Tag Archives: Nike+ Fuelband

Godsend or Devil’s spawn? Five pros and cons of the Apple Watch.

apple watchApple just held one of its infamous events, where they unveiled the Apple Watch and the newly redesigned MacBook.

And while folks (including your’s truly) were thoroughly impressed with all the updates to the Mac: slimmer profile, lightweight, no fan, etc., the clear, hands down star of the show was the Apple Watch.

Not since the release of the original iPhone has there been this much hype over a device.

Nearly every day, dozens (if not hundreds) of articles and blog posts have been devoted to speculating what types of apps are going to be preloaded on the device, it’s functionality and features.

The authors of these pieces fall squarely on one side of the debate or the other.

The Apple Watch is either a godsend or the spawn of Satan.

Let’s examine the five most telling assessments of the Apple Watch and decide for ourselves, shall we?

1. The Apple Watch will make us healthier.

giphy

Like FitBit, Nike+ FuelBand and Jawbone, the Apple Watch enables it’s wearer to monitor and track their fitness activity. Whether you’re walking or running, climbing stairs or taking your dog for a walk, the Apple Watch lets you track all your fitness activities. Apps integrating Apple’s Healthkit, allow you to track things like weight, BMI and biometric readings. With haptic responses and wireless syncing with your iPhone, the Apple Watch promises to be both your fitness diary and motivator, keeping you on track.

2. The Apple Watch will permanently shackle us to our jobs.

Apple Watch handcuffs

The thing about wearables is that they’re wearable. So if you’ve got a device that’s constantly updating your emails, your meetings, your text messages, and pinging you with alerts and reminders, the argument goes that you’re always going to be ‘on.’ No longer will you be able to say, “I left my phone at my desk or in my purse,” because that watch on your wrist doesn’t come off.

3. The Apple Watch will make us more productive.

flash

Apps like OfficeTime offer the promise of increased productivity, by allowing you to tap your watch at the beginning and end of every activity, and by the end of the day, week, month, provide an accurate record of what exactly you spend your time doing. Other apps, like Evernote, are porting their functionality to the Apple Watch, allowing users to access a slimmed down version of the app from their wrist.

4.  The Apple Watch is a distraction.

smartwatchdriver

We’re already slaves to our mobile devices, staring at them every five minutes, phantom buzzing in our pockets, on a constant search for power sources to keep precious life flowing into their silicon innards. But with a phone, it’s often tucked away, in a case, pocket, or purse, and therefore not as much of a distraction. You can leave it at your desk and walk away, put it down or turn it off and Viola! problem solved. The Apple Watch, as a wearable, will not be discretely tucked away, but a constant vibrating, beeping, buzzing distraction on your wrist, always within eyeshot.

5. The Apple Watch is an elegant piece of design.

apple-watch-paris

Few can debate that the Apple Watch is a thing to behold. Like Rolex, Chopard or Breitling, the Apple Watch is design, if nothing else. I’m pretty sure I got a woody the first time I saw it. But I’m a fanboy, what would you expect? If you want decide to buy the Apple Watch because it looks good, who could fault you? No one – but the haters of course, and we’ll forgive their pettiness, won’t we.

If you want to track your steps in a sleek, stylish way, the Apple Watch is for you. If you want to be able to check your alerts, respond to texts, read emails without having to pull out your phone, the Apple Watch is for you. If you’re and early adopter simply trying to stay up on the latest and greatest technology out, the Apple Watch is for you.

At the end of the day, the Apple Watch is just a watch. It’s not even really a watch because you’ve got to pair it with a phone, which means that it’s functionality can only truly be experienced when connected to another bigger, less inconspicuous device.

But shortcomings aside, like the FitBits, Jawbones and Nike+ FuelBands before it, the Apple Watch adds another layer of utility for folks seeking that extra edge.

 

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Filed under advocacy, digital advocacy, mobile

2015 is The Year of Mobile and 5 other predictions

crystal-ball

Around this time of year, you’re going to be inundated with “resolution” and “prediction” posts, with folks proselytizing on their views of tech trends for the upcoming year.

Your boy is no better.

But unlike these other jokers at Mashable, Techcrunch, Gawker, et al., who spend time researching, interviewing experts and reviewing industry reports, I simply comb through their work, cherry-picking the tastiest tidbits and regurgitating their work as my original thought.

I kid, I kid.

But seriously.

