This watch tells time…

… among other things.

Apple Watch Series 5 with Always-On Retina display.

I have owned an Apple Watch from Series 0 (zero), or the first version of the Apple Watch. It was simply called the Apple Watch then (four years and some months ago).

I bought mine from a listing on and had it shipped all the way to the UAE. It was one of those purchases, the call for which, begins deep from within your heart.

What transpired over the two years that followed is one of the most exceptional experiences of my life. My Apple Watch purchase triggered a series of events that resulted in the creation of an online store at that first became a “Trusted Store” and soon achieved a “Super Store” badge on that platform. It’s a story worth telling some day (and I will). Both that store and are no more.

Early 2019 I gifted my Apple Watch Series 0 (zero) to my dearest friend’s son who loved it and took it up to Turkey on a school-trip with his friends. The young lad has since become an Apple Watch fan and I was delighted to see his 16,000+ step count in a single day on that trip.

My current Apple Watch is a Series 2 Nike that I bought online from Carrefour UAE at an excellent price of AED 799 and later purchased AppleCare+. Series 2 is a fine watch, it’s just not as quick as the later models, nor is it lacking in any major way (but a few unsupported ones).

Apple Watch Series 3 starts at AED 799 from Apple UAE (from 10/09 keynote day) in limited colors (of course). You read that right.

The problem with considering any purchase ‘an excellent price’ today is that it’s bested in some way or the other in six months therefrom.

I picked Series 2 for the simple reason it is water resistant and can be used when making wudu, taking a shower (with some caution) or shallow water activities (like swimming or being at a waterpark). Series 0 (zero) and 1 (one) were splash proof and mine lasted some four years in normal use without a hitch. I also made wudu with it at times.

Series 4 is now Series 5 with one big improvement. It has an always on display aptly named the: Always-On Retina display. This lets you glance at the watch without raising your wrist (but that burned some calories for sure?), something I’d love to try, if not, buy today.

The Always-On Retina display on the new Apple Watch Series 5 will propel Apple Watch sales like never before. The always on display is fantastic and it will be a massive distraction in places like the masjid with some folks glancing at your wrist or when you’re in a dark place and your watch face is eerily always on.

Is this when you buy your first Apple Watch? If you haven’t bought one, I’m not really sure. If you’re not an iPhone user, you can’t really own one for its want of an iPhone. If you own an iPhone, you may be someone who loves watches that aren’t digital. So it depends on well, you.

Series 5 is a compelling purchase for anyone who seriously wants to use technology to assist them in maintaining a healthier than usual lifestyle. You may simply want to buy one to monitor High or Low heart rates since High Heart Rate and Low Heart Rate notifications are supported in the UAE. But then Irregular Rhythm Notifications and ECG and some other features are not supported, thus far.

Series 2 is zippy-enough, so Series 3 from Apple at AED 799 is an excellent purchase. Series 5 offers aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, or ceramic materials and being biased towards stainless steel and ceramic (these two remind me of kitchen utensils), my choice of material is aluminum or titanium.

I absolutely love Apple Watch Hermès Space Black Stainless Steel Case with Single Tour at AED 5,199 (44mm) yet if I have to buy one today, I’ll match up Apple Watch Edition Titanium Case with Sport Loop for AED 3,199 (44mm, GPS + Cellular) with an iPhone 11 Pro Space Gray (256 GB).

BIG GRIN. (no emoji here)

And did you know, the new Apple Watch Series 5 opens portals too?

Open a portal with Apple Watch Series 5!

The opposite of Time

Sleep. It’s the opposite of time. Yet in many ways it’s similar to it. It heals, it’s short lived, you can’t have enough of it, once it’s up it’s never back, it’s a blessing, it’s what we need most and value too little.

And, it’s the only way humanity moves forward.

Can’t wait for Apple Arcade

LEGO Brawls, multiplayer brawler set in the LEGO universe.

I’m intensely excited about Apple Arcade which is Apple’s new and upcoming (19/09) gaming subscription service. I love the price point at AED 19.99/month (or $4.99/mo). A one-month trial is included, which is an excellent way to try the service.

I am not a fan of subscriptions and have cancelled some of mine in recent years (Netflix and Playstation for various reason), yet I feel compelled to try and buy the Apple Arcade subscription, for a few reasons:

a. It’s just 19.99 AED/mo. after a free one-month trial. If you subscribe today, I doubt you’ll be asked to pay a higher amount a couple years down the line.

b. It’s fresh and loaded with absolutely new games – 100+ this fall. I wonder how many would follow.

c. I can play the same game on any Apple device I own! So some of these games will be superb when played on Apple TV with a controller (you can use your Xbox One S or PlayStation 4 controller with an iOS device with iOS 13 coming 19/09).

d. I’ll be less worried about intrusive ads when my kids play games (as a rule we disallow any game that is ad-based and prefer to purchase a paid version if the game is really worth having).

e. My family can enjoy the same subscription, which is fantastic.

