Monday, April 13, 2015

Super-compact MacBook review. And Apple Watch review

Here is a nice review of the new super-compact and light MacBook.
Like other reviewers, he is surprised at the delight he gets from it. And it is not too low-powered for his use, something which worries some people.
[Update: some people really like the new flat keyboard, but others don't, some feel it is almost trending towards screen-typing. I like a good movement on a keyboard, so this has made me hesitate, I guess I'll have to try on in the real world.]

It's a damn tempting thing. I have always been a fan of efficiency, especially of technology which is simultaneously powerful and compact. For example, the number of compact-for-their-class cameras which I've bought over the decades... I just don't know.
So this is very tempting, although I have no immediate need for it. Every time I've gotten a new Apple device, it has been higher quality and more beautiful than the last (over twenty years, it's amazing), so I know I would love this. But then I've just ordered an Apple Watch, so... we'll see.

By the way, here's a great review of the Apple Watch.
Unusually, the arguably best option for me was also the cheapest! I have ordered the Sport version, which is lighter, being alu, and a Sports strap, which the above reviewer says is surprisingly luxurious, even if you disconsider the low price.
I got them in black and space grey. (Or is that Space Black? I've heard them both, and I'm not sure if there's a difference.)
It sounds like fun to me that the Watch can be used as a remote viewfinder and shutter trigger for the iPhone Six and Six Plus. So for example you can photograph in places where you can get a hand in but not your head. (For some uses it'd be practical to take off the watch to hold in the other hand.)

By the way, and more relevant to this blog: I am sure that in short order we will see more than one app which makes it possible to read on the Watch. Due to the tiny display, most of them will probably use the "speed reading" technology with which there are already several apps for the iPhone. It shows you one word at a time... Sounds doubtful, I know, but it's actually surprisingly natural if you're an experienced reader, and I can read 350 words per minute that way. Instapaper would be a good candidate, since it's popular, it takes in any web articles, and it already since recently has this speed-reading technology built in.
I hope for a Kindle app too. I'm not holding my breath, but you never know, they already have apps for a big number of platforms, and it would be good PR for them to say that you can read Kindle books from 55-inch screens down to 38-milimeter screens!
Oh, and if they do, I hope it can read aloud to you like the HDX can! If the processor and memory of this small device is up to it.

Am I psychic or what? The new update for Instapaper makes it Apple Watch-compatible! It's not clear if you can read on the screen, but it is clear that you can listen to it by text-to-speech. Very good.
I asked them if speed-reading would come, but they say the watch has to be changed first, because that would need the Instapaper app to loading content to the Watch's memory, and Apple does apparently not let apps use this rare resource on the watch, yet.
By the way, on one of the videos on Apple is showing a text coming in, and I think it contains enough text and is clear enough than it would not be totally ridiculous to actually read articles or maybe even books on the Watch in a pinch.