An Apple A Day – Day 7

Here we are a week in and today was a busy day filled with meetings and calls. Luckily I had my iPad Pro at the ready. I started off a little rocky as the wifi in the office is super unreliable and the staff wifi is super slow. But, once I got connected to the office building wifi, things were smooth sailing.

Air Pods

The most notable thing today was I had about 3.5 hours of back to back conferences and meetings in which I used my AirPods. During the use of them, I found the battery life to be shorter than expected but equally impressive with recharging. They started making noises to tell me that I was getting low and I popped one back in the case in my pocket and when the other showed 3%, I swapped it out with the one in the case and it was already back up to 26% in less than 15 minutes.

*Note: If you’re ok with going with only one earbud in, it’s a very viable way to handle the semi-short battery life and to be fair most people won’t stay on the phone for almost 4 hours straight.

AirPods do have the super rare feature that’s also ultra convenient – charge from the case vs. 99% of wireless having to have a cable to charge. That extra time in my pocket before the other died was crucial and I was outside for most of the calls so an outlet wasn’t an option.

When I got home, this is where the real fun began, I wanted to see how well iPad integrated with my everyday stuff, I mean consolidation shouldn’t start and stop with work when you make this kind of investment, am I right?

iPad Consolidation

I began with something simple. I wanted to consolidate my audible audiobooks into iBooks and see if that was viable and if not what was I losing. I read up online and found all I had to do was download the iTunes app and sync with my iPad, then download audible for Windows and download the audiobooks then click the dots beside each book and select import to iTunes.

You’ll also need to authorize the audible account to your Amazon, which is prompted automatically when you select to import the first book. It ends up that’s all there is to it, it took a couple of tries to get it but in the end, everything works and now I can delete my audible app and us the iBooks app. I’ll try my comic book and ebook collection from Humble Bundle soon but I had my eye set on a real big win…

iPad & Home Integration

Can iPad integrate with all my home devices and allow for a single point of control. My head filled with visions of no need for Google Homes or Echos, just simple voice commands to my iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, or Apple TV. Am I only dreaming?

So my search turned up HomeKit, Apple’s answer to the home automation space and indeed integration with all was possible. Excited I started with the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) and checked all my home devices. I was happy to see all my hue and LIFX lighting was supported, but not much else for the way of outlets and such. Come to find out, Hue has magically already integrated with the Home app and was available for use on my iDevices already. A simple swipe up and I already saw all my Hue devices, that’s AWESOME. Next up LIFX.

This time life was not so simple. The problem is I have 3rd gen LIFX and no packaging has the barcode I was supposed to scan, nor did putting my iPad or iPhone against any light bulb yield and auto add. After some preliminary searching, I found that I need to go into the LIFX app, ensure all firmware was updated. Next, I was to find the bulb already added and go to its settings and select Pair With HomeKit and then it would prompt me with a list of devices and I would have to select retrieve the code. This essentially goes through the initial add process again but this time when it’s done it gives you a page with a code you enter into your Apple Home App under Add Accessory. Once I added all 21 lights into the app, life was great and amazingly I could just ask Siri to do everything from my watch!! It worked smoother and more reliable than Alexa has since my beta echo arrived.

So now I have choices and I choose Siri. Tried it out a few times and I wonder how have I ever lived without it. No wonder that guy in the one movie fell in love with his phone’s voice assistant. Finally, I wonder how easy it will be to write automation for it and will it eventually be able to replace my smart things, but I curb my enthusiasm for the night, wife’s looking kinda jealous my iPads getting more attention than her.

If you have questions or needs help or want to know how something would work, let me know if the comments and I’ll get back to you.

Click Here for the Next Installment in this Series…

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