The casual, not so worthy of my money way for Apple to go about Apple Arcade would have been to create a subscription 1. based on all the games that were already available in the App Store (expensive or impossible), 2. for some of them (which isn’t ideal because I’d always want a game that isn’t in the subscription) or 3. for classic titles (which by the way is what Xbox and Playstation offer today along with the ability to play online). Apple chose to go about Arcade differently, creating an entirely new service with new games and giving it a riveting price point. I love that feeling of exclusivity.

The only problem I foresee is not having the time to play any game during any month and maintain an unused subscription. My kids can play of course 24.7 if we let them loose on gaming – which hurts their eyes and minds! They’re both allowed 30 minutes of screen time on any given day and a little more on weekends. This being school-season, it’s going to be very hard to justify an Apple Arcade purchase to the mother-ship.

I too, am busier than usual. I try all kinds of free games from the App Store when I have a minute and most of these get deleted 2 to 3 minutes into the game. The only game I prefer playing every day is CnC Rivals on an iPad Pro, three to four games per session. It’s the most I can afford during my work days, and on weekends, I’m rarely geared towards gaming. I simply don’t have the inclination.

So the only way to make this work is for Apple to make sure all games on offer are exceptional in taste and arcade-like never ending thrill-inducing. I hope.

Why is Apple creating services like Apple Arcade (or Apple TV+)? First, they have a growing install based of over 1.4 billion devices which really means a huge percentage of these users can simply become early adopters, while others can join later. Second, most of those 1.4 billion device owners are Apple fans and loyal to the brand. Those adoption rates can simply be insane. If a 100 million Apple users decide to opt for Apple Arcade and pay the small fee of $4.99/month, Apple’s bagged 499 million dollars per month, yes, approximately 5.988 or 6 billion dollars per year. That figure in AED is a staggering 22 billion dirhams and then some.

Apple Arcade is 2019s most exiting Apple (product and) service. Apple TV+ comes close (it’s harder to produce 100+ episodes of anything, so it will get there). iPhone 11 (eleven) is exciting too.

So new iPhones

iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max – Apple’s new 2019 iPhones.

By now if you care, you know about the new iPhones launched this week. Om Malik’s event notes are good enough summary of the Apple event.

This year’s iPhones are better, like they are every year, incrementally so, year-on-year. There’s all kinds of comment available on the new iPhones, so where you really stand depends on your circumstances and relative knowledge.

My iPhone 8 is as fast and usable as it was on day one with 83% battery capacity reported by Battery Health giving me Peak Performance Capability which is acceptable two years down the line. The phone isn’t slow, on the contrary, it’s pretty zippy.

The most interesting new iPhone is iPhone 11 (eleven or XI) and looks lovely in white. All the other iPhone 11 colors are lovelier this year (oh the XR!). They have a freshness of air about them. In terms of new features I love the idea of a Slofie and it’s going to be absolute fun. The new dual‑camera system is superb and the main reason for anyone wanting to upgrade. Pro chip, excellent. ‘Just the right amount of everything.’ It is.

The overall iPhone 11 design reminds me of the 3GS, its smooth back cover and intense integrated feel. This isn’t 4, 4S, 5 or 5S territory, it’s a bit of 3GS, 5C, 8 and whole lot of XR. The 11’s back glass with its camera bump is one piece of glass. One piece of glass as in ‘milled from a single sheet of glass’. Incredible.

Then there are Pro models. ‘Pro’ definitely aims at Pro photography and not Pro photographers as such. Pro videographers to some degree. If that’s true, its a phone I really don’t need. I’m not the typical photography guy. I take a couple photos here and there and I’m not shooting anything wild in the range of 4K video. So it’s not for me at all if it’s a shooter aimed at photography. Which it is.

In terms of design the Pros are absolutely 4, 4S, 5 and 5S territory in an X inspired body – dark, distant, dangerous. Simply classy in Midnight Green and Space Gray.

I’m dying to comment on the Pro and Pro Max naming scheme, but I digress, this post celebrates new iPhones, let’s keep it to that.

The only real reason why I need a new iPhone is my eyes strain a little using the smaller screen on my iPhone 8. There are many reasons why I may want a new iPhone, but let’s just not go there.

Price seems right this year for all new iPhones, considering today’s models deliver exceptional new features. The new iPhone 11 is priced at AED 2,949 VAT inclusive at Apple UAE for the 64 GB model. Pro models are cheaper than their predecessors at launch. iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone XR are priced lower too.

So new iPhones … life moves on.

PS: You can pre-order your new iPhone in the United Arab Emirates at from 4:00 p.m. onwards today (13/09), delivers from 20/09 or thereabouts.