Apple Watch… 5 years on

5 years ago, Apple launched its first smartwatch to the world, dubbed the Apple Watch. In my opinion, the original Apple Watch (now called as Series 1) was pretty flop as a device itself, I remembered looking at it and I was like “there’s no way I’m gonna buy this”. As many have rightly pointed out, the Series 1 was hoarded down by a lot of shortcomings on performance and selling features that appeal to people. It nailed the design, but not the experience… just yet. Although I have dismissed the Series 1, a part of me realized that there’s true potential in it to become great, and oh boy did it became great.

Fast forward to present, the Apple Watch Series 5 has waterproofing, sound level detection, built-in ECG, built-in GPS and compass, cellular network onboard, edge-to-edge screen, always-on display… it is indeed the perfect companion and the most personal computer device Apple has ever built. In just 5 years, Apple has moved the needle of smartwatches so much that made other competitors scrambling to play catch-up. Stories about how Apple Watch has changed lives (and even saved lives) have been circulating across the internet. In fact, Apple has even surpassed most of the traditional watches to become one of the highest selling watches in the world.

Personally, I have been using the Apple Watch Series 3 for more than 2 years now. I’ll admit I was a skeptic initially. Who charges their watch on daily basis! It’s an expensive gadget to upgrade on yearly basis! But once you get over it (you are charging your phone on daily basis anyway?), you will start to enjoy it, like really. After 2 years of usage, I have been enjoying wearing it day in and day out. It tracks my workout, alerted me on abnormal heart rate once which prompted me to went for a health check (everything turns out to be fine and will continue to monitor my status), get me moving throughout the day and get me notified on all the important alerts that I wish to see. And after 2 years it is still working flawlessly, and hopefully maybe it will last me through the third year as well before I even consider to upgrade.

Can I go back to live a life without one? I wonder.

Of course it is not all rosy. Sleep tracking is not available, tracking could be more accurate, the aluminium used could be of better grade to withstand more abuse, more monitoring features are always welcome and so on. So it will be interesting to see what’s next from Apple for the coming generation of Apple Watches. Should everyone buy one? Absolutely not, even if you are iPhone user. It really depends on what you need, some active users might better off getting themselves a dedicated and rugged watches from Garmin or Polar, which are built for outdoor adventure and runners. Those who just want something super simple and cheap that work across multiple platforms will find themselves happy with a Fitbit.

For me and a couple of others, Apple Watch has been the best product from Apple for the past decade. I’m looking forward to see what else Apple has planned for this personal computer that sit on my wrist all day, and let’s see what will the future look like in the next 5 years. Till then.

PERSONAL PROJECT: 字足

终于把这本书完成了,这是2020年的第一个Personal Project,也是续上一本书《字己》后的续集,许多没来得及畅谈的话题,延伸讨论等都会聚集在这一本书里。这也许也是现在的我唯一可以完成的吧,毕竟现在大家都只能窝在家里,努力抗疫。

看过这本书后,不知道你是否会更了解我,还是会更不懂我了呢?无论如何,大家还是好好照顾自己,希望可以早日再见吧!

想看书的请按这里。谢谢。

One year later

It’s been a year since I changed my job. Started off as technical support engineer in air-conditioning industry, moved on to after market services and sales within the same industry, and finally, one year ago I decided to make another move, but this time to product management and marketing at a completely different industry.

Looking back my one year journey, it has been a bumpy ride, really. When I handed my resignation letter a year ago, I wasn’t sure what my future would hold. There were job offers from the same industry, there were job offer for the same role as sales, there were even job offers to go up the rank as assistant manager or manager. Ultimately, none of them resonated with me and eventually I declined them all.

“You are making a huge mistake.” Often, this is the answer I got from people around me. Seeing from his or her point of view, I don’t deny their conclusion. To most of us, career has always about climbing the corporate ladder and earning every extra dollar possible. What I decided to do in the end defied their norm, or perhaps even disappointed some.

Instead of growing in the same industry, instead of climbing the ladder, I decided to take a pay cut to land myself here in a completely new and different role, and in a completely new industry to me as well. As crazy as it may sound, I felt that I am not ready to manage people yet at this moment of time. I wanted to explore a little more on what other industries have to offer. I wanted to know about jobs other than engineer and sales. I can be better, and I wanted to be better too before I take my next step.

