Archives For Apple Watch

apple_watch_cc_cover_shadow.pngThe Apple Watch is now a year and a half old, and on its second hardware revision. (Technically, it’s on the third revision, since you can buy a Series 1 model that is identical to the original but with a better processor.) And watchOS 3 brings several enhancements and refinements to Apple’s wearable that show the company was listening to feedback from the first versions.

What better way to take advantage of those than with the latest 1.3 version of my book, Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course! If you bought a previous edition, you can get the update for free. If you don’t yet own it, grab it now while the Take Control Winterfest sale is going on to get 25% off the $10 cover price.

So what’s new in this version? That turns out to be an interesting question.

For this time around, my schedule didn’t allow me to work on this update to release it in the window we wanted, so Take Control enlisted the most prolific wordsmith Joe Kissell to do it in my place. I’ve worked with Joe on many projects over the years, and I couldn’t ask for a steadier hand to tackle the Apple Watch Series 2 and watchOS 3 information. And with Scholle McFarland as editor, I knew I didn’t have to worry about anything.

The update is great, and covers the new hardware, new features in watchOS 3 such as easily swiping to change watch faces and the new Dock, and contains 85 pages of densely-packed information and full-color illustrations.

For more on what’s to be found in the book, and some background on how it came about, check out this interview that Joe and I did with Chuck Joiner for MacVoices.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

A quick note: The annual WinterFest sale is on, with discounts on lots of great software and Take Control books—including mine! Nisus Writer Pro, Scrivener, TextExpander, PDFpen… all 25% off (or better) for a short time. Go get them here: WinterFest 2016.

This topic came up with a friend over the weekend: Now that Apple is making a ceramic Apple Watch, how long before we see a ceramic iPhone? The always-excellent Greg Koenig of Luma Labs explains not only why we likely won’t see one for a while, but also gets across the sheer scale of manufacturing Apple’s current aluminum-based products.

Go read it now: Why Your Next iPhone Won’t Be Ceramic

And while you’re there, pick up one of Luma’s great camera straps.

In my latest column for The Seattle Times, I look at Apple’s WWDC announcements with a mixture of excitement—some very cool things are coming—and cynicism—how will Apple make some things work well?

Read it here: Apple offers a look at coming operating system updates.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

The Wall Street Journal estimates 12 million watches were sold in its first year, compared to 6 million iPhone sales in its first year. That sounds pretty successful, but what does it mean for the next couple of years? (For the record, I think 12 million is a pretty good indicator that the watch isn’t a “flop,” which is the current sentiment in most media.)

Macworld has just published an opinion piece I wrote, arguing that a better comparison is the iPad, not the iPhone, when looking at longer-term performance. Read it here: Look to the iPad for Apple Watch comparisons.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

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Take Control Books is having a 50%-off sale through March 21! This is a great opportunity to pick up my latest Take Control books as well as titles from some of the best writers covering the Apple and technology fields. Select any of the titles below, and then browse the Take Control catalog for more:

Take Control of Your Digital Photos on a Mac, Second Edition, by Jeff Carlson

Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course, by Jeff Carlson

Take Control of 1Password, by Joe Kissell

Take Control of Dropbox, by Joe Kissell

Take Control of iCloud, by Joe Kissell

Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course, by Jason Snell

Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network, by Glenn Fleishman

Take Control of iTunes 12: The FAQ, by Kirk McElhearn

El Capitan: A Take Control Crash Course, by Scholle McFarland

And many more!

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

The ever-gracious Chuck Joiner and I sat down to talk about Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course v1.2 recently, covering topics such as the strengths and weaknesses of the Apple Watch almost a year in, which important changes are in watchOS 2, and why I updated the book. Watch or listen to it here: MacVoices #16059: Jeff Carlson Updates His Apple Watch Crash Course.

I’m excited to announce that Take Control Books has just published my update to Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course. Version 1.2 is now fully updated to cover watchOS 2 and the various improvements rolled into the watch’s operating system (see below).

Although the book required a fairly substantial refresh, we’re offering it as a free update for current owners: click the Ebook Extras button on the cover to view the title on the Web and download the updated version in the column at left.

