Category Archives: Android

The LG Watch Sport Review I Couldn’t Find

I’m sure you too have seen all of the other reviews, so I won’t go over what most of those have said. Nor will I tell you to buy the watch or not. Why? Because many of the reviews said to not buy the watch and I did anyway. I’ve had my LG Watch Sport for a week.

LG Watch Sport

LG Watch Sport

So how is it? Pretty good. As a prior iPhone and Apple Watch user, I know I’m not using it to its full potential yet. The Apple Watch pretty much needs to be tethered to the iPhone to be functional. The plus side to this anchor is that phone calls and text messages automagically get routed to the Apple Watch. I was expecting the same experience with the LG Watch Sport on AT&T. Not so. Well, maybe for you. Not for me.

I watched AT&T’s promotional videos for the LG Watch Sport, and when some showed up in stock locally (3 stores in our state), I bought one after waiting a couple of days (and about 90 minutes in the AT&T store). I bought the watch outright for $349 so I would not be under contract. You can save $100 and enter into a 2-year contract. However, if you do that, you’ll end up paying more ($249 + 24/mo at $10 = $489). I told the representative that I didn’t need to set the watch up there, but did want to make sure it booted. Most electronic devices come with some kind of charge between 30% & 80%. Not this time; the watch was dead. The employee took the watch & charger to the back of the store and charged it for a couple of minutes to make sure it turned on.

I slowly started setting up the watch while I was out to dinner (rude much?). The Bluetooth connection was simple and so was syncing over settings. Then the frustrations began. Later that evening (at home), I could not figure out how to set up AT&T number sync. AT&T number sync makes it so when your phone gets a phone call, your watch also rings. The same for text messages. The watch has its own sim card & its own phone number. I called AT&T, and long story short, since my Nexus 6P was not purchased at an AT&T store, they would not activate “number sync”. So now I have my phone with its phone number and my watch with its own phone number: never the twain shall meet. Notifications do still come over to the watch via bluetooth, but no texts nor calls.

After doing some research, I found people on Verizon had the same issue. The solution is fairly simple but slightly inconvenient. Did you know Google Voice is still around? I didn’t. It’s still free unless you’re making international calls. One of its features is ringing multiple phones at the same time. Sign up for Google Voice (and get another phone number!), add your cell phone and your watch phone numbers, and choose to ring simultaneously. Problem solved in spite of AT&T’s obstinance. Well, mostly. You will have to start distributing your new Google Voice phone number so people will call or text it instead of your phone’s number. I had one more issue. Google Voice would not send texts to my watch. I was unable to check the checkbox to allow it. This is because there is a bug in the new user interface for Google Voice. Switch to classic/legacy mode in your web browser. There you will see the watch marked as something other than mobile. Change it to mobile and check the boxes. You can then switch back to the new interface.

Tips & tricks & battery issues… in all of the reviews, everybody complained about the battery life. I did have a similar issue if the cellular network was turned on. I have been turning it off when at the house. However, an update recently came out and after 10 hours, with LTE on, my watch is still at 34%.

Software updates have been pretty steady. The watch will eventually do them (if you have auto updates turned on). If you want to force the issue, like myself, open the Play Store, swipe down from the top of the screen, tap the app icon on the left, you will see a list of apps that need to be updated as well as apps that have recently been updated. Sweet.

WiFi. The LG Sport Watch does have WiFi, but not 5GHz. It is 2.4GHz only. For the first day or two I didn’t realize I was not on WiFi at the house. (I have separate network IDs for 5GHz and 2.4GHz so when my phone synced over the WiFi settings, the watch couldn’t connect.)

Getting Android Pay to add cards on the watch was painful. But again, a recent software update fixed this. Before the fix, I could add one card, but not a card from another bank. I was stuck in a he said / she said moment between Google & the bank and gave up. A couple of days later, I saw Android Pay had been updated so I tried to add the second card again and it worked flawlessly.

The step counter has been wildly inaccurate. It counts steps while you’re in a moving vehicle. Hopefully they’ll fix that in another update.

Another quick tip I found: When looking at the watch face, swipe down from the top of the screen. You’ll see shortcuts for airplane mode, mute, theater mode, do not disturb, and the Settings app.

