I quite like OS X Yosemite
I took a little while to decide whether I should upgrade to the latest version of the Mac operating system OS X Yosemite. My main concern was whether the speech to text dictating engine DragonDictate would work or not. This is an application that I use every day and it is an application that I could not do without. I heard a couple of reports from two different sources to say that DragonDictate was working in the latest operating system from Apple and so I decided that I would just give it a go. Of course I did make sure that I had a number of backups done before I did the deed. For the first 24 hours of using Yosemite was not completely happy, but I think it was all working a little bit slow because of the things happening in the background as part of the upgrade. Today, one day later things do seem to be a little bit better although I have noticed that when I move from one screen across to the other there is a little bit of menubar icon jiggle. I did a restart of the system and it is starting to look a little bit better. That jangling of the icons also seemed to happen at the same time as everything went a little bit slow for a second or two. That wasn’t good either, but I think it is recently improved. There is a lot more testing to be done.
Phone calls on the Mac with OSX Yosemite
I didn’t think that the phone and the Mac were going to be able to synchronise so that I could take a phone call on my Mac. So I was quite surprised when while sitting at my computer and a call came in I was given the option of answering it on the Mac. In fact I think it was also ringing on the iPad. I was using the microphone on my Mac to do some dictating and so I was a little bit slow to answer and I missed the call. I will have to get somebody to ring me and give it a try again. I really thought that it was going to be the absense of the Bluetooth 4 with low-energy on the iMac that was going to stop that from working. Although I did also get a message to say that I needed to be logged in with the same account on both devices. I thought I was logged in with the same credentials on both but maybe not. Ah! The joys of computing.
Report from the beach – New iPhone case arrived, Drafts app problems, iPhone chewing the battery up quickly
Fitness applications on the iPhone 6
Lately, I have been successfully using the iPhone 6 and the application Map My Walk. It has been recording my walks using GPS. It tells me how far I have walked, my walking pace, how long I have been walking for and the calories I have used. It also shows the elevation above sea level so that it knows when I am walking up or down hills. It tells me my pace in terms of minutes per kilometre and there is even a graph which shows the pace versus elevation. That way you can see if you are getting slowed down by walking up hills. MapMyWalk is one of the applications that will link into other applications such as My Fitness Pal. In the settings you can connect it up to other applications and devices. The iPhone 6 itself is a fitness calculator using the specialist M7 chip. I might buy the FitBit and then again I might wait until the Apple Watch is available.
A bundle of fitness applications
I got five applications in the ‘Map My’ group of health applications and today I decided to try and use the MapMyRide as I was out on my electric bicycle. I used to use the application Noom on my android phone to record the details of my rides and I was quite happy with the way that worked. The iOS application Noom is not quite as advanced and I am changing over to use applications better suited to use on iOS. I’m not quite sure what is going on, but the Map My Ride didn’t record where I was with the GPS. I have had a look into the settings and so far I have not found out what the problem is. I am sure I will get to the bottom of the problem in time. I will try it out again the next time I go out with the bicycle. It is handy to have these things working automatically so that I don’t necessarily have to remember to set it up for recording the details. I do have the application Moves and that does some automatic recording of the number of steps I take the day. I aim to get 10,000 steps done daily to keep up my level of fitness. When I look into the Apple Health application I get a different number of steps than I get from the Moves application. So one of the applications is wrong or both of them and it is tempting to use the one that gives me the highest number.
Recording an Audioboom on the beach
It was quite windy when I was on the beach, but I still managed to record audio that was usable. I recorded into the application TwistedWave. The microphone that I used was the microphone that came on the headset and it did a good job of recording my voice. I didn’t need to use my lapel microphone made by Giant Squid that I often use along with TwistedWave.
Looking forward to Yosemite OSX
I am wondering how it is going to work out with DragonDictate working on my Mac when the new operating system from Apple it’s the streets. With the last update to Mavericks there was a few months where DragonDictate didn’t work properly and I had to upgrade to a new version. This time I will have to wait until DragonDictate works well with the latest operating system before I upgrade.
