Apple Watch Series 5 Impressions

Apple Watch

I’ve had the Apple Watch Series 5 for just over a day now and I thought I’d write a few of my impressions. I upgraded from the Series 3 so keep that in mind as you read below.

The always-on display is really nice. I didn’t realize how much I want to just glance at the time and now I can!

I’m really digging the case size and display, coming from a Series 3. The touch targets and overall readability are a great improvement.

Battery Life

When I set up my new Watch, I intentionally picked a dark face as opposed to a light one for now. I’ll have to test the light face in the future to see how that plays into battery life.

I went to bed with battery at 100%. I set Theater Mode and DND and slept with the Watch on all night, for sleep-tracking purposes.

I woke up at 5:15am with 95%.

I performed a 28-minute HIIT workout.

After the workout, the battery was at 88%.

I placed the Watch on the charger for about 20 minutes while I showered and got dressed.

The battery was at 99% at 6:30am.

I went for a 15-minute outdoor walk workout at 11am. The battery was at 83%.

After lunch, during the “afternoon slump”, I went for a 13-minute outdoor walk workout at 2pm and the battery was at 67%.

 At 6pm, the battery was at 48%.

At 8pm, the battery was at 33% before putting it on the charger for the night.

Overall, the battery isn’t as good as my Series 3, but with the always-on display and the 3 workouts I did today, I’d say it still served me very well.

iPhone 11 Pro Impressions

I just got the new iPhone 11 Pro and spent the weekend with it. I decided to write up a few thoughts and impressions.

First of all, check out what’s new with iOS 13.

Night mode is legit 👏

Night mode OFF
Night mode ON

It’s gonna take me a while to get used to all the new camera controls — they are pretty different and extensive!

Selfie portrait on iPhone 11 Pro. Shout-out to ATP.FM 👋


I already miss 3D Touch 😭. Thankfully, there’s still sort of a way to do some similar things with regard to text selection on iOS. Check out
How to Use the New Text Tools in iOS and iPadOS 13 on Daring Fireball.

I did a “slofie” test that I’m not particularly proud of but seemed like the only natural way to test it out 😆. This may be the very first and last time I ever use this feature.

The clear Apple case is pretty slippery. It looks a lot like the $9 case on my wife’s iPhone 😑. I’m returning the clear case and just ordered a Clementine Apple Silicone case instead.

I’m sure the novelty will wear off, but taking three photos from the same distance with the iPhone 11 Pro is pretty fun.

2x zoom
1x zoom
.5x (ultra-wide zoom)

Another set of three photos with the different lenses:

2x zoom
1x zoom


All taken from the same distance. That’s some range!

Also, I’m digging the Noir filter in the Camera app…no idea if it’s new with this phone or even iOS 13 but yeah…here are some favorites from today:


Overall, this is a great upgrade from my previous iPhone X. The battery life is great but the camera’s are the winning feature in my opinion.

Apple Event September 2019

Apple event logo

Here are a few thoughts and a brief summary of what went down in the Apple event for September 2019. Watch the entire keynote event or watch the condensed 2-minute event recap.

As always, the opening video is delightful and so much fun!

Apple Arcade arrives on September 19th. $4.99 a month for a family subscription with a 1 month free trial.

Apple TV+

  • Worldwide premiere trailer for Jason Mamoa’s ‘See‘!
  • The first shows on Apple TV+ will be available on November 1st, adding other originals every month in over 100 countries.
  • Pricing is $4.99 a month for a family subscription.
  • 1 year included for free with a purchase of a new Mac, iPad, or iPhone!


  • New 7th generation iPad with 10.2-inch display.
  • Includes Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil support.
  • Now the enclosure is made from 100% recycled materials.
  • Pricing starts at $329. $299 with education pricing
  • Available at the end of September.

