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Friday, May 08, 2015

Why the new Apple Watch isn’t better than the old Apple Watch… unless it is.

The Apple iPod Nano Watch, or as I like to call it, Apple Watch 1.0

The Apple Watch isn’t better than the old Apple iPod watch… unless it is.

Let’s start with the obvious. For those of you that don’t know or remember, a few years ago, Apple released an iPod nano in a watch sized version. It had a wonderful touchscreen interface which was simple and easy to use. Apple didn’t officially announce it as a watch even if it really was. It was an iPod Nano after all, yet, they included a clock app with multiple watch faces, including the Mickey Mouse face everyone loves. Let’s say it was a test, and as tests go, sometimes they’re just too awesome.

The fabulous Mickey Mouse watchface, designed
for a square watch to boot. Take that Apple Watch!


The clamp design on the bottom was perfect to create straps for and a few third parties jumped at that, creating some wonderful straps and turing the iPod Nano into the perfect iPod watch. The app selection was limited but perfect: Audiobooks, Clock, Music, Music control, Nike+, Photos, Podcasts, Radio, System Settings. Yes, you read correctly: Radio. Oh, sorry, yes, Nike+. We’ll talk about Radio later.

With its accelerometer, Nike+ on the iPod Nano Watch was plenty perfect, 
unless you needed more, in which case, you need more. Go figure. ;)

Nike+ for iPod Nano… no iPhone necessary… or Nike+ Sensor… or any receiver whatsoever. The iPod watch has an accelerometer built in, so it tracks like the old sensor used to and synchronizes the same as the Nike+ app on iPhone so you can share on Nike plus on Facebook or Twitter or whatever, except with a cable… of course. Sure, it doesn’t have GPS and doesn’t live-synchronize with the world through 4G, but you can workout without your phone and be comfortable with the fact that your battery won’t die. Oh, and the app still does a pretty good job of tracking your workouts accurately, of course. This leads us to:

The Apple iPod Watch is better than the new Apple Watch. Oh yes, and in so many ways.

  • Battery life: I’ve used my iPod Watch for 2 weeks without needing a charge, although when I use it heavily as an iPod and for workouts it doesn’t last nearly that long. I usually charge the battery about once a week regardless. The new Apple Watch won’t last more than 18 hours, and if you’re a cyclist, it won’t last your workout.

– Winner: iPod watch –

  • Clock: A watch by definition is a timepiece. It’s main job is to tell the time the same as a phone is meant for phone calls. It’s its most basic function. Both the iPod Watch and the Apple Watch tell the time perfectly, including the day and month like a lot of watches, and of course, there’s the stopwatch and other basic functions of a modern watch.
Why aren’t the faces square? They ARE here.

But despite the gorgeous designs of some of the faces Apple includes with Apple Watch, the iPod watch has an advantage. You see, both watches have a square design, yet, puzzlingly, Apple Watch includes only round, traditional watch faces along with the digital ones. I don’t get that. It’s stupid. iPod watch on the other hand has most faces designed for a square screen. They look great.


– Winner: Tie – They both tell the time perfectly, even if the square faces look better on iPod watch.


  • Radio: Let me get this out of the way. ALL iPhones have the capability to have a radio, but they don’t. WHY?! It’s built into it, yet it’s shut off and unavailable to the user. The Apple Watch suffers the same problem. But NOT the iPod watch. The iPod watch has its radio ON and you can easily find your favorite live, over-the-air and free radio station with the touch of the screen. The interface is simple and easy using touch and you can finally listen to the radio again without spending on data plans or premium paid radio programs. Who would have thought? Radio!!!

– Winner: iPod watch –

Radio and normal headphones equals lots of awesome.

Now, speaking of the radio, you might think, “How can this get good reception? Where’s the antenna? Does it work?” The answer is YES, YES, & YES! Oh, the antenna bit takes us to…
  • Headphones: The radio app uses the headphones as an antenna. Clever, right? Oh, wait. WHAT? Yes, you can actually plug-in headphones. IT HAS A HEADPHONE JACK! (cue celebratory fanfare). No energy sucking bluetooth to turn-on and no energy sucking, battery charging needing, bluetooth headphones to listen to music with. Just plug your favorite Apple white (or green or black or blue) headphones and you’re good to go. The Apple Watch doesn’t have a headphone jack. It requires yet another item to charge, and battery sucking bluetooth to boot, though to be fair on the bluetooth front, you need it to sync with the phone anyway. Did I mention the battery on the iPod watch lasts forever?

