New Apple Watch Setup Tips (watchOS 10)

If you are setting up an Apple Watch for the first time, here are some tips for getting the most out of your watch


The Apple Watch has two buttons, the Digital Crown and the Side Button. It also supports other swiping and long press gestures.

  • Digital Crown
    • Pressing the Digital Crown will show the App View.
    • Turning the Digital Crown while you are looking at the time will show you some action tiles and eventually show the list of apps.
  • Side Button
    • Pressing the Side Button will show Control Center.
    • Double clicking on the Side Button will show Apple Pay.
  • Swiping down from the top of the screen will show Notification Center
  • Watch Face Edit View is launched by long pressing on the watch face
    • Scroll the digital crown to switch to a different watch face
    • Click Edit to make changes to a watch face

Recommended Changes

Out of the box a lot of the settings Apple has chosen are great, but there are a few adjustments I make for a better experience.

  1. Turn on Silent Mode so it won’t make sounds via Control Center
  2. Try out the Find my Phone functionality also in control center, the icon is a phone with sound waves coming out of it
  3. The Watch app on the iPhone makes it really easy to configure the settings on your watch and also to manage your watch faces
  4. Set up Apple Pay on your watch because it is way easier than having to take your phone out
  5. Enable Bold Text in Settings > Display & Brightness for better readability of text
  6. Turn on Prominent Haptics in Settings > Sounds & Haptics, this will give you a bigger vibration when prior to the normal vibration
  7. Update the Siri settings, I like to have “Hey Siri” and Raise to Speak disabled, but leave it on for pressing the Digital Crown
  8. Change the App view to List View, by pressing the digital crown and scrolling to the bottom of the view and pressing List View OR via Settings > App View
  9. Disable reminders for the Mindfulness app so it won’t ask how you are doing twice a day
  10. Disable reminders for the Handwashing app so you won’t get notified every time you wash your hands for less than 20 seconds
  11. Disable “Start Workout Reminder” in Workout app settings, this means you won’t be prompted if you are just walking around and I think it might also save a little battery life too.

iOS 11 for iPhone

Today is the annual update all your iOS devices day, thanks to the release of iOS 11, watchOS 4 and tvOS 11.  I have been running the public beta of iOS 11 on my iPad for over a month and on my iPhone for about 2 weeks.  Here is a quick review of the biggest changes in iOS 11 for iPhone, because the scale of the changes on the iPad is too big for anything quick.

Control Center

The most dramatic change for the iPhone is the new Control Center.  You may not know its name, but  if you have an iPhone it is likely that you swiped up from the bottom of the screen to reveal a set of controls for turning on airplane mode, or most likely to use the flashlight.  It is the same area where you may have seen music controls when you were trying to find the flashlight and only after trial and error realized you could swipe right to find the page with the flashlight.

In iOS 11 the multi page Control Center is being replaced with a single page that is now much larger and contains lots of buttons of different shapes and sizes.  
It takes a while getting used to all the new controls and what they do, but after a week or so it becomes second nature.  Simply tapping on the controls will perform the expected action, but if you long press or 3D Touch on some of they will reveal a more detailed control.  For example, long pressing on the flashlight will give you three options for brightness.  


Not a lot has changed in the Messages app, but since it is used by a lot of people I wanted to point them out.  In iOS 10, the introduction of apps in Messages was a tent pole feature and they invaded the Messages app.  One downside to this was you had to do an extra tap to attach or take a pictures.  I know it doesn’t seem like much, but it really annoyed me.  In iOS 11 apps in Messages are featured differently and as a result the camera is now only a single tap away.
Now instead of using an arrow button to reveal the camera, the text input field is a little smaller and the icons for the camera and app store are always displayed.  A new row of apps is always displayed to help encourage their use, but in a nice and subtle way.  My only gripe about this new interface is once you type a certain number of characters the input field grows and it always “startles” me as the display changes.

