Episode 43: Technology Bytes. . .Favorite

This is Technology Bytes, episode 43 for December 31st, 2023.

Technology Bytes is a microcast where I share brief bytes on interesting technology.

My name is Joel.


And here we go.

One of the things that I see happening in all the podcasts that I listen to, and not that I need to be just like them, but as I was thinking of the busyness of the season and the things that are going on in my life at the moment and trying to keep up with a very, very busy time at work and trying to figure out exactly what I was going to say, I think writing on the coattails of some of those other tech podcasts I listen to is not necessarily a bad idea.

And in that, I’m really going to then look at, over the past 40 plus episodes that I’ve done, what technologies I’ve talked about and then choose a few that are my favorite and then finally land on one that I would choose as the winner, so to speak.

So three things that I covered that really jumped out at me over the course of this past almost year.

I’ve only did 40 plus episodes, so I haven’t really done it for a full year, but through most of last year, the things that jumped out at me.

One of the things I covered very early was universal control, and I enjoy that every single day at work.

I’ve got an M2 MacBook Air and I’ve got an M3 iMac, and I use universal control every single day, and not every moment of the day, but on a very regular basis.

And the times when it doesn’t work, which has been very few, very distant in times between, it really ends up a little bit frustrating me.

But as I mentioned in one of my microcasts, the fact that it works at all is amazing, because that’s just awesome technology.

Being able to run both screens, being able to know that I can let the one computer be doing whatever operation I’ve asked it to do for the moment, switch right over to the other one and not worry about stealing resources or using multiple resources.

They’re just separate entities that I get to control with one mouse.

I actually have a setup of a wireless keyboard.

I have a trackpad and I have a magic mouse.

I use all three as input and movement devices.

And being able to monitor and manage and work both screens with one set of controllers is just super.

I really enjoy that.

It makes it so much easier.

I’m not moving my hands around to multiple devices.

And at the times where I need that third screen and I throw my 12.9 iPad Pro up, it just puts itself right in the mix.

No questions, no ifs, ands, no buttons, no settings, no nothing.

It just throws itself right up there.

And now I’ve got three screens on which I’m able to do my work.

So universal control, just a super contender for what is the best tech that I mentioned in my microcast this year.

The second one that jumped out at me of the things that I’ve talked about is the Apple Watch.

When I did the Apple Watch episode, I was using and continue to have two watches because I really never go a moment of the day without having an Apple Watch on.

I sleep with it on, I wake up in the morning and it’s on and all through the day.

In truth, not a moment of a day goes by short of the brief seconds that it takes for me to change from one to the other.

Do I not have an Apple Watch on my wrist?

And then the many, many things that I use it for.

Someone asked me the other day how I use my Apple Watch and so I was thinking about all the different ways that I do use it and sharing and then I’m like, oh, and I also do this and oh, and I also do that.

Sometimes I forget because it is so useful.

Then this year I got the Ultra 2 and the battery life is so fantastic and the screen is so nice and the speed, the interaction, the speaker, the microphone, all of those things that have been improved, the action button, all of those things really make Apple Watch another very, very strong contender for the favorite tech that I use or purchase this past year.

The last tech that I talked about is really a company that provides devices that have just made my home, my smart home setup so nice to use and with devices from Moross and if you haven’t heard of them, they make HomeKit stuff.

It’s all first-hand HomeKit.

I guess it might work with the other smart devices and I know it does but it just feels like HomeKit is first in their minds and the other stuff comes secondary and there’s not very many smart device manufacturers you can say that about.

So what have I purchased from Moross?

I’ve got smart light switches.

I’ve got smart plugs.

I’ve got smart lights and just all of the different devices.

They have so much to offer at such a reasonable price that makes my home so easy to control.

Very little problems with the devices I bought from them.

Oh, garage door opener.

Turn my ancient garage door opener into a smart garage door opener and all of these things that I was able to do to increase the performance and usefulness of my smart home without breaking the bank makes Moross another very strong contender for the best tech that I’ve used this year.

So going through those three things one more time, Universal Control, the Apple Watch, and the smart home tech from Moross, trying to decide which one is really top-notch, which one is the one that just kind of meets everything that I need it to do and one that maybe if I said, okay, there’s probably nothing I couldn’t live without in the tech world but something that I really would not want to live without and comparing that and going through the items, I really ended up landing on the Apple Watch Ultra 2 as the best tech of the year.

The improvements from the standard Apple Watch are just fantastic.

It’s still light on the wrist.

I don’t have a problem with it.

My wrists are really not all that big but it’s not too big for me and I like big watches anyway but it does so many things well and some of the things that they’ve done with the night mode and having it turn the watch face to red to help your eyesight in the dark is really cool.

The way that I use it, so much for health.

I exercise on a regular basis, walking every morning, doing Apple Fitness workouts, tracking my calories, tracking my water.

I have an insurance company which is not unique that I have an insurance company but the insurance that I get through my work, they actually pay me to be active and so I use my Apple Watch to track that and so there’s three things that they measure.

One is taking 500 steps in five minutes.

Oh no, sorry.

300 steps in five minutes at least six times throughout the total of the day.

Not a very hard one to hit and for that you get a dollar and then they have an intensity measurement where you are having to take 3,000 steps within 30 minutes and so I cover that with my morning walks where my heart rate is up and then that gets me another dollar and then the last one is just a total number of steps what they said at 10,000 and so I hit that every day and for that I get another dollar and then every quarter they just put cash in my bank account.

That’s quite unique I think for an insurance company to do that and so far this year I’ve made over $1,000 and my watch helps me to track that and to make sure that I’m meeting those goals and then notifications is a big part of the watch and being able to react to messages at work and using the watch.

I turn everything off at work except for work stuff and I do that through a focus mode and the watch helps me stay focused with that get notifications of things I need to respond to and alarms for things I need to do.

Communication in general with work or outside of work being able to respond to texts from my family making phone calls the Ultra 2 is a cellular watch that’s the only way it comes and so that’s really nice to have and then the battery life that lasts all day not like 18 hours and then while you sleep it charges I mean this is like all day 24 hours you can run it and it won’t die and that’s with all the exercising and everything else that I do it just makes it so nice to wear and so useful.

So the Apple Watch Ultra 2 is my top pick for this year the best tech that I use obviously it’s no good if I don’t have my iPhone but still the Apple Watch still stands out as a tool that I use all the time keeps me from having to always have my phone in front of me it keeps me from disconnecting from the world in which I live with just a quick glance I can see things and see all the information through complications and all of those kind of things and that has become the one tech that I really would not like to live without.

So I appreciate you who have listened throughout these 40 plus episodes and that is all I have for today have a safe and happy new year celebration if you have any comments or suggestions anything you’d like me to talk about you can reach out to me at technologybytesatmarriedfamily.com and I’ll be happy to read and respond I want to thank you for listening to the Technology Bytes microcast and I look forward to next year which will also be next time we are together taking another bite of technology.

Joel Mearig @technologybytes