Saturday, 8 May 2021

Review: Ready Player One

Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1)Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The first few pages were surprisingly slow but picked up the pave and overall a brilliant read, I can imagine without having seen the film first it would be a tough call.

View all my reviews

Monday, 18 January 2021

Viewbug

Today I deleted my account on Viewbug.com


It's a shame really, I like their site and their proposal but since joining around 6 weeks ago I have been bombarded with advertising, continually told there is a time limited special offer (which is the same special offer as everyone gets all the time) and had feedback from people who patently don't exist (accounts with profile pictures on a photography site where no photos are loaded, who does that, bots that's who).


It's just become tedious, along with every review complaining that competion prizes don't happen and it just seems like one big scam.


So given up having received another email with non working hyperlinks and the latest identical special offer.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Swytch bike ride

 Second test ride of the Swytch today.


I started with a plan to ride to the top of the Downs and take some photos, it was definitely going to be cold (approx 2 hours later the car said -2.5c) but was also misty.


A new plan was called for, I would do my "normal" 10 mile loop : 


mostly flat with a couple of hills, all road, at my middle aged fat bloke pace I'm looking at around just under an hour. I should be able to do it quicker but generally I'm out for a ride, I get some puffing going,  I get some sweat going and I listen to some podcasts.

My revised plan was to do the loop all on power level 1, with the plan to do another day on power level 5 to see what difference is makes.

I'm beginning to wonder why I try to make a plan, a close to the 2 miles from home mark there is a short sharp hill, it takes a couple of gear changes and a bit of effort and it's done but today all I could feel was the drag of the front wheel.

Onto the next section which is a slight uphill and I was finding it just as much effort as normal. I checked which gear I was in and no different to normal and no little red light on the sensor so I pulled over to take a look at what was what.

Sure enough the sensor has moved, so realigned as best I could, changed to power level 5 to get more obvious effect and really the rest of the route was a demonstration of how this should not  work. It is quite clear that I'm not getting enough assist and the problem is misalignment of the sensor / disk meaning that I am getting a response about half the time which explains the pulsing effect I was feeling yesterday.

Almost back home and one the flat and I get a notable vibration which lasted perhaps 20 seconds and went away - that was definitely just random vibration.

Back and home and warmed up again and checked the settings on the power pack.

1) The wheel size was set to 26" not 28, changed that

2) Top speed is set as expected, so have increase that to see what happens - if anyone can help here I'm stumped because the setting only moves 1 step, almost like there is a further restriction in place.

3) Power level is set as default @ 80%.

Then there is the PAS sensor, the sensor itself has lost its stick and the replacement stickies are much thicker than the original so unusable  and the cable ties don't have enough strength to hold it in place and the sensor disk is both not flat out of the box and after 1 rid mis-aligned horizontally and vertically.

What I have now done is to use one of the disk inserts to fit around the sloped part on the inside of my pedal, it doesn't fit as such but appears to be much more solid.

I have replaced the provided cable ties with bigger ones for the sensor so I can get some good tension.

Finally, I have tested just up our road and looks like might be on for better things whilst using a teenager to test the throttle shows it does work but the issue is me :-0


Saturday, 9 January 2021

Review: Embers of War

Embers of War Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



View all my reviews

Swytch E-Bike

My kit finally arrived 2 days ago so here is a short summary from today : 

 First decent ride today with the kit fitted. If anyone fancies a read of my first experience. 

 Not the easiest of starts yesterday - new wheel so new tyre and inner tube only to get a puncture instantly (also fitting the tyre on the wheel is awful, either the wheel is a tiny but small or the tyre (admittedly cheap tyre) is a little large so seating it and keeping it seated was difficult, luckily I was able to use my belly as a third hand to pin it in place) and then my front brake (hydraulic) had stopped working so I had to "burp" it - turns out to be easy but another delay meaning I didn't get out until mid morning today - which is a shame because turns out there were some amazing formations from the ice on the wind on top of the Downs. 

 Anyway, somewhat different riding experience to what my I am seeing on "proper" ebikes that I have tried (delivery has been so long most of my friends now have ebikes :-(), it's a much more gentle assist but I'm glad to say that I managed Streat Bostal without stopping which is only the third time I have managed it. 

Was an interesting challenge, new front tyre was all slippery on the slightly icy surface and near the top at its steepest the fat bloke in the saddle causes the front wheel to barely stay on the ground.

I am a little disappointed with the level of assist but on the other hand I didn't buy it to make a motorbike, I've got one of those, so I still have to be fully involved in the propulsion process (I also have a throttle, yes it can propel me at walking pace on the flat) - disappointed but actually rather glad because it means I will still be going out for a bike ride and making some effort. 

 Anyway, yes, a gentle assist meant I got to the top and was a puffy, sweaty mess but unlike previous attempts I was still functional. I did 12 miles in total, unremarkable speed overall. It's interesting because the aforementioned ebike owners complain about drag when the battery isn't on but this is not too bad although it is really noticeable on a downhill where there should be plenty off momentum but the front wheel just doesn't spin freely enough and that really impacts progress. 

 I experimented with the battery off, some on the lowest power and some on highest power (not sure what the point of the middle ones is :-)) and over 12 miles used roughly 80% of the battery (pro pack) which feels disappointing. I was trying to work out how far I had gone on each setting but will have to try again - the plan was to use one setting but I was having fun changing things around as I went. 

 I took my camera and it stayed in the bag the whole way, I didn't take my front light, it was quite misty in places and I can safely say that the light on the battery pack is squarely beaten by my the lights I have from Poundland, mood lighting is my current assessment. 

 The only other things learned is that while the bike works just fine without assist it really needs an on / off button that is more convenient so battery life can easily be turned off because it really isn't needed all the time.

One thing the throttle did confirm, and I had noticed this when I tested the bike on a stand, the motor doesn't seems to roll constantly, it seems to pulse which means the ride is like going over tiny corrugations on the road all the - any one else had this? I thought initially it was perhaps a malfunction in how I had mounted the PAS / sensor because the disk clearly isn't perfectly flag and sure enough as predicted the momemt the bike encounted any off road I found the sensor moved but the throttles show that isn't the case - slightly concerning, more testing tomorrow.

Sunday, 3 January 2021

Luminar Ai

 I thought I would start making some notes about Luminar AI which is a new photo editting product from Skylum software.

They have a number of previous products including Photo Lemur which has an automated workflow to enhance pictures and Aurora HDR for HDR enhancements.

Their previous mainstream product is Luminar (currently version 4) which aims at more traditionally editting but making things easier for normal people to use.

Luminar AI promises to use artificial intelligence to suggets templates which are enhancements similar to looks in Luminar and Presets in Lightroom.

Does the product work?

Well it doesn't work with much else running, I quite often use Lightroom at the same time as World of Tanks and other software but Luminar AI just crashes if a game is loaded.

Standalone it will run but its catalog is basic, it's just a list and doesn't approach Lightroom for provision of digital asset management, it's essentially just a browser, so no geo-tagging, no keywording, no collections for export.