– Winner: iPod Watch –

Which one is better? They both are.

As mainly a music focused device, the iPod watch definitely delivers. It can hold quite a bit of music. Its battery lasts forever. It has a freakin’ real Radio! It has podcasts, audiobooks and what not. It’s an iPod… period. As watches go, it also delivers on its promise. It’s an awesome watch with all the basic watch features and looks damn good doing it, often better than the Apple Watch. On top of that, it has Nike+ workout tracking and you’re not constantly distracted during your workout by any of the following:

Battery dying, annoying notifications, headphone battery dying, disturbing vibrations, battery dying, did I mention battery dying? Ok, ok. I’m being unfair. That’s only happening to cyclists. Don’t you just hate them on the road? I’m only joking, but not about the battery and cyclists part, unless they fixed it already. What can I say, that’s just them apples. ;)
iPod Nano Watch with Lunatik Lynk Silver Watch Band ($129)

In many ways, the iPod watch was the perfect watch and yet, the Apple Watch is so much more.

The Apple Watch is NOT an Apple Watch

The Apple Watch, like most so-called “smartwatches”, is an inferior watch and therefore inferior to the Apple iPod Nano watch, but that’s ‘cause we’re trying to say we’re comparing Apples to Apples. The problem is we’re actually not. The Apple Watch is NOT a watch.


“Despite the name, the Apple Watch isn’t mean to be a watch. It’s really a controller for your iPhone.”

It violates the logic that if it looks like a watch, is worn like a watch, and acts like a watch, it must be a watch… except it isn’t. Despite the name, the Apple Watch isn’t meant to be a watch. It’s really a controller for your iPhone. Sure, it tells time and has many of the features you expect from a modern smartwatch, but it really ain’t that smart.

The smartwatch that isn’t smart

Unlike Smartphones, smartwatches aren’t at the level of a computer on your wrist the way a smartphone is a computer in your pocket. Sure they run some apps, but the apps are really controllers for apps on your phone. So the Apple Watch is basically as smart as a remote control. Actually, that’s what it really is: a really cool, bluetooth remote control for your iPhone.
Sure it has some gimmicky little apps and what not, but it’s the dependence on the iPhone in your pocket that I see as the achilles heel and the main issue. Oh, and the battery, of course, which is crap. It might be better than other “smartphones”, but sorry, it’s crap.

Life with an Apple Watch is not like life with an iPod Watch

Battery issues, missing radio, and bluetooth headphones aside, the Apple Watch is a freakin’ awesome remote control. The apps and complexity make me miss the old iPod Watch for its simplicity when it comes to interfacing with it, but thankfully, there’s Siri to the rescue. Now, you might be thinking of a Siri joke right about now, but the truth is, in my experience, it just works.
Once you start using Siri, you realize how good she’s gotten at understanding English. I haven’t tried it in other languages, so your mileage may vary there. No need to open apps or type things out when you can simply say, “Set up a date with my wife for Friday afternoon at seven at DiGeorgio’s on Hudson street.” Siri knows who my wife is and is smart enough to interpret the rest properly, setting up the event in my calendar. You can even tell it to remind you and it will set an alarm for that event. Once you go beyond the “Call so and so”, you realize how awesome Siri really is, and on the Apple Watch, it’s just natural. The fact that it works is awesome, but the fact that one feels like James Bond or Captain Kirk is a bonus. 
Notice I didn’t say Dick Tracy. If there’s no video, it’s not like Dick Tracy! Alright?!
Smart watch meets iPod Nano Watch with cool
controller sans forever battery = Apple Watch.

Also, the Digital Crown works quite well as well. It’s surprisingly clever and useful. It’s a nice take on an old theme. It does help as an interface device, especially because you can better see the screen while you navigate, which in the iPod watch was more difficult.
Oh, and The Apple Watch has an OLED, retina screen. Need I say more?
– Winner: Apple Watch – 


Ok, so there’s a lot more to the Apple Watch than one might expect, but I’m sorry, the vibrations are still weird and creepy even if I don’t have to look at the map and so is the heartbeat thingy even if my wife found it romantic. And 17,000 dollars, REALLY? WTF Apple?

Really Apple?… Really?

