WIMM One – Developer Preview

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a sucker for gadgets. Doesn’t matter if it’s an AR Drone, Android powered car stereo, or in this case a smart watch.

I first heard about the WIMM One last year, shortly after the announcement of the then vaporware “I’m Watch” (although, as of the time I’m writing this I don’t know a single person who has received their pre-order unit…), and I thought it looked like a great product, despite the fact that the fit and finish of the I’m Watch looked nicer. Plus, you could actually order one! And at $199 (available now through Amazon) how could you pass up living in the future?

Wimm one

I’d like to note that I haven’t worn a watch in at least three years, since I always have my cell phone on me. This little gadget changed that though, now I don’t leave home without it.

The Good

Apps. You can’t bill this as the WIMM’s most compelling feature, since their “Mirco App Store” how has about 30 apps in it. However, I’m still counting it as a plus, since this is after all a developer preview that’s designed to inspire people to build apps for it. And also, my old Casio watch didn’t have any “apps”.

Near silent OTA updates. I’d had my watch for about a week when I saw the folks at WIMM tweet about a new firmware, I went to check for the update on my watch and it had already downloaded and installed. Never skipped a beat.

LCD. The screen on this unit is surprisingly easy to read even with the backlight off (in most conditions), and in direct sunlight it (backlight on) it still worked well.

Call/text notifications. The best thing about this unit is the Bluetooth pairing to your smart phone. With an iPhone, currently you only get call notifications, but it displays the caller ID and optionally vibrates, beeps, or both to alert you of a call. With the companion app for Android, you can not only get call notifications, but read your text messages as well.

Calendar app. Using the developer website, you can add either an Exchange Calendar, or Google Calendar to your watch. Notifications of upcoming events will then popup on your watch, also depending on which watch face you use, you can preview upcoming events without having to load the calendar app.

Weather app. I know, I know, it’s just a weather app. But it actually displays the current temp on the app icon, something that Apple has yet to grace us iPhone users with.

Wimm one weather

The So-So

The touchscreen takes a bit of getting used to, mostly because of lag issues. Often the WIMM One doesn’t register my initial swipe, or it misinterprets a single tap for a double tap. This isn’t an iPhone quality touch experience by any means, but the performance has been optimized slightly through software updates, so I’m holding out hope that the final release will work better.

Battery life. There are days where I get a solid twenty hours of battery life, but the more regular occurrence is I get closer to eight hours. WIMM does say that if you experience poor battery life, you should disable third party apps and then reenable them one by one until you pinpoint which app is killing your battery. Honestly though, 8hrs gets me through the work day at least.

Wimm one watchfaces

The Bad

Size. It’s a bit chunky, and took some getting used to for my tiny nerd wrists.

Disabled GPS chip. Apparently the unit ships with a GPS chip, but it’s currently disabled due to “performance issues”.

Device management. This isn’t that big of an issue, especially once you get the device setup to your liking. Currently there are certain settings that can only be configured through their website and then have to be synced back down to the watch.

The Bottomline

It’s a sweet, albeit nerdy accessory. Sure both you and I could live without this device, but if you’re half as gadget obsessed as I am you’ll pick one of these up.

Wimm one watchface

Affordable or Available?

I just recently bought a 32GB 4th generation iPod touch, and question I’ve pondered for a while came to the front of my mind once again…am I okay with buying this because it’s affordable, or because the money is available?

How do kids with zero income find ways to buy $300 iPods? (Note: I do have an income, lol)

When you really believe you need something, or you just really want it, you WILL find a way to get it. No matter how much money you actually have or can afford to spend.

This is the mindset that marketers want, and once they achieve it they can price their products (usually electronics) at ridiculous prices…and people will pay it.

When I went to buy my iPod, I didn’t ask myself “Is this an affordable price for a _____?”…I just asked myself “Do I have the money for it?”.

Was your last gadget purchase affordable? Or was the money just available?

Mobile Browser Shootout

Everyone is entitled to their own favorite smartphone, but I think we all can agree that some phones just do certain things better. Today, let’s take a quick look at how various mobile browsers fair in the Acid3 test.