My initial experiences with Luminar AI have been disappointing, standalone the AI templates are definitely A and not very I. Combined with a lack of DAM capability I was all set to invoke my right to request a refund as many customers have already done - a lot of hype to deliver something that is merely ok.

However, I have chosen to perservere, in some cases I have had a positive response from the vendor where I have had issues although there is still a clear absence of a roadmap to convince anyone it is going to get better. 

One of the issues I have had resolved though is use with Lightroom as a plug-in. AI does not work like other plug-ins, you  have to Export not Edit which is odd but once that option is discovered it does work and unlike Editted pictures the output is not then returned to the collection you were it although the picture is uploaded to Lightroom and can be manually added.

Is Luminar AI worth the effort?

Yes, I have paid for it and what I have found is that using the templates to experiment is worthwhile. Unfortunately, there is no preview capability (which given the AI must be doing something why is that information not available?) so you have to apply a template and once chosen go to Edit and make sure all the other attempts are removed, workflow does not appear to have been considered and another issue I have raised that has not had a response. What I have found though is that the templates provide ideas, some I have found I then cannot replicate in Lightroom so have used the AI output but most just highlight that I can tweak the picture back in Lightroom which means the product is adding value but not necessarily for the reasons Skylum thought it would.



Monday, 21 December 2020

Can I post anything good?

 Fed up of negative comment I have will have a very brief and amateur review of my new soundbar for my PC, this is from Amazon and is such a quality item that is was tough to find the brand name (Aisung, yes that well know brand).


What is it : 


Yes a basic sound bar. 

I have been trying to organise my desktop to reduce clutter and that evolved into putting my speakers behind the monitor and that was an unsatisfactory solution both due to the space taken and access to the buttons.

So I purchased the above for £24.99 and also these black metal shelves :


They were £22.99 so as expensive as the speaker but I can repeat the design for our other workstation and keep to a theme in the room.

I have mounted the shelf under my 27" monitor, the shelf is about two thirds of the width of the monitor and the speaker is roughly an inch short on either side and not as deep (even with the poorly position and sticking out USB cable at the back) so gives a little room for the remote control and a couple of pens.

Sound is excellent for something so cheap, it's not hi fi but certainly better than previous speakers I have had and is ideal when connected to my PC using the 3.5mm audio jack.

It also has a USB input, that can be used to power the device and the connection from the PC but my PC has a USB grounding problem so makes an awful din but it does work, I have it plugged directly into a USB block for power and it seems to be fine with the lowest power block I can find (I don't recall what it was but as with most people I've accumulated a pile of USB plugs and I picked the one with the lowest numbers and it works just fine).

It does support a bluetooth connection, it is either or for the connection options but it connection with no issues, colleagues on webex meetings have told me it sounds like I am in bucket but that is fine because I am able to tell people that I am upending my bucket, sitting on it to watch the office burn as the next poorly planned activity kicks off.

Any problems? Yes as the volume rises, just like most, particularly cheap devices, the hum grows, when the PC is in use it is inaudible but when the room is empty it is quite noticeable.

The only other issue is that it has purest chinglish audio confirmations, So when I turn it on using "line in mode", the usual 3.5mm jack connection, it announces "lie in mode" and I am quite disappointed that I don't then get a lie in. Actually it's still amusing me a month into ownership.

Pleased wed with my purchase and it has also enabled me to buy shelves to sit on the monitor, two of these :



to sit either side of the webcam which means even less junk cluttering up my desk, £12.99 for the pair and they are stable (one has a small whiskey decanter and glass on it).


Review: Forbidden Planet

Forbidden Planet Forbidden Planet by Cheree Alsop
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



View all my reviews

Swytch E-Bike

I would rather this blog does not just become a big list of moans and groans and I am feeling thoroughly defeated by such a poor experience at the hands of Indiegogo and Huami.

Unfortunately, the news is that over on Kickstarter I am on the brink of going round the same loop with the Swytch e-bike conversion kit and again there are lots of people in the same boat.

However, I'm keeping that one quiet because they might pull something out the bag and I have a promise of delivery by Xmas, actually that's untrue, they suggested Christmas, a bit like they stated October and then December and then January or maybe February but actually it will be Christmas, no it might be after and now it's possible late January. Got that?

Amazfit X : day, not a clue I've lost count

 I am still awaiting a full refund for the Amazfit X that is being sold by Huami inspite of known problems and the "testers" who backed it on Indiegogo repeatedly flagging issues.

The software is simply not moving forwards, the GPS does not work and the battery life is poor. 

I've pretty much given up hope and it's wasted money and Indiegogo's attitude leaves no recourse and a guarantee I won't be using either vendor again.

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Amazfit X Day 68 Are we all still here?

I posted on the indiegogo site about my unsatisfactory experience and did get a reply back (maybe they just reply to 1 in 10 posts and I got picked) that I can raise my issues via the support link, blah blah, same answer as ever.

I have responded that it is time they actually responded and resolved issues rather than keep asking people to raise tickets....which aren't tickets, they are emails into the void because the support site they advertise is an email address where they just often do not often bother to read it seems. 

It is now over two months since I received the watch and the only material change I have seen is battery life got worse.

Indiegogo were quite clear that they would not step in and provide any support and besides new products are expected to have issues and the vendor must either provide the perks listed, provide a refund, provide a coherent way forwards or offer an alternative, none of which have happened.


2 months on and Huami have demonstrated utter disdain for their customers and an inability to move forwards and Indiegogo have demonstrated that they just want their cut and please stop bothering us.


My suspicion is, given the issues I am hearing about through other sites with Huami's other products that they do have a core product problem around GPS and I imagine that either the business has gone belly up and the we've not seen the extremities die yet or maybe it is just cynical marketing, produce a product, fire it out there, reap the rewards, ignore issues, produce a product, fire it out there <repeat>.





Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Amazfit Day 67

 Ok, so I relented, the atrocious notification handling on the Amazfit default software drove me to distraction so Notify & Fitness was installed and now I have the schedule and the notifications and it's not too bad.

One loss is that the Weather panel is painfully slow to update, most times it is missing detail unless you sit there staring at it for about 30 seconds, then it updates & I have fed that back but obviously I don't expect to get any response as Huami just don't improve things as best I can tell.


I have been offered another replacement, it seems refund is not an option and I've been offered a 100-200USD voucher on Aliexpress to compensate for the postage....but when attempting to use the voucher it seems like perhaps a 10% discount on a 100-200USD purchase but given the product I already have doesn't work I don't feel inclined to add to my woes.


Anyway, so far my experience is that the watch gps is terrible but if I had no other option it at least puts me in the right county (we live close to a county border but luckily for that statement not too close) but does produce something akin to what happened. Not really useful on a day to day basis but Notify and fitness allows me to use the phone gps so manageable & I will move the workouts option down the list, not going to use it much and essentially the watch has become a really expensive fitness band.

