Weather on the Apple Watch

One of the first apps many people seek out on their new device is a good weather app. Sometimes the built-in app is fine, but often there are third-party apps that offer more features, better accuracy, and more customizability. Apple’s built-in weather app on the   Watch is good, but since my main iPhone app is Yahoo! Weather, I thought I would try out a few apps to see if I could find the weather app for the Watch.

The Contenders

Note: Dark Sky is not available in Canada, so it is not part of my review.

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The Future of TV Isn’t Anytime Soon

There’s a rumour going around that HBO will be launching its new HBO Now with Apple as a partner, via the Apple TV. This is exactly what cord-cutters have been waiting for: access to premium content without a cable or satellite subscription. And it’s exactly what the cable companies have been dreading. But it’s not all roses for cord cutters, and it won’t be for a while.

I want to cut cable, but I watch HBO shows and live sports, and I often like to watch things when they’re on – like the Oscars, certain TV shows, and local news. Netflix, Crave, Showmi and all the other on-demand services don’t solve those problems. They’re great for legacy content, and original shows (especially Netflix), but they’re not enough for a lot of folks. Continue reading “The Future of TV Isn’t Anytime Soon”

Stop Freaking Out About the Facebook Messenger App

Facebook Messenger Icon

There has been a lot of noise about Facebook’s move to remove messaging from its main app and “force” people to use the Messenger app on mobile devices to send messages. Today, no less than four people on my Facebook feed made proclamations about not using the app. Here’s why you shouldn’t be freaking out.

Issue #1

The first issue here is that Facebook is removing the messaging features from its mobile apps.  Many people use their inbox regularly, and many are still using the Facebook app to do this. Personally, I hate the little chat bubbles and found them intrusive, but I do agree it is convenient to be able to do all your Facebook-related activities within one app.

So, everyone that had avoided downloading the separate Messenger app can it avoid it no longer if they want to perform messaging via Facebook.

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As Heard on Maritime Morning: Weekend Edition (Jan 26, 2013)

This week was focused on some retail products, how we buy them, and the volatile nature of Apple’s stock.

Amazon Prime in Canada

First up, Amazon Prime was recently announced for Canadian users on Amazon.ca. $79/year gets you unlimited two-day shipping to most Canadian locales, regardless of the price of the item. That means you can buy a $9.99 CD and have it in two days without paying $3-4 for shipping. No more adding items to your cart to reach $39 and get the free Super-Saver Shipping that takes 5-8 business days.

Light Amazon users will balk, but this could really change how some people shop. Amazon.ca’s catalogue has been expanding rapidly over the past couple of years. You can now grab kitchen appliances, gifts, electronics, and other goods along with the staples like books, movies, and music. Amazon’s prices are often hard to beat, so throw in free, fast shipping, and that $79 Prime account is looking pretty good.

More Information

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Backup Your Data!

You need to backup your data. Put it in your calendar for this weekend or next weekend. Make a plan. All hard drives fail, it’s just a matter of when.

We all know someone who has lost data. Their hard drive crashed. They spilled liquid on their laptop. Someone stole their iPhone. Many of you reading this will have had some experience in losing data of some kind in your lifetime. Yet, most of us put off backing up. We trust our devices, ourselves, and others too much.

I have friends who have lost years and years worth of photos of their children. I have had students who have lost their thesis documents or end of year video projects. I myself lost a year’s worth of music, movies, and documents when I backed up my laptop to DVDs using the wrong speed and didn’t realize until after I had wiped the laptop.

So, it’s time to make a plan. Here are some tips on backing up your data:

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Logic Pro 9 Now On the App Store for $199.99

Logic Pro is Apple’s professional audio recording and sequencing software. Apple bought it from Emagic back in 2002, and it has since become the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) of choice for many recording engineers. I personally love the interface and I chose it over competitors like Pro Tools, Cubase, and Audition.

logic

Before today, the Logic Pro 9 bundle was $499. The main application, along with the huge library of loops, is now available on the Mac App Store for only $199.99. The MainStage app, previously a part of the bundle, is now available separately for $29.99.

The download itself is just a hair over 400mb. The 19gb of loops are available as in-app downloads. This is a great way to do things. The app downloads quickly, and if the user wants the loops they can download them separately.

The reduced cost is in line with Apple’s other Mac Store offerings, including Aperture (which dropped from $199 to $79) and Final Cut Pro X.

This is a slightly unexpected move, as Logic has not been updated since January, 2010, when 64-bit support was added. Many predicted that a new version of Logic would launch soon. This move seems to nix that notion, unless they plan on offering the new version as a free upgrade to existing users, which isn’t likely.

Here’s hoping its move to the App Store means there are some updates on the horizon, particularly bug fixes and better Lion performance.

RIM’s Nosedive

The story of RIM and its iconic BlackBerry devices reads like a fairytale – complete with a dramatic twist that leaves the hero in a sticky situation. It all started out so great. RIM essentially created the smartphone market, cornered government and business customers with its innovative network and technologies, and then finally began releasing phones for the masses. Then the competition woke up and started breathing fire.

Unfortunately, the co-CEO’s (yes, they share the CEO moniker – just about the only company in the world that has this arrangement) have not been up to the battle. That is most likely because the battle is not with one specific dragon or evil maniac – it has almost become an inward battle, with the company unable to get out of its own way to bounce back and be competitive.

Once the king in the government and business sector, RIM’s share has declined and the iPhone now commands the lion’s share of business users.

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My Photography Workflow Pt. 1: Import to Editing

Earlier this year, I registered my photography business, fadetowhite photography. I have been messing around with photography for as long as I can remember, and I finally started taking it seriously a couple of years ago. Moving from hobby to paid gigs presents several challenges and brings added costs. The financial costs have been mostly covered by the income, but the time costs are the biggest struggle. Juggling home, work, hobbies, and paid photography means I need to streamline as much of the process as possible.

In this first post of four, I will detail my current photography workflow from import to basic editing. In the subsequent posts I will touch on HDR, retouching, sharing, and I will also talk about a few of the other tools I use to stay organized. All of this helps me concentrate on the photography, and spend as little time as possible on the time-suckers that take away from enjoying the craft.

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Calvetica – Gorgeous Calendar for iPhone

As a MobileMe user, I rely heavily on the various calendar apps Apple provides – iCal, Calendar for iPhone, and their web-based offering on me.com. All data remains in sync across all of my devices, and I have access to it via the web as well. The only downside to Apple’s offerings are their appearance. They are mostly easy to use and quite functional, but they could all use a facelift.

The MobileMe calendar recently got such a facelift, along the lines of the new iPad calendar app. This is a welcome change, but I use the iPhone app the most, followed by iCal. Using the iPhone app daily has led me to see its faults. Although I am fairly adept at using it, I can’t help but feel the experience could be more pleasant, and faster overall.

Enter Calvetica – a gorgeous app from a company called Mysterious Trousers LLC.  For only $2.99, you get an incredible calendar app replacement that fully syncs with your calendar data.

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