test : best sleep tracker next to AppleWatch ?

Question :

My AppleWatch is great. The only thing it doesn’t do, since you need to charge it every night, is sleep tracking.

Which sleep tracker would you recommend next to an AppleWatch ?

 

Answer :

If the only thing you really need is sleep tracking, I would still recommend an armband-like device. Armband-like sleep tracking devices are easier to carry around if you go on a business trip or holiday, they don’t require you to lie nearly still in your bed and they’re far less expensive than the other sleep tracking devices available. The only reason not to use an armband-like sleep tracking device is if you need extremely in-depth sleep tracking because of medical reasons.

Since you already own an AppleWatch and an iPhone (or iPad) to run the Watch-app on, you also have the iOS Health-app, so there isn’t any need for more than an extremely basic display on your sleep tracking armband device. Keep in mind that you don’t need a display while you’re sleeping, you can’t even use it during sleep…

Based on this observation, you’re best option is to choose the most basic and most affordable armband-like sleep tracker you can find. I’ve been testing these 2 side by side for a while now :

Xaiomi MiBand 1S : about €20 : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

Jawbone UP Move : about €15 : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

As an alternative, you might also consider the “upgraded versions” :

Xaiomi MiBand 2 : about €35  : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

Jawbone UP2 : about €40 : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

Jawbone UP3 : about €55 : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

Fitbit Flex 2 : about €85 : buy it on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.de

But, in the end, if it’s mainly for sleep tracking, these “upgraded versions” are quite a bit more expensive, but still, keep in mind that they are only different in features that have no added value for you since you already have an AppleWatch.

Reasons to choose the MiBand 1S over the UP Move (or the other way around) :

Xaiomi MiBand 1S – the pros :

  • automatically detects whether you are sleeping or not
  • USB-rechargeable battery ; one charge last at least one month
  • good quality armband ; no traces of wear and tear even after extensive use
  • very nice iOS MiFit-app
  • can be worn all day
  • minimalistic design
  • can take over activity tracking and (manual !) heart rate measuring when you’re not wearing your AppleWatch

Xaiomi MiBand 1S – the cons :

  • maybe not as waterproof as claimed ; probably water-resistant or splash-proof at the most, but suitable for showering (maybe not for swimming)
  • quality of individual devices differs, some may only last for a month or so
  • reset includes strange ‘put it in the fridge’ procedure
  • if something doesn’t work there’s hardly any feedback to what’s wrong
  • no way to directly use it as input device for iOS Health-app ; the MiFit-app is always needed
  • will irritate the skin when worn tightly (which is needed for heart rate measuring, but which you don’t need since you have an AppleWatch)

Jawbone UP Move – the pros :

  • easily exchangeable CR2032 cell battery ; will last up to 6 months per battery
  • very good iOS UP-app includes interactive coaching (sleep coaching also)
  • can be worn nearly all day (not for swimming or showering)
  • simple reset option (just take out the battery)
  • can take over activity tracking when you’re not wearing your AppleWatch (not heart rate measuring)

Jawbone UP Move – the cons :

  • switching to sleep tracking must be done manually
  • quality of the bracelet strap is dubious ; tends to break unrepairable after a few months
  • splash-proof only (not for showering)
  • design is slightly bulky compared to minimalistic armbands
  • no way to directly use it as input device for iOS Health-app ; the MiFit-app is always needed

CONCLUDING :

Both the Xaiomi MiBand 1S and the Jawbone UP Move are great choices ar sleep trackers next to your AppleWatch. Personally, I slightly prefer the MiBand 1S because of the fact that it automatically switches to sleep tracking when you fall asleep.

Note :

There is a reason that both the newer Jawbone UP3 and the Fitbit Flex 2 have nearly the same design as the older MiBand 1S : this design is the ‘near perfect’ design for such a simple armband device. In my opinion, the only reason to prefer the Fitbit Flex 2 over the MiBand 1S is the fact that is is very well suited for swimming… but it’s up to you to decide if that’s worth the extreme price difference, especially if you already own an AppleWatch.

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fixed : battery status of my AppleWatch

Question :

On my iPhone and iPad I can always see the battery status, but on my new AppleWatch I can’t…

What’s the easiest way to see my AppleWatch’s battery status ?

