Tag Archives: Apple

Tech review: Apple iWatch

Apple sent me an Apple iWatch in lead up to its big launch today. I’ve been wearing it discreetly for the past week or so, which wasn’t easy, because it’s so noticeably a smart watch. I had this whole plan rehearsed in my head if anybody were to come up to me and say, “Wow, is that an iWatch?” like I’d point to something in the other direction before running away. But luckily, nobody said anything.


But I guess Apple is expecting me to do some sort of a review, right? Well, for starters, the iWatch is so cool. It’s like, imagine if the iPhone were Batman, and the iWatch were Batman’s utility belt. Wait, no, Batman is the iPad. Or no, let me start over. Batman is the Mac, like the big computer. And the iPad is the Batmobile. So then the iPhone is like the Batcycle. Does this make sense? I don’t know, I never got an iPad, so now that I’m thinking about it, even though it’s bigger, I guess I’d have to relegate it to Batboat, something you know is out there, and it’s really big and expensive, but you only ever have a need for it if Aquaman’s in trouble.

I think I’m getting off topic here slightly. But yeah, the iWatch is like your own utility belt, but for your wrist. I thought that typing on that really tiny keyboard was going to be tough, but it’s not. It’s like, the QWERTY keyboard is really, really small. And my finger is about as big as the screen itself, so when I was trying to hit a certain key, there really wasn’t much for me to aim at. Yet, the iWatch nailed it, every time. After a while, I just disabled autocorrect to save some battery life, because I wound up never even making any mistakes.

Speaking of battery life, I don’t know how they got this thing to run on a regular watch battery, but it’s amazing to think that a tiny little piece of metal is capable of keeping this piece of high-tech gadgetry running for a full six months. And it’s like the screen never turns off, yet it never gets hot.

Not unless you want it to. One of the best features of the iWatch is temperature control. You can set it to be as hot or as cold as you like. And it’s totally waterproof. So if you ever find yourself with a room temperature drink, but you don’t have any ice readily available, you can just set the iWatch to maximum cool, and drop it in to get your beverage nice and frosty.

Apple, I know that I have to send this iWatch back to you, that you only sent it to me so I can write up a review. But I just wanted to say, thank you. I’ve been begging to be on the Apple tech early review team for years now, and I was so excited that you finally decided to take a chance on me. You have nothing to worry about. This iWatch reviews itself. Seriously. It’s a built-in app. You just launch it, select the Apple product that you’d like to generate a review for, and poof! Instant five-star review.

Apple, you guys are the best. Keep up the great work. I’m going to buy two iWatches when they’re available, one for each wrist.

My brain is empty

Sometimes I can’t get my mind to think about anything. A lot of the time, I’ll just start writing about how I can’t think of anything to write about. But this is different. I’m sitting here and I can’t even describe what’s going through my head right now. It feels like there’s nothing turned on . It’s like, usually if I’m really struggling I can at least start by just acknowledging where I am, what I’m doing.


Like right now, I’m sitting here at my kitchen table, I can hear the birds outside doing their thing. Sometimes just writing out an observation like that will jog something, all of the sudden I’ll realize that I haven’t been thinking about nothing, that there’s always something going on inside that I just haven’t been aware of.

But right now? I don’t know. I’m just sitting here. I’m typing on a really old laptop that my parents gave me after my house was robbed a little over a year ago. I remember at the time it felt like life was over. They got our computers, my XBOX, it was a mess. But now it doesn’t really feel like a big deal anymore. I don’t get to play video games, but that’s probably a good thing, because every once in a while I’d lose five or six hours at a time playing some online first-person shooter, getting yelled at by twelve-year-old gamers kicking my ass from all around the world.

And this computer is old, but it works fine. I bought more memory, upgraded the operating system. Aside from the cosmetic differences, it’s more or less the same than any new computer. Although, a couple of months ago, the screen died. I thought that it was going to be this huge deal, getting a replacement part, having it installed. The guy at the Genius Bar was like, “Even if Apple still made parts for this machine, which it doesn’t, it won’t make sense to put more money into an eight-year-old computer. Sorry.”

