Apple iPhone 6 And An Apple Watch; A Ski Tech Special

Sep 10, 2014 No Comments by

Apple Watch Sport

One of my favourite days of the year has just past. The Apple Event 9th September. New iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and the future Apple WATCH.

Listen to Episode 17 of my podcast on Apple’s announcement below:

Speculation over but did Apple deliver?

Yes and No. You’ll know by now that the iPhone 6 Plus comes with much improved  battery life. As a developer of apps for business as well as the Bansko App… I take a very close interest in Apple.

I like Apple. Recently they replace two fraying cables which were out of warranty. Customer support and service is what I am also passionate about in my business.

I use Android devices as well as Apple, but mostly for thoroughly testing the Android Apps we have developed before delivering to clients.

But iPhone 5s battery life is especially concern for me when out in the cold. -5 C and an iPhone dies.

The upgrade to iPhone 6 Plus will help this problem. As well as always keeping the phone in an inside pocket.

I do not just email and message, but also make video snow reports and podcasts. I need enough battery to be able to publish both video and audio whilst still up the mountain. As well as @bansko twitter and Facebook.

I get up early so for some skiers my report is completed. It helps ski holiday anticipation level when commuting to and from the office. If your time zone is 2 hours behind the UK (e.g UK) you may get it in time for your morning commute. Also check out podcasts on iTunes, SoundCloud etc.

WARNING!! All Applephobics should scroll to the bottom of this article and listen to Lyuba.

For Apple fanboys, like me — this phones looks near perfect as far as one can tell from pictures alone. But what about those disillusioned with their outdated blackberries? And what about those wannabe defectors from windows and android devices who are sports enthusiasts?

You should try the other side. The new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus at contract renewal time will be tempting because iOS 8 gets apple to a place where it trailed behind Android in some features. You’ll be then set to have the iPhone 6 and Apple watch combination.

Best colour for the iPhone 6 Plus? Is Grey.

If you go naked (meaning no iPhone case and not recommended for the mountains) the gold one may appear to be too flashy. Expect to see plenty of gold ones then. 😉


The Apple Watch; the details I like and some I don’t

I am blown away by the tech on the this first generation of the watch. Amazing technology. The kind of I dreamt of by as a child (in the seventies). Will we be talking at our watches, Dick Tracy style? I think we will. So many things have been thought through — especially the use of a side winder wheel — or crown as our American friends call this.

It makes a lot of sense — except for lefties.

The user interface (“UI”) looks amazing and much better than the Galaxy gear. Drawing messages, a speaker and a microphone is interesting; but what will battery life be?

But… the looks are okay. I’m a little disappointed from the pictures. I think it looks a little thick. The inclusion of the heart rate sensor. But let’s see how the final version looks. I think the whole point of the watch will become clearer. At the moment I can see health, notifications, directions and payment as being key things. But still I think why have this and what’s the point of it all.

But t’s one out of two very lust-worthy products, as far as looks are concerned. This may change when we see the real thing sometime in 2015.

We discuss Apple Pay and much more.

I incorrectly predicted that apple would not launch a watch, but instead go for a more wearable device to compete with FitBit and Jawbone wearables. They have gone for both the watch and the wearable.

Wearable status is taken further with the heart rate sensor whilst you are exercising. On the back there are four round lenses. Light shines through two of them. The other two lenses are infrared sensors. So the four work together to examine the blood flow through your skin. This flow is used to calculate your pulse rate.

But there seems something missing in the watch. I bet there are a couple of trump cards that Apple are holding back for their main release in 2015.

I’m going to reserve judgement for the moment on the physical design of the watch. I want to focus on those really cool, and easily removable, watch straps. They look really nice.

The Taptic feedback is a nice idea. The watch will give a little subtle wrist buzz for notifications. Obviously your loved on will have to have one too to gain maximum benefit. Sublt buzzes rather than the whole table buzzing with my phone seems quite useful.

But, hey ho, this is the first iteration and five years from now I’m certain it will become a phone replacement for some.

Gosh this is clever. And remember, Yo and all that… I believe that notifications are the whole point of a smart watch and a smart phone. Yes, you love those Bansko notifications I send, reminding you that the snow is falling, don’t you? (Comments welcome below).


Piste payment with just a watch

Paying for goods with your watch looks an amazing feature, great if all merchants in ski resorts quickly adopt Apple Pay. This killer feature and will change the use of cash for ever. Secure as a thumb print, credit and debit card fraud will be virtually eliminated thereby benefitting merchants and lowering merchant fees.

