Apple – What is Going On

Apple – What is the issue with their new products?

This blog is focused on mountain biking and all things related to that activity.  Nevertheless, from time to time, I tend to post on some adjacent observations and/or topics.  This time it is Apple TV.  Earlier in the Spring, Summer, and Fall of 2015 I wrote several articles about my experiences with Apple Watch – and more specifically how it applied (or did not live up to the expectations) to mountain biking and exercising.

Later today I am going to return to the store another of their products.   My 4th generation Apple TV… Don’t get me wrong – I like Apple products – at home we have 3 MacBook Pro laptops, 2 third generation Apple TVs, 2 iPhone 6/6Plus and 1 iPhone 6-Plus-S phones, 2 iPads, several iPods (from different generations) and….guess what still working iBook G4 laptop and PowerMAC desktop.

Having said that – I think my most recent experience with Apple products has been less than glowing.  You can read my feedback (which I have left also on the Apple Support Web sites) about the Watch.   Now is time to write about the Apple TV 4th Generation.

I have used the previous generation for a couple of years at least on two TVs in my house.  So I replaced one of the two 3rd generation one with this new one and had high expectations that the experience will be great…. Well…..

  • Configuration – was great!  Using the NFC technology – configuring the Apple TV with your iPhone 6 is a breeze!  It picks up all the WLAN configuration, passwords etc. in a blink of the eye and it is DONE!
  • Applications: here is where the disappointments started – not too many to select from!  I purchased a new Samsung 4K TV at Thanksgiving.  I was amazed at the number of applications available there – and NOT on the Apple TV…So first strike against the Apple TV.
  • Remove control and Siri:  Voice enablement is a great idea.  That is the main reason my family decided to splurge and buy the more expensive new Apple 4th generation box  – the result though was disappointing.   Siri just did not work well for us.  My daughter is a whizz with Siri on her iPhone, but on Apple TV it was lacking…More importantly if you had to do a search we had to do that via typing individual letters.   The remote control itself was not great either.  The sliding motion to scroll was annoying…Overall I did not like the remote – same for my family
  • Playback – This was the BIGGEST ISSUE.  As I mentioned earlier – I have used two previous generation Apple TVs with the same networking configuration at home.   This 4th generation box did not perform well — video content was constantly buffering while attempting to watch HBO or SHOWTIME or YouTube…Very Annoying.  I am not sure what the issue is – I really DO NOT like troubleshooting such an expensive product.  The sad part is that the old 3rd generation Apple product did not have this issue…

So, with that experience and annoyance that I have to waste my time returning products – the Apple TV is going away – back to the retailer !    What I am more concerned about is – given my experiences with the Apple Watch and now Apple TV, what is going on with Apple’s new product development cycle…May be a lot, but not in a good direction…

Comments?

CES 2016 Bicycle Products

This year I was able to spend 3 days at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas.  This event is usually crazy – tons of exhibitors and hordes of people all over the place, hence my hesitation to attend, but my the projects I have been working on in the last 12 months and those that will be on my plate in 2016, required me to attend.   So, I jumped on the plane and joined the throngs of people at the show.

While I had to spend a lot of time with customers and partners, I was able to allocate some time for visiting various exhibits.  The show was heavily dedicated to automotive products – but there were some interesting new products for bicycle enthusiasts as well.  The product that caught my attention was the Garmin Varia Vision Headset – the headset has some very interesting capabilities

  1. It allows you to view statistics about the ride – ride in your field of vision – i.e. without have to look down (to the stem or handlebars mounted smart phone with Bike Applications);   The display provides the essential stats right in front of your eyes  – thus acting also as a much safer way to show you informationGarmin Varia Vision

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) When paired with Varia Rear View Radar it provides you with the necessary information on approaching traffic.  The display can show you approaching traffic and warn you of potential issues on the road;
Varia plus Rear view radar   Overall a very clever contraption and in my opinion useful application all around.   The device warns you of approaching traffic as far as 140-meters away (per Garmin.com)

 

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The headset is also integreatable with your smart phone.  Garmin will provide you with the compatibility list.    I have not tested that feature – eventhough I hat my phone with me on the tradeshow floor – I did not test the ability of the feature;

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Ultimately, safety is a huge factor for most of us cyclists and to this effect these new products appear to address it in a fun and cheerful way.

Please let me know with your thoughts on these new gadgets – I think they are a great steps forward on safety!