What is interesting is that there appears to be no forward progress so to review the issues I had before the watch was returned for the first time :

Amazfit / Zepp Issues :

  1. Amazfit X : GPS does not work, this, my second watch, does get a lock after a couple of minutes which is slow but it does get there it seems but the route is only indicative of reality at best.
  2. Amazfit X : It's so useless I've given up.
  3. Amazfit X : Regular SP02 sample not just manual (ia feedback).
  4. Zepp : Have a UK style screen - gets annoying that weeks start on Sundays, they don't they start on Monday that way I have 2 days off at the end of a week. This applies to both the Watch faces and the Zepp data.
  5. Zepp : Automatic updates.... Why in this day and age are updates only found if I open the app and stumble across them, for pete's sake at least send a notification. Reporting on Feedback and Indiegogo repeatedly. 
  6. New suggestion : ability to change (remove or reorder) workout types on the watch to deprioritize those I will never use and bring those I will use top the top. Reported through Zepp feedback 1/10/20
  7. Battery life, the new watch with all my tinkering and three 1 hour GPS plots has been 4 days to reach 14%, so perhaps 5 days. Somewhat under expectation.
Notify & Fitness issue :
1. Idle alerts in N&F, I thought they did not work but I have turned off the idle alerts in Zepp and do get idle alerts still, however, in the app I have set 10 minutes while I was testing and the idle alert is still working on 1 hour. Raised via support request through the report 9/10.
2. Smart alarms / alarms on the watch get lost - it appears that there is a conflict between Zepp & N&F that loses alarms, luckily I found out 5 minutes before I was supposed to be picking my son up from somewhere. Unfortunately until updates are reliably available / notified it's imperative to retain Zepp. 

Notify & Fitness suggestions  
  1. Ability to reorder the list of workouts on the watch so that the ones I might do are near the top rather than off the bottom of the page. Raised via email 8/10/20
  2. SP02 : add to the app and scheduled monitoring. Raised by email 7/10/20 and promised in the next release. Update 24/11/20 I can see that addition is planned next release, no idea if it will be automatic.
  3. Stress : add to the app and scheduled monitoring. Raised by email 8/10/20. 24/11/20 I emailled because Stress is now in the app but not collected.
  4. Ability to use goals that are calorie or steps (and sync with the watch) : Raised by email 7/10/20 & have seen an update that it will be available soon. 

Sleep as Android
  1. Stop it turning off my smart alarms in N&F, I'm sure I just haven't figured out how yet and I really want just vibration for wake up.
  2. ...or use Smart alarms on Sleep as Android...if it vibrates the watch before kicking off on the phone then great
  3. How do I connect up a UK radio station, grr, insanely painful

Nice to haves :
  1. I would very much like a simple watch face, literally just black with white hands. If I got excited I might suggest progressive banding of hand colour according to % of goals / pai to spice it up.

Amazfit & Zepp Issues no longer relevant because Notify & Fitness works - it is interesting how a little diligence appears to go a long way :

  1. Tracked routes (when they do) have no detail about speed etc - this appears in N&F so it is a Zepp limitation.
  2. Amazfit X : Whatps app messages get batched up to a summary count far too quickly (raised via Zepp Feedback)  - I still think this is too aggressive but that appears to be a summary item forcing you to go to the notifications view on the watch, unfortunately you can't swipe anywhere on the notification summary to get to the notifications, instead you have to swipe back to the main screen and then to notifications. It is worth nothing that N&F has much better handling of notifications and resolves this issue - it is so much better, indeed usable
  3. Amazfit X : The schedule function is manual entry and does not sync with google calendary (outlook etc) (raised via Zepp Feebdack and Ticket #253401) - ticket has been closed - I'm told it isn't available at this time, others have been told it is not possible. Again N&F has the capability of syncing to a google calendar, not sure what Huami's problem is because this independent developer has done it (it's really good actually, I thought it would be like a gimic but it actually works and displays nicely).
  4. Zepp : how do I export my data (raised via the campaign, Zepp feedback and a ticket, #253403), I have received an answer but it is not working yet, I have asked support and followed the instructions but it just generates empty files
  5. Zepp : how can I configure the app to remove the adverts from the main screen (raised via Zepp feedback). If anyone is confused by "adverts" I mean Zepp self promoting.
  6. Zepp : how can I configure the app to hide all the features that are not relevant to my device (raised via Zepp feedback) 
  7. Zepp : the sleep tracking on the watch is poor, would be good to integrate with Sleep As Android. Latest firmware (1.0.1.30) has added "sleep breathing quality monitor, beta" so hopefully work has been carried out on the sleep module, again annoying that when I looked at my sleep record on Sunday morning it said none for the week because in America Sunday is the first day of the week. There is no indication of what this does / presents.
  8. Workouts are not being synchronised with Google Fit, reported through Zepp feedback 1/10/20 but resolved by N&F.
  9. New suggestion : smart alarms, work brilliantly with Notify & Fitness, clearly needs good sleep tracking, I did suggest this during the campaign but also 5/10 via feedback In zepp

Amazfit Closed Issues - and notably not a single fix by Huami so far: 
  1. Amazfit X : Auto detection of activities - it seems that 10 minutes is a normal time to wake up and start collecting data but two hours of cycling isn't detected... just doesnt work but there is an on / off selection on the watch which is a blessed relief.
  2. Zepp : Where to view the GPS route.....found it, it seems the refresh of zepp for workouts is very slow.
Othe Resolved :
1. The annoying single buzzes I was getting every moring, no ide where they came from but I did eventually pin down the annoying message about the amount of sleep (that would arrive just as I was waking up) which was buried in N&F. 



Friday, 20 November 2020

Amazfit : Day 63

Yesterday afternoon I received my replacement watch, it's battery was on 0% charge so I had to wait.


Fully charged at 3pm which on the 19th November which I can use as my "how long does the battery last line".

I have installed Zepp again but this time I am on a different phone, everything is new so I can rule out if any issues were related to my old phone (which did have flakey bluetooth for certain).

I am not seeing any notable improvements in Zepp since my last use and on the watch I see no new watches faces which is a shame, the schedule still doesn't connect to any standard calendar software and the notifications from applications receiving messages close together is still unusual (what good is a count, show me the messages). This time while I decide if the watch is viable I am sticking with just Zepp, the time and effort required to get Notify & Fitness working in a sensible manner is too much hassle - it's great when you get there but I'll wait.


This morning I set up a work out for the morning dog walk, approx 1 mile in a circle...I already know that there are 3 issues to consider from my last Amazfit X :

1) The GPS doesn't get a lock (especially when the device is worn) & when it does it doesn't last

2) When GPS is working the route reported is only loosely based on reality

3) Zepp's software representation further smooths the route like an over aggressive compression algorithm (I know this because in Notfiy & Fitness that same data is represented in more detail).

So first walk......

1) GPS got a lock within 2 minutes, while that is slow it did get there and when I checked about a minute later it was still there, I then forgot to check again.

