TW64 fitness tracker review

The TW64 aka the FakeFitBit is a very cheap fitness tracker. I purchased mine during the “Singles Day” AliExpress sale for US $9.65. Which when compared with Many other fitness trackers on the market it’s very very cheap in comparison. But the old adage of you get what you pay for applies heavily with the TW64.

IMG_3225.JPG
The TW64 on my wrist

Aesthetically the device is reasonable looking, be it a little rough in finish in comparison to other devices. It comfortably fits my skinny wrists all be it on the 2nd to last few holes. It’s made of a soft silicone with a diamond texture on the outside and a ridged shape on the underneath against your skin to stop it spinning around on your wrist. After previously wearing a stainless steel link band watch, the TW64 is much more comfortable. It’s very easy to take off compared to putting on, I’ve only had it come off once.

IMG_3229.JPG
Charging the TW64, with it’s clip charger

The device has one button on the left hand side that wakes the unit from sleep to display the time, battery remaining and date (only in US format). If you keep pressing the button multiple times you are shown steps, estimated distance travelled, estimated calories burnt and time slept. The display is a simple monochrome organic LED in white, which is easy to see except for in direct sunlight. It’s bright enough in the dark to give a faint enough glow to see by, but not enough to light up the room.

 

To get the most out of the TW64 you will need to use the Movnow Plus app (available for Android & iOS). This app leaves a lot to be desired. It’s very slow, unresponsive, english is poor, the UI is pretty terrible and there is no health kit support. Pairing and updating the fitness tracker is reasonable to do, but not as straight forward as it could be. From the app a wakeup or event alarm can be set. I find the wakeup alarm a great way to know when to get up without waking my wife, the band vibrates 4 times without a sound.

So to sum up the TW64 isn’t a great device. It ticks of the basics, but it is mostly let down by the software (health kit support would help). I still use the TW64 everyday for the sleep tracking and the wakeup alarm. I will until I find something that’s again cheap but has better software.

Minor notes:
  • This device loses time like crazy, after not syncing for 2 days it lost 4 minutes. It continually does until you sync.
  • Strap comes off in bed quite easily
Wish list:
  • Notifications simply buzz on wrist showing icon for call or app notifications 
  • Health kit support
  • Open api 

 

Twitter, weighing up the noise vs good

I’ve been a user of Twitter since 2008. I wouldn’t say I’m a heavy user, but do enjoy the little gems of info I do come across of the people I follow and there is some really great conversations on the platform.

But lately I’ve been finding the noise to good ratio has been hard leaning to the noise. Maybe it’s always been that way or maybe I’m only noticing it now. I recently removed my favourite Twitter client from my phone and just use Nuzzel instead. It leaves the good articles/links and leaves out the noise. It compliments my RSS feeds (yeah I’m hip with the kids).

A lot of people who know what their talking about think Twitter is broken. Like Chris Sacca who’s VC company holds a lot of Twitter stock. Maybe their right, the way content is a timeline feed of everything for twitter vs a curated (by algorithm) feed like Facebook is why they don’t have the number of users. Just a sea of noise, people have too much of that already.

Maybe it’s the lack of a community feel that hasn’t made it as successful (compared to Facebook) as Dustin points out.

First, for normal users, Twitter feels too much like a one-way broadcast system. It needs to feel more like a community, with meaningful two-way interaction.

For the time being anyway I’ll be an occasional user and enjoy my filtered feed.

What is a senior developer?

Matt Briggs gives some broad descriptions of the levels of developers.

A senior developer understands that everything in our field involves tradeoff, and will look for what that is for design patterns, libraries, frameworks, and processes.

Software development is all about compromises, and prioritising the right ones.

A life lived outside of technology

Ben Thompson reflects on why he got an internship with Apple:

It turned out that a life lived outside of technology was my greatest asset, at least at the company most every founder claims to idolize.

When I reflect on my own insular career path I wish I had a wider point of view of life and humanity. I’m less enthused about technology the older I get and more interested in how technology can help people in their lives. Either by making tasks less tedious, letting them complete tasks more efficiently or even making work fun.

Post-analysis of a competition

Bitly Lorena 4 Andrew statistics
Bitly Lorena 4 Andrew stats

After the disappointing loss of the wedding competition for my fiancé and myself I thought it would be interesting to do some post analysis of the stats.

My last check of the results before they were hidden were 1421 vs 1576 to the other couple.

I used the short link service bitly with a custom url of https://bitly.com/lorena4andrew+ and collected some stats. We had 457 clicks of that link.

Bitly link clicks
Bitly link clicks

We had 71% of our links followed from New Zealand no surprise there from a total of 457 clicks. Of them not surprisingly 182 were from Facebook, but of those Facebook users 65 were from mobile. Looks like Facebook’s big push to mobile is starting to pay off. The majority of clicks were from email or IM with 243.

We were pretty lucky to get some high profile tweets from the like of Weller Hauraki and also got a retweet from runner up Whenua Patuwai from X Factor.

Both Lorena and I were amazed by the support from family and friends. They went to so much effort and we are both so grateful for everyones efforts.

