eXtensions - Saturday 24 October 2020
Saturday Notes: Apple Watch 6 in Bangkok; Reading Between the Lines
By Graham K. Rogers
Apple retail outlet, Siam Paragon
I decided I could make do for the time being as I have a small collection of watch bands. The staff member who helped me was quite knowledgeable and went through the process of setting it up there and then. While she was doing this a lady started to ask me English questions and I obliged in between responding to the iStudio staff member who also helped her with Airdrop when I sent a file (about countable nouns). By the time I left the store the Watch was set up: I was able to control iTunes and record exercise. I was pleased to see the rings included the exercise I had done earlier. All the rings were completed later to the usual Watch fanfare.
Once home, I was asked to update the WatchOS to version 7.02. While doing that I made a couple of adjustments and started looking for watch faces, although the one I really wanted was already installed on the watch itself. I made that active and made a couple of adjustments including adding an icon for the blood oxygen level. I ran that several times, but either the watch position was wrong or the band was too loose, or too tight. In the end it obliged and found the blood-oxygen level was 86%. As I start using the Watch I will write some more.
It crossed my mind as I have a spare Apple Watch for now that I bought that when I was in the UK a couple of years ago from the Apple Store, Milton Keynes. After getting the tax back at Heathrow airport I set it up while waiting for the plane. Sometimes people complain about prices of Apple products in Thailand, but even with the tax refund it, that Apple Watch was more expensive in the UK than the same Watch 4 models sold here.
Halide has also added some features with the RAW capabilities, with what is called Instant RAW, so like other apps that are beginning to introduce AI capabilities, this manipulates some of the data before the photograph is taken, in theory giving the best output. It is not easy these days to know if the photographer or the camera has taken the image. A tutorial is available for users to bring them up to speed on the new capabilities. Halide has also changed its pricing with the introduction of a 309 baht annual subscription.
Current users can use Halide Core and there will be no changes. But the subscription suggests that this is needed for all updates to be made available from now on. That could include the changes brought about when Apple releases its new ProRAW API for iPhone 12 later in the year. Having supported the app from its earliest days, I am a bit weary of this approach. I stopped using one developer's photo-editing apps on the Mac as every year there was a new app and the older ones began to lose support, so within a couple of years they would not work on the newest version of macOS. This was a subscription system in all but name.
I do not want to play these games any more and there are plenty of other apps. Lemke Software recently updated version 10 of Graphic Converter to v.11 adding another 650 baht to my outgoings. I updated particularly as there is access to the Photos library but it is not working at all how I want. When I updated the MacBook Air at work I kept version 10 as a reserve. I have used Graphic Converter for years - since System 6 on the pre OS X Macs - and expect to keep this one, but for some of the others I have plenty of other apps that can be used as substitutes.
On the other hand, an email on Friday evening informed me that I now have AppleTV+ until February. I was ready to pay for this service as some of the movies and series I have already watched make this quite useful, and there is more to come. This week for example Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman rode through some filthy weather just before hitting Colombia, but in the morning of their departure Ewan's Harley Davidson would not start. I expect the water gremlins have got in, but there was also a problem with a software update from HD, who were on the phone and obviously have a data feed from these bikes.
As regards such wet weather, more than once when I rode, my bike was killed by the rain. On one occasion I went for a weekend in a national park by the sea only to have the rain hit me as I left Bangkok and only stop when I returned. With my bike parked up by the bungalow I rented and covered by as much plastic as I could find, I was concerned when the parking lights came on: a sure sign of a short circuit. On the way back I blew a fuse. It would run once started but immediately blew the replacement fuse: it took me 6 or 7 to get back to Bangkok.
Perhaps more interesting was that the two sites were of different types. The one that quoted Ming-Chi Kuo as saying sales were high was 9to5Mac (Ben Lovejoy): the tech press. The one with the glass half empty opinion was a financial site. Another article that used the same note was on iMore (Oliver Haslam) and here the focus was on the expected low sales (low, high, low?) of the iPhone 12 mini in China.
I have long suggested that Wall Street deliberately talks Apple down, perhaps to depress the share price and make a killing with the shares naturally rise again. The difference is that people read the tech press for information while the financial press might be read in order to help with investment predictions. People might be planning for the future using information which is deliberately biased and not fit for the purpose because it misleads.
I was not sure if it was me until a local user mentioned the same problem. I suggested filing a report with Apple. They do listen and if enough highlight the same problem there is a good chance it will be fixed in a subsequent update. It seems however that this has now been seen to and I have a return to accurate cursor positioning on the iPhone but not the iPad Pro in Notes.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. After 3 years writing a column in the Life supplement, he is now no longer associated with the Bangkok Post. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
For further information, e-mail to
Back to Home Page