2) The route, oh the route, foolishly I choose to strap my watch to my tame squirrel for the walk and he visited the pub some 100 metres away from where I went and was dashing around to the side of where I went as we walked, wait, oh yes, if I zoom out from a google maps level view to google earth level view the route does represent where I went, for any sort of fitness tracking or recording of where I went it is useless still and  yet even with all the extra bits it added it was reported as under a mile, not a million miles out but not the sort of accuracy we would expect from a positioning system.

I have reported this back on my ticket and on the feedback in the App because it is simply untenable as a solution.

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Amazfit X : day 39

Well it is tough to tell where we are now, Huami have finally provided RMA details and to show they can respond answered a relevant question quickly on on day 37 my watch went into the post to Hungary, so I have had to stump up for postage so tough to tell if I will get it back, will it work etc.

Of interest  I am really appreciating my Mi Band 3 though, it is simple, it does the job and just worka. 

Monday, 19 October 2020

Amazfit X : Day 33

I really would like to say things have moved on but in material terms they have not moved at all. 

I did get contact from Amazfit agreeing tha my problems could not be resolved remotely and they would arrange a return but their normal RMA process would not work so they sent instructions which were completed same day.... That as 6 days ago and no signs of any action thee. 

Indiegogo have washed their hands of the issue. 

Zepp had an update, was listed at the 14th Oct, on the evening the 15th Oct I had an A-GPS update, on the 16th Oct the update dated the 14th Oct became available. But the Zepp version number is unchanged. As a result of one of the other of these (presumably) my watch got locked into a mode just displaying time and step counter (long press on the button twice resolved, somewhat random! Quite an elegant display actually) and this morning I woke up to the default watch face.

The is still confusion between the Amazfit & Zepp apps and something triggers an alarm sometimes (I have heard it twice now when out cycling with friends, absolutely no idea what the trigger is but by the time stop & unlock the phone it is gone with no signs of any issue). 

Amazfit / Zepp Issues :

  1. Amazfit X : GPS does not work, sometimes it gets a lock when not being worn but cannot maintain it (2 open tickets, #252878 and #2977, raised on the campaign and via Zepp Feedback) - this is the one that matters, the rest would make the device better, this would make the device worth wearing (worth paying for, oh hang on I already did that). This continues to be a problem - there was a A-GPS update and I now get data about 1 time in 3 but it is only representative of the route followed - yes we could identify that Hannibal went over the Alps but more than that I couldn't commit to. Please refer to the squirrel analogy above.
  2. Amafix X / Zepp : workouts generate random data - 1 walk of 194 steps showed as a slow walk and 4 calories burned, the other 7,800 steps in the day burned the other 5 calories I used, seems a little off to me. (raised via Zep feedback).
  3. Amafixfix : Where to view GPS plotted route on the watch (was suggested as available by support on ticket #252878 although I wonder if they mean "can you see the GPS lock working") 
  4. Amazfit X : Auto pause of exercise works, auto-unpause doesn't, raised via feedback & ticket (#2977 18/9/20) but I am assuming that it will start working if the GPS works.
  5. Amazfit X : Regular SP02 sample not just manual (ia feedback)
  6. Zepp : Have a UK style screen - gets annoying that weeks start on Sundays, they don't they start on Monday that way I have 2 days off at the end of a week. This applies to both the Watch faces and the Zepp data.
  7. Zepp : Automatic updates.... Why in this day and age are updates only found if I open the app and stumble across them, for pete's sake at least send a notification. Reporting on Feedback and Indiegogo repeatedly. 
  8. New suggestion : ability to change (remove or reorder) workout types on the watch to deprioritize those I will never use and bring those I will use top the top. Reported through Zepp feedback 1/10/20
  9. Battery life, seems to be 3 to 4 days of normal use without any workout tracking (pointless see above) ie around 50% of that advertised. First reporting 9/10/20.
Notify & Fitness issue :
1. Idle alerts in N&F, I thought they did not work but I have turned off the idle alerts in Zepp and do get idle alerts still, however, in the app I have set 10 minutes while I was testing and the idle alert is still working on 1 hour. Raised via support request through the report 9/10.
2. Smart alarms / alarms on the watch get lost - it appears that there is a conflict between Zepp & N&F that loses alarms, luckily I found out 5 minutes before I was supposed to be picking my son up from somewhere. Unfortunately until updates are reliably available / notified it's imperative to retain Zepp. 

Notify & Fitness suggestions  
  1. Ability to reorder the list of workouts on the watch so that the ones I might do are near the top rather than off the bottom of the page. Raised via email 8/10/20
  2. SP02 : add to the app and scheduled monitoring. Raised by email 7/10/20 and promised in the next release.
  3. Stress : add to the app and scheduled monitoring. Raised by email 8/10/20
  4. Ability to use goals that are calorie or steps (and sync with the watch) : Raised by email 7/10/20 & have seen an update that it will be available soon. 

Sleep as Android
  1. Stop it turning off my smart alarms in N&F, I'm sure I just haven't figured out how yet and it falls below my mysterious issue below.
  2. Figure out why it has started sending a summary notification in the morning, usually when I haven't woken up. It started randomly so I am hoping it will stop randomly (best I've got as I can't find answer that says it will send a notification).
Mysterious Issues still to resolve
  1. Annoying single vibrations that happens in the morning with no associated notification....if there is no notification where is it coming from? No way to tell. Apparently I need to try a reinstall of N&F. What is notable is that it has only happened since putting N&F on there (there might be an overlap with Sleep as Android but it was not happening with just Zepp or with the old N&F for Mi Band. 9/10 I have tinkered with the zepp settings as zepp is still in place. 

Nice to haves :
  1. I would very much like a simple watch face, literally just black with white hands. If I got excited I might suggest progressive banding of hand colour according to % of goals / pai to spice it up.

Amazfit & Zepp Issues no longer relevant because Notify & Fitness works - it is interesting how a little diligence appears to go a long way :

  1. Tracked routes (when they do) have no detail about speed etc - this appears in N&F so it is a Zepp limitation.
  2. Amazfit X : Whatps app messages get batched up to a summary count far too quickly (raised via Zepp Feedback)  - I still think this is too aggressive but that appears to be a summary item forcing you to go to the notifications view on the watch, unfortunately you can't swipe anywhere on the notification summary to get to the notifications, instead you have to swipe back to the main screen and then to notifications. It is worth nothing that N&F has much better handling of notifications and resolves this issue - it is so much better, indeed usable
  3. Amazfit X : The schedule function is manual entry and does not sync with google calendary (outlook etc) (raised via Zepp Feebdack and Ticket #253401) - ticket has been closed - I'm told it isn't available at this time, others have been told it is not possible. Again N&F has the capability of syncing to a google calendar, not sure what Huami's problem is because this independent developer has done it (it's really good actually, I thought it would be like a gimic but it actually works and displays nicely).
  4. Zepp : how do I export my data (raised via the campaign, Zepp feedback and a ticket, #253403), I have received an answer but it is not working yet, I have asked support and followed the instructions but it just generates empty files
  5. Zepp : how can I configure the app to remove the adverts from the main screen (raised via Zepp feedback). If anyone is confused by "adverts" I mean Zepp self promoting.
  6. Zepp : how can I configure the app to hide all the features that are not relevant to my device (raised via Zepp feedback) 
  7. Zepp : the sleep tracking on the watch is poor, would be good to integrate with Sleep As Android. Latest firmware (1.0.1.30) has added "sleep breathing quality monitor, beta" so hopefully work has been carried out on the sleep module, again annoying that when I looked at my sleep record on Sunday morning it said none for the week because in America Sunday is the first day of the week. There is no indication of what this does / presents.
  8. Workouts are not being synchronised with Google Fit, reported through Zepp feedback 1/10/20 but resolved by N&F.
  9. New suggestion : smart alarms, work brilliantly with Notify & Fitness, clearly needs good sleep tracking, I did suggest this during the campaign but also 5/10 via feedback In zepp