I suspect that day will be a long way away here in BG — but who knows? The use is about to make chip and pin compulsory — os I can see quick adoption there.

Very cool. Plain useful. And very profitable to Apple in the long term whereby it will take a small skim off every purchase.

Apple-WatchTaking cash and a wallet up the mountain is a pain because it’s so easy to lose things. It’s hard enough juggling gloves, goggles, snowboard / skis and a phone.

Having your ID embedded into the phone (it’s your fingerprint that open the phone, isn’t it?) should be proof enough who you are — but probably will not be in reality for some uses.

With NFC (Near Field Communication) built in, then payments will be made instantly. But how it authenticates on the watch I’m not so sure… what about if your watch gets stolen? This, and I am sure much more, will be clarified before the full Apple Watch in 2015.


So which watch?

I will need one for skiing. I would love this watch to be water resistant. Water protection that is sufficient for when my hand is covered in snow. I hope they are working in this.

So, from what I know right now, it’s the Apple Watch Sport edition for me. It has an Ion X-glass display. Anodized aluminium case in silver. It is 30% lighter too. My other questions that will be answered nearer its launch include how to find settings and, most of all — and here is the killer question — how long will the battery last?

With all those wonderful features, it cant be much more than a few days.

But what colour is best? Knee-jerk reaction is for silver with a white band, I think.

Oh gosh! I can tell you now one thing is for certain; Apple will make a fortune on wrist bands. One for the day and then another for the night or for the weekend. Gifts to children — who will all be discussing this thing like crazy now will drive the fashion changes, the new designs.

It’s clever thinking from Apple in being dynamic and nimble enough to change from a company that prides itself from giving little choice to providing lots and lots of choice.

The leather wrist bands look good too. But are the magnet fasteners strong enough for rough and tumble of skiing and snowboarding?

The gold cones will appeal to the Asian and Chinese market. Probably the more expensive they are the better they will sell — as conspicuous consumption is everything there.


The mutro must-have

If you’re a mutro or a mutressa then get in line for a flashy gold one. But wait. No! You’ll have a gold Rolex or something in excess of €10,000 glistening on your wrist.

Prices, say Apple, start at $349; but, as mentioned above, that the top end model will be over a $1,000 choice.

For a watch that could be out of date, and obsolete in, say, 6 years. It will be almost unusable in 10 years time. It has to deliver a ton of utility for the cash. I think apps will, just like the smart phone, hold the key to it’s usefulness.

But for the brave new tech wearable world, it’s an exciting moment in history.

The watch has been reinvented. It surpasses anything else — by a significant margin.

The low-cost Swiss watch industry with brands such as Fossil and Swatch will be justifiably concerned. They have just witnessed the market snatched from them. Possibly even more expensive makers will be worried too.


The future of ski apps in the ski world

The Apple Watch is exciting, but so is the forthcoming new iOS 8 and the new iPhones.

The Bansko App (link to iTunes App Store for your free download) will be adapted and released for the ski season with, not only an iOS8 friendly design, but also redesigned for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

But what the Apple Watch offers is a whole possibility of fitness, ski and snowboarding apps. But the biggest impact for wearables could be for lifts on the mountain. Entry lift ticket purchase the complete absence of any physical ticket. NFC makes this possible.

My only issue is how the watches will deal with the cold. How I wish Nokia teamed up with Apple to put more emphasis on cold temperature performance.

My AppFactory Ltd business will look at uses for watch apps and I hope we’ll soon be dealing with client requests to develop apps for the watch.

I expect to develop a Bansko Apple Watch app to be ready for 2015/16 ski season. I am certain we’ll soon see some interesting industrial and business uses for the watch. Opening doors without fumbling for keys is the one use I would value.



In a way, it’s all about having the devices that add real value to my life. For example, I have no need for an ipad when I will have a large screen phone. Typing like here, will for some time yet, be the domain of my proper Mac keyboard.

The iPhone and all smart phones are powerful portable computers. Video, audio, pictures, email and all the great apps out there for iOS. I have five iOS only and paid-for apps on my phone. It makes this a great time to think tech and time for android users to embrace the utility of finger print ID on the iPohne 5 and iPhone 6 PLUS.

Thank you for reading. Now listen to Lyuba chat to me about Bulgarian History, Architecture and the true spirit of the Bulgarian and what makes us all so fascinated in learning more when in here.



The ski season countdown starts. Mid December we expect lifts to open. Subscribe for all the Bansko news and events:

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About the author

I enjoy tech, apps, entrepreneurship, podcasting and collaboration with others. I love travelling as well as skiing, hiking, MTB, paragliding, cooking and good food.
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