Live Photos

One of my favorite features on my iPhone 6S is Live Photos.  I almost always forget to record video of different events and it is so nice to be able to see a brief snippet of video that I “accidentally” captures.  I generally leave Live Photos turned on, because why not.  In iOS 11, Live Photos is getting a couple upgrades.  My favorite is the new Live Photo Effects: Loop, Bounce or Long Exposure.  I know these already exist in apps like Instagram and Snapchat, but it is nice to be able to apply these effects after they are taken.  
To access the Effects just slide the Live Photo up to reveal a live running example of what it will look like.  There is a slight delay as the effects are applied so be patient, but once they have loaded you can tap on the effect you like and the photo will be updated.  The first option is Loop, which tries to create a looping video that repeats over and over again.  The second option is Bounce, which will play the video forward for a certain amount of time and then reverse it for the same amount of time.  The last one is Long Exposure, which will basically overlay all the different frames together as if you left the shutter on your camera open for a long exposure photo, this works best for things like waterfalls or night shots.

Other Random Changes

Above are the changes I found to be most notable on the iPhone, but here are some more quick things you may notice.
  • Taking a screenshot will now show a thumbnail in the bottom right corner of your screen for a few seconds.  You can tap on it to mark up the thumbnail and choose to share it, save to Photos or delete it.
  • Screen recording is a control that is available in the new Control Center.  It is not in Control Center by default, but you can add it in Settings.  Once it is on you can record what you are doing on the screen and it will be saved to Photos.
  • Swiping down from the top will show the lock screen.
  • iCloud Family Sharing of data!!!  Now you can share your iCloud storage data with your entire family, so just spend $2 a month for 200GB and everybody will have plenty of space.
  • The App Store is completely redesigned.
UPDATE: Forgot to include Do Not Disturb While Driving, which will automatically turn on whenever your iPhone detects you are driving.  Any messages you receive will auto reply with a message that you are driving and the ability for the sender to resend with the word URGENT to bypass it.

Tech Transition

Between a Rock and New Tech

In October Apple released the new MacBook Pro with TouchBar and received a mixed reaction. Some complaints cited the configuration limit of 16GB of memory, decreased battery size due to increased thinness and the use of only Thunderbolt 3 ports. All of these complaints are valid for some users and I think Apple is acknowledging it by still selling the Mid–2015 MacBook Pro alongside the new Late–2016 models. They would certainly rather have a simple product matrix that didn’t include old models of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air too, but they still need to hit all the price points to accommodate all different types of consumers. The good news is if you want all the ports and you want a bigger battery then go purchase the old device, with its Intel Haswell processor and slower SSD.

People had the same concerns about the MacBook Air when it was first introduced with its lack of ports and very high price, but now people love that computer. I think we are seeing a similar situation with the MacBook Pro they are creating a form factor they will be using for the next five years and initially the hardware that will fit into it is going to be constrained, but as time goes by the internals will get faster, cheaper and smaller all while the case is tweaked and refined to perfection. I would expect the next generation to include support for more memory and improved battery life because of the improvements of internals.

The new Thunderbolt 3 port situation is also a byproduct of this forward looking view from Apple. The new case might not fit a USB-A port without requiring an increase in the thickness of the case, all for a port that may be completely irrelevant in 3–4 years. It may seem backwards to design a case first and then figure out what can go inside it, but it makes more sense if you think about the case you want in five years. How small can we make the case given our predictions on how people will use computers in five years? Using this logic also may explain why the SD card slot was not included in the new MacBook Pro. A majority of the cameras I use take the Micro SD cards and I am always forced to use an adapter/dongle in order to get them on my computer. In 3–4 years will SD cards still be the standard or will more cameras switch over to Micro SD or some other standard.
Other complaints recently have been around the absence of any new desktop Macs in 2016. I think the MacBook Pro is the flagship Mac and not only got more attention, but also needs to introduce new features before they appear on the desktops. If we look back just a few years we saw the MacBook first get Retina displays and Force Touch trackpads. Similarly I think we will see new desktop Macs in 2017 that include Thunderbolt 3 ports, new SSD’s and some variation of the Touch Bar. I think from a development perspective it is probably much easier to build it for the MacBook Pro and then retrofit that to a desktop machine than it is build something for the desktop and try to squeeze it into the MacBook Pro.