Apple Watch

  • A very touching video of how Apple Watch is truly changing and improving lives.
  • Apple Watch Series 5 with a new always-on display!
  • Continues to support all-day, 18-hour battery life.
  • All watch displays and workout app support automatic dimming without the need to raise your wrist to see the display.
  • New compass app to show your directional heading and longitude and latitude.
  • Watch cases are now also made from 100% recycled materials.
  • New titanium enclosure option.
  • Pricing for GPS models start at $399, Cellular start at $499, available today.
  • Series 3 watch available for $199.

iPhone 11

  • iPhone XR replacement is now the iPhone 11.
  • New colors for iPhone 11!
  • Supports Dolby Atmos for immersive sound.
  • Includes 2 cameras: 12 MP wide camera and 12 MP ultra wide cameras.
  • Night mode for low-light images.
  • Selfie camera can now record slow-motion video…”slofies” LOL
  • New chip inside the phone is A13 Bionic.
  • Starts at $699.

iPhone 11 Pro

  • Matte textured finish on the back of the device.
  • Colors for iPhone 11 Pro — Midnight Green, Space Gray, Silver, Gold
  • Larger of the models is called iPhone 11 Pro Max…barf
  • Battery in iPhone 11 Pro lasts 4 hours longer than iPhone XS
  • Includes 18W power charger.
  • New 12 MP wide camera, new telephoto camera, and new ultra wide camera with 120-degree field of view.
  • All 3 cameras shoot 4K HDR video.
  • New video editing tools available in Photos app on iOS 13.
  • New cases for all iPhone 11 Pro models, with clear cases available for each.

Apple Retail

  • Deirdre O’Brien is taking the stage!
  • Apple Watch studio lets you pair your Apple Watch with a band to find the right combination for you. Available in-store and online.
  • Apple Trade In lets you trade in an old iPhone towards the cost of a new iPhone.

Overall, this was a pretty interesting event. The pacing went really fast and I kept thinking they were saving time for a “one more thing” kind of announcement at the end but nope, they ended with twenty minutes left in the hour. The diversity of the speakers on stage continues to improve and we saw a few new faces, which is good to see. I’m eyeing up a new Apple Watch Series 5 and an iPhone 11 Pro for myself in the next few weeks, which I’m pretty excited about!

Use a Meeting Notes Template

If you’re anything like me, you might have to attend a bunch of meetings at work. Part of what is often missing is a way to leave a meeting with a clear set of action items for others and for yourself.

The other tricky part is some people prefer to capture meeting notes electronically with a device and others prefer capturing notes by hand with pen and paper.

So, I created a meeting notes template (that I swiped from 512 Pixels) that might help solve both of those sticking points when in a meeting. I have a version for capturing notes electronically and a version for printing.

Meeting Notes Template – Make a Copy for Typing (requires Google login)

Meeting Notes Template – Print for Writing

I intentionally left it pretty plain in hopes it will appeal to a broader audience.

Share as you wish!

My Favorite Shave Gear

As someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy shaving, I can’t around it but all the shaving products at Harry’s are top-notch. Very affordable and high-quality gear.

They started out as an online-only retailer but they’ve expanded to brick-and-mortar stores as well. I’ve seen them on Walmart shopping shelves.

I really like the Shave Gel — it lathers up really nicely and leaves your skin feeling fresh and tingly afterwards.

They’ve now branched our to other hygiene products like face wash, lip balm, and shower products.

If you’re looking for something new to get the (shave) job done, give them a try.

Harry’s shave gel

I’m not endorsed or sponsored by this product in any way.

My Favorite Water Bottle

Let me tell you about my favorite water bottle. This 20 oz. stainless, insulated bad boy was sitting in a closed up car in 95 degree heat for over 6 hours. When I went to get it out I dared myself to take a sip and to my surprise, the water taste like it just came out of the fridge, despite being in there since much earlier today. If you want something to keep drinks cold that won’t sweat, I highly recommend it.

CamelBak Chute

CamelBak Chute water bottle

I’m not endorsed or sponsored by this product in any way.

My Favorite Sunglasses

I bought these off an Instagram ad a while ago, believe it or not. But they are great. High quality, great look, and comfortable. Shady Ray’s have a lot of variety of styles and a generous return/exchange policy.

