I had my third experience triggering Emergency SOS on my Apple Watch this morning, but this one was the most annoying.
If you haven't heard of it, then iMore has a good guide on what it is and how to set it up. But basically, it's something that when triggered, will start beeping loudly while it counts down from 10, and when finished it will call your local emergency services, and share your location with a rather urgent message to your emergency contacts.
To be honest, it sounds really useful. Not something that would get used 99.9% of the time, but it's nice to know it's there if you need it. However the action to trigger it, is by holding down the buttons on your watch. Which I believe, is a terrible idea.
As I mentioned before, I've accidentally triggered this a few times. I was pretty sure that I saw somewhere that the latest betas had an issue with cancelling it, I'm not sure if this is still true, but nothing I did stopped everything from happening. So my watch beeped loudly on the train for 10 seconds, the (not so equal to 911) emergency services were dialled, and my location was shared with a few people. All because I was leaning on my wrist in a weird way when trying to get off the train.
It's a nice feature, and is vital to someone in an emergency. But it should be harder to trigger.
It's nearly halfway through the year already, and I'm surprised to say that apart from the odd accessory, I haven't purchased any new gadgets this year. And the only big things last year was my new MacBook with Touch Bar and an Echo Dot (which I rarely use now).
That probably isn't anything spectacular for most people, but I'm a young lover of technology, and a general fan of most things new and shiny. But with a mix of being a student, and the prolonged life of most devices nowadays, I simply haven't needed to upgrade anything.
But there are a few things that I think may be due an upgrade in the next six months - my Apple Watch and my iPad.
As I've wrote about before, I'm still using my Series 0 Apple Watch. And while it's providing me with everything I think I need from it, I was slightly tempted to upgrade to the Series 2. So if Apple were to come out with another updated model - the new features, speed increase, and the fact that my current watch screen has had a chip for about a year may push me to upgrade.
So there isn't an immediate requirement for me to upgrade my watch, I think a Series 3 would be time to do so. I've had my current one for quite some time.
My iPad is another weird one, I'm currently using an iPad Air 2, so it's still a relatively new device. But it's not a pro.
Ever since the Apple Pencil was announced, I really wanted to get one, but this was when my iPad was still pretty new, so I knew I couldn't warrant an upgrade so soon. And the 12.9" iPad Pro was also a thought, but with the "recent" purchase of a new MacBook Pro, I thought that I would simply not use it enough. However, I'm growing into using my iPad more and more everyday, and while I'm not Federico Viticci, CGP Grey, or Matt Gemmel, the iPad is becoming more of an important device in my life.
Usually the need to upgrade a device is because it is no longer fit for purpose. But that doesn't apply to my iPad, and it's mainly because of the software. Sure, Apple makes iOS available on a huge number of previous devices, but I'm talking about apps. I've started using a few apps recently that while have reignited my iPad usage, also reinvigorated my iPad, giving it a new sense of power.
These apps are Workflow, Magic Launcher, 1Password, Ulysses, and Todoist, just to name a few. Granted these apps have been available for a while, but I'm now starting to use them properly. Which has made a lot of difference to the way I see my iPad, and has now led me to understand even more how people have moved fully to iOS. One of the best parts of these apps are the widgets you get to use in the Today view. By seeing more at a glance, and to compile bigger actions together in Workflow/Magic Launcher, it lets you do more by actually doing much less.
Putting all of this in the simplest terms, my iPad has become so much more, and it's leading me to want to use it to do even more of my daily tasks.
What I want in my future iPad is Pencil support, a slightly larger screen than my iPad Air 2, a smart connector for an external keyboard, and general speed improvements. Everything else is down to iOS. And in that regard I'm hoping to see a deeper Siri integration, native drag and drop, and a better way to handle choosing apps in split view.
Apart from these two apple devices, there's nothing else that I particularly need. I think I'd like to get a Nintendo Switch, but then again I'd probably stop using it quite quickly, as I do with most other games consoles.
Then there's the next iPhone, but for once I don't have a desire to upgrade my phone at all. I'm using a 7 Plus, and it's a mature device that I honestly can't think of many features right now that would push me to upgrade.
What I've learned over the last 6 months to a year, is that hardware isn't really ever the issue, software is. Which is what got me in this predicament having a bunch of old devices.
Software nowadays can be an elixir of life for old devices, and as much as hardware manufactures won't like it, they're lasting a lot longer than they used to.
The very first Apple Watch was released 21 months ago, in April 2015. It was to me, a revolutionary new product, and I just had to get it. So I did.
In September 2016, 18 months after the original Watch was released, Apple then updated the original model, naming it Series 1, while also releasing a whole new version, Series 2.
You could argue that the Series 0 (first edition) to 1 change wasn’t even worth noting, the only main difference was that the Apple S1 processor used in the Watch was replaced with a dual-core variant. However in the Series 2, they added a newer Apple S2 processor which was also dual-core, but also an ambient light sensor, 50 m water resistance, 2x brighter display, and a GPS sensor.
So we can all agree that Series 0 → 2 was a decent update.
Therefore, you would expect that because of this, along with the fact that the Series 0 is a version 1.0 of a new product, that the need and desire to upgrade would be huge.
A few days ago, it was announce that Square Enix (the creator of Final Fantasy) was releasing a role-playing game for the Apple Watch. It was all because of the (rather ugly) website that was made, to promote the upcoming app, Cosmos Rings.
Here's what the website says about the story:
A dark and timeless world.
The Goddess is gone and time has stopped.
Now it's up to you to traverse the Rift an stand against those who would see it's flow stilled forever. Regrettably, the path to saving the Goddess of Time is not an easy one.
And about the Apple Watch experience:
Retro pixel art and the Apple Watch's cutting edge graphics come together to tell an unforgettable story.
The power of time is in your hands.
Simply use the Digital Crown to turn back the clock!
Certain conditions may also earn you special messages.
They also released a promotional video , which in my opinion doesn't really show much about the game.
I think the graphics are very similar to the Final Fantasy games, which I didn't really like either.
Anyway, you can buy Cosmos Rings from the App Store for £4.49/$5.99. I'll be watching the game from a distance for a while, because that's a lot of money for a game which I'm 90% sure isn't for me.