I have had my Apple Watch for about 3 weeks now and have a lot of people asking how I like it. I figured it was time to type out some thoughts and observations so far (No I am not able to type blog posts from the watch).
A few disclaimers before I get started:
- I have worn a watch as long as I can remember. The Apple Watch would be a lot more of a transition for a non watch wearer.
- I’m a huge Apple nerd. I have purchased almost every iPhone on the day it comes out, since the first one in 2007.
- I had a Pebble Watch. For the last 8 months I wore a Pebble Smart Watch. It has limited functionality compared to the Apple Watch, but it helped the transition from ‘dumb’ watches.
Last fall when Tim Cook introduced the watch he said it was their most personal device yet. I have to agree with him, when people ask to see it there is an awkward wrist twist and not much to show. While I do believe that it is a revolutionary product, it isn’t as ‘demonstratable’ as many other gadgets.
I have tried to thinking of a good analogy for what I think the watch is. There was a time when TVs did not come with a remote, they worked, but it is hard to imagine life without them now. After just 3 weeks, that is how I feel about the Apple Watch. The watch requires an iPhone to function which I have no problem with. At this time I don’t think I would want something the size of a watch to replace my phone (but we said the same thing about smartphones and computers not too long ago.
Here are some various things that I think are important:
- It is not just another screen to stare at endlessly. It is made for quick interactions, you know, like a watch. I can quickly look at my watch to see a notification and decide if I need to do anything with it. I have found myself pulling out my phone a lot less and getting sucked into all the distractions found there.
- It doesn’t have real apps, at least right now. What it does have is extensions for apps on your phone, most of which aren’t real useful. Third party iPhone apps are very limited in what they can do on the watch, Apple says they will allow real apps later.
- The Activity Monitor is a great way to get moving. Those of you that know me, know I don’t move much. With the watch it is really easy to set and track daily goals. It will also give you a gentle reminder if you haven’t moved in an hour to stand up and get the blood flowing. That has been huge for me, there are a lot of times when I spend a long time in my recliner. I just have to work on less trips to the kitchen when I do get up.
- Battery life is better than expected. When Apple said that battery life would last about a day every one freaked out. I understand, this is a big change from the 5 years a standard watch battery will last. But people have an iPhone mentality on charging, it takes less than 2 hours to fully charge. So I sleep with mine on and then just charge it some point during the day when I don’t need it.
- Square is the best shape. Again we think a watch should be round, but you know what doesn’t work well on round objects? Text. Try to write a letter on a round piece of paper, it is not efficient.
- Is it waterproof? I have not tested the ‘waterproofness’ too much yet. Apple says to be very careful but the certification they got says you can put it in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. This Guy took it for a long swim and off the high dive without issue. I just figure I don’t need to risk it yet.
- It’s the best Siri yet. Apparently Apple made some changes to Siri to put it on the watch and most people think it is much more accurate. I dictated a text while at a loud concert last night and it came through perfectly.
- So what do I do with the watch?
- Look at the time. It is a little weird that the screen is off when you aren’t looking at it but it’s not a deal breaker.
- Look at notifications. Not having to pull my iPhone out every time there is a notification is great. I can take a quick look and decide if I need to respond and whether I can do it on the watch or need to take my phone out.
- Control audio on my phone. With a quick swipe I can play, pause, rewind or fast-forward whatever I am listening too.
Final Thoughts: I really like the Apple Watch, it has smoothly integrated into my life. Yeah, $400 is pretty expensive for a watch, and I have to admit it isn’t something I need. But I do have to say that it has me spending a lot less time on my iPhone, something I think we could all use. I am excited to see what Apple does with the watch as well, remember that we didn’t even get apps on the iPhone for a year…
Questions? Concerns? Answers? Head on over to the Facebook page and let me know.
Further Reading: The team over at iMore has a ridiculously in-depth review over on their site.