  • Price: The iPod watch was reasonably priced with a higher price for more memory. It was a beautiful device everyone could afford. It was a status symbol because it was beautifully designed and worked better than everything else on the market for the price. It wasn’t a status symbol because only the 1% could afford it. 
I get that Apple wants to take the cash that custom gold-dipping companies were getting for dipping the iPhones in gold, but come on. It goes against Apple’s original and Steve Jobs’ founding spirit of “The computer for the rest of us.” And when did aluminum become crappier than steel? It’s lighter and just as strong. I can only assume it became crappier when they started saying the gold Apple Watch was 18K gold when it actually uses a trick to have the name with less gold content.

– Winner: iPod watch Ok, it’s really a tie. You can get an Apple Watch for only $349 dollars, and it’s just as good and powerful as the $17,000 dollar one. It will also be just as obsolete in a year or two. So maybe the joke is on the 1%, and the rest of us are the real winners.

Conclusion

In the end, I love the Apple Watch, but I hate the battery. I’m not comfortable with the vibrations. The notifications are a lot more annoying on the watch than on the phone. And I hate that there’s no headphone jack. I miss the old iPod watch for that and for its simplicity while maintaining a high level of functionality and usability. But as remote controls go, the Apple Watch is just way too cool, with Siri, phone calls, messaging, and its health features… and it tells the time! ;)
Ok, I’m keeping the remote control and the old iPod Watch goes back to being just an iPod Nano, and that’s ok. Although, I do think I look a bit strange with one on each wrist.
Just pondering…

More to look at:
Nike+ iPod Nano website (for current iPod Nano):
https://secure-nikeplus.nike.com/plus/products/ipod_nano/
Lunatik iPod Nano watch bands:
https://www.lunatik.com/categories/ipod-nano
Here’s some iPod Nano Watch porn:
ipod nano watch Google image search
And the official Apple Watch website:
https://www.apple.com/watch/

Keywords: Apple Watch, iPod nano, iPhone

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posted by Franco Esteve @ 4:06 PM   0 comments

Monday, April 20, 2015

iBoogie and The Doll Chronicles Music

A number of you have asked me about the music I created for the Doll Chronicles series of short films, and I’m here to tell you that when we finish the next short in the series, Apocalypse, The Doll Chronicles, I’ll be sure to release an album of the music from the series (before, if I can muster up some time for it).

As you may or may not know, music is an integral part of my creative process, creating it, listening to it, thinking about it. It is yet another expression of beauty that has been a part of my life since a very young age. After filming Reaction, The Doll Chronicles, I realized I had created much more than a theme, but music that served my idea of The Doll Chronicles quite well. So, I set out to create more music for the films, some of which ended up as the score for Paranoia, The Doll Chronicles and for Consequence, The Doll Chronicles. Some of it didn’t make the cut but I thought it would be fun to put it out there as you might enjoy it.

The first of these tracks I’m making available is called iBoogie. It’s a Boogie-Woogie style piece, created during the process of exploring musical concepts for Consequence, The Doll Chronicles. It’s played in a live, improvisational style, warts included. In the end, it wasn’t used in the film, and instead I used the original, loop-based piece I’d created as filler music during the editing process called Rockin’ Rolla. It just seemed a better fit for that first scene, with its slightly kitschier feel. Still, I fell in love with iBoogie, and I hope you enjoy it.

Those of you who use SoundCloud can listen to it here:
https://soundcloud.com/franco-esteve/iboogie



You can listen to the whole tune and acquire it direct from CDBaby here:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/francoesteve

It’s also available on the iTunes Music Store here (link goes to the U.S. store, but you can search Franco Esteve and find it worldwide):
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/iboogie-single/id934502531

Spotify users can listen to it and add it to your playlists by following this link:
http://open.spotify.com/album/6URJfkZWEqE12GbsaGeYqL

Thank you and I hope y’all enjoy it.


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posted by Franco Esteve @ 10:10 AM   0 comments

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Franco Esteve on Facebook!


Franco Esteve is on Facebook! I have finally created a Facebook page for y'all to like and enjoy. Though I often communicate things through my twitter accounts as well (@FrancoEsteve, @bnowhereblog), each space has a different purpose and communication. Through twitter, I often tweet things I've seen that are interesting, on top of the announcements and direct communications and private messages, whereas on Facebook, I also often share images and things more directly related to my Franco Esteve work specifically, be it writings, photography, film, or music.