2016 was not a fantastic year for the desktop Mac, but it saw some amazing new technologies come to the MacBook Pro. The features on the MacBook Pro might not satisfy people in 2016, but over the next couple of years as more and more electronics convert to using USB-C style connectors we will be glad that our MacBooks Pro have plenty of Thunderbolt 3 ports to go around. Now we just need the MacBook to get an upgrade to not one, but two Thunderbolt 3 ports. Transitioning to the future is hard, but no matter what we are all going to be there.

Apple Product Naming Over the Last 10 Years

Over the last ten years Apple has released four new product categories: iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV. In each of these categories they have had various naming conventions for the products. The name of the initial offering for each category was usually straightforward, well with the exception of the Apple Watch and its various editions. As the products started to branch out the names got slightly more inconsistent.


The original iPhone was followed by the iPhone 3G, because of support for 3G cellular networks, which interestingly also has caused some people to refer to the original iPhone as the iPhone 2G. After that was the iPhone 3GS, followed by the fourth release, the iPhone 4. It was the third form factor, but fourth phone model. Since then the pattern of incrementing the number for each new form factor and adding an S for the intermediate years. In 2013, the newest phone was named iPhone 5S, but another new C designation was added for the new colorful iPhone 5C, which had all of the internals of the iPhone 5, but had a polycarbonate case. It isn’t clear why the new phone was released, perhaps to differentiate it more from the S model or maybe to try and add more demand for the year old model by making it seem “new”. In 2014, a new form factor was introduced with the expected increment in the number, however a new larger screen became available adding the new + identifier, for the iPhone 6+. Most recently in 2015 the introduction of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S+ continued the tradition of using the S identifier for the second year of the same form factor. However, unlike last time a new C model was not introduced along side the S model and instead the iPhone 6 remained available.
GenerationMarketing NameAlt. Names
1iPhoneiPhone 2G
2iPhone 3G
3iPhone 3G S
4iPhone 4
5iPhone 4 S
6iPhone 5
7iPhone 5 S
8iPhone 6
9iPhone 6 S


The original iPad was followed by the iPad 2 in March 2011. So far so good, right? The following year a new iPad was announced with the same form factor, but a new retina display. Apple referred to this model as “new iPad”, however most people refer to it as the iPad 3 or 3rd generation using the old iPod naming convention. A short seven months later Apple announced the next iteration of the iPad, which was marketed as “iPad with Retina Display”. The form factor remained the same as its predecessor, this version was also referred to as iPad 4 or 4th generation. At the same event Apple also announced a new smaller iPad called the iPad Mini, similar to the branding used on the first smaller iPod Mini. In 2013, a new thinner form factor with a smaller bezel was introduced with a new name, the iPad Air. The Air name had been used for the ultra portable line of MacBooks first introduced in 2008, which were much smaller than the existing MacBook and MacBook Pro models. The overall size of the device was noticeably smaller compared to the previous models, which may be the reason for the new naming convention. At the same event in 2013 the new “iPad Mini with Retina Display” was announced as the successor to the iPad Mini. The following year the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 were announced, while the form factors were the same as the previous generation the internals were upgraded. At this time the previous generation iPad Mini with Retina Display”” was given a new designation of iPad Mini 2. In September 2014, Apple announced the highly anticipated iPad Pro with a new 12” screen. At this point Apple seems to have settled on using Mini, Air and Pro as the names for the different screen sizes, they then just stick a number on the end based on which generation of the current name.
GenerationMarketing NameAlt. Names
2iPad 2
3new iPadiPad 3, 3rd Generation
4iPad with Retina DisplayiPad 4, 4th Generation
5iPad Air
6iPad Air 2


I could go over the many various names for Apple laptops over the years, PowerBooks, iBooks and MacBooks, but this will focus on the MacBook. The first MacBook was the MacBook Pro announced in January of 2006. The polycarbonate MacBook was announced the following May. These two were updated once or twice a year until January 2008 when the new thinner MacBook Air was announced. 

Going forward the three different lines have been maintained with the MacBook Air being the smallest model, the MacBook Pro being larget more performing model and the MacBook being the same size as the MacBook Pro, but cheaper and less powerful. In 2012, things changed a little with the introduction of the Retina Display on the MacBook Pro, as these were rolled out there was a choice between the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. At some point the MacBook disappeared and the MacBook Pro 13” was added. Most recently in 2015, the new MacBook with Retina Display, was released, which is actually smaller than the MacBook Air. Unlike iPhones and iPads the various MacBooks of the same line are differentiated using the date they were initially released.