If you don’t yet own it, the book is just $10. When you buy it, you get PDF, EPUB, and Mobi (Kindle) versions so you can read it on any electronic device you own.

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And here’s a little behind-the-scenes fun: When we published the 1.0 version of the book, the Apple Watch had only been announced, which meant I had to use screenshots from Apple’s Web site and from video of the introduction event in sections of the book. Because of that, Apple rejected the title when we submitted it to the iBooks Store. In this new edition, I’ve removed all of those images and recreated new ones in their places, such as the photos in the example pages above. There’s nothing like convincing your wonderful but very sleepy wife to pretend she’s going out for a jog at 11:00 PM and turn your living room into an impromptu photo studio.

I hope you enjoy this update. I wear my Apple Watch every day and find it extremely useful, and I’m eager to share my enthusiasm.

Here’s what’s new in version 1.2 (from the book):

The Apple Watch has received its first major software update, watchOS 2, with improvements in many areas. I’ve updated the book to include new information:

  • Native apps: Under watchOS 2, developers can write apps that run natively on the watch itself, which in some (but not all) cases translates to faster load times and additional features.
  • Look ahead: You can now see the future as you turn the Digital Crown and view the complications on your watch face. I talk about this in Look Ahead with Time Travel.
  • New faces: Choose from a selection of time-lapse animations or use your own photos as the backdrop. See Personalize the Apple Watch Face.
  • Wake up: Your watch can now behave more like a bedside clock with Nightstand Mode.
  • Digital Touch colors: Send your digital touch drawings using multiple colors in Connect with Friends Using Digital Touch.
  • More friends: You can now have more than one screen of friends available through the Friends button. I describe how to add friends, and move friends from screen to screen in Edit the Friends Screen.
  • Transit on the map: If you happen to be in a city that Apple provides public transportation directions for, you can overlay that transit information over the Map app. See Viewing a Transit Overlay.
  • Foiling thieves: A new feature in watchOS 2, Activation Lock, allows you to disable your watch if, for instance, it has been stolen, making it impossible for anyone to use it unless they know your Apple ID credentials. To find out how this works, read Before the Watch Is Lost or Stolen.
  • Face time: In addition to having the screen remain on for 15 seconds after you raise your wrist, you can now specify that the screen remain active for 75 seconds. This will use more battery, but may make your watch more fun to use, especially if you often demo it. For configuration steps, read Wake Screen on Wrist Raise. Also see Stay Awake Longer.
  • Wallet: The Passbook app is now called Wallet. It still works in the same way, making it convenient to show any barcoded ticket or loyalty card from your wrist. It’s convenient to pay for coffee, get in to a movie or concert, or board a plane with a quick scan of your wrist. See Use Apple Pay and Wallet.
  • Editorial adjustments: Now that the Apple Watch is readily available, I’ve removed the chapter about competing watches. However, the information about activity trackers is now in Exercise with the Apple Watch. I’ve also split the former, lengthy “Communicate with Friends” chapter into two shorter chapters, Communicate with Friends and Communicate Using Mail.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.

If history is a guide, Apple won’t start announcing new products for a couple of months, so in the meantime, I’ve offered a host of tips for Mac, iPhone/iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch in my latest Practical Mac column for the Seattle Times: Start the year with these Apple polishing tips.

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I know, I’ve been heavy on the deals lately, but that’s the way it is at the end of the year when so many folks are offering special prices on things. And I absolutely want to help you save money on books and products that I and people I know create.

The latest is WinterFest 2015, which includes discounts on great apps such as Scrivener and BBEdit as well as 25% off all Take Control books.

This is a great opportunity to pick up Take Control of Your Digital Photos on a Mac, Second Edition, and Apple Watch: A Take Control Crash Course. (I’m updating the latter for watchOS 2; it will be a free update to owners of previous editions.)

Also look for recent books by Jason Snell, Kirk McElhearn, Joe Kissell, Michael Cohen, and Scholle McFarland.

Click here to take advantage of the Take Control sale! (The discount is applied at checkout.)

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume newsletter that I use to announce new projects, items, and giveaways that I think my readers would be interested in.