Thanks for liking, following, and overall support of my endeavors. I'm glad y'all are enjoying them. :)


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posted by Franco Esteve @ 10:30 PM   0 comments

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Doll Chronicles (formerly The Barbie Chronicles) now on Facebook!

Some of you may have noticed that The Barbie Chronicles is now The Doll Chronicles. Well, as the series grows, there are many changes along the way, and with the name change comes the official Facebook page for the series. You can find it here.

Consequence, The Doll Chronicles
Promotional Poster
 Consequence, The Doll Chronicles, the latest short film in The Doll Chronicles, also has its own mini website. You can find that here. It continues in the series of silent, short films that utilize a doll, both metaphorical and literal, to tell a number of stories in different genres and exploring a number of issues. Be sure to visit the page and don't forget to Like it on Facebook!


The Doll Chronicles on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedollchronicles
Consequence, The Doll Chronicles mini website: http://consequence.francoesteve.com


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posted by Franco Esteve @ 6:25 PM   0 comments

Friday, July 18, 2014

My photography book, Natural Raw, now on the iTunes iBooks Store for only $4.99 (Prices may vary by region and currency)

Those of you who wanted to get my photography and thoughts collection, Natural Raw, but were put off by the high price of the 12 X 12, huge, printed book, will be happy to hear that you can now get Natural Raw in a super economical, but still high-quality, digital ebook format on the iTunes, iBooks Store. Click here to get it for only $4.99 (Prices may vary by region and currency.)

If you don't have an iBooks compatible, Apple product or access to the iBooks store, you can also get it for the same price (which may also vary) directly from the Blurb service here. The ebook at Blurb is in an iBooks for iPad format (EPUB), so you should download the appropriate software or converter if you're not using Apple products to view it. Check out the free, Calibre eBook Software here and check out compatibility requirements.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Natural Raw collection, it represents a vision of nature that includes its raw forms and expressions, as well as the occasional crude, human contribution. Some of these are dramatic and can even by cruel and violent, and yet, others express a peaceful beauty like no other.

The book is laid out like a voyage through different aspects of nature, and attempts to express its raw vision both through impactful images and through their accompanying written expressions. It attempts to evoke unexpected feelings and thoughts in the viewer, both contrary and predictable. It is my hope that you will enjoy my varying visions, the ethereal brightness, the daze-inducing, happy and flowery views, the dark void within the visions of smoke (from my Visions of Smoke collection, available in book and ebook formats here and in purchasable prints here), the raw crudeness of consumption, and the dreamy nature of colorblind.

If you would prefer to have the large, printed book, you can now get it on Amazon.com by clicking here. It's printed by Blurb and ships internationally. You can also get prints from the photographs in the book here.

Thank you and I hope y'all enjoy it, no matter which format you choose.


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posted by Franco Esteve @ 7:13 AM   0 comments

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Paranoia: The Barbie Chronicles Episode 2 is out!

Our fun little Barbie Chronicles project has just turned 2, as in Episode 2. Released on Vimeo last night, Paranoia, as its title suggests, explores some of the paranoid delusions that Barbie experiences in her old house. Watch it on Vimeo by clicking here, or on the embedded video below:


The Barbie Chronicles Episode 2 Paranoia from Franco Esteve on Vimeo.

The first episode of the Barbie Chronicles was more of an artsy expression. In many ways, it was more about the wonderful music from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde than about the film itself. It was open to a number of interpretations as to its meaning and purpose, exploring social themes about beauty, love, death, etc., depending on your own experience.

Paranoia - Barbie Chronicles Episode 2
Episode two is an entirely different creature. The just released, Paranoia, is set in an old house and shows Barbie waking up to a series of “visions” after reading the scary novel, Dark Places (Click on the link to get it on Amazon.com. It's a great read. UK readers can get it here.). What’s real and what’s not is open to interpretation and is part of the fun (as are a couple of nods to some of the films I love). Paranoia - Barbie Chronicles Episode 2As always, of course, everything is done the “Tecato” way (Tecato is a Puerto Rican word for drug addict that is also used to describe things of low quality or low production value, cheap), trying to make something beautiful and fun in the cheapest, crappiest way we can, doing everything ourselves.

More images from Episode 2:

Images from the Barbie Chronicles Episode 2 Paranoia

I hope y’all enjoy it. If you missed the first episode, you can watch it on Vimeo here or on the embedded video below:


The Barbie Chronicles Episode 1 Reaction from Franco Esteve on Vimeo.