Default browsers for the platforms:

Android 2.2

93/100
No screenshot, because I haven’t rooted my Droid X yet. I know, I know, I fail at life…

webOS 1.4.2

92/100

webOS_1.4.2_acid3.png

webOS 2.0 (developer beta)

91/100
Wait… the performance of the browser actually went down with a new build of the OS?

webOS_2.0_acid3.png

iOS (tested 3.1.3 through 4.2)

100/100

Third-party browsers:

Skyfire 2.3 Beta (Android)

93/100

Opera Mini 5.1.21126 (Android)

97/100

Opera Mini 5.0.019802 (iOS)

97/100

AirPlay Laying the Framework for AirPlay+?

Now this is all just a theory, not a rumor, certainly not a fact, just an idea.

That said, does any remember Lala.com? That little company that Apple bought out and then shutdown, which let you stream your music library to any computer using your web browser. Pretty sweet stuff.

Of course everyone thought iTunes 10 was going to bring Lala’s streaming framework into play, but that didn’t happen. Apple did announce AirPlay which lets you stream media from your iPhone/iPad to AirPlay compatible devices (such as the AppleTV), while cool, this isn’t quite what the masses had hoped for. At least the people that I know.

Enter AirPlay+. Here’s my theory, Apple wanted to get the media streaming down in a local area network type setting, where they don’t face the same bandwidth constraint / requirements as with internet streaming before they even touched it. Admittedly this isn’t much of an issue with music, but what if AirPlay+ let you stream videos as well?

Once they get things working well in that environment I expect us to see Apple roll out AirPlay+, probably as a $9.99 a month subscription based service that allows you to stream any media purchased through your iTunes account to any iOS device, or computer with iTunes installed. We’re talking movies and music videos, as well as your music library. At the same time we’ll see a refresh to the AppleTV software that will enable the same streaming functionality.

This would also be a prime opportunity to increase the value of MobileMe, by including AirPlay+ at no additional charge to MobileMe subscribers. And if we’re lucky, wireless syncing for iPhone/iPod touch/iPad will debut at or around the same time.

Get Your ThinkUp On

What is ThinkUp? Techinally it’s the new face of Twitalytic by Gina Trapani. ThinkUp bills itself as an “open source social media insights engine”. Rather fancy sounding.

In plain English and 140 characters or less (according to their Twitter bio)…

ThinkUp captures and organizes replies to your status updates on Twitter, Facebook and beyond.

Focus on the beyond portion of that statement, because ThinkUp does a lot more than just organize replies to your updates. Think of it as a kind of account statement for your social media.

Here’s a quick look at the features of ThinkUp.

  • Show you all of your replies to a message, across both Twitter and Facebook.
  • Show you a chart of your number of followers over time.
  • Display a stream of all photos your friends have posted, or a list of all the links they’ve tweeted, and ThinkUp automatically expands shortened URLs!
  • Sort replies to your tweets or Facebook status updates by the location of your friends who respond.
  • Automatically archive your status updates (tweets) for all of your Twitter accounts — you can let your friends sign in to archive their messages, too.
  • Find out insights about your followers and friends, like who’s most popular or who updates least often.
  • Archive all of your data in your own database. That makes it easy to export your status updates, follower lists, or any other data in the future.
  • Get detailed statistics about your activity, such as your average replies per day, or how often you update.
  • Publish a presentable list of replies to one of your questions, including integration with blogging tools like WordPress.
  • Whatever else our developer community and plugin authors can dream up

Currently ThinkUp is available in, I believe, an alpha stage to the public. You can download the latest build from their GitHub page.

The install isn’t too complicated, you do have to be running your own server of course. First create your MySQL database, then upload the contents of the ZIP you downloaded from the GitHub page and run the install. The most complex part of the installation process is registering your ThinkUp install as an application on Twitter.com, and really, that’s pretty straight forward.

Don’t have access to your own server? You’re in luck, first two people to email aaron@hijinksinc.com will get access to their own installation of ThinkUp on our servers.