So I was a little bummed about that. But then on a whim I took it to one of those “We fix computers!” shops all the way downtown, and this Chinese guy took the computer out of my hand, unplugged it, plugged it in, started and restarted it a few times, and then held down command, option, r, and p, and bingo, it came to life. I couldn’t even understand what he was trying to tell me, but he wouldn’t accept the money I was holding out.

OK, so I just wrote about my computer. It was boring, but it was something. And I don’t think that I was thinking about that story before I started writing about how there was nothing going on inside of my head.

Right before I sat down to the computer, I got out an ice-cold can of Coke Classic from the fridge. I don’t drink soda that often, but I love it. I love drinking soda. I try not to keep it in the house because I know that, if it’s there, if there’s ice-cold Coke at my disposal, I’ll always go for it. Like right now. I don’t know how they got in there, but there were like three cans just right there, I noticed them yesterday.

And so I’ve been drinking them. And I don’t know what your opinion is, but to me, Coke is at its absolute best when it’s drank right out of the can. It just tastes better. You know what never tastes good? Coke out of a twenty-ounce bottle. It always tastes less carbonated, not as flavorful. I keep thinking that there has to be a reason, but nothing really makes sense in my head. So maybe it’s just that, maybe it’s all in my head. Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Maybe this is as good as it’s going to get today, talking about old computers and Coca-Cola in a can. Is that better than nothing? I don’t know. I’m trying to think about it but I can’t come up with any conclusions. My mind’s a total blank.

I don’t want green apple in my Skittles

I’m actually a little disappointed. I just went out and bought a bunch of candy. I love candy. There wasn’t much time wasted once I got home, I started right in on my box of Whoppers, those heavenly chocolate covered malt balls, whatever that means, malt, I don’t even care, not really, I’ll eat the whole box before my stomach signals my brain to maybe tell me that this isn’t going to make me feel too great.


But my brain wasn’t able to really make any sort of connections, because it got distracted. I was looking at the whole candy lineup, to see what was on deck after the Whoppers. It was Skittles, a classic. Obviously I’d have to have some sort of a drink, you know, cleanse the palate from all of that chocolate to allow the fruity burst of Skittles flavors to be experienced unrivaled on my tongue.

The packaging caught my eye though. Everything looked normal, your typical Skittles red background, the fruit rainbow arching underneath and then up above the Skittles logo. But there was something else, a little yellow bubble on the upper left corner. “Now with Green Apple!” it said next to a picture of a green Skittle.

Green apple? I don’t want green apple in my Skittles. Green apple is always the worst of the artificial candy flavors. It’s way too sour, bringing back unwanted memories of being a little kid and getting peer-pressured into eating all of these gross candies that nobody really liked. Remember Warheads? They were either really hot, or really sour, and nobody liked them.

Why were they so popular? I have no idea. It’s like, one day at recess, some kid showed up with Warheads. And it became this weird group hysteria, like if you didn’t claim to like Warheads, then something was wrong with you. The first time I encountered Warheads, I thought, OK, it’s candy, and everyone seems to like it. So I popped one in my mouth.

It was incredibly sour, so sour that I couldn’t help but to make a face while all of my classmates laughed. “What’s wrong Robbie, you don’t like Warheads?” which culminated in me putting six of them in my mouth at the same time, three fiery and three sour, while running around the schoolyard in circles, I guess to show how tough I was or something. I don’t know, now that I’m thinking about it, little kids are really stupid.

Green apple, it’s gross. It doesn’t taste like anything. No, scratch that, it tastes like apple juice. And apple juice doesn’t taste like anything. I never understand why parents give their little kids apple juice. It’s nothing more than sour sugar water. Every time I’m waiting tables on a family with little kids, it’s always the mom that asks me, “Do you guys have apple juice?” before ignoring me and turning right to the little kid, “Sweetie, do you want apple juice? Huh? Apple juice?” all while I’m basically screaming at the mom, trying to grab her attention back toward me, “Excuse me, we actually don’t have apple juice. No apple juice.”