We’ve already started working on Episode 3, and barring any production issues like those that had us having to indefinitely postpone the original Episode 2, should be ready much quicker than Episode Two Paranoia.

Thanks for watching, and if you enjoy the Barbie Chronicles, don’t forget to share, like, and tip on Vimeo.


Keep up with news and information from my projects by following @FrancoEsteve and @bnowhereblog on Twitter, and by visiting www.francoesteve.com and www.bnowhere.com (You are here. Thanks for visiting.).


Keywords: Barbie Chronicles, Episode, Two, Paranoia, Episode One, Reaction, Barbie, Chronicles, Art, Film, Short Film, Movie, Video, Vimeo, Death, Suicide, Fear, Horror, Scary, Fun, Tecato, vision, Franco Esteve


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posted by Franco Esteve @ 11:54 AM   0 comments

Monday, November 05, 2012

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness… Revisited

[Related article: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness]

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
-U.S. Declaration of Independence, In Congress, July 4, 1776

 

 


Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence opens with words that all Americans today feel (even though they're not part of the constitution) form the essence of the United States of America and should forever be taken into consideration as such by any leader aspiring to a public office. Yet, when Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers drafted the document, they didn't specify that those self-evident truths applied only to Americans, but to "all men", meaning "humanity" (even if the definition of humanity at the time wasn't the same as today).

LLH - "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

These words are all capitalized for a reason. Jefferson wanted to make sure they were understood as essential, important, so let's look at them carefully, starting with Life. For a nation founded on the unalienable Right to Life, as Americans, we certainly love to kill. We don't defend ourselves, we attack. We worship violence, celebrate it, love to watch it on TV, in sports, in events, and in games, video or otherwise. We love death, celebrating it, worshipping it, putting it on a pedestal, and bringing it to others, with no remorse if it's on foreign soil. So much for the right to Life.

[Related article: Pre-owned babies for sale]


Liberty from a country that incarcerates the largest amount of people per capita than all other countries of the world is so laughable as to make anyone cry. If Jefferson were alive today, he would have asked for a redress of grievances, and when everyone laughed while asking what the hell a redress of grievances was, would have organized a revolution to defend the country from our tyrannical government. Make no mistake. Our government is a tyranny. It has been for a long time, and we have accepted and tolerated its existence. Liberty is a mirage and our grievances will never be redressed.

The Pursuit of Happiness is everyone's most quotable favorite of these, but what is the pursuit of happiness? This obviously means different things to different people. It is for this reason that the pursuit of happiness must be globalized and simplified to a number of general ideas like the opportunity to work freely and earn money, to eat and sustain yourself, to pursue enough comfort to survive and live in a secure environment, without worry of pursuit or discrimination by others, etc. The constitutional bill of rights in theory covers some of these protections that are meant to guarantee your Pursuit of Happiness, and yet, a number of politicians labor daily to end these protections for their own benefit, their Pursuit of Happiness, NOT yours.

The combination of these three items are at stake every day in our democracy, but we allow them to be constantly violated without complaint. We ourselves love to highlight these items as the core values of the American people, and yet, we ignore these values both with ourselves and with the rest of the world. If we are to honor these "self-evident" truths, then we must truly hold ALL of humanity equal, and if the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness is truly to be unalienable, then we cannot so blatantly take it away from others both at home and around the world.

Life, Liberty, and Happiness. Life, Liberty, and Happiness. Repeat it one last time: Life, Liberty, and Happiness. Think carefully about each one, and what each one means to you. Should you think these unalienable rights given to all humans in equal standing, then how does that affect your life, your government, your world? What are you willing to do about it?

Just pondering…

Keywords: Life, Liberty, Happiness, Declaration, Independence, Humanity, Pursuit of Happiness, Declaration of Independence, United States, America, United States of America, USA, US, World, Government.

More information:

  • Thomas Jefferson on Wikipedia.
  • Thomas Jefferson biography by Christopher Hitchens on Amazon.com.
  • Declaration of Independence entry on Wikipedia.
  • Transcript for the Declaration of Independence on Archives.gov.
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): "The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country."
  • Checks and balances - How does our system of checks and balances is supposed to help in protecting our rights.
  • Givemeliberty.org - Site dedicated to a redress of grievances and to the constitution lobby.
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    posted by Franco Esteve @ 11:41 AM   0 comments