Categories
Mac Heads

Money On My Wrist: Square Cash Adds Apple Watch Support

All the time Every once in a while, my family and friends reach out and ask to borrow money. Now I don’t mind sending them the loot, my only requirement is that it has to be as simple as possible for me to send it. You know what that means – Tech to the rescue!

Nowadays, sending money electronically is pretty simple. The simplest way I’ve sent money is via Square Cash. The same folks who make it easy for small businesses to accept credit card transactions via their smartphone or tablet, are the same people making it easy to send money to friends and family via their mobile device.

The reason why I like Square cash over similar services is because all you have to do is download the app, link your debit card and the money goes right from your bank account and into the recipient’s bank account (provided they are using the app and linked their debit card) within seconds…Yeah, you read that right.

I have written about Cash before, but with the latest update, they have added Apple Watch functionality, making it even easier to money (and receive money, even though I don’t sweat people for my money…or sucker punch them).

Opening the Square Cash on my Apple Watch shows my recent transactions or I can search my contacts for other Square Cash users to quickly send money to their bank account. Once you find the recipient, You’re presented with dollar denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $100. So If I wanted to send $47 dollars (my family and friends are weird like that), I just tap the $20×2, $5 & $2.

If I don’t even want to do all that, I can tell them to use the Square Cash app to request money from me. The notification will hit my Apple Watch and I can quickly view and approve money request right from my wrist…And I didn’t leave my couch, or dig in between my seat cushions looking for my phone.

Don’t believe me? Use my invite code and get $5 free bucks to try it out and let me know what you think.

While you’re at it, Lemme hold $5 until Friday?

Categories
Mac Heads

1st Week Apple Watch Impressions

When I got my first MacBook, iPad and iPhone, I was in geek heaven for weeks as I figured out all the functionality. It took a while for me to finally get to a point where they were merely a laptop, tablet, and smartphone.

When I got my hands on my Apple Watch last week, I had that same feeling…for about a couple of days. After a week, that feeling of “it’s just a smartwatch” has already hit me. Maybe it’s because Apple wasn’t the first to hit the smartwatch market, so it couldn’t set the standard to which all other smartwatches would be judged. Maybe it’s that Apple Watch wasn’t my first smartwatch, so I already had a idea of what to expect.

Whatever the reason, I can say that after only a seven days on my wrist, my 1st week Apple Watch Impressions are “The thrill is gone” BUT, it has the features, functionality, and deep integration that I was looking for that will keep it on my wrist for years to come.

To give you a quick update, I ordered the 42mm (large) Space Gray “Sport” Edition with the black Sport Band. I must say that it looks and feels good on my wrist, but it’s not too flashy. I like watches, but I’ve never been a “hey look at this big, gaudy thing on my wrist” timepiece guy. Even if I would’ve opted for a more design-ier version, it still wouldn’t come off as flashy. In my opinion, Apple Watch design was right on the money.

Don’t Miss: Spigen Launches Line of Apple Watch Accessories

Setting up Apple Watch via the separate iPhone app was initially intimidating because there are a ton of functionality options that you can set up. Which makes sense – Something this technological that will be on your body most of the day needs to be calibrated to match a wide variety of people.

“If an important notification came through, I dealt with it right on my watch, and continued about my business, versus getting distracted by other things when I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket.”

After going setting up and testing most of the settings, I found myself only pushing important notifications to my watch (email from only one account, text messages, calendar events, phone calls, and a few app notifications). I didn’t want to constantly be pinged on my wrist when every little notification came through…Maybe that’s why the novelty has worn off faster simply because I’m not messing with my wrist as much due to reduction of notifications?

*Rubs chin*

Once I had my watch dialed in…That was it. Since the screen is small and notifications are at a minimum, most interactions with Apple Watch were natural and intentional — I only used it when I needed to. There was no frequent messing with the watch to check social media feeds, play games, triage email…or randomly find things to do like on my iPhone, iPad, or MacBook. That in an of itself reduced the amount of distractions. If an important notification came through, I dealt with it right on my watch, and continued about my business, versus getting distracted by other things when I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket.

