave your iPhone at home. In addition the Series 3 Watch now includes an altimeter, can connect directly to some gym equipment, and has a brighter screen.
This 5th generation of the AppleTV will now let you watch in 4K and HDR as well as streaming live sports and news. Interesting for some but the amount of 4K content available is still limited. If you currently have the 4th generation tv there's no rush to upgrade.
Hardware is one thing but software, the operating system, is what drives these devices. Stay tuned for my next post on macOS High Sierra, iOS 11 and watchOS 4 - all being released in the next weeks.