For the past six months I have been wearing a 42mm Apple Watch sport, so I figured I would write up a few thoughts on it. Looking back I think the biggest reason I got one was for the fear of missing out, but once I got the watch I was very impressed. I am asked daily if I like my Apple Watch, In short yes, I love my Apple Watch. For most people is a watch worth a $400 expenses in an age that most people don't wear watches and in a year will be out of date. I have also encountered quite a few people who are simply baffled as to why I would buy and use this watch. Many have asked, “Why spend money on a watch that does everything your phone will do?” Unlike my simple answer to whether or not I like my watch, this question caused me to pause.
For a normal day to day use of the Apple Watch I:
- Answer phone calls
- Respond to texts
- Mange my calendar
- Mange my reminders
- Run workflow task
- Use the fitness tracker
- Talk to siri
- Deal with incoming notifications
This has changed a lot for me now I am able to set my watch up to only show me important information, and I can deal with that as it comes in, or know what is going on in a time I am not able to get to my phone.
The Apple Watch is something I do wear everyday, but I have purposefully and accidentally forgot it a couple of days. The days that I have forgotten the watch I really notice that it's not there. I miss being able to respond to texts, use Siri on the watch, and with fitness reminders not having the watch everyday can really through you off once you have gotten use to it.
Notifications can be really really annoying, if I was to leave all the notifcations on for all of my apps I would get pop ups every five minutes with information I don't care about. I went on a notification purge before I got my watch and it has been very handy to get just the notifications I want on my wrist. If the app developer supports it, watch notification can be interacted with in many different ways. The ones that have been most helpful for me are message apps, phone calls, and reminders. With those notifcations turned on I can triage important information as it comes in.
On the watch the most useful feature is the most over looked by some. Most Siri commands that work on the phone also work on the watch so I find my self setting a lot of timers and alarms with it. Also the ability to set calendars and reminders is a handy feature I use daily. Siri can be activated by just saying the phrase "Hey, Siri".
Unfortunately we have not seen a lot of third party developers start to make there app available for the watch, even though there are a bunch of apps that could be really useful on the watch. This has been blamed on the slow hardware in the watch and the lack of upgrade pricing so developers would have to make the watch app for free for existing customers. However apps like Dark Sky, Last Pass, Spark, Workflow, Fantastical, and 2Do are all apps that I use everyday and work great on the watch.
There is one particular app that makes the whole watch for me, and that is Workflow. It gives me the ability to create custom task for my phone, and run after a click of the button on the watch. I can play a favorite playlist, or setup my GPS to go to my next appointment, home, or work. These shortcuts that I have made just make the watch feel so much more useful to me.
Third party complications were introduced in watchOS 2, this gives the user the ability to add custom widgets from watch apps that are already installed. These are the first icons you see when using the watch, and subsequently the most useful. I use Fantastical to see my next appointment. Dark Sky for the current weather. There is even a Workflow complication to get to that app quicker. I also leave activity rings up so I can see how I have been doing for the day.
One of the biggest selling points of the watch is the fitness tracking. This has been a big deal for me, filling the rings everyday has turned into a personal game to see if I can out do what I did the pervious day. There are three levels to the fitness tracking stand one minute for every hour, thirty minutes of hard exercise, and a calorie burner that you set based on your age, height, weight, and every week it increases or decreases based on how you did the previous week. For the most part this is pretty great and I consistently fill my rings. I do not think I would be going out of the way to do this movement if I did not have the Apple Watch.
I also use Apple Pay a lot, which has become something I couldn't live without. Its so easy just to double tap the contacts button, hold the watch next to the NFC system and boom, done. Apple Pay on the phone can be a pain sometimes because of the finger print sensor acts up about twenty percent of the time for me, I know thats not a lot but the Apple Watch is perfect all the time.
Apple released a lot of new products in 2015, this one started a whole new line, others made big improvements on existing lines. The Apple Watch feels like a 1.0 but thats because it is, no other smart watch on the market today can come close to how well and consistently this works. All in all, I enjoy using the watch, it makes a great number of task convenient but it does still feel like a hard 1.0. I look forward to seeing what happens with the watch in the future and I will wait to see if I will buy the next version.