I have ordered an iPhone 6
I put my order in for a iPhone 6 last Friday and although it is only been four days since I put in the order and it said that I would have it sent to me within 5 to 7 days, I have already been checking. I’m looking forward to using just Apple products and not switching over from Android and the iOS on my iPad and the Mac. There are plenty of things in the new version of the operating system on iOS 8 giving me other reasons why it is better just using the one system. The extensibility features are pretty cool. Last night I was using Photos application and getting access to filters from an application called Paper Camera directly within Photos. It is the little things like that that make all the difference.
Good bye to the Nexus 7 also
I am pretty pleased that I can pass on my Nexus 7 tablet to my youngest son at the end of the month. It is still a very good Android tablet that I would keep my hands on if it wasn’t the fact that I will probably get myself a new iPad when they become available next month. When I want to use the new handoff feature in iOS 8 and the Mac again it will be better still for having all Apple products. Another thing that I particularly like about the new IOS 8 is the extensibility feature and this is going to be pretty good when I’m using Touch ID. My passwords manager that I like to use 1Password will allow me to sign into some other applications by using my fingerprint on the Touch ID, how cool is that then?
Android was OK – Mostly
The experience of using Android was on the whole pretty good. There were one or two things that I really enjoyed using and it did work better than my previous iPhone 4. At least it did, until I wanted to upgrade to the latest version of the Android operating system and the carrier who was responsible for sending that out didn’t do so. I didn’t like being stuck on an old operating system so I had to resort to rooting the phone and putting on CyanogenMod. This kind of worked okay for some time but I have to say that over the last couple of months the way that the phone is working is really annoying.
Pen and paper, are you joking?
There is more than one way to skin a goat and you don't have to use only use techie solutions when you are writing. It is kind of mad to take the luddite view and to avoid using a smart phone and computers these days. I had two anti technology women standing next to me when I suggested that one should get themselves a decent phone. They were quick to point out that a pen and paper would be better because you don't have the problem of the batteries dying on you. You also, it seems are more likely to loose an expensive mobile device, and what then? These arguments just don't hold water as there are so many more advantages to having technological solutions available. Lets get Good and Geeky with tech.
So many advantages to using tech creatively
If you lose your paper note book or drop it in a puddle, that's it, the work is gone. You have no automatic backup as you would have when using your iPhone or Android. I love it that whatever I write is immediately saved to the cloud. I need the non linear way I can create on my iPad by using a mind map. It is quicker than pens and paper by a long way. It's great to have text that I can read and make sense of later instead of my awful handwriting. Being able to decide to record my thoughts as audio so that I can transcribe later is a positive boon. I even have software that will automatically turn my speech into text. Try doing that with pen and paper. If I choose I can use a swiping method of typing, which also is far faster to crank the words out. If you write your stuff on paper, you are still going to have to type it out later. Unless you are rich and you can get some minions to do the job for you. I really don't see any advantages at all in using analogue writing methods. The only thing is the nostalgic feeling you get from the sensory aspect of holding a pen in your hand. That is not something that is going to influence your productivity except to slow you down. There is nothing stopping you from resorting to the old ways if you have to, but only for a quick note when your tech is not directly to hand. Then the thing to do is to use your device to snap a picture of your handwritten note to make sure your ideas are not lost. The camera is also there to shoot a video or capture an image to help you tell your story.
No need to be scared of it
I could be preaching to the converted here, but there are still some odd people out there who are scared of tech. They get distressed when it doesn't work quite as they expected. Instead of working it out and learning what to do, they just use it as an excuse to keep the blinkers on. I love it when something has had to be worked out and there is the joy of finding the solution. I know that the next time I will do that thing quicker.
Lose the negative mind set
When it comes down to it, it is a choice or a negative mind set that keeps people in the luddite camp. It's a delight for me to witness my seventy five year old mother learning new things on her iPad. It's only disappointing when younger people get weirdly negative and look for excuses to not use the latest mobile devices. It is great to hear my mom chuckle or even giggle when she gets her iPad to do something new. Technology is fun and TechnoGran knows it.