Amazfit Closed Issues - and notably not a single fix by Huami so far: 
  1. Amazfit X : Auto detection of activities - it seems that 10 minutes is a normal time to wake up and start collecting data but two hours of cycling isn't detected... just doesnt work but there is an on / off selection on the watch which is a blessed relief.
Othe Resolved :
1. The annoying single buzzes I was getting every monring, no ide where they came from but I did eventually pin down the annoying message about the amount of sleep (that would arrive just as I was waking up) which was buried in N&F. 

Monday, 12 October 2020

Amazfit X Issues Update

26  days in.

Huami have now responded with an update saying that my issues cannot be resolved and that the watch needs returning "for further investigation". My suspicion is that they simply don't know, I think every issue I am seeing has been reported by others and it still seems a mixed bag on which delivery gives a good result.

I have heard that Huami charge for returns which is disappointing but I have invited that they send me a replacement with reply paid packaging, refund or just reply paid document I can print. 

I do have concerns regarding how long the return will take to turnaround and how much I will get messed about, after all it seems that Huami are struggling to deliver existing orders and they have not yet managed to sell the entire list of perks on the campaign which I think is a shame, the concept and product should be good if the manufacturing issues can be resolved promptly - I'm not sure what problem Huami have, I guess they must be using a different facility to normal due to the curved glass screen because their other products don't seem to have such a high proportion of failures.

Anyway, I thought that I would rehash my list of issues to just have the Amazfit list for a reference point to summarise everything I have outstanding.

I will start by flagging that the Notify & Fitness for Amazfit app is excellent, of all the things it does it allows use of the phone GPS which means exercise can get tracked, unfortunately it does not handle goals that are not simply steps but it more than makes up for that by really top notch notification handling and pulling in Google Calendar which actually pops the reminder up too so not just a static list which I am really impressed with because it works so smoothly (but reminds me to tidy the dumping group of my calendar). I really hope that Amazfit learn from this guy - I don't want to be disloyal to him and don't begrudge the money I have handed him even though I am about to lose the watch possibly to never see it again but Zepp could be so much better, just pay the man and buy his product and integrate it all together neatly - that really is a win for everyone.

  1. Amazfit X : GPS does not work - if it gets a lock it does not do so quickly enough and does not retain it reliably and what it does track is often wildly different from reality so routes are often absent, random or incomplete. 
  2. Amazfit X : Auto pause of exercise works, I really rather like that feature but auto-unpause doesn't and is entirely random if that, I have to assume that the issue is the GPS failing. 
  3. Battery life, on my initial attempts was just about making 6 days but after the latest firmware has dropped to 4 days at best and with the sensitive setting for the lift wrist functionality that drops to 2 days and that is without any GPS use. The campaign does repeatedly reiterate 7 day battery life & "all day every day". Let's be honest 7 day battery life is not much to write home about and even when I placed the initial order it was my one doubt as the only devices that don't manage 7 days are Wear Os and that Apple thing but I assumed that the claim would be eaaily achieved but now looking at Huami's method of calculating battery life I would suggest it is optimistic in the extreme. Take a look, let me remind that the campaign stresses the workout credentials of the device whilst Huami assume that 15 minute every other day is a reasonable basis from which to work, a detail now visible on the support site but not noted on the campaign.
  4. Zepp, currently I am unable to download my data, this may not be helped that each of my calls has been closed and the answer rolled into one call which means outstanding items will get lost but the service desk can report lots of calls closed.
I know for sure that items 1 & 3 are being reported by plenty of other people and are the big ticket items for rectification from my perspective.

Features to improve :
  1. The list of workouts available on the watch need to be editable or reorderable so that I can place the workouts I use at the top of the list, meaning they are easier to find without having to lift my glasses up to look closer.
  2. SP02 measurement, I know this requires stillness but regular automatic sampling would be useful given it might be a useful health indicator. I know this could be a challenge but the stress and heart monitor both purport to want stillness from the interface and still operate.
  3. UK style data, I do like having a 2 day weekend at the end of the week not a day off at either end of the week. But seriously on a Sunday I expect a week of data to be Monday to Sunday, what is traditionally a week with Sunday off as a rest day (for those who don't work every hour to keep afloat). That also has implications for design of watch faces as there is no good reason why watch faces with days should not pick up the phone's language, likewise dates.
  4. Watch faces, we need more, the default selection are ok but given the number of people having serious problems I haven't really experimented with many, personally I would like a classic black display with white hands, nothing else, and I would like to be able to save 2 watch faces to hand on the device day / evening or work / play) rather than being stuck with the default design + 1 of my choice.
  5. Notifications, stop batching notification together into a count, what is the point of collapsing notifications forcing reference to the phone.
  6. The schedule function needs to integrate with the standard calendar apps, as a standalone item it is a gimmick.
  7. Zepp sleep analysis could do with integrating with Sleep As Android, likewise Smart alarms would are useful.
  8. Zepp has far too much noise relating to self advertisement and features that are not available-at the very least the main screen should be tailorable to hide features I cannot use.
  9. Zepp was not synchronising with Google Fit.

Response from Indiegogo

 Today I had a response from that looks a bit "hmm, yeah your worry not ours" : 

I am sorry to hear that you didn’t receive a response from this campaigner, and I understand your frustration around this situation.

Indiegogo values crowdfunding as a collaborative, community-driven endeavor. At the heart of any successful collaboration is open communication. This is why we ask campaigners to stay in regular contact with their backers, and provide updates on the status of their project and perks.

As with any early-stage project, crowdfunding campaigns may take unexpected turns, which can include changes, delays or unforeseen challenges. While your contribution helps to bring something new closer to reality, there is always the risk that a project may end up falling through, and that the campaign owner may not be able to deliver the perks they'd originally offered.

However, our minimum expectation is that a campaigner is transparent to contributors about the status of their project by posting updates to their campaign. We will be reaching out to them directly to urge them to post an update. While we can’t force them to post an update, if they continue to remain unresponsive, you can use our Terms of Use to take legal action against the campaigner.

Whenever a campaign fails to meet backer expectations, we share in the disappointment of the community. However, we will continue to focus on building better tools and sharing best practices to foster open communication and transparency.

We value your feedback and thank you for your understanding.


