I received my Apple Watch on May 15th. So far, I’m really liking it. Here are some thoughts.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I bought the 38mm model with the black sports band along with Apple Care. It’s the least expensive model, which I plan to replace in a couple of years when the technology advances sufficiently. The 38mm size looks perfect on my wrist, but your mileage may vary.
Great for fitness.
My watch friend is kind enough to remind me that sitting for more than an hour is a bad thing and that I should get up and move around. “Get your body moving” has been a common phrase I’ve used on my old running podcast, but now I have something to remind me. It also does a good job tracking my time exercising and roughly how many calories I’m burning through exercise. I feel good when I make my daily goals. In this sense, the Apple Watch is a great replacement for my FitBit, which I stopped wearing due to battery problems.
Good iPhone companion.
I knew this going in, but a week confirmed it. The Apple Watch is closely tied to an iPhone 5 or later. If you don’t have an iPhone or happen to leave it at home while going out for a run or to walk the dog, the Apple Watch will still show the date, time, and your fitness, but it won’t be able to do anything like send and receive messages, give map directions, or anything needing Siri. I haven’t tried this yet, but it looks like you can use Apple Pay without having your phone with you. Which is great if you can find a location where Apple Pay is accepted (again assuming you need something while out for a run or similar situation). This article does a nice job describing what can be done without your iPhone.
I want to buy more apps.
I feel a bit like I own a great new video game console before many of the anticipated titles have been released. Some of my apps came with a shrunk-down display which would work on my phone. Zillow, for example, will show me information about houses and condos nearby, but there isn’t much I can do to narrow down my search. I was hoping for an interesting game or two to download, but then I thought that games might not be a good idea for the Apple Watch since its battery life would be quickly drained by that kind of use. One week in, I’m not surprised that there isn’t more available. The initial iPhone only had the built-in applications with no app store at all. The iPad launched with apps, but many were pixelated versions of iPhone apps.
It look me a couple of hours to get used to the new interface – the crown, the button, swiping in different directions, the hard press, etc… I was used to iPhone and iPad functions, so I was tempted try to zoom out by pinching in a tool like Apple Maps. Pinching doesn’t zoom you out. Double-tapping zooms you in, but you can’t get back out that way. The right way to do this is by using the crown to zoom in and out. That make sense once you think about it. The crown helps to keep your fingers from blocking the display. It’s just not what I went to first since there hasn’t been a crown on other Apple devices until now.
Surprised by quick adoption.
The day I received my Apple Watch, I went out to dinner with some family members who were in town. I left a little early to take the dog back to our apartment. On my way home, my watch began to ring. I hadn’t felt or heard my phone ringing in my pocket since I was walking and close to a road with traffic, so if it hadn’t been for the watch, I would have missed the call. I was able to answer the call on my watch and talk through it to the person on the other end. I’ve only taken a few other calls through my watch since then, but on many occasions I’ve received text messages and calendar reminders through a quick tap on the wrist. It has been very nice.
I’m still getting used to this new platform, but I’ve enjoyed it so far. If you want to see what the Apple Watch is like without the presence of the Apple hype machine, there are lots of reviews of Apple Watches showing up on YouTube. I found this one to be a nice overview that would be appropriate for someone who is thinking about getting one or expecting theirs to arrive shortly.