The Apple Devices

The other devices I will mention are the Apple TV and Apple Watch. Both of these start with Apple, well technically there name starts with the Apple logo. The Apple TV was originally introduced as iTV, but was changed before it shipped. It has had a few different iterations, but generally it is just referred to using an understood “generation” nomenclature. The Apple Watch is still on the first generation, so whether it gets the numbered system like the iPhone and iPad or if it just gets the generally accepted “generation” nomenclature hasn’t been determined yet.

In Conclusion

It is often confusing and not logical the way these various products have been named, but I think it is bound to happen in an industry where it is difficult to foresee how a product category may change. It is also hard to judge some of these names without knowing what products are to come. I think some of the naming has to do with the target consumer and market. The phones are much more mainstream and they need a clear naming convention so the average consumer can figure out the difference between the various models.

As for the use of Apple in the front of Apple Watch, I think this is the new direction and if they could go back in time I think the iPhone would have been named Apple Phone. The i naming thing seems so dated and has also opened up a pandora’s box for third party companies naming their stuff with the i prefix. Using the Apple prefix also prevents any trademark issues like they experienced with the iPhone.

Finally, I am really interested to see when they decide to drop the numbering scheme from the iPhone and iPad names. It will sound completely ridiculous when they release the iPhone 11 or iPad Mini 14. I wonder if by then the products will be so mature that it will be released in a similar to manner as the MacBook, with random releases every year having only minor performance improvements with major form factor changes every 4-5 years.

UPDATE: After more consideration I wonder if the numbering scheme is also a result of how the specs of the mobile devices are somewhat obfuscated from consumers.  If you try to buy a MacBook Pro they don’t break them down into different numbers even when there are a couple generations available, instead we can rely on the old processor speed, storage, memory and display quality properties to pick the device that is right for you. Perhaps it is just another side effect of the simplification of computing devices, if the operating system is going to be easier to use than it only makes sense that buying one should be less confusing too.

For the Love of Pod-casts

An ATP Mention

The last six months of so have brought a major change to my life, it all started when my good friend Alex (@alexredsox) posted a tweet about a mention he got on the Accidental Tech Podcast. At the time I saw it, quickly listened to his moment in the sun and then continued moving down my Twitter feed. It would take me about six months to fully appreciate why he was so excited about being referenced on a podcast.

My Podcast

I had been aware of podcasts for quite a while, including the production of my own podcast called “Keeg’s World”, which was a companion to my LiveJournal back at the turn of the century. I attempted to start the one guy talking to himself show, but it didn’t really pan out and only lasted a few episodes. I never really checked out any other podcasts, probably because it required so much leg work to the iPod up to date. I was also very excited to be listening to music during my commute into Boston on my fancy new 3rd generation iPod

My other love besides music has been the Howard Stern show. I have been a listener since the late 1990’s and continue to listen today on Sirius/XM. Say what you will about him and his sometimes controversial show segments, but I find him to be an amazing entertainer. His ability to know exactly what his audience will find entertaining is amazing, he somehow puts himself in the position of the listeners and can immediately tell if something is entertaining or not. He is the greatest interviewer I have ever heard, because he goes beyond the standard questions and digs deeper with people. You can have little or no interest in somebody, and after a short 90 minutes you can’t wait to buy their album or see their new movie. My favorite part of the show is usually the beginning of the show, because it is just Howard talking about his everyday life. Some mornings it is a lengthy discussion about his evening at home and other times he might talk about a dinner he had with his parents. The first hour of the show never fails to keep me entertained, because it is just a couple of people talking about nothing in particular.

A New Interest

Fast forward to the Spring of 2015 and something changed, I can’t say for sure what triggered the interest, but I started listening to a couple podcasts. Right around the time the Apple Watch was released I checked out either the iMore show or The Talk Show. I was hooked right away, because I found people that talked about something I was passionate about, Apple. I quickly consumed these podcasts each week and then the cross pollination began. First, Rene Ritchie mentioned another show he was on called, Debug. I checked it out and added it to my growing list.

