It’s been a week since my iPhone met its new best friend. This bff sits on my wrist, taps me every once in a while, has a new set of animated emoji faces, and even tells me to get off my butt and stand up throughout the day. My phone’s new bestie is the newest tech trend–the Apple Watch.
After placing the order on pre-order day and being told that my watch would arrive in June, I was obviously bummed. Last week, a shipping notice arrived in my inbox, my watch would be arriving on April 24–the release day! I’ve had the watch for a week now and thought that enough of my friends might enjoy a little review. So here it is–the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Unobtrusive taps on my wrist alert me that I have a text, email, Fb notification or message, Tweet, or Snap to look at. For most, I can click and read it right on my wrist (text, email, Fb msg, & tweet), for others I have to open the app on my phone (Snapchat and Fb posts). It is much less bothersome to those around me whose phones ring aloud (the horror!) or buzz annoyingly on a table or in their bags. I can swiftly look at my wrist & decide to proceed or to ignore.
The watch itself is probably the nicest I’ve ever owned. The screen is rich and bright, and far from as big sitting on my wrist as I thought it might be. The white sport band is flexible and sturdy. The watch faces are fun to change up, and I am looking forward to many more options in the future. Just a wrist movement up & the black screen lights up either showing my chosen watch face, the app screen, or whatever app I had open when it went to sleep (settings->general->activate on wrist raise).
Between tap, digital touch, and the scroll wheel, the Apple Watch is very easy to navigate. Maybe I was concerned with some early reports that it was confusing, but the scroll wheel is perfect because you can’t read something on such a small screen if your finger is covering it up. I think this was a genius design by Apple. And I LOVE the animated emojis. If the recipient of the text has an iPhone, it is animated in their messages app, but if the recipient does not have an iPhone, they can click on it to see it go. Here are a few examples: wink and tongue
Responding to anything is almost impossible. Forget about emails. For texting, you can choose among a set of standard or self-made phrases for responding to texts (like, “I’ll get back to you!”), send an emoji, or dictate a message. The dictation works well, but is odd when you want to say something long because there’s no punctuation to speak of (literally). I thought that I probably wouldn’t use the dictation much, but I realized that whispering into my wrist in my office works well enough and I also use it in the car a fair bit.
Apps. Holy cow, don’t get me started on what app developers must have been smoking when coming up with functionality for the watch. The Buzzfeed app takes a daily poll. That’s it. CNN gives 2 headlines per category, but you can’t read the full articles. The Activity app should be useful, but it’s not. I had to purchase an app on my iPhone (Sync Solver) just to push my steps to Fitbit to continue to track with my friends (and gain health “miles” through work), but yet the Activity app doesn’t even show me my steps. Facebook doesn’t even have an app. Yes, you can get notification and messages, but you cannot scroll through your feed. I’m sure functionality will improve as third party developers use the watch and understand what users need from their apps, but for now, they’re not so great.
I can’t tell if I misread something or just completely misunderstood, but it’s important for all of you potential future Apple Watch owners to know that the watch is inextricably linked to your phone. You can do things like check the time or use an app that doesn’t require internet (ie. stopwatch/alarm/activity tracker) when not connected to your phone, but that’s about it. What this means is that you must have bluetooth on on your phone all the time (and now I charge both my watch and phone every night). The watch itself has no wifi capability so the rumor that you could be on the same wifi network with your phone is false–with the giant caveat that it could be some setting that I have yet to discover. So, if you walk too far from your phone (30-40 ft or so) the watch is no longer paired with the phone. What that means for me is that instead of leaving my phone in my desk drawer at work–what I had intended to do upon getting the watch, I’m still carrying it around with me to meetings, lunch, etc. And probably looking like a total Apple douche in the process. Oh well, it’s pretty true (as I write this blog on my MacBook Air and check out the preview of it on my IPad).
Despite my previous comment that it’s not as big on my wrist as I thought it would be, it does sit high on my wrist. I’m sure this watch will look huge compared to future iterations and we’ll all laugh that we wore something nearly a half inch off our wrists someday. Till then, this thing is fat. And the way that the back sits on my wrist is sometimes uncomfortable. I haven’t been able to narrow it down to when it happens (checking my pulse or sitting right on the bone or anything), but every once in a while I feel what I can only describe is a static-like sensation. It’s weird and definitely worth mentioning.
At the end of the day, I’m as enamored with my iPhone’s bff as my phone is, and I am still figuring it all out.