Another side effect to the lack to random interaction was the battery life. Apple claims “up to 18 hours” with Apple Watch. I can say that not a day has gone by where I’ve been worried that my watch would die. From a full change at 8 a.m., to when I was ready to hit the sack around 11:30pm-ish, my watch was always above 40%. So for me, myself, personally, Apple Watch battery live has not been an issue.

When I had to intentionally interact with my Apple Watch was where its usefulness shines. Here are some features that I’ve used the most.

Activity and Workout Apps


I sit in my chair and stare at computer screens most of the day. I’m not a heavy “monitor my activity” person, so I don’t pay attention to most of the Activity features and functionality. But, I do know that I need to be more active throughout the day. Activity notifications remind me every 50 minutes or so that I need to “stand up”. So during those times, it get up, get on the ground, and do some pushups – Yes, I’m trying to get my “guns” back, and being reminded every hour to do a set of 20 push-ups, I should be set in about a month.

One of the main things I was interested in with Apple Watch was can I play music and can I track my runs without being tethered to my iPhone. Apple Watch has up to 2GB of built-in storage so I can save playlists directly to my watch. All I needed was a pair of Bluetooth headphones, and I was set on the tunes.

Without getting too techie, Using the Workout app, Apple Watch can learn more about your stride after a couple of runs. Without my phone’s GPS, it can’t track my location, but can offer indoor and outdoor time, distance, and pace readings. I did a couple runs this week using the Workout app, and compared then with the readings of those same runs using the Nike+ Running app, and they were similar within a couple of seconds of each other. I don’t care about where I run, as long as I can track time/distance/pace (and heart rate), I’m good.

Apple Watch unboxing via brothatech

Maps

apple watch maps
I don’t know why people hate on Apple’s version of Google Maps. It works fine for me. Using Maps on Apple Watch especially comes in handy when I’m walking, or even driving. When I need to make a turn, it taps my wrist and displays the next directions. Since I drive with my left hand, all I have to do is twist my wrist for navigation instructions when notified. I can also use Siri to dictate locations or addresses, so technically, I never have to pull out my iPhone for directions.

Siri

apple watch siri
I’ve really noticed that I’ve been using Siri to interact with my watch way more than using Siri on my iPhone. I just seems more natural to verbally interact with my smartwatch versus my smartphone. Maybe because the screen is smaller, my mind is forced to talking to my wrist to respond to text messages and emails, check my calendar, the weather, and take notes, instead of touching and twisting. I can dictate all Apple Watch commands, but I’m using Siri whenever I can to interact with Apple Watch. I even do it in public.

Those are just a few of the features/functionality I’ve used the most during my 1st week. I’m positive that when more and more watch apps that offer seamless interactions with Apple Watch, I will find even more reasons to keep my iPhone in my pocket, or on the charger.

While “I’m over it” is the phrase that comes to mind when thinking about my lack of hype-ness, over Apple’s first smartwatch after only a week, the idea that I will be constantly uncovering new ways to streamline my frequent daily activities in my wrist is pretty exciting.

Any Apple Watch owners who read my site? What are your 1st week Apple Watch Impressions?

No affiliate links were harmed in the making of this post

Categories
Mac Heads

Apple Watch Unboxing

Decided to jump on the bandwagon and do my own version of an Apple Watch unboxing video.

To add some copy to this post (SEO juice) My quick verdict is:

  1. It looks and feels good on my wrist
  2. The screen should “wake” a hair faster when I raise my wrist
  3. The battery life has not been an issue thus far

Stay tuned for my ‘1st Impressions’ and ‘full review’ posts on Apple Watch. In the meantime, check out the Apple Watch apps I’m probably messing with right now, some dope Apple Watch accessories that I will be ordering in the near future.

Side Note: You know I HATE those thick black bars when people shoot videos in ‘portrait mode’. I found out that the Periscope app does not support landscape mode. Imma need them to work on that…