It wasn’t long before I found the Accidental Tech Podcast(ATP) again. I loved the banter between the guys and how they discussed all facets of technology, it was nice to also hear them go back and forth on various topics. I was especially intrigued by John Siracusa, his quick wit, knowlege and critical perspective on all the things really spoke to me. I had to know more so I delved into the archives of the old 5x5 podcast network and found the 100 episode run of Hypercritical Naturally I started at episode 1 and started to learn more about Mr. Siracusa. Luckily around that time he started Reconcilable Differences with Merlin Mann, which really dove into the mind of Mr. Hypercritical.

I cruised a long with a nice set of shows for a few months and was able to keep up with the new episodes, thanks to Overcast and its Smart Speed feature. I learned that September is a ridiculous month as all the podcasts first predict what Apple will announce, discuss what Apple announced and finally try out the products Apple released.

Hello Internet

Right around this time on The Talk Show Episode 132 with Marco Arment they kept talking about a show called Hello Internet, I hadn’t heard of it before, but when John Gruber and Marco Arment recommend something (both Howard Stern fans I believe) you should go listen to it. They couldn’t have been more right!!

The fun thing about podcasts is that you can pick and choose the order in which you listen to the shows. In the case of Hello Internet I decided to listen to the first several episodes to learn the full story of CGP Grey and Brady Haran and their little podcasts of two guys talking. I was immediately hooked. The balance between their personalities is perfect, very much like the perfect balance found on ATP between Marco, Casey and John. The added bonus for me was that it was not a technology podcast, so my wife enjoyed listening too. Of course being a completionist and once again being intrigued by one of the hosts, in this case CGP Grey, I sought out more information and found the Cortex. I was fortunate enough to find this early enough that I was able to complete the entire backlog in a few weeks time.


So why did I make this post about podcasts I like? A couple weeks ago I came to a realization that finding podcasts was bittersweet for me. It has been great finding people in the world that care about the same things as me like, Apple, technology, work styles, etc.. However, it also made me realize I don’t have people in my everyday life with the same interests. OK that is not entirely true since there is one guy at work with the same views, but he doesn’t share the same love of podcasting. It might be time to start my own podcasting network so I can find others with similar interests.

Other Subscribed Podcasts

Here are some other podcasts I didn’t mention above, but subscribe to.

Rant Friday

I feel it is my duty to update on the current status of my MicroCell.  Status: Nothing has changed.  My account online continues to say “Activation Pending” and the little green 3G light continues to flash on the device.  I am guessing this will not get fixed by the end of the weekend.  It would be one thing if the device had a subtle design, but instead it is this giant white plastic upside down Y shaped thing.  It doesn’t help that it has to sit next to the router and cable modem, which already sit in our kitchen and the 50 feet of cable total that Apple and the modem company thought people would need (we only need about 2 feet).  The worst part is paying $150 for something to get a signal on my phone and now I still have no service, but AT&T has my money.  Ahhhhh!!!

Now onto my friends at Apple.  I am going to write off this antenna thing for the time being as a lot of media hype and besides I don’t currently get service in most cases anyway (see above), so it isn’t a big deal for me.  However, I do have a new gripe with the fruit company. What is the point of having a store if you can’t buy anything?  The two most showcased items in the Apple Store right now are the iPhone 4 and the iPad.  They probably have 30 of each for demonstration purposes, the problem is if you actually want to buy one, well frankly you can’t.  Now I understand not being able to keep the iPhone 4 in stock, its only been out for a week, but the iPad as of tomorrow will have been out for three months. Ridiculous!!  Maybe I should sell my AAPL stock now before people realize the number of sales of the iPhone and iPad each day at least in the Apple Store in the Burlington Mall are 0.0.  Maybe they should march the neglected Macintosh computers out into the spotlight and get people to buy some of those instead of just teasing people into liking a smartphone or tablet they can’t even buy.  On the bright side maybe those people will be turned on to touch screen smartphones and go buy a Droid X on July 15th, leaving the next shipment of iPhone 4’s all to me.  Until then I am sticking it out with this super slow iPhone 3G with iOS 4.