However, I have also had a response from Amazfit today stating :

"

Our developers have checked the feedback you sent. We regret to tell you that your watch issue can't be fixed online and it should be returned for further tests.

"


Perhaps progress, what we already know is that this means it will disappear for an unknown period of time and then be returned mysteriously fixed, I'm suspecting they will argue about postage and it will be a year from when the campaign started until I have a working device.

Friday, 9 October 2020

Amazfit X : battery life

Certainly never managed the advertised 7 days, was 6 and the latest firmware dropped that to 4 and I am currently getting 2 to 3 days.

Fully charged 9/10 at 12.45
12.54 at 98%, 9 minutes for 2% that makes 450 minutes, could be as bad as 10. 5 hours


Ok : so it turned out that was going to be optimistically 36 hours.

However, it also transpired that the issue was using the high sensitivity mode to react to the lift motion. Changing back to the default, which some have reported as too slow, is fine in terms of response time but the problem is that rather often it just does not respond at all. 

Back on  default sensitivity battery life rises to the giddy heights of 3 to 4 days again - still a long way short of the claimed 7 days.

Amazfit do publish how their battery life should be on their support site  which is interesting because they only accommodate 15 minutes of running every other day which for a device pitched at fitness seems a little limiting. and their means of testing your own device's battery life is frankly silly.

Amazfit x... not so smart

Today I tried to start a workout and the watch told me to connect to the app to get updates for better tracking.

This being a smart watch :
Smart!
Specific : update required by the watch
Measurable : presumably tracking that relates to where I walked not where my imagination wandered
Achievable : ah there's a problem, the app has no update
Realistic : it appears not
Times : why am I doing manual updates! 

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Amazfit X : Week 3, day 22

GPS is still rubbish. 

There was an update but it is still rubbish. 

It does usually connect but not instantly and not indoors, if I wanted to start a workout and wait approx 3-5 minutes, outside, before starting and manage to make sure my jacket / jumper does not touch the watch face during that time we're good to go. I have attempted to explain to our dog that, yes, we have left the building but no we can't start yet but she just doesn't get it.

When it does decide to track it is a cross between Father Christmas, because of the number of roofs and gardens it crosses and the occasional magical leap between houses, and a squirrel, remember how that squirrel dashed backwards and forwards in front of your car before finally leaping under your tyres, yes that, it seems every time I go for a walk I madly dash backwards and forward in an area for no apparent reason. Personally, I have no recollection of doing so but I have a craving for nuts.

Also worth mentioning that we have been repeatedly informed the China has closed for the first 8 days of October and that is why this international business has ceased to respond. This has the same sincerity as "your call is important to us".

I have installed Notify & Fitness for Amazfit which had a preview as Notify & Fitness for Zepp but updated and settled on the older branding, makes no odds. I am a long time user of Notify & Fitness for Mi band and promptly paid (yes paid) the charges for the pro version and the sync to 3rd party apps capability, total of £5 but the app is so much better than Zepp.

Does N&F have downsides, yes, the interface is chaotic at best and support is patchy / pot luck (says he having spent 3 weeks trying to get any response from Huami, an international company).

It also does not yet support the stress or sp02 monitoring on the band and also does not have the capability of goals that can flex day by day between steps & calories which is a shame because calories goals mean things like bike rides count.

I still need Zepp while I am awaiting Huami to make the device usable and something in the process is causing early morning vibrations and I'm not sure what.

Amazfit / Zepp Issues :

  1. Amazfit X : GPS does not work, sometimes it gets a lock when not being worn but cannot maintain it (2 open tickets, #252878 and #2977, raised on the campaign and via Zepp Feedback) - this is the one that matters, the rest would make the device better, this would make the device worth wearing (worth paying for, oh hang on I already did that). This continues to be a problem - there was a A-GPS update and I now get data about 1 time in 3 but it is only representative of the route followed - yes we could identify that Hannibal went over the Alps but more than that I couldn't commit to. Please refer to the squirrel analogy above.
  2. Amafix X / Zepp : workouts generate random data - 1 walk of 194 steps showed as a slow walk and 4 calories burned, the other 7,800 steps in the day burned the other 5 calories I used, seems a little off to me. (raised via Zep feedback).
  3. Amafixfix : Where to view GPS plotted route on the watch (was suggested as available by support on ticket #252878 although I wonder if they mean "can you see the GPS lock working") 
  4. Amazfit X : Auto pause of exercise works, auto-unpause doesn't, raised via feedback & ticket (#2977 18/9/20) but I am assuming that it will start working if the GPS works.
  5. Amazfit X : Regular SP02 sample not just manual (ia feedback)
  6. Zepp : Have a UK style screen - gets annoying that weeks start on Sundays, they don't they start on Monday that way I have 2 days off at the end of a week. This applies to both the Watch faces and the Zepp data.
  7. New suggestion : ability to change (remove or reorder) workout types on the watch to deprioritize those I will never use and bring those I will use top the top. Reported through Zepp feedback 1/10/20
  8. Battery life, looks like it will be 1 to 2 days now... Raised on the campaign but again in feedback 9/10/20 and having dropped to 36% in one day have raised a 2nd time on feedback 9/10
Notify & Fitness issue :
1. Idle alerts in N&F do nothing. Have changed settings to no avail. Raised via support request through the report 9/10.

Notify & Fitness suggestions  
  1. Ability to reorder the list of workouts on the watch so that the ones I might do are near the top rather than off the bottom of the page. Raised via email 8/10/20
  2. SP02 : add to the app and scheduled monitoring. Raised by email 7/10/20 and promised in the next release.
  3. Stress : add to the app and scheduled monitoring. Raised by email 8/10/20
  4. Ability to use goals that are calorie or steps (and sync with the watch) : Raised by email 7/10/20/

Sleep as Android
  1. Stop it turning off my smart alarms in N&F, I'm sure I just haven't figured out how yet and it falls below my mysterious issue below.
  2. Figure out why it has started sending a summary notification in the morning, usually when I haven't woken up. It started randomly so I am hoping it will stop randomly (best I've got as I can't find answer that says it will send a notification).
Mysterious Issues still to resolve
  1. Annoying single vibrations that happens in the morning with no associated notification....if there is no notification where is it coming from? No way to tell. Apparently I need to try a reinstall of N&F. What is notable is that it has only happened since putting N&F on there (there might be an overlap with Sleep as Android but it was not happening with just Zepp or with the old N&F for Mi Band. 9/10 I have tinkered with the zepp settings as zepp is still in place. 

Nice to haves :
  1. I would very much like a simple watch face, literally just black with white hands. If I got excited I might suggest progressive banding of hand colour according to % of goals / pai to spice it up.