The end of the year provides a great opportunity to review the wins, hits or misses or the previous year and reliably forecast what may happen in the year ahead.

There have been a number of interesting developments over the past year, which give me confidence to say that 2015 will be the year of mobile.

For example, there are more mobile devices than people on the earth.

Let that sink in for a moment.

That’s significant, especially if all of these people are browsing from their mobile devices.

Even if only half of them utilize their mobile devices as the primary means for getting online, brands that aren’t mobile-enabled are going to see their bounce rates increase and revenues decline, as folks abandon them for sites that are mobile optimized.

But rather than talk about how mobile will impact brands generally, here are my top five mobile predictions for 2015.

1. Mobile payments are going to take off. With Apple Pay already being adopted by 220,000 vendors, the mobile payment trend is undoubtedly going to grow. Apply Pay joins other established mobile payment solutions, like Google Wallet and PayPal, and newcomers, like LevelUp and Paydiant, as well as a host of others scoping the mobile payment space, including Square and Swipely. With folks taking privacy and security seriously, e-commerce sites and mobile applications that allow users to avoid the necessity of having to manually input payment details over insecure wifi networks, will undoubtedly be the preferred method for completing online transactions.

This year, I predict mobile payments becoming a standard.

2.  Mobile sites will proliferate this year. As brands start to realize that customers are spending increasing amounts of time on mobile devices, getting in on this action will be a critical strategy to engagement. Last year, the average person spent almost 3 hours a day on their mobile devices. That’s more time than they spend online, and this trend will likely continue. With streaming services offering television-like abilities, mobile may eventually outpace tv. But at a very basic level, this year brands will acknowledge that the failure to have a mobile site (either mobile enabled or fully responsive) is a distinct competitive disadvantage.

I predict the number of mobile sites will invariably grow at a tremendous pace this year.

3. Widespread adoption of auto-fill. Retailers bemoan cart abandonment as the bane of their existence. Over 68% of e-commerce shopping carts are abandoned. The holy grail for online shopping involves seeing shoppers through checkout. But for mobile shoppers, there is nothing more frustrating than having to complete payment and shipping forms on their mobile device. Payment options like PayPal or Amazon One-Click save users from filling out many of the fields required to complete their online purchases, but too few online vendors are set up with streamlined payment processes. And while a fine tuned checkout doesn’t necessarily equate to fewer abandoned carts, it couldn’t hurt!

Auto fill is a simple and easily implemented solution, that can occur at the browser or native (device) level, which will enable users to quickly and securely complete online forms, typically with one click, dramatically reducing the amount of time (and frustration) required to complete payment or shipping information (or forms of any kind). Google Chrome has already implemented the ability to auto fill forms in both full HTML and mobile web browsers, and many of the mobile payment solutions described above, also include the ability to complete non-payment forms as well.

I predict widespread adoption of mobile autofill solutions, as more players enter the space and users become more conversant with these types of platforms.

4. Mobile loyalty programs will grow. Nearly every retailer I frequent has some sort of rewards program. Stores like Anthropologie, Sephora, CVS, Modell’s, Target, and ShopRite all have rewards programs tied to a keychain or wallet-sized reward card that patrons can present at checkout to earn points or qualify for rewards. But 2015 will see an increasing number taking advantage of Passbook or eliminating cards in favor of mobile loyalty or punch cards. Instead of having to present a loyalty card, users will simply whip out their cell phones flash a QR code and transmit their rewards or loyalty account info, similar to how Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts’ mobile rewards work.

I predict that 2015 will see more brands taking advantage of the convenience of mobile loyalty and release Passbook-like offerings of their own.

5. Wearables will change the mobile landscape. In the not-too-distant past, when you thought “wearables” a massive virtual reality helmet was probably all that came to mind. But with Oculus Rift making wearable headsets more like goggles, and less like NFL helmets, the concepts is more palatable. The definition of wearables has extended from virtual reality headsets, to Google Glass to fitness devices like the Nike FuelBand, the Fitbit tracker, the Apple Watch and Android smart watches. Wearables will open a whole host of smart applications, devoted to health and fitness, as well as medical diagnostics.

I predict that wearables will have a breakout year in 2015, driven primarily by the Apple Watch, but supported by advances in Android wearables, the proliferation of 3D and augmented reality applications adding rich virtual layers to users’ real life experiences.

What are your mobile predictions for 2015? Feel free to comment and share!

Happy New Year!