Why I switched From iPhone to Android

I still have my Mac; I have been an Apple fan for over two decades. My first Mac was a IIcx, then a 4400, a Power Mac G4, an Intel mini, and 3 Mac Book Pros. I bought, and still have, the original iPhone. In fact, I’ve had almost every iPhone as of this writing… iPhone, 3G, 4, 4S, 5, 6, and 6S. I have no intention of buying an iPhone 7 because I finally made the jump to Android. One friend said she didn’t believe I would ever switch. A relative became angry with me, and another said, “You told us to buy all this Apple stuff!” I did not come to this choice lightly. As you can see, I’ve been an iPhone user since the first one, and a Mac user before then. I’m also a developer. I develop for Mac & iOS. Now maybe Android? We’ll see.

iOS (or iPhone OS) has always been closed system. Anybody who wanted to do anything special with their phone would have to jailbreak it. Want folders? Jailbreak. Want access to file system? Jailbreak. Use the LED as a flashlight? Jailbreak. Want a terminal or to SSH into your phone? Jailbreak. Block certain callers? Jailbreak. Turn off notifications while certain apps are running? Jailbreak. Sync with iTunes wirelessly? Jailbreak. Adblocker? Jailbreak. Put icons anywhere on the springboard? Jailbreak. Cache cleaner? Jailbreak. Move more than one icon at a time on the springboard? Jailbreak. Perform wifi-only tasks (per Apple) over the cell network? Jailbreak. Use your phone as a hotspot? Jailbreak. Use “hey Siri” without the phone attached to a power source? Jailbreak. While Apple eventually implemented some of these, jailbreakers were getting this functionality years before the masses. Half of their innovation is coming from jailbreakers and Apple keeps patching those exploits.  Android also has an official store, like Apple’s App Store, but with the flip of a switch, you can install add-ons (at your own peril if you’re careless). Apple could do this. Bury the setting. Make it a developer/nerd-only option. Something! Why won’t Apple do this? It’ll cut into their 30% developer tax.

What is new with iPhones lately? I mean really new? Colors. Whoopie! 3D touch/force touch. Annoying in most situations. The iPhone’s appearance hasn’t changed in three years! Well… with the iPhone 7 they moved the speaker and added one, changed the home button to a solid state button, and oh yeah, got rid of the industry standard headphone jack. They say this was done for waterproofing reasons. Funny, Android devices have a higher rating… with a headphone jack. Some people don’t think the removal of the headphone jack is a big deal. But, if you’re like me, you charge your phone at night and listen to either a podcast or an audio book while falling asleep. Apple’s solution was to partner with Belken and come up with a lightning splitter box. Yes, a dongle with a box on the end… not a svelte Y-cable, but a box. Now picture this, if like me, you buy earbuds because Apple’s ear pods hurt your dang ear. (Seriously how has nobody complained about this?) You plug the box-dongle splitter into your phone. You plug the lightning power cable into one side of the splitter to charge the phone. On the other side, you have to plug their lightning to 3.5mm jack dongle in, and then your earbuds into that. Disgusting. Not Apple-like. How did Jonathan Ive allow a monstrosity like this to go out the door? Not buying! Air pods, while cool, cost $160. And, they’re still painful hard plastic “pods”… and you’ll have to charge those when you get up… and you have to charge their container that looks like a box of dental floss. And carry all that extra stuff with you. Stay classy Apple.

Recently Tim Cook told people who didn’t believe in his “green” liberal ways that they should sell their stock. (Done!) Now, I’m OK with “saving the planet” but with Tim at the helm Apple has gotten really political. When that idiot white kid in South Carolina went to a black church and killed a bunch of people, the media found a picture of the murderer with a Confederate Battle Flag.  All of a sudden the flag was to blame. Stores pulled the flag from their shelves, ebay & Amazon removed them from searches… and Apple jumped in and removed every app from their app store that displayed the flag. Even game developers had to change the flag for their Civil War games before being let back in. Tim, who attended Duke University really should know better. People in the South love their flag. The next thing Mr. Cook has done is vote against adding a Rifle emoji to the emoji standards board, and also changed the handgun (most systems display a revolver, one displays a semi-automatic)… to an ugly green squirt gun. Why? … Why? Why? Why? Anyway, the answer is that people on the political left never blame the people. They blame flags & guns. Apparently the picture of a gun is going to hurt somebody. I mean, the hammer, axe, knives & swords have never been used as murder weapons, so their picture emojis are OK. (Yes they have! So have cars, rocks, ropes, toasters, shovels…) Way to tick off your loyal fan base Tim. Good job!

Now that the last of Steve’s product influences have gone out of the pipeline, Apple will just be mediocre again. Obviously Ive no longer cares. Cook? He’s about fashion & sports. And putting gay people in their ads. Nike watch? $10,000 Gold watch? Just Breathe app? Sounds like Apple is targeting rich Sporty Spice hippies.

EDIT: In summary, iOS is not longer exciting and Tim Cook is politicizing Apple. iOS is great for the average person. Tech nerds / developers, you should want something more from your devices. All iOS users should thank Jailbreakers for giving Apple ideas. Remember the simplicity when Steve Jobs returned? Apple has gone from underdog to a bully.

Next time I’ll go over my Android replacements for my iOS apps.