Amazfit & Zepp Issues no longer relevant because Notify & Fitness works - it is interesting how a little diligence appears to go a long way :

  1. Tracked routes (when they do) have no detail about speed etc - this appears in N&F so it is a Zepp limitation.
  2. Amazfit X : Whatps app messages get batched up to a summary count far too quickly (raised via Zepp Feedback)  - I still think this is too aggressive but that appears to be a summary item forcing you to go to the notifications view on the watch, unfortunately you can't swipe anywhere on the notification summary to get to the notifications, instead you have to swipe back to the main screen and then to notifications. It is worth nothing that N&F has much better handling of notifications and resolves this issue - it is so much better, indeed usable
  3. Amazfit X : The schedule function is manual entry and does not sync with google calendary (outlook etc) (raised via Zepp Feebdack and Ticket #253401) - ticket has been closed - I'm told it isn't available at this time, others have been told it is not possible. Again N&F has the capability of syncing to a google calendar, not sure what Huami's problem is because this independent developer has done it (it's really good actually, I thought it would be like a gimic but it actually works and displays nicely).
  4. Zepp : how do I export my data (raised via the campaign, Zepp feedback and a ticket, #253403), I have received an answer but it is not working yet, I have asked support and followed the instructions but it just generates empty files
  5. Zepp : how can I configure the app to remove the adverts from the main screen (raised via Zepp feedback). If anyone is confused by "adverts" I mean Zepp self promoting.
  6. Zepp : how can I configure the app to hide all the features that are not relevant to my device (raised via Zepp feedback) 
  7. Zepp : the sleep tracking on the watch is poor, would be good to integrate with Sleep As Android. Latest firmware (1.0.1.30) has added "sleep breathing quality monitor, beta" so hopefully work has been carried out on the sleep module, again annoying that when I looked at my sleep record on Sunday morning it said none for the week because in America Sunday is the first day of the week. There is no indication of what this does / presents.
  8. Workouts are not being synchronised with Google Fit, reported through Zepp feedback 1/10/20 but resolved by N&F.
  9. New suggestion : smart alarms, work brilliantly with Notify & Fitness, clearly needs good sleep tracking, I did suggest this during the campaign but also 5/10 via feedback In zepp

Amazfit Closed Issues - and notably not a single fix by Huami so far: 
  1. Amazfit X : Auto detection of activities - it seems that 10 minutes is a normal time to wake up and start collecting data but two hours of cycling isn't detected... just doesnt work but there is an on / off selection on the watch which is a blessed relief.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Response from Indiegogo and my response 7/10/20

 Thanks for writing in, and I’m sorry for the frustrating experience.


Indiegogo is not able to guarantee that perks will be delivered or deemed satisfactory. The nature of crowdfunding is such that campaigns on Indiegogo are raising funds for work-in-progress projects, ideas, or causes. Backing a campaign and claiming a perk on Indiegogo is not the same as buying something online. Because projects may still be in their early stages, many things can happen between the time the project is raising funds and the expected project release date. While your contribution brings the campaign idea closer to becoming reality, there's always the chance that a project may end up falling through, and the campaigner may not be able to offer their backers the perks they'd originally promised.

With that being said, campaigners are still held by our Terms of Use to fulfill perks. If for any reason they're unable to offer you the perk you claimed, campaigners are obligated to reach out to their contributors and work out a mutually satisfactory resolution- this resolution could be an alternative perk, a promise to issue the promised perk at a later date if the campaign owner is able to raise additional funds, or a refund. Indiegogo cannot moderate these discussions and any resolution would occur directly between the campaigner and backer. We always recommend opening up a conversation with the campaigner if you have any question about what will happen to your contribution if the campaigner is unable to raise the funds they need to complete their project.

Perks are offers made and managed solely by campaigners. Indiegogo does not guarantee that campaigns will succeed or that perks will be delivered. To help facilitate communication, here is the campaigner’s contact information:

Amazfit X Curved Smartwatch: Bow to the Future
Campaign Owner's Name: XIAOSHUANG ZHONG
Campaign Owner's Email: global@huami.com

Thank you for your understanding.

Regards,

Donnie
Trust and User Operations


________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for the response Donnie,


The current situation is that I among many other people have been in contact with Huami and are being met by silence or equivalent "your call is important to us" kind of responses and as per your own guidance on the website before contacting yourselves that has been attempted via the email address you have provided on more than one occasion with a lack of forward progress, I have been provided 2 different support routes and as you will see the campaign similar for other people. Unfortunately your statements above only fit what has been happening for the last 3 weeks for myself.

I am interested in your second paragraph, I would very much like the campaign owner to try to work out a resolution, a working product and some guidance as to when that will be would be perfect but we customers seem entirely unable to get the business to engage in a meaningful manner and this is why I have written to you because a useful, positive response from the vendor which they then make at least some attempt to adhere to would be very nice at the moment because at present they are a mixed bag of successes, complete failure to deliver or delivering not working product and not presenting a forward path.

Any assistance to encourage meeting the terms of service would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, 5 October 2020

Indigegogo / Amazfit X

Request for help & support on the Indiegogo site today :



" Hi,


I wonder if you are aware of the continuing issues with the Amazfit X campaign? https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/amazfit-x-curved-smartwatch-bow-to-the-future/x/23535571#/


Clearly we are aware there are risks with any campaign but a campaign being run by an industry leader in a given sector which only offers a manufacturing change not a technological step up looks to all intents an purposes to be customers funding a new product rather than the manufacturer taking any risks.


So I've taken the risk and backed the campaign and now we have problems. 


I don't think that the problems are insurmountable, it looks to me that the vast majority are likely to fall into two camps, firstly problems with delivery (which I personally have not suffered, indeed I received my product a week before I was told it was out for delivery :-)) and secondly is software, from which I can only hope my problems are a result of (my key issues is the GPS for workouts does not work 80% of the time and when it does it is exceptionally poor in direct comparison with a product that cost around 20% of the campaign price).


I probably am not stating anything of concern for yourselves at this point and what I wanted to do was raise the issue because the campaign is getting significant negativity and I don't imagine that if the process cannot be trusted for an industry leader on an industry leading start up site that will encourage people to get involved. I've already seen one public article https://www.notebookcheck.net/The-Amazfit-X-gets-a-final-release-announcement-amid-a-deluge-of-dissatisfaction-from-its-Indiegogo-backers.496249.0.html and seen various forums with a growing degree of concern.


For balance, it is not all negative because some people are happy and are having a good experience but I might suggest that is more concerning and one comment has suggested the manufacturing facilities are having quality issues producing variable output, which might explain the issues.


Whilst I am sure that will be "real issues" eg personally I am concerned that the GPS is just plain broken on my device and I am sure some shipping issues can occur, I do not believe that the problems generally cannot be resolved and I think the key issue here is that Huami are not communicating very well and providing what appears to be an honest and realistic statement. They have admitted that their support is overwhelmed but to have a clue as to when action will be taken would be very desirable. In addition given the poor experience I know there are contributors who are asking for a refund and getting a flat no (which is a shame as Huami's warranty policy is pretty clear, they will refund, replace or repair not just say "no") and already people are contacting their credit card providers seeking refunds (the product supplied I have in my hand, not on my wrist notably, does not meet the battery life claim and is currently barely over 50% of expected and given the GPS situation is simply not fit for the purposes it has been described).