So here I am, one year later in my new role and company. Is everything good and rosy? Of course not. There are much to learn, much to relearn, and above all, much to put into practice from all the learnings I made, be it from my past job experiences or from my master studies. I do questioned myself often if I have made the right choice, but I would soon brush off the thoughts and keep pressing on.

No one knows for sure, not even myself. Perhaps time will tell, we’ll see. It’s interesting to see what the future has to offer, for now, all I can do is try my best to work my best and prepare myself for the unknown future.

The Circuit Breaker

Social distancing

It’s almost a week into the 30 days long “Circuit Breaker” period, a period of time introduced by the government of Singapore to curb the spread of COVID-19. People are advised to stay home, wear mask when leaving their house, and only to head out for essential matters such as buying food and groceries. With this measure, hopefully we can contain the virus from transmitted locally and bring down the number of cases.

So how do I survived through the first couple of days? Well, nothing eventful actually, and fairly simple. As usual I woke up at 5am (yes, even at times like this) and instead of heading to gym (all non-essential services and facilities were closed throughout the period), I’ll either go for a jog around my neighbourhood or just do some workout in my house. I don’t have any equipment other than a piece of resistance band actually, so for this one month I’ll just focus on bodyweight or core trainings. It’s okay, there’s no point buying gym equipment at put them at home just to serve this period.

Once done, I’ll head to nearby market to stock up some groceries if required, otherwise I’ll be reading some news or catching up with a few videos, and I’ll have my apple cider vinegar as my “starter” and followed by a cup of home brewed coffee to start my day working from home. Yes, I’ve skipped my breakfast for the time being as I restarted my intermittent fasting routine, just nice during this period of time. Then I’ll cook my lunch and dinner, and end the day reading a few chapters of book.

How about weekends? Well, as a rather “introvert” person who enjoys all sorts of stay-at-home activities, I really have no issue surviving through the weekend. Read a few chapters more on the book, watch a movie, do some writing, spend some time in self reflection and sorting my mind, find some topics of interest and do some research on it, listen to music, take a nap… and there goes my weekend.

For others, this 30 days will be a gruesome one. People with no hobby, no interest, can’t live without going out and staying out will face tremendous challenge to survive. Already there were people who refuse to stay home, still head out and loiter around, still refuse to take personal hygiene into their habit, still refuse to wear mask… sigh. Seems like we are not far away from the extension of 30 days Circuit Breaker period.

The Singapore government has done a good job in controlling the situation, although I do not agree with some of their decision (such as late closure of border, isolation of dormitory for foreign workers), but they have been taking good care of their citizen and residents alike. All in all, I applaud their effort in managing this pandemic. Yes, on hindsight they can always do better, but apparently the world is not ready for a pandemic yet, no matter how hard we tried and prepared ourselves.

Okay, it’s been a long ranting post. Lastly, everyone plays a role in making sure the pandemic does not worsen. Stay calm, stay home, keep yourself clean and do take care of those who are in need as well whenever possible. Let’s work together and work harder to overcome this. Till then.

Waking up at 5am

Been waking up early in the morning, around 5am to be precise, since February until now. I think most would think that I’m crazy. Some asked: “Are you trying those challenges like do something for 30 days?”

Well, no. It is now part of my routine. I know there are people who advocate the benefits for waking up early, saying how great your life would be by waking up early everyday and so on.

Honestly, waking up early is not for everybody. There needs to be a reason on why you want to gain that extra hour or two, otherwise one will never be able to embrace it into their habit or routine. The last thing you want is to drag yourself out from the bed every morning, feeling tired, restless and angsty.

So why I decided to wake up at 5am? What the hell am I doing early in the morning? Well, nothing much actually. I’ll just head to the gym, head home after that to cook breakfast or lunch, pack them ready and get myself dressed up to work. That’s about it, nothing groundbreaking. But if I don’t wake up early, I won’t have enough time to prepare the food, and I wanted to avoid the crowd in the gym, so early in the morning has become my best option.

I’m a morning person anyway, I’m totally fine to wake up early at 6am or 7am before this, and I sleep early around 10pm usually. So all in all, everything just falls into place nicely for me. If there is no reason for you to be up early, there really is no need for you to do so.

Will I continue to wake up at 5am every morning? As long as there’s a need for me to cook or head to the gym in the morning, I will continue on with this routine of mine. Till then.