 

Answer :

The easiest way of knowing your AppleWatch’s battery status is this :

  • tilt your arm to wake your AppleWatch from sleep
  • then slide upward from the bottom of the watch face (screen)
  • on the underwater screen that comes up, the battery status is top left (in a percentage notation)

That’s it

And if that is still too many clicks away for you, you can also go into the Watch-app on your iPhone and choose an alternative watch face (the “Utility” watch face for instance) and set “Battery” for the left or the right display corner. Now if you set that watch face as your new watch face, you’ll have your battery status on screen all the time.

enjoy 😉

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fixed : iOS app cannot be moved or deleted – is instead renamed “Home”

Question :

I installed the iOS-app called “FaceApp” on my iPhone a few days ago, and now suddenly it’s on a screen-page I don’t want it on. The way I normally use to move it to another screen-page doesn’t work however : if I hold the icon for a long time, the icon’s doesn’t start shaking and no X-label does appear either.

I managed to get the shaking icons and the X-labels in the end by just holding my finger on another app a little longer… but now, the “FaceApp” doesn’t want to move either when I put my finger on it…

I finally managed to move it by moving another app in front of it, but I still can’t get it to another screen-page…

So, I tried to delete the app by clicking on it’s X-badge, that seemed to work at first, but the “FaceApp”-icon immediately reappeared, only the name has now changed to “Home”, and there is no X-badge on it… so I still can’t delete it…

What is wrong ? What can I do ?

 

Answer :

Don’t worry.

  • First, exit the ‘shaky mode’ by clicking on the (physical) MENU-button (the front one, just below the screen
  • Then, open the AppStore.app
  • Click on “Updates”
  • Then click on “Purchases”
  • There, you’ll see that the “FaceApp” is listed, but with the “cloud&arrow”-icon next to it (so the “redownload from the AppStore-cloud”)
  • Then, click on the “cloud&arrow”-icon to reinstall the app
  • Exit the AppStore.app
  • On the main screen-pages you’ll now see that the name of the app has changed back from “Home” to “FaceApp”
  • Now, click&hold the FaceApp-icon until all icons start shaking and you’ll see that the X-badge will also appear on the FaceApp-icon
  • Then, click on the X-badge and the FaceApp.app will be deleted from your iPhone, or move the FaceApp.app to the place you want to have it on your screen-pages

That’s it – enjoy !

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fixed : bad audio – is my iPhone broken ? (iOS 10)

Question :

I have a recent iPhone running iOS10, but lately I can’t hear people calling me and they can’t hear me when I phone them. There is a cracking noise which makes it impossible to use my iPhone for calling.

Is my iPhone broken ?

 

Answer :

Even though we cannot rule out that your iPhone is actually having a broken audio hardware issue on forehand, it’s more likely to be a software problem.

This problem is usually fixed by doing one of these resets ( first, be sure to keep your SIM’s PIN-code at hand as you might need it ) :

reset option #1 :

  • while your iPhone is on, press the physical MENU (on the front screen) and ON/OFF (on top or on the right side) buttons at the same time until the screen goes black and after a few seconds the white Apple-logo reappears
  • wait for your screen to rebuild ; then your iPhone has been reset and you can test if your audio works properly while calling

reset option #2 :

  • while your iPhone is on, press the physical ON/OFF button (on the right side of your iPhone) until the ON/OFF slider appears on screen
  • set the ON/OFF slider to OFF and wait for the screen to go black
  • now turn your iPhone back on by pressing the ON/OFF button and wait for your screen to rebuild ; then your iPhone has been reset and you can test if your audio works properly while calling

usually, that’s it… that’s all you need to fix this…

…but if neither of these resets work for you, your iPhone’s audio hardware is probably broken and you should have your iPhone repaired at an Apple Store or Apple repair-centre.

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fixed : deleting photos to free up memory on your iPhone

Question :

I have a 16GB iPhone running iOS10, and it freezes whenever I want to take a photo… I get an error message that there’s no memory left on my iPhone so I can’t continue…

I checked and it turns out that I have literally 1KB (yes, only 1KB, not even 1MB…) left as free memory… and most of my 16GB is occupied by Photos.app (about 12GB)…

How do I free up space without deleting valuable photos and videos ?

