Watch You Looking At?!
Nothing like a good opportunity to use a pun. I’ll be honest and say it was the spur to write this little post as I was thinking how best to convey my thoughts on the Apple Watch and then, boom, there was the pun. Anyway, I’ve been wearing my Apple Watch since it’s launch and have wanted to share one or two things I’ve discovered, noticed and things I’d like to see improved.
Straight off the bat it goes without saying that it’s a beautiful piece of technology. I went for the 42mm Milanese Loop and, well, it just looks right. I know it’s not a circular “watch” style watch but to be honest I quite like it as it is. The digital crown is wonderful to use and very smooth when scrolling. I like the fact that all the configuration can be done through ones iPhone which means if you’re stubby fingered like myself it makes setting things up much, much easier. I also quite like how well the battery lasts. It’s no Pebble but then, realistically given the difference in displays, being able to consistently last a day is fantastic. In fact, I’ve yet to have my watch dip below 30% and that’s including days when I use it for cycling to work and have it track my ride.
The price… there… I said it. There’s no avoiding the fact that these little things cost a fair chunk of change, especially in Australia. You could argue till the cows come home whether they’re worth the price tag but there’s little chance of their price changing. Other than that it’s annoying that, as it’s a device aimed at fitness among other things, that fitness apps like Strava aren’t able to use the heart rate monitor that’s on the Apple Watch. To get around this I’ve currently been using the fitness app on the watch in conjunction with Strava on my iPhone. I don’t mind Apple building their own apps and wanting you to use them but I sincerely hope that, down the track, 3rd party apps can access the watches enhanced abilities. I’d also like to see the ability to change vibrations or tones if you get messages from certain people. It’s possible on your iPhone so why not your watch?
Neat Things I’ve Found
I felt this needed its own little heading as there some things I’ve discovered that, as yet, I’ve not seen reported in other reviews. Firstly, and I think this is the best, when using directions on the watch (I used it for a drive one evening) the sounds for a left turn & right turn are audibly different. This made knowing which way to turn much easier as I didn’t have to listen out for directions or try to glance at any map. The other cool thing I’ve found is if you have an app icon centred and scroll (or zoom) in with the digital crown it opens the app. However if you have the watch app centred (which incidentally is animated and telling the time) it slowly builds up your watch face!
I’m really liking the Apple Watch. I’ve noticed I’m looking at my phone less but, since I’ve installed a couple of games, I have been guilty of looking at it whilst chatting. However I’m sure that I’ll be able to find that sweet spot and not be glancing at it too often. Therein is the reason why I decided to plump for the Apple Watch as, ultimately, I’m looking at my phone less and engaging with my environment more and this can only be a good thing. Sure it’s not a perfect device and there are things that’ll likely be improved and added in the second generation device.
For many this is a reason not to buy now as there’ll only be another soon however even if there are now bells and whistles added the Watch I’ve got suits me just fine and I’d actually like to see Apple slow the development cycle for the Apple Watch and not just for ones wallet’s sake. If many rumours are to be believed there were more sensors that Apple wanted to add but were unhappy with their performance, heck even this version is flummoxed by tattoos! If Apple goes for a longer development cycle e.g. 3 years then they have more time between each iteration to fine tune things.
Devices such as the Apple Watch are trickier to get right and so having just a year between each one will likely mean it’ll fall in to the trap the iPhone currently resides in that there’s little innovation just minor improvements. If I was Apple and wanting my customers to buy the next generation Apple Watch after buying the first generation then I’d be making sure there’d be too many new and exciting things that it’d be tough to resists. For if generation two just has, say, a thinner case or one new sensor then very few first generation owners will depart with another few hundred dollars for one new sensor.
So should you go out and buy one? Well if you’re an Apple owner like myself then it’s a great addition and plays well with other things Apple. It’s far from perfect though and hopefully some of the little niggles that are there will be ironed out in future software updates. But if you’ve got the money it’s well worth it, I wasn’t sure to begin with but now I’d find it hard to live without it.