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Finally! A Watch any Techie Could Love


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First of all, I hate texts! And one thing I hate most about texts is that you know someone has sent you one but you don't know if it's important or just drama so the temptation for many is to pull out their smartphone and look. Or, for some of us, to pull off at the first opportunity and check. Because, at least for me, most texts come when I'm driving.

 

My clients now send me texts. My wife will text me knowing I am only 15 minutes into a 45 minute drive!

 

I wear a bluetooth earpiece so they could call me and all it would take for me to respond is a touch of my hand on the ear piece. But, noooooo! They have to text. Because "it's not important enough to interrupt you by calling".

 

Not many people, I think, can resist at least peeking at an incoming text. Which explains the alleged accident rate.

 

So, last month my wristwatch decided I lived in Vermont and need to know the time there. It's a Casio "Atomic" watch which gets its signals from various time standard broadcasts and what I liked about it was that it was accurate and it changed its time automatically when daylight savings time came or went with no drama.

 

"I have a smartphone", I thought to myself, "why not a smart watch?". So I checked the prices. The new Samsung Gear "S" costs about $300 and then they want me to pony up $40 a month for a "data plan".

 

I don't think so. No watch could be worth $40 a month plus its purchase plan. I've had employees who weren't worth that much...

 

So I ended up buying a Moto 360 for $179 (and a different band for $22 from Amazon). No monthly payments, either. But you can't leave your phone home and still make a call from the Moto 360; so I plan to not leave my phone at home. Problem solved.

 

First thing, right off the bat, was that Hailey, 14, kept yelling "ok google" at my watch. She sent two texts and made a phone call before I figured out what was up. Luckily, they were all to her mom. Otherwise, I would probably still be explaining why I was yelling "don't listen to her" to my wristwatch in the middle of a phone call.....

 

I am moderately savvy when it comes to techie stuff (I run Linux, after all) but I have to admit that I am not completely comfortable with the Moto 360 yet. It's only been a few days though. I have managed to put some spiffy new watch faces on it. Including one that mimics a far more expensive Apple smartwatch. So I can hobnob with the executives in the secure knowledge that most of them have only seen a photo of the Apple device and can be easily fooled.

 

It does tell me when a text comes in and who its from so I don't have to fumble with my Galaxy Note, do the log in thing, and then read it. And it vibrates on my wrist for emails, too. And it tells me the time when I flick my wrist around (otherwise the screen stays dark). And looks cool with whatever new watch face I put onto it when the whim strikes me. There are fake Breitlings, Rolexes, and Bulovas. There are even fake Casios. The displays will show temperature, compass heading, and location as well as date and time.

 

It keeps track of my heart rate which, at my age, is handy just knowing that my heart is still working. It also counts my "steps". My wife and I have a little competition going about who takes the most "steps" every day (she counts hers using her cellphone). My watch counted up 5 steps just eating breakfast. I'm thinking that is a feature!

 

So, all in all, it seems to be worth the $100 or so over the price of what I would have paid for another watch that I don't have to reset for daylight savings time changes. It's fun to fiddle with the new faces and figure out the features. And it vibrates at me now and then in a friendly sort of way.

 

Hailey and her mom are coming over for dinner tonight though... I think I'll put that Casio back on. Who knows who she'll call by simply yelling at my wrist....

 

WDR

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They are selling them at Costco, at least the one in Woodinville WA. My wife was thinking of getting a FitBit, so maybe a Motorola 360 will work instead. Rumors are Version 2 is coming out soon.

I have no doubt. No use waiting around for the latest though... in today's tech world you'll be sitting on your hands forever. Besides, sometimes you find that the former version is better than the newer version.

 

They have the fitbit up here, too. I haven't seen the Moto 360s in Costco.

 

All in all I'm pretty happy with mine. I think "wearables" need more time for the device and the person to get comfortable with each other.

 

I really like the way I can change my watch face from a classy "go out to dinner" face to a rugged looking military type with just a few clicks. If you want to see what watchfaces are out there, go to http://facerepo.com/app/faces/?faceType=facer&shape=round&sortOrder=downloadsAll&page=1. There are pages and pages of them.

 

WDR

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You mean my tick: tick: Timex needs updating ?