 

Answer :

The best way (if not the only) to free up space on your iPhone will be to delete a lot of photos and videos, in your case. The way to do that without running the risk of throwing away photos and videos that you would have liked to backup it this :

  • connect your iPhone to your Mac using a USB-cable
  • open the Photos.app on your Mac
  • click on your iPhone, which is listed on the left side
  • now, in the main window, go to the photos that are displayed as ready to import (photos that aren’t on your Mac already are automatically filtered out by Photos.app
  • from that selection of (un-imported) photos and videos, select ONLY those photos you want to keep
  • import that selection onto your Mac
  • first check if all photos and especially all videos (as those are not being transferred automatically through iCloud syncing) you selected have been imported
  • then unplug your iPhone’s USB-cable
  • then delete all video’s you can, and if that isn’t enough, delete all photos older than about one year from your iPhone
  • Please, note that iCould will only contain the most recent photos (usually not the videos)
  • now, restart your iPhone by simultaneously pressing the two main physical buttons : both the menu-button (just below the screen on the front side) and the ON/OFF-button (top side or right side)
  • then check if you have enough free space on your iPhone now
  • if not, delete more photos from your iPhone (in the way explained above)
  • …then restart your iPhone

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fix/tip : how to handle spam iCloud Calendar event invitations ?

Question :

Lately, I received some spam event invitations in Calendar and in my notifications, both on my iPhone/iPad and on my Mac. What can I do to get rid of them ?

 

Answer :

This is a very new and very annoying kind of spam that especially targets iCloud. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t have a proper solution for this problem yet.

While we are waiting for Apple to come up with a solution (let’s hope it will be an “only contacts can send Calendar event invitations” option or a White List or Black List option), there are some things you can do to minimise the annoyance :

BEWARE : do NOT react to the invitation by clicking either “Maybe”, “Decline” nor “Accept” as each of those will send a notification to the sender ! doing so acknowledges to the sender that your iCloud account is active and will therefore trigger more and more spam Calendar invitations for you ! 

Apart from disabling iCloud Calendar event invitations altogether (which you can do on the iCloud.com website), the best option for now is this :

  • in Calendar-app on your Mac, go to File –> New Calendar
  • there you can create a new calendar ; you’ll see it appear in your list of calendars and name it something like “Spam” (or “Trash” or something alike)
  • then look up the spam Calendar entry in your Calendar and right-click on it
  • in the popup-list that appears, select Calendar –> Spam
  • now it will be in your Spam calendar
  • in the list of calendars (on the left) you can now uncheck the Spam calendar to hide this spam event from view
  • now, right-click on the “Spam” name in the list of calendars (on the left)
  • in the popup-list that appears, click on “Get Info”
  • in the pulldown-window that appears, put a checkmark at “Ignore alerts” and click “OK”
  • note : even though it’s annoying, learn to live (for now) with the fact that the spam event invitation will still be listed in your list of Calendar event invitations… if you accidentally clicked on it, click outside the popup-window to close it, do NOT click “Maybe”, “Decline” or “Accept” ! …and yes, the number-badge on your event inbox is annoying and confusing…
  • then, if you see a notification popup floating above your Desktop top right, click on “Close”, to make it go away… do NOT click “Accept” !
  • then, on your iPhone (and/or iPad), open the Calendar-app and click on “Calendars” (bottom middle, between “Today” and “Inbox”)
  • in the Calendars screen that opens, under ICLOUD, find your spam calendar (listed as “Spam” or whatever you named it)
  • first, uncheck the checkmark in front of it (to make the spam calendar invisible)
  • then click on the “i” (info) icon behind it
  • in the Edit Calendar screen that opens, scroll down, and make sure that at NOTIFICATIONS, the switch at “Event Alerts” is OFF
  • then click “Done” to save and exit and click “Done” again to also exit the next screen

Now if you get new spam event invitations, put them in your spam calendar to make them invisible also :

  • either [1] on your iPhone (or iPad) : look up the spam event in your calendar (not in your Inbox), it will be a greyed-out event, click on it and in the next screen (“Event Details”) at “Calendar” set it to “Spam” (or whatever you named your spam calendar)
  • or [2] on your Mac : look up the spam event in your calendar (not in your Event Inbox, nor in your Notifications), it will be a greyed-out event, right-click on it, then set Calendar to “Spam” (or whatever you named your spam calendar)

If you really want to get rid of all spam events, spam event badges and spam event notifications you can also completely delete your spam calendar, by doing this :

  • either [1] on your iPhone (or iPad) : in Calendar-app, click on “Calendars” (bottom middle) and in the next screen (“Calendars”) at “Spam” click on the “i” (info) icon ; then in the next screen (“Edit Calendar”), scroll down and click on “Delete Calendar”
  • or [2] on your Mac : in Calendar-app click on “Calendars” until the list of your calendars appears at the left, then go to “Spam”, right-click on it and select “Delete” from the popup-list

That’s it…

However : if you only get very few spam event invitations, you can delete the “Spam” calendar each time, but if you frequently get spam event invitations that will cost you too much time, don’t bother doing it each and every time…

Good Luck !

Let’s hope Apple comes up with a proper solution soon 😉

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