Everything apple flavored is nasty. I guess I just always took for granted the fact that Skittles were one area in my life where I didn’t have to worry about being bombarded by the disgusting taste that is artificial apple. But not anymore. I put a handful of candy in my mouth, hoping maybe there’d be like a Fruit Loops affect, where as long as I ate everything in big enough handfuls, I wouldn’t be able to pick apart any individual flavors. But no luck, there it was, amidst the delicious fruit medley, the unmistakable grossness of green apple,

And what about lime? Lime’s a great flavor, both in its real and artificial manifestations. Not only was I physically repulsed by the addition of apple, but I was actually saddened by the loss of tangy lime. I guess I just can’t eat Skittles anymore. Which is too bad, because like I’ve already said, I used to really like Skittles. I guess I can still eat Tropical Skittles, or Wild Berry Skittles, or Dark Side Skittles. Yeah, but it’s not the same. Nothing will ever be the same.

Thoughts on the new iPhone

Are they going keep naming new iPhones based on the numerical order in which they’re released? Right now everything’s fine because we’re only up to iPhone 5. But what about years from now? Are consumers really going to be as excited for the iPhone 36? Hopefully I’m still alive by then. Also, hopefully scientists will have figured out a way to keep everyone looking young and healthy indefinitely, kind of like in that movie In Time with Justin Timberlake, just minus all of the massive inequality and social injustice, not to mention the terrible storytelling and horribly overdone time puns, “Time’s up,” stuff like that.


What am I talking about? Nobody saw that movie. But back to the iPhone. We’re all ignoring the fact that it went right from iPhone to iPhone 3G. What happened to the iPhone 2? And then after that it was 4 and then 4G and then 5 and now 5G and 5C. Talk about a horrible naming strategy. I’ve heard all sorts of theories, how the C is supposed to be for China, because they’re trying to get Chinese people to not only manufacture iPhones, but to buy them as well. But when I hear 5C, all I think of is the word cheap.

Like, “Oh, I see you bought the cheap one.” Why would you want a plastic phone? Why would you want a neon pink iPhone? Although, that’s a pretty stupid thing to say on my part. I shouldn’t be in the business of judging people’s preference in colors. I am a little disappointed by the fact that there really isn’t much of a selection. Not that I’m interested in buying the cheapo model anyway. It’s just that, what if you’re not into really bright colors? I guess for me it never really mattered anyway, seeing as how I never take it out of its plastic protective case.

While I’m on numbers, isn’t anybody else going to point out the obvious incompatibilities with model number and operating system? I’m talking about how when they released the 5S/C, they simultaneously made available the new operating system, IOS 7. Can’t the boys in marketing figure out a way to synchronize the numbers? I’m being petty here.

I just get annoyed whenever a new product comes out and everybody starts gushing over it, the media, everyone at work, people on the subway. And then like a week after it comes out, I start to see them everywhere, new iPhones, shiny new colors, slightly different ringtones and message alert sounds. I took out my phone the other day, and a coworker was like, “You didn’t upgrade to IOS 7 yet?” looking at me like I had just contracted leprosy.

And so I went right home and downloaded IOS 7. And it took like an hour and a half out of my day, plugging it in, waiting for it to download and install, laying on my bed going through all of the menus and settings, discovering which marginal changes had been made to my phone’s user interface. The whole thing left me very underwhelmed, and now I was holding my same old iPhone 4, only it felt less comfortable, my old bright wallpaper was no longer compatible with the white numbers used to tell me the time, but of course Apple wouldn’t give you an option to change the color of the home-screen text.

Or let you decide if you like the old interface better. And I know it’s such a tired argument, that Apple doesn’t really let you customize anything. It does bother me, like the old operating system looked a certain way, and then all of the sudden Apple decides that they’d like mine, and everybody else’s phone, to look a different way. That would be like living in an apartment and the landlord busting in every year deciding to paint all the walls an entirely different color.

But it doesn’t matter. I have this fear that the minute you stop upgrading operating systems is the moment that you decide to get left behind in terms of technology. Sure, skipping one update won’t really get in the way of how you use a phone, but there are subtle changes with every release. You let those changes pile up, and before you realize it, you’re an old man that puts his hands on the newest model only to find that he doesn’t know how to use anything, he’s too set in his old ways.

