• Apple Watch -- some thoughts after wearing for a while

    I thought it might be of some interest and use to others to put down my thoughts after using the Apple Watch for a while. Yes, I know -- you've read other reviewers (Walt Mossberg etc), but this is by someone who is otherwise a long time Apple user seeking to understand the use case(s) for the Apple Watch, and how it works with everything else in the Apple ecosystem.

    Bottom line: I like it -- A LOT! The Apple Watch is a further, seamless development of the Apple ecosytem, and delivers its own functions and benefits.

    First of all, a little about me:
    I'm a long time Apple user, including Macs since 1984, and am used to being on the bleeding edge. I used to do some programming but no longer.
    I also collect classic, mechanical watches (and yes, I'm trying to reconcile the rapidly growing conflict)
    I've tried a couple of "smartwatches", namely the Pebble (backed on Kickstarter) and the first Sony. I still have a Pebble Steel, and also await a pre-ordered Pebble Time (backed again on Kickstarter). My existing Pebble Steel is certainly headed towards eBay, but I'm interested to see the new Time.

    I pre-ordered an Apple Watch Sport, Space Grey 42mm Black Sport band. I have a 7.5-inch wrist, and can wear (normal) watches up to 45mm easily, so decided on the 42mm over the 38mm for the extra screen real estate. I'm glad I did.

    The Space Grey/Black Sport band is quite an elegant combination, sitting nicely, comfortably and quite unobtrusively on the wrist. It looks "smart" and can easily be worn with a suit. Because the screen only appears when the user "glances" at the watch, few people notice the watch, which is fine by me.

    Setting up was very easy, and after it "paired" with my IP6, the Watch proceeded to load Watch app equivalents of everything it could find on my phone. After that was finished, I had a rather crowded app display on the Watch -- not too mention about 30 apps that wanted to give me various notifications> Thus began the first lesson, which I shall call (with great originality) Less is More.

    The initial load of apps and subsequent crowded wristface gave me pause to think: what did I want the Apple Watch to do for Me?
    I settled on a metaphor: my iMac is everything and to write/sheet, my iPad is what I need to have around me, and to read, my iPhone is about communicating who/what/where/when today....and so my Watch is about "now" -- tell me who is calling/messaging, and what I need to know/remember now.

    With that in mind, the inital load of apps was culled ruthlessly, leaving quite a simple apps display. Similarly, I pared my notifications way, way back: the only haptics I have now are for phone calls, iMessages/SMS, and certain messages. Oh, well... I do let it remind me to do some of the exercise things, but not to stand!!

    The reminder taps are very subtle, and I've quickly become used to them -- to the extent my phone is now virtually always on silent! So, too, is the "glance" process, which is also very intimate ("for my eyes only"). The access interface taps,touches and zooms are smooth and seamless -- much nicer than the Pebble buttons.

    The best I've saved until last, and that's Siri. "Hey Siri!" allows me to do all manner of tasks without touching the watch, and she's now really, really accurate)...or perhaps she finally understands me! But I can call people, send them messages, ask for Messages to be read to me in the car, set up directions to somewhere in the car, or simply ask a question -- all without looking at my iPhone, or the Apple Watch. I can see how CarPlay will mean the end of proprietary nav systems/voice control in cars -- and good riddance.

    Now, I'm approaching the ultimate test: I've worn the Apple Watch continuously since it arrived, but I have a new (old) classic mechanical watch arriving. Will I miss the Apple Watch when I wear the analogue? I suspect so, and that worries me a tad
  • Dropdown