365 Project – Week 3

365 Project – Week 3

Apple Watch! Initial thoughts…

IMG_4555Ever since I was a young man of 10 or 11 years old, I’ve had a fascination for watches that do more than just tell the time. My first watch was a simple Casio that had two buttons. The display showed the time, but if you pressed one of the buttons it would change to show you the seconds. Another press showed you what time the alarm was set for. It was a technological marvel!

And then my dad got me and my brothers each a Casio calculator watch. Mind. Blown.  I could do math on my wrist! And not only that, it had a simple race car game where the display became four lanes of traffic viewed from the top and you moved you race car back and forth between the lanes to avoid oncoming traffic. That simple game became an obsession of sorts for us. We were all three playing it constantly trying to beat each other’s (and our own) high scores (keep in mind this was before Nintendo even exisited…gasp!). We played it so much that we all wore out the two buttons on the watch that you used to move the car back and forth in the game!

I never really realized it until now, but that watch created in me a fascination with “smart watches”.  Never again did I own a watch that simply told me the time. Over the years I would spend hours studying digital watches in stores seeing what features each one had. How many stopwatches, timers, or other features they offered. I once had a watch that could store up to 50 phone numbers in it. Then I got a watch that, when taken off my wrist and strapped into a cradle on my bicycle, became my speedometer/bike computer. It would track my speed as well as my cadence.

Last year I took the biggest leap to date when I purchased a Pebble smart watch. I was instantly in love with it. Notifications and text messages from my iPhone now came to my wrist along with sports scores, the weather, and other tidbits of information. Amazing! Soon, I found myself wishing I could reply to those messages from the watch itself, and, for a short time while my iPhone was jailbroken, I could. Simple, pre-programmed responses, but I could reply all the same.

Then came the Apple Watch event announcing the new Apple Watch models. I was impressed, but wasn’t sure if I would be spending the money to upgrade from my Pebble just yet. Well, fast-forward to April 10 and I was awake at 2 a.m. awaiting the Apple store to come online so I could pre-order my 42mm Space Gray Apple Watch Sport Edition. Then the waiting game. I was given a May 13-27 delivery window (much to my dismay) and my watch was finally delivered on May 19, a little over a week ago.

First Impressions

I had tortured myself while I awaited my watch’s arrival by watching Youtube video after video of people unboxing, using and reviewing their Apple watches. So, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect when I opened mine and used it for the first time. I will say I was surprised at the weight of the box, even though I heard many people comment about it. I was also surprised to find that it was smaller than I had imagined it would be. It wasn’t the monstrosity on my wrist that I had been afraid it would be. I had also been worried that the screen would not be very responsive as I seemed to see person after person having to tap multiple times on their screens to get a button to recognize their tap. While I do have to tap a second time occasionally, it is not very often and the screen is very responsive in my experience. Some have complained about the watch’s appearance, but I personally think it’s a very good-looking watch. Definitely the best looking watch I’ve ever worn. I’ve grown accustomed to having watches with a lot of utility looking very, well, utilitarian. Bulky, blocky. Not elegant. But the Apple watch is not bulky or blocky and is indeed very elegant. Again, that is my opinion and I’m speaking as one that just came from a Pebble which is definitely more bulky and blocky than the Apple watch.

Battery Life

Yes you have to charge it every day, but this issue was grossly over-blown. Each night I put my watch on the charger on my nightstand while my wife and I watch one of our shows on Hulu or Netflix in our bedroom. By the time the show is over my watch is 100% charged since it is usually still around 40-50% when I put it on the charger. Then I wear the watch while I sleep because I like to have a watch on at night. As an added benefit I love being able to see what my heart rate is while I sleep! Then, in the morning the battery is usually down to about 90% so I place it on the charger while I get ready for work. It’s always at 100% by the time I leave for the day. So all the critics that say you can’t wear it for sleep tracking are simply wrong.

Conclusion

I’m not going to write a full review of all the features of the watch, mainly because there are already a plethora of reviews out there that give an in-depth rundown of all its features. But I do want to add my voice to the many critics and nay-sayers that don’t see the point of the watch. I knew before I even bought the watch that I would love it. How could I possibly know that, you ask? Because I loved my Pebble and in everything I viewed or read about the Apple watch one thing was clear to me: it would do everything the Pebble did and more, and it would do it better, with the exception of battery life.

It seems to me that every critic of the watch is expecting it to be something it was not intended to be. It’s kind of like giving a bluetooth headset a negative review because it won’t clean your floors. It’s kind of ridiculous.

And as far as third-party apps being terrible, I would agree. But that’s going to change, and very soon. Once developers are able to create native apps and they are made available to users this fall that criticism will in all likelihood be moot.

In short, the Apple watch is amazing and it’s only going to get better.

Apple Watch! Initial thoughts…