This is crazy. It’s a fucking iPhone. I can’t believe I just spent all of this time actually writing this down. Sorry if you’ve made it all the way down here. New cell phone releases cause me an unnecessary amount of anxiety.

Steve Jobs: The blog post

You loved Steve Jobs, the book. What a page-turner. You bought one copy as an actual book copy, and then you bought another book as an iBook copy. And then you read one page from the book and the next page on your iPad. But something happened with the synching, like the pages weren’t exactly the same numbers, and so you wound up reading certain paragraphs over and over again.


But that’s OK, because those paragraphs were awesome. You loved that book, Steve Jobs. And then you got really pumped for the Jobs movie. Finally. It’s bad enough that you had to wait all of those months after he died to read an official autobiography. But now it’s been almost two years since Steve Jobs died, and we’re only just this summer being given a proper motion picture treatment of his life, his work, his beard.

You drank the Steve Jobs soda. Crisp, refreshing, exactly the flavor of soda that you didn’t even know you were thirsty for until you saw it in the refrigerator at Seven-Eleven. That sleek white can, it just said, “Jobs,” and that’s how you knew it was the official Steve Jobs soda, not those unlicensed, “Steve Jobs: the soda,” cans that came out two weeks ago, some opportunist trying to make a quick buck with an unofficial soft drink. Pathetic.

You always go for the official Jobs brand, like those official Steve Jobs windshield wipers. You’ve changed the wipers on your 2009 Ford Taurus two, three times. And each time, yes, they worked reasonably well after installation. But six months in, that squeaking sound. The last time you replaced them, they faced a different angle, claimed to wipe a bigger percentage of the windshield. But the Jobs wipers wiped an even bigger percentage. A much, much larger surface area. Still not a hundred percent, that would be impossible, you know, barring one, giant, horizontal wiper that wiped top to bottom, over and over again, but that’s a little unrealistic.

And it wouldn’t be that cool white, like your iPod, like the Steve Jobs official backpack. Although that one came in a really cool black also, but not a regular black, it was a matte black. You still bought the white though, a Jobs traditionalist, the only kind of tradition that really defies convention. Officially.

Like that official Steve Jobs haiku released last week:

Steve Jobs was so great

I wish he were still alive

I loved him so, so much

Did you see that extra syllable at the end? Classic Jobs, ever the innovator. I wasn’t supposed to post that here, so if you just read it, you really should go to the iPoetry store and buy your own copy. And then you can read it as many times as you like. While you’re there, you should check out Steve Jobs, the sonnet, the limerick, and the acrostic. Each one of them, truly, inspirational, a real game changer, to the world of poetry, to the English language. Even this blog post, even though it’s an unofficial Steve Jobs blog post, it’s talking about Steve Jobs, I’m writing down the name Steve Jobs.

And so you get it. Steve Jobs was our generation’s Thomas Edison. Right? Only, when you think about it, all Edison did was invent a light bulb. Well, and other stuff, the record player, something with magnets. I don’t know. Maybe that was cutting edge a hundred years ago, but come on. You take all of Edison’s greatest inventions and they don’t even compare to Jobs’s worst invention. And yeah, that’s kind of a moot point, because Jobs didn’t have any worst inventions, or innovations, or whatever. I’m just saying, light bulb, iPad, I’ll stick with the iPad thanks. I can always just download a light bulb app. And then I’ll never use it, because there’s no need to, my bedroom is already plenty illuminated by me reading Steve Jobs again, the white background is brighter than any stupid bulb.

Can anybody lend me a few thousand dollars? I really want to buy up every seat for the Jobs midnight showing tonight, so I can watch it by myself, in a big theater, and then I can walk out and see everybody else lined up for the next showing, and I’ll just look at them and say stuff like, “I’m not going to say anything, just … just … wow. Just wow. Just really, you guys are in for a treat, you guys are just … wow … you guys are just, really, really … holy shit man … wow.”