sony smart watch 2 and experia

It’s not long ago that smart watches came onto the scene.

Wearable computing technology is introducing a new era in which smaller and smaller  intelligent devices are making communications and apps even more personal. Smart watches are the latest hot innovation in this trend.

In addition to changing the way people view and use their wrist watches, smart watches and watch phones promise a whole lot more convenience than a phone.

Nevertheless, the best smart watches today are still basically extensions of your smartphone. So if you are looking to get one, you really should choose your smartphone first.

Currently there are a lot of companies fighting for the pole position on your wrist, ranging from large corporations like Samsung, LG and Apple to upstarts like Martian and Pebble. Even though they all make unique devices, the primary function of the devices remains a smartphone companion.

This means smart watches serve as an extension of your phone, mainly for conveying texts, calls, social updates and emails so that you can decide whether it’s worth taking out your phone to respond. Or just blow them off.

Beware Manufacturer Lock-In

Many of the new smart watches, especially those made by phone companies, are designed to only work with the company’s operating system of choice.  They are therefore mainly supportive of either Android or iOS.  Some of these touch watches are locked to a specific brand of smartphones.  There are however a number of freelance companies and upstarts that make them compatible with all android devices, but not iOS, and vice versa.  The windows phone platform is the least supported of the major operating systems.

If you are shopping for a smart watch, you need to confirm the device’s compatibility beforehand so that you can fully enjoy the experience.  Android being the dominant smartphone operating system has the most number of supported touch watches ranging from the popular Samsung Gear to the recently released Moto 360.

For Android Users

For owners of Android smartphones, there are many popular smart watches to choose from including the LG G Watch, the Neptune Pine, the Geak Watch Phone, the Qualcomm Toq and the Sony SmartWatch 2.  Most of these devices work with Android phones running version 4.3 upwards.

Sony smart watch

For Apple Fans

iPhone owners can bank on the recently released Apple Watch for iOS 5+ devices, due in early 2015. There are, however, other wearable devices that work with iOS including Eco-Drive Proximity, Hot SmartWatch, Vachem, TrueSmart, Sonostar, Pebble Steel, Martian and MetaWatch.

For the Uncommitted

If you’re on the fence or have both Android and iOS phones in your home, you can rest easy knowing there are some smart watches that support both platforms. These include the Kreyos Meteor, Cookoo, Martian, MetaWatch, Pebble Steel, Vachem, and Truesmart.

For Windows Phones

Sorry, Microsofties, right now your choices are limited. Only the Agent wearable currently works with the Windows Phone.

Check Your Phone’s OS Version, Too

One other important factor that requires picking your next smartphone before considering an accompanying wearable is the OS version. Since most of these platforms get updated from time to time, your smart watch pick should be compatible with the version in your phone. This is especially important for Android phones since they use the most fragmented operating system.

Smart watches are already very capable devices, with support for lots of apps along with other smartphone-like features. In time, they are expected to become high-tech timepieces that can work as standalone phones. In the meantime however, make sure you only buy a smart watch after confirming that it will works with your smartphone.

app overload disorder

Do you suffer from AOD (App Overload Disorder)?

I do, brother. Can I get a witness?

AOD is a horrible, stifling disease characterized by an excessive amount of time spent every day to maintain an apps habit.

The symptoms of AOD include:

  • you have more than 50 Chrome tabs open right now
  • your phone, tablet and laptop are always running out of memory
  • you upgraded to a paid Dropbox/iCloud account – to make room for apps
  • it takes you 2 hours to groom your apps in iTunes
  • you check IFTTT daily to make sure your recipes are working
  • you stay awake at night wondering when if you backed up your keyword passbook
  • your hands are permanently disfigured through constant typing of user names and passwords

I love my apps! But they’re killing me.

I use apps pretty much every waking hour of every day.

my small set of iphone apps

my first page of iphone apps (jk)

I have apps on my phone, apps on my tablet and apps on my laptop.

My internet TV has its own apps, too. The Roku I attached to my TV has its own downloadable apps, one for each channel I watch.

My new Pebble smart watch uses still more apps.

At work, I use 10 enterprise apps, plus at least 30 programming / project management apps.

When I get home, I waste plenty of time on my social media, news and gaming apps.

Or I use my Airdrone iPhone app to fly my Parrot around – zoom!

When I’m shopping, I check prices on my phone (more apps).

There are even apps that help me keep tabs on my apps.

But the overhead involved with using these is taking over my life. It feels like all I do now is enter my userid and password, over and over again. Or worse, to save time I give my life’s story to every Tom Dick and Harry app provider by clicking on the “Connect Using Facebook” button. Because my carpal tunnel just can’t handle it anymore.

This Can’t End Well

I often wonder where today’s app explosion will end. I mean, there are over a million iOS apps, and almost that many Android ones.

Who has the time to search for what they want from this many choices? How will we navigate this when there are 10 million? 100 million? one for every person on the planet?

It really looks like the number of apps might surpass the number of web pages at some point soon!

Will some mega-VC come in and buy up all the loose apps in the world and create an Oracle of apps?

Or will I (gasp) have to delete a bunch of my beloveds, to return my life to sanity?

I think I need an intervention.


There are 100s of LAMP Development Tools Available Today.

But if you are just getting into developing web apps using Linux-Apache-MySQL-php – or any variation on the theme – which tools should you choose as your go-to arsenal?

I’ve been developing LAMP stack apps for about 7 years now. These days, I teach and supervise as much as I code. But I’m a pretty experienced engineers.

Listed below are my favorites utilities and apps for newbie LAMP/LAMC/etc developers. They all have a bit of a learning curve that pays off later, when you burn the oil all night.

Five Gotta-Have LAMP Dev Tools

In order to develop LAMP/MAMP/XAMPP apps you’ll need at least five types of tools in your kit. These include:

  1. A local development environment (LDE)
  2. An integrated development environment (IDE)
  3. Database tools
  4. Internet file transfer tools
  5. Virtualization tools

This isn’t the definitive list of tools you’ll need, but you need to start somewhere and this is where I would begin.

Local Development Environment (LDE)

The LDE is where we build our own code and test it before working with the team on releases.

I prefer XAMPP on Windows or MAMP for OS X (Pro version – highly recommended).

Every good LDE will also have version control, and Git is the only choice, in my opinion. For visual control of Git, I use Tower,  Versions Subversion for my repositories.

Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

Sublime Text 2, is the best IDE around. It works on Windows, Mac and UNIX systems.

Database Tools

These break down into two categories/choices:

  • Web-hosted tools like SQL Buddy or phpMyAdmin.
  • Desktop tools: use MySQL Workbench.

Virtualization Tools for Testing

After you near completion of your project, you’re going to need to test the apps in multiple browsers and devices before signing off on unit testing. To do this, I use VMWare Fusion. But my colleagues also swear by Parallel’s Desktop.

FTP Clients

There are only two ftp clients remaining that everyone uses these days, and they are

  • Panic’s Transmit for OSX
  • WS FTP for Windows.