Help me win a mid-air wedding!

Lorena and I are entered in the Mid Air Matrimony contest on More FM and would love to win.

So on THURSDAY the 1st of August I would love it if you could like us on this page here:

Mid Air Matrimony on More FM

Please tell all your friends and families to vote for us as the most “Likes” wins. All you need is a Facebook account. Click on the “Like” button for Lorena & Andrew on the More FM site (link above).

If we win we will be flying business class to Fiji next week on Fiji Airways and staying at either the Westin Denarau Island Resort and Spa Fiji or the Radisson BLU Resort Fiji Denarau Island. Somewhere between Auckland and Nadi we will tie the knot, what a story for the grandkids. 🙂

Remove the blog cruft

If you write online, make sure that your blog serves your readers’ needs as well as yours, and lends appropriate weight to your well-chosen words.

Matt Gemmell makes some great recomendations about what you blog needs and more importantly what it doesn’t

When I redesigned my own blog this year my biggest consideration was to the reader. The words need to stand on there own legs and the blog needs to facilitate reading without distractions.

My own preference when reading a article on the web is it has to be easy to read. If the content isn’t I will immediately send it to pocket or click a bookmarklet to remove all the cruft.

So when designing your next blog think about the reader and don’t add crap that’s not needed.

Glass is inevitable

Eric Meyer ponders about Google Glass and how it’s inevitable:

You think that you’ll remember all those precious milestones, that there is no way on Earth you could ever forget your child’s first word, or the first time they took their first steps, or the time they suddenly put on an impromptu comedy show that had you on the floor laughing. But you do forget. Time piles up and you forget most of everything that ever happened to you. A few shining moments stay preserved, and the rest fade into the indistinct fog of your former existence.

You vow you’ll never forget those precious moments with your little one, only to be left with hazy memories of them as they further grow. Being a dad again 10 years later I’m ever reminded of those special moments I first experienced with my first daughter, reliving them again with my youngest.

Robert Scoble made the bold statement:

I will never live a day of my life from now on without it (or a competitor). It’s that significant.

I’m a little apprehensive of always being on the end of the camera of a society with Google Glass, but I think the benefits will far out weight the negatives.

I look forward to preserving those wonderful moments.

Bungy jumping, engagement and learning a whole lot of tech

What a full on 6 months I’ve just had. I got engaged, visited Queenstown and New Castle in Australia, Bungy jumped for the first time (proof here). And to top that off I started a new job at SpeEDI software and launched my own web application Vote Daily Deals (http://votedailydeals.co.nz). While doing all that I had the chance to learn the following languages/technologies/frameworks:

The web application I’m building at SpeEDI Software is all built using Microsoft technologies. It’s a MVC 3 application that will be deployed on Azure web hosting. This site takes advantage of Twitter Bootstrap and LESS. Can’t say too much more, but it’s coming along at a good pace.

Vote Daily Deals is a web application I built in my spare time (what little I have) on the CodeIgniter framework. The application takes advantage of the Twitter Bootstrap framework that allowed me to focus my effort on the PHP and CoffeeScript and not on the look and feel. The site allows users to vote for their favourite daily deals site in New Zealand. Users have the choice of logging in using their Facebook account, upon voting for a site and entry is added to the users Facebook timeline notifying other users about the site.

After learning all these great languages/technologies/frameworks some further blog posts will have to be done to share what I’ve learned.

Travel hacking Air New Zealand

I was reading a great blog post on travel hacking from the team at LifeHacker. So I thought I’d give some of my pointers.

From that article I found my favourite new flight comparison tool, SkyScanner and the best part is it’s in NZ dollars.

Web Jet have a nice monthly deal finder search tool, choose your destination and it can tell you the best price for the next 6 months. http://www.webjet.co.nz/

Here are a few of my own tips for Air New Zealand:

Tip 1: For Air New Zealand flyers if you’ve flown in the last 7 days make sure you enter your details on https://www.airpointsluckyseven.co.nz/ and keep checking back everyday at midday to see if you’ve won.

Tip 2: Earn Air New Zealand airpoints the easy way by getting a Go Fly Kiwibank mastercard, spend over 15k on it and you’ll also get free Koru lounge passes. http://www.kiwibank.co.nz/personal-banking/credit-cards/gofly/ There are also other credit cards that can help you wing your way overseas.

Tip 3: With the above credit card every thursday, they have a simple trivia competition for air-points as well as special grab a seat deals for Go Fly Kiwibank customers https://www.kiwibank.co.nz/go-fly-promotion/

Tip 4: Combine your Fly Buys to your Air New Zealand air points, be aware that the conversion rate is pretty low though 1 Airpoints Dollar for every 6.25 Fly Buys Points. https://www.flybuys.co.nz/Airpoints/Pages/Default.aspx

Tip 5:  Sign up for Colmar Brunton surveys to get more Fly Buys points http://www.flybuyspromotions.co.nz/July07ColmarBrunton/CB.html. Every week or so I get emails to complete surveys for Fly Buys points.