Thursday, June 27, 2019

With The Flashlight App on Most Phones, Is Anyone Buying Flashlights Anymore?

Everyone is talking about what the Apple Watch replacing the traditional watches and decimating the market.  But that has been happening long before the Apple Watch came along.   I'm not sure what is the percentage of the human population that wear watches but it is not a reach to suggest that that number dropped since the availability of the iPhone and other smart phones.

What I am wondering about is how the smartphone has affected the flashlight market.  I thought of this when I went on a recent camping trip.  I had all the gears that I needed including flashlights for the strolls on the paths that had no lights. 

I brought a lot a couple of lanterns and two flashlights with 1000 lumens each.  I ended up not using one of them because I had not thought to when I left the camp site which was well lit by a fire and half a dozen lanterns brought by my family and friends.

With my wife using one of the flashlights, I had only my phone and so I turned it on to illuminate the path in front of us to make sure we don't trip or stepped into anything that I was going to regret while she swept the beam from the flashlight around us.

My phone performed admirably.  It was adequate for the near darkness.  We could not see anything in front of us and the only source of light were cabins across the lake and everything else was dark on our side.

Had we only used our phones, it would have been fine.  Maybe a bit more scary but I am sure there was no bears around despite the signs.  But, hey, we're city folks so we are not used to being in that environment.

So I wondered if what we had was good enough for a weekend camping trip, is anyone really buying flashlights anymore?  Unless you have a specific need for a flashlight or lantern, I just don't see it.

It depends on the specific needs.  If you need one that is more durable because of work, definitely. A handyman is going to need more than a phone.  Ergonomically, a tube shaped flashlight works better than a phone for most types of jobs.  And if you need more light than the light on a camera can provide, definitely.

When we go for walks at night in the neighborhood, the phone light was all that we needed.  I have a couple of small flashlights about 50 lumens sitting by the door and I can't remember when was the last time I used them.

For me, the most important tech I needed were the battery packs with USB ports to charge our phones.  I know what some of you may be thinking.  I should have left the tech at home.  Sorry, city folks here.  Ain't gonna happen.  Mostly I needed to check emails but that's about it.  I ignored everything else that was coming through.  Sort of a compromise.

So, are you still buying flashlights for your home needs? And if not, is it because the light on your phone is all you need?

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

My Next Apple Watch Will Have Cellular Data

I’m pretty happy with my Apple Watch 3. This came after Apple Watch and Apple Watch 2. I don’t have the Apple Watch 4 because I did not think Apple Watch 4 was enough of a leap over the previous one. Don't get me wrong. Apple Watch 4 is fantastic and if I was on the Apple Watch 2, I would not hesitate to upgrade to Apple Watch 4. It’s just that having ECG wasn’t enough of an improvement for me. And the battery life is something Apple has a lot of work to do. 

Eventually, I will need to upgrade. More correctly, I will want to upgrade. The reason is that I can’t wait to go completely Dick Tracy and rely more on my Apple Watch and leave my iPhone at home for times when I don’t absolutely need it.

What got me thinking that I will definitely have to have cellular wires service for my next Apple Watch has to do with the fact that there is now an App Store that users can access directly on the watch.

It shows that Apple is finally at the point where it is comfortable for users to be completely untethered to the iPhone. Once we can get over-the-air update for Watch OS directly onto the watch, there goes the biggest reason for Apple to require the users to have an iPhone.

Furthermore, this will allow Apple and developers to further innovate and come up with new ways for wrist based computing since not everyone will have an iPhone.

But the fact remains that the Apple Watch will need the iPhone in the forseeable future.  My uneducated guess is that the Apple Watch 5 will require users to have an iPhone but much less so.  And whether I get the Apple Watch 5 will largely depend on what kind of new unique features it will have that I definitely find myself in need of.  Otherwise, I am still perfectly happy with my current watch and can wait a bit longer. 

I think this is also the case for most users.  For potential Apple Watch buyers, you cannot go wrong with what Apple has on the market if you're not willing to wait the summer out until Apple releases the next one. 

Owners of the Apple Watch 3, 4, and 5 will experience a vastly different computing and mobile experience than previous generations and watches on other platforms.  Apple has found itself ina position where no one else can provide the same experience in the watch market.  I'm very excited to see where Apple takes the watch. 

For those reasons, I am certain the next Apple Watch that anyone will own should have the LTE connection.  I am going to go further and suggest that Apple discontinue the WiFi only version once it is able to completely free it from the iPhone.

Apple Should Prepare to Leave China (There Is Still Time To Execute Such A Plan)

At first glance, you might think that the title of this article is a clickbait considering that China is the second biggest economy in the w...