It would be much appreciated if you would be able to make contact with Huami to see if they can be encouraged to be more forthcoming, personally I am at my wits end with this having spent good money and 3 weeks after delivery have only experienced worsening battery life following firmware updates but no visible improvements in function.


Thanks"

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Huami Amazfit X : Week 2

 well, GPS has operated in fits and starts and sometimes vaguely represents where I actually went, quality is no where near what my Mi Band 3 and Notify & Fitness App achieve.


Today a new article appeared on Note Book Check and I appear to have made the first comment and attempted to be quite balanced especially as there was a new update today and it appears to have done 2 separate updates on the watch and took a while.


I have found one new function relating to sleep analysis but other than that no idea what fixes or new features are in there but given I had a response from support today and they didnt say anything I hold out little hope for getting GPS fixed.


Closed Issues : 
- Amazfit X : Auto detection of activities - it seems that 10 minutes is a normal time to wake up and start collecting data but two hours of cycling isn't detected... just doesnt work but there is an on / off selection on the watch. 

What is still an issue : 
- Amazfit X : GPS does not work, sometimes it gets a lock when not being worn but cannot maintain it (2 open tickets, #252878 and #2977, raised on the campaign and via Zepp Feedback) - this is the one that matters, the rest would make the device better, this would make the device worth wearing (worth paying for, oh hang on I already did that). This continues to be a problem - there was a A-GPS update and I now get data about 1 time in 3 but it is only representative of the route followed - yes we could identify that Hannibal went over the Alps but more than that I couldn't commit to.

- Amazfit X : Whatps app messages get batched up to a summary count far too quickly (raised via Zepp Feedback)  - I still think this is too aggressive but that appears to be a summary item forcing you to go to the notifications view on the watch, unfortunately you can't swipe anywhere on the notification summary to get to the notifications, instead you have to swipe back to the main screen and then to notifications.

- Amazfit X : The schedule function is manual entry and does not sync with google calendary (outlook etc) (raised via Zepp Feebdack and Ticket #253401) - ticket has been closed - I'm told it isn't available at this time, others have been told it is not possible.

- Amafix X / Zepp : workouts generate random data - 1 walk of 194 steps showed as a slow walk and 4 calories burned, the other 7,800 steps in the day burned the other 5 calories I used, seems a little off to me. (raised via Zep feedback).

- Amazfit X : Regular SP02 sample not just manual (ia feedback)

- Amafixfix : Where to view GPS plotted route on the watch (was suggested as available by support on ticket #252878 although I wonder if they mean "can you see the GPS lock working") 

- Zepp : how do I export my data (raised via the campaign, Zepp feedback and a ticket, #253403), I have an answer but it is not working yet, I have asked support as it looks like you have to create an account on Zepp and a Mi Account and the two may associate by email address - unfortunately the Mi Account password standards are quite low and not what I used for my Zepp account so awaiting confirmation from support that is the case.

- Zepp : how can I configure the app to remove the adverts from the main screen (raised via Zepp feedback) 

- Zepp : how can I configure the app to hide all the features that are not relevant to my device (raised via Zepp feedback) 

- Zepp : the sleep tracking on the watch is poor, would be good to integrate with Sleep As Android. Latest firmware (1.0.1.30) has added "sleep breathing quality monitor, beta" so hopefully work has been carried out on the sleep module, again annoying that when I looked at my sleep record on Sunday morning it said none for the week because in America Sunday is the first day of the week. There is no indication of what this does / presents.

- Zepp : Have a UK style screen - gets annoying that weeks start on Sundays, they don't they start on Monday that way I have 2 days off at the end of a week. 

New issue : workouts are not being synchronised with Google Fit, reported through Zepp feedback 1/10/20

New suggestion : ability to change (remove or reorder) workout types on the watch to deprioritize those I will never use and bring those I will use top the top. Reported through Zepp feedback 1/10/20

New suggestion : smart alarms, work brilliantly with Notify & Fitness, clearly needs good sleep tracking, I did suggest this during the campaign but also 5/10 via feedback In zepp. 

It does feel like Huami have made some effort this week but still are not presenting anything that feels honest or open yet.

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Huami Amazfit X : 1 week on

It is difficult to remember how things used to be, back in the dark ages, before the internet and before online support capabilities. 

Welcome Huami Amazfit. 

It took 5 elapsed days to get a response from Amazfit, indeed, 1 response direct from feedback from the Zepp app which has led to two support sites (one where the request I raised appears to be a ticket and another where I can raise tickets but they are not the same thing), and another via Indiegogo which is entirely separate but only results in an "email us" function which I already know is unresponsive. 

3 days on from getting a response I am now sitting awaiting developers, I have tracked enough data it seems that they can work but I am desperately hoping for any useful response, even an indication that something might get done.

I have found that the support site has an RMA returns option so that might happen soon - 8 days so far and feeling very unsupported. 

The campaign comments roll on, I finally have a tracking number for the device delivered a week earlier but quite a number of people are still waiting any information at all, meanwhile it seems some people have fully working devices but a decent number have the same GPS issue and there is a great degree of dissatisfaction. 

The Huami staff are finally posting a small amount on the comments but fundamentally saying "please stop our support is overwhelmed" and no wonder.

I am quite surprised that Indiegogo isn't involved yet because having a major technology manufacturer making a mess of a product on their watch must be a concern for the reputation of their service provision especially with the public relations mess the Amazfit is creating for itself. 

Closed Issues : 
- Amazfit X : Auto detection of activities - it seems that 10 minutes is a normal time to wake up and start collecting data but two hours of cycling isn't detected... just doesnt work but there is an on / off selection on the watch. 

What is still an issue : 
- Amazfit X : GPS does not work, sometimes it gets a lock when not being worn but cannot maintain it (2 open tickets, #252878 and #2977, raised on the campaign and via Zepp Feedback) - this is the one that matters, the rest would make the device better, this would make the device worth wearing (worth paying for, oh hang on I already did that).
- Amazfit X : Whatps app messages get batched up to a summary count far too quickly (raised via Zepp Feedback) 
- Amazfit X : The schedule function is manual entry and does not sync with google calendary (outlook etc) (raised via Zepp Feebdack and Ticket #253401) 
- Amafix X / Zepp : workouts generate random data - 1 walk of 194 steps showed as a slow walk and 4 calories burned, the other 7,800 steps in the day burned the other 5 calories I used, seems a little off to me. (raised via Zep feedback) 
- Amazfit X : Regular SP02 sample not just manual (ia feebdack)
- Amafixfix : Where to view GPS plotted route on the watch (was suggested as available by support on ticket #252878 although I wonder if they mean "can you see the GPS lock working") 
- Zepp : how do I export my data (raised via the campaign, Zepp feedback and a ticket, #253403) 
- Zepp : how can I configure the app to remove the adverts from the main screen (raised via Zepp feedback) 
- Zepp : how can I configure the app to hide all the features that are not relevant to my device (raised via Zepp feedback) 
- Zepp : the sleep tracking on the watch is poor, would be good to integrate with Sleep As Android