For $15 off your first order, use my referral code at Shady Rays.

Sunglasses on a table

* It feels silly say this, but I’m not sponsored or endorsed by Shady Rays in any way. *


My wife and I got to see the broadway show, Hamilton today. We waited in a virtual line for 8+ hours back in April and had the pleasure of spending a few hundred dollars for tickets. The phenomenon surrounding this show is truly remarkable so it was worth it to us to see what the hype was about.

I went into the show completely cold — knowing as little about it or the music as possible. It was worth it. The production was pretty incredible from start to finish.

Here are a few ways to enjoy Hamilton if you’ve already seen it.

Hamilton Soundtrack on Apple Music

Myke at the Matinee: “Hamilton”

Hamilton sign

WWDC 2018 Keynote Hot Takes

WWDC 2018

Watch the keynote.

iOS 12

  • The David Attenborough-narrated The Developer Migration video was hilarious and completely delightful. I was grinning ear-to-ear the whole time the video was playing 😆
  • Apple has 1-billion active iOS devices. One B-I-L-L-I-O-N! 😲
  • Focuses in iOS 12 offer performance improvements on older devices. Specifically, it can offer up to 2x performance improvements in some actions.
  • LEGO augmented reality demo was incredible! I can totally see my son and I playing and bonding over something like that in a few years.
  • The For You feature comes to Photos on iOS that offers a flashback feature showing you photos you took on this day in years past. I’m really excited about this feature. It’s one of my favorite features of Google Photos and in Day One.
  • Siri Shortcuts is a really welcome improvement. Some of the Siri suggestions features have me less hopeful that they will work as advertised but only time will tell.
  • Turns out the Siri Shortcuts app is where the Workflow team has seemingly spent their time since they were acquired. It looks awesome and the demo was impressive! 👏
  • Stocks app comes to iPad 😴 (how about a calculator?)
  • Do Not Disturb improvements are now context-aware, yes!
  • Screen Time generates a weekly activity summary on how you use your iPad or iPhone. This is going to be really important as time continues.
  • App Limits let you control how long you can spend in apps. I like how this is self-controlled. If you find yourself spendint too much time in social media apps, you can set a limit for yourself.
  • App Limits and Screen Time are also built into Parental Controls and connected to other people in your family.
  • New Animoji (ghost 👻, koala 🐨 , tiger 🐯 , and t-rex 🦖 ). Meh 😑. Was I the only one who thought there was way too much awkward silence during the new Animoji demo?
  • Memoji is such an awful name but the tech is pretty cool, I’ll admit. The live Memoji in Messages is also pretty impressive.

watchOS 5

  • Walkie-Talkie feature sounds neat on the surface but there are lots of implications about how that will work. Will they just come through anytime regardless of notification settings? 🤔
  • 3rd Party apps on Siri watchface, great!
  • The Connected podcast highlighted on stage! 😳👏. I bet Myke, Stephen, and Federico and a bunch of the folks were all losing their sh*t!
  • Background audio on watchOS 5!!! Could this mean native support for Overcast?

Apple TV 4K

  • Apple TV 4K will support Dolby Atmos for high-fidelity sound.
  • Ariels screen-savers can display the location information with the tap of the Siri button on the Apple TV remote.

macOS Mojave

  • Mojave Preview
  • System-wide dark mode! 🏴
  • Screenshots now provide the ability to record a video of the screen. I’m dying to know more on how this works. I use Droplr all the time for this and I’m wondering if this will offer anything better.
  • Apple News and Home app comes to Mojave. These are some of the first apps that Apple has built to utilize some of the UI Kit frameworks.
  • Mac App Store overhaul is long overdue but seems to be a very welcome change.

Pride Month 🌈💛

My Brother, the Reptile PhD

My little brother, Eric, is living in Australia where he just earned his PhD examining the impacts of cattle grazing on arboreal reptiles. Hire this guy!

He was recently on the OffTracks podcast discussing his research. Take a listen — it’s fascinating!

I couldn’t be prouder of him for all his hard-work and dedication to his craft.