I guess it depends. In the 1960s I had a Rolex that cost me $50 every year for "cleaning and rating". I wore that watch until about 1980 when I could buy a $19 Casio that kept better time and didn't have to be "rated". (Rating, for a chronometer, is so a navigator knows how much time it gains or loses over a set period.) In 1980 our cruising sailboat had three Casio digital watches. We also had a satellite navigation system called "Transit" that, unlike GPS, gave you a position fix only when a satellite went over. Sometimes you'd not get a fix for many hours.

 

So I benched the Rolex. And a succession of Casio/Timex/Accutron took its place until, finally, the last Casio quit telling me the correct time.

 

I really don't need the absolute correct time any more; I could probably get by with a sundial. But I'm used to it. So...

 

But now, when the DW texts me, at least all I have to do is twist my wrist. :P

 

WDR

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There have been times I have really missed my old Casio calculator digital watch. I could do hex, octal and binary, along with floating point calculations. One day I looked down and it was gone, the strap had broken and it fell off my hand. Since then my watches have just been watches.

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I am starting to understand the "wearable" concept a little better now after watching a bunch of YouTube videos on the Moto 360 (which I have) and the Apple "watch" and Samsung Gear "S".

 

There is one camp that thinks mobile devices will all boil down to a watch-type device which can make calls, surf the Internet, receive email, texts, etc. These folks think that the Apple Watch and the Samsung Gear "S" come close to this paradigm. The Samsung Gear S is a cell phone in its own right. It has a SIM card and its own telephone number and can make cell phone calls and get onto the Internet independently of any cell phone device it's paired with. So when you get one of these you have to get a cell system data plan just like your smart phone.

 

The other "camp" consists of people who want the watch to be an adjunct to the smart phone and simply display notifications of emails, texts, and phone calls as transmitted to it by the smart phone it's synchronized to. Some of these devices are fairly limited and others more complex.

 

Then there are those in the camp that thinks a watch should tell time only, be wound up by hand, and maybe glow at night; but that's it.

 

The Moto 360 seems to me to fit into the second camp but is right on the cusp. For instance, the Moto 360 will sync to your smart phone if it has a WiFi connection but cannot connect to a cell phone network. So you could leave your smart phone at your desk at work or in your bedroom at home, for instance, but still remain synchronized as you wander around within the WiFi network (if you have one). But you have to turn this feature on at the Moto 360 first; it's not enabled by default. I haven't tried it yet.

 

The Moto 360 does have limited web surfing ability with a browser app. By "limited" I mean that because of the device's small screen the web surfing experience is limited; but at least it's in color. And the browser is linking via the cell phone it's synced with.

 

The Samsung Gear S can web surf independently of its smart phone partner but it's also an app that has to be installed. Because it has a larger (curved to fit your wrist) design it will display more. I can't imagine it would be anything stupendous, however.

 

The Apple Watch has no web surfing capabilities as far as I can tell.

 

So far the Moto 360 does pretty much what I wanted in a smart watch. It displays notifications (it just told me that I have to pick Hailey up and take her to school in 37 minutes, for instance) without my having to get my phone out of my pocket, log in (I have a passcode), and check the notifications. It tells me who is calling, texting or emailing me. And I can put whatever watch face on it that best suits my eyesight (and mood). And it's about half the price of the cheapest Apple Watch version or the Samsung Gear S.

 

There are "apps" for all of these but I'm not so sure many of them are all that useful. I'd like to find a good calculator app. I have an HP41 app on my Note 3 that I use all the time but I also had one of the Casio calculator watches like Bill had and that would be cool on my wrist too. I'll be looking for a decent calculator for the Moto 360.

 

The DW's device should be here in a day or so and I'll be able to see how that works.

 

Edit: this RPN calculator looks pretty cool: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.flickkey.FlickCalcWear&hl=en

 

WDR

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I discovered something yesterday that was interesting. I did not take my Moto 360 off in the shower. I meant to, but after 50 years of wearing water-resistant watches (Rolex and Casio) I simply got into the shower and after a bit noticed that I still had my Moto on my wrist. "Oh, well," I said to myself, "it's water-resistant down to a meter for 30 minutes so no worries."

 

Then my Note 3, sitting outside the shower over by the sink, started talking to me. A lot. And I looked down and realized that the Moto was communicating with the Note. And it was the water droplets from the shower hitting the face of the watch that was causing this!

 

So, yes, it's water-resistant. But wearing it in the shower is not a good idea if you don't want the Moto to start fiddling with your smart-phones settings.

 

Lesson learned!

 

WDR

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