My Weekend With the Apple Watch and Why I Don't Love It As Much As I Thought
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Three days. That’s how much time I’ve spent with my Stainless Steel 42mm Apple Watch so far and I can truthfully say that I don’t love it as much as I thought I would the second I got it. I’ll explain.
The Apple Watch really excels when it comes to notifications and messages. The haptic feedback or what Apple calls “Taps” are a great way to gently nudge you to let you know something happened you might want to know about. Well done.
I also really love how I can send taps, drawings, and my heartbeat to people who also have the Apple Watch. I plan to reserve the heartbeat sending feature for my girlfriend (that’s actually how I convinced her to get one too). That being said, drawings are really fun, and taps are useful to get someone’s attention.
Ok, so Glances are a double edged sword. Think of Glances as a way to have a quick view of information without having to open the specific app. For example, they would be useful for weather or apps like Foursquare. They are really cool but you need to be selective about which apps you enable the Glances feature for or you will end up with a Glances list that it is just unbearably long to scroll through.
One of my favorite Glances is the music player. This Glance became super useful while working out. By the way, you can sync a playlist from iTunes directly to your Apple Watch (note: it did take much longer than I expected to sync 120+ songs) so you don’t even need to bring your iPhone on your run — just need your watch and a pair of Bluetooth headphones. And if you are now in the market for a pair of Bluetooth headphones (like I was recently), check out the JLab Epic’s. I’m really happy with them.
Note to self: disable some of my apps from having access to Glances.
Activity Tracking & Exercise
These are both killer features of the Apple Watch. Seriously, I’m thoroughly impressed with the health aspect built into this device. I had a Fitbit, it was alright. It did a pretty good job, but at the end of the day, I stopped using it because it didn’t offer enough benefit to me. The Pebble had some activity tracking, but it felt like it wasn’t very accurate and needed serious work. Plus, the apps just weren’t that great.
The Apple Watch has a built-in Activity Tracking app that is amazing, it keeps you in the know throughout the day. It reminds you to be active and stand up every so often (which is great for me since I work on the computer). It keeps track of calories burned and how long you were active for throughout the day.
It also has a Workout app you can use, for example, I was at the gym and said I wanted to burn X calories, tapped Go, and I started running. Once I hit the goal, it told me (with a tap), so I would know. The activity apps also will give you awards for hitting certain goals/milestones. You may laugh at these virtual awards but really, they can be super helpful to people who looking for a little more motivation to keep going.
The built-in heart rate monitor works, but it took some time to register my heart rate which became a little frustrating while running and having to keep looking at my wrist.
The Apple Watch is without a doubt the best looking wearable out there (the Moto 360 is a very close second). It’s also very comfortable to wear. The white sport band I’m using is really comfy. I’m also expecting the Milanese loop in a couple of weeks. The fact that you can easily swap bands is a great feature.
The battery life I’m seeing is pretty much as advertised — I get a full day of usage out of it. I know others have been reporting issues with their iPhone’s battery being drained by the Watch… I haven’t seen or experienced that either.
I’m not going to lie, certain apps could use a bit of work. But overall, the experience is pretty good and there are already a ton of apps, more than 3,000. I think the last iOS update helped fix a lot of the slowness issues early reviewers mentioned, but that’s not to say it still can’t be improved — it can be. I had the Watch freeze up once or twice. Also, where is Facebook and Facebook Messenger? I’m surprised Facebook didn’t ship Apple Watch apps for launch day.
Yes there are things that Apple can fix and improve, but I’d be worried if there weren’t. Bottom line: Apple shipped a great product, this is going to be a hit. I stand by what I said before: people are going to have to see it in person to “get it,” but once they do, they will want one. I’ll continue posting over the next few weeks with Apple Watch thoughts, tips, tricks, etc.
Anyway, this is why I can say that I don’t love it as much as I thought I would the second I got it. I love it more.
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