Apple Watch – Ten First Impressions

I am an early adopter; my long-suffering wife is a late adopter. And this works well, mostly. She prevents me from some very expensive impulse buys, and I have dragged her out of the world of flip phones and rabbit ears on the TV. I test out the new devices, and she can see whether she wants one or not. (Mostly, she eventually does).

 

The Apple Watch, however, is a very new kind of device, and while I very Watch 1much enjoyed my
first weekend with my “Aluminum” Lime Green 38mm watch, this device has perhaps elicited more eye rolling than previous purchases. When I say “I can do this on my Watch!” her expression communicates, “Why would you want to do that on your Watch?”

 

Anyway, here are ten first impressions of my watch.

 

1. Texting: on the first evening I had the Watch, the kids and I were sitting in the car waiting for my wife who had run into a store for some emergency supplies. She texted me to ask if I wanted Chimay Dubbel or Tripel. There was a small ‘ding’ and a little tap on the wrist to let me know the text had come in. When I hit reply, the first reply options the watch were “Dubbel” or “Tripel” (before more standard options like “OK”, “Thank you” Absolutely” and “Talk Later”). The Watch is able to understand the texts and suggest relevant replies. You cannot type on the Apple Watch, but you can dictate text. This has worked well for me so far, but unfamiliar words might be a little jumbled: “Affligem” became “Affleck him”. In short, I was able to text at least as quickly as on my phone without taking it out of my pocket which can be a pain to do when you are sitting in the driver’s seat.Watch 2

 

My wife has also notes that I am more polite when texting by dictation – I am more often use please and thank you than in ham fisted typed texts.

 

2. Internet of Things: Though my wife rolls her eyes quite a lot at this one, I can now turn the lights in the living room on and off with my watch. These lights are connected to a WeMo; a switch that is connected in to the house’s wifi. Using the “If this then that” DO app, I can connect to the WeMo switch from my watch. The kids like this one a lot, as does this big kid.

 

3. TV Remote: I’ve now figured how to control the Apple TV from the watch which I hope will be useful when we lose the very small Apple remote (which is twice a day). The kids and I all think that this is just fantastic: it is really easy to use, much quicker than using the Remote app on my iPhone, and the swipe feature is fun to use.

 

4. Running: Watch ActivityThis is one of the primary reasons I bought the watch. I am attempting to run 2015
miles for Parkinson’s disease this year, and I need to track my miles. I’ve been wearing my iPhone in a velcro case on my arm for the last 725 miles, and I’ve got some very dry skin there now. Today, I ran with just the watch, and it was a great improvement in this regard. However, I could not get the Nike+ app to work: wheel of death followed by crash, so I used the native Activity app which worked OK, though it overestimated my distance by 10%. I will need to keep fiddling with this. I initially though that the Watch had no step counter, but I found it today. This one was a worry because it would have been a feature that my wife’s FitBit had that the Watch didn’t have, and that would have led to laughing and pointing.

 

5. Listening to music: not everything has been intuitive on the watch. Listening to music using my Bluetooth headphones took a little fiddling, and then a little Googling. My Bluetooth headphones were already Watch Musicconnected, so they were picking up the music from this source. After forgetting this connection, I was able to connect the headphones to the watch, but when I pressed play, the music seemed very quiet until I realized that it was playing on
my iPhone in my pocket. Googling revealed that you need to use Force Touch on the Watch’s Music app to select the source of music as the Watch (and after syncing some music to the watch). Then it worked perfectly, but I had just three minutes to listen before picking the kids up from swimming).

 

6. Health: Although I’d read about this feature, I was a little
surprised on the first night when sitting in front of the tv to get a little tap on the wrist to stand up. It does this several times a day to move you to the goal of standing for 12 hours a day (doesn’t this seem like a lot?) I’ve managed the 12 hours on both weekend days, but this might be more of a struggle tomorrow at work. I’ve not used the heart rate monitor much yet, but I enjoyed the calorie and step counter on our hike tdau.

 

7. Presenting: The nerd factor here is high, but I am in my late forties, so what am I clinging to? I have a public presentation on Thursday and will use the Keynote remote control on the watch to control the slides
Watch Weather

 

8. Weather: The weather glances is very nicely developed: when checking it, I could quickly see that there were going to be thunderstorms at around 2pm. This is handy, because the watch is not waterproof.

 

9.Battery Life: despite the scorn I received from a student of mine who has a Pebble Watch, the battery has held up both days just fine despite heavy use. It also looks way better than his e-ink!

 

10. Time: Yes, it also does this. I like that the watch face only lights up when I tilt my wrist to view the watch. However, I’ve also used it for timing both the length of the kids’ piano lessons as well as cooking time when grilling steak. Again, it is both quicker than taking my iPhone out of my pocket and finding the timer app on the iPhone.

 

So, I’ve really enjoyed the Watch so far and I am finding that the more I get to know it that the more useful it will become. My wife is not yet convinced, but she has two years until she gets the Watch when I buy the Apple Watch 3.