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10000 steps a day for free. Fuck Nike+ Fuelband. Quest for 27.

Reading this title, you’re probably saying, “this nigga must have ADD.”

Unless you’re white, at which point you were thinking “this negro must have ADD,” because you would never actually say “nigga.”

Even if you had a pass from Black people, or grew up with Black people and feel like you’ve earned the right to say ” nigga,” you’d probably still think “nigga” but say “negro.”

At least in mixed company.

Who knows?

I am so off message right now.

The point is that you’re confused by this title.

But you can relax.

I do not have ADD.

And a group of militant Blacks isn’t waiting outside your door (white person) ready to bust that ass for thinking about using the N word.

Let me elucidate.

I’ve been all intrigued by this whole Nike+ Fuelband movement.

Nike-FuelBand-SE-Rose-Gold-WM0114_006_A

If you’re not up on the Nike+ Fuelband, allow me to enlighten you.

The Nike+ FuelBand is an activity tracker that’s worn on the wrist and used with an Apple iPhone or iPad device to track your workouts.

Per Wikipedia,

“the FuelBand allows its wearers to track their physical activity, steps taken daily, and amount of calories burned. The information from the wristband is integrated into the Nike+ online community and phone application, allowing wearers to set their own fitness goals, monitor their progression, and compare themselves to others part of the community. Nike+ relies on the gamification of fitness activities turning all tracked movement into NikeFuel points, which can unlock achievements, can be shared with friends, or can be used to engage others in competition.”

In short, wear the Nike+ Fuelband and track your fitness progress.

But see, the thing about the Nike+ Fuelband is that it costs $149!

A hundred and fifty bucks to track my workout progress with some stupid rubber band?

Suck a dick.

You’re not getting my money bitches.

But I dig the whole Nike+ FuelBand concept.

Wait.

I missed a critical point.

And no, this nigga does not have ADD.

Patience, Padawan.

Ok, so a few months ago, my little brother posted a picture of the 27 year old me, all cut and Adonis-like on Facebook.

Along with the caption, “Back in the day when I was young. I’m not a kid anymore, but some days I think I wish I was a kid again.”

Damn! I'm cut.

Damn! I’m cut.

Clearly alluding to the fact that, physically, I was no longer my 27 year old self.

And, by implication, challenging the new me to get back into the old me shape.

I’m not even going to talk about Dede Mays, the mother of one of my friends, who maligned me suggesting that the body I once possessed was a thing of the past.

Undaunted, I vowed to show them all.

But how?

I’m about to turn 44…carry the 1 and that means that picture was taken 17 years ago.

17 years ago!

When my testosterone was at it’s peak.

When I just thought the word “gym” and muscles would appear on my body.

When metabolism occurred in my sleep.

How could I prove my naysayers wrong?

And show them all that I could, in fact, reclaim my former Adonis glory?

Well for one, I’d have to hit the gym.

Hard.

Work out like a beast.

Cut back on the carbs.

Avoid junk food.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

But that wouldn’t be enough.

I needed an edge.

Something that would put me over the top.

That would allow me to track my progress all day every day – not just when I was in the gym.

Nike+ Fuelband was the answer.

Slap on the band, and I’d become a exercise tracking machine.

Right?

Wrong!

I was not about the shell out 150 smackaroos to get in shape.

There had to be a better alternative.

So I started checking out fitness apps to see what the competition had to offer – for free.

And I found it.

It’s called Pedometer++ and it’s great.

Pedometer++ is an app that tracks how many steps you take daily.

Simply keep your iOS device on you, and the app tracks every single step you take and displays your step count right on the Pedometer++ app icon.

Today, I walked 6.4 miles or 12,953 steps.

Pedometer++

I’ve only been using the app for three days, but it has tracked all the steps I took in the days prior to downloading the app.

And presently, I’m at 93% of my goal.

I wasn’t even aware that I set a goal!

But, needless to say, I’m getting my old ass in shape.

Peep these shots I’ve been taking on my journey to 27.

Good. Better. Best.

Good. Better. Best. Ladies, calm down.

As you may (or may not) be able to tell, I’m getting there.

Anthony Weiner selfies aside, I’ve been able to track my progress with Pedometer++ for free.

Sure, it’s no simple wristband, and I’ve got to keep my mobile phone on my person to have the app track my steps, but for me, it’s been worth it.

27 here I come!

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Filed under apps, Smack talking