When I got my first MacBook, iPad and iPhone, I was in geek heaven for weeks as I figured out all the functionality. It took a while for me to finally get to a point where they were merely a laptop, tablet, and smartphone.
When I got my hands on my Apple Watch last week, I had that same feeling…for about a couple of days. After a week, that feeling of “it’s just a smartwatch” has already hit me. Maybe it’s because Apple wasn’t the first to hit the smartwatch market, so it couldn’t set the standard to which all other smartwatches would be judged. Maybe it’s that Apple Watch wasn’t my first smartwatch, so I already had a idea of what to expect.
Whatever the reason, I can say that after only a seven days on my wrist, my 1st week Apple Watch Impressions are “The thrill is gone” BUT, it has the features, functionality, and deep integration that I was looking for that will keep it on my wrist for years to come.
To give you a quick update, I ordered the 42mm (large) Space Gray “Sport” Edition with the black Sport Band. I must say that it looks and feels good on my wrist, but it’s not too flashy. I like watches, but I’ve never been a “hey look at this big, gaudy thing on my wrist” timepiece guy. Even if I would’ve opted for a more design-ier version, it still wouldn’t come off as flashy. In my opinion, Apple Watch design was right on the money.
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Setting up Apple Watch via the separate iPhone app was initially intimidating because there are a ton of functionality options that you can set up. Which makes sense – Something this technological that will be on your body most of the day needs to be calibrated to match a wide variety of people.
“If an important notification came through, I dealt with it right on my watch, and continued about my business, versus getting distracted by other things when I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket.”
After going setting up and testing most of the settings, I found myself only pushing important notifications to my watch (email from only one account, text messages, calendar events, phone calls, and a few app notifications). I didn’t want to constantly be pinged on my wrist when every little notification came through…Maybe that’s why the novelty has worn off faster simply because I’m not messing with my wrist as much due to reduction of notifications?
Once I had my watch dialed in…That was it. Since the screen is small and notifications are at a minimum, most interactions with Apple Watch were natural and intentional — I only used it when I needed to. There was no frequent messing with the watch to check social media feeds, play games, triage email…or randomly find things to do like on my iPhone, iPad, or MacBook. That in an of itself reduced the amount of distractions. If an important notification came through, I dealt with it right on my watch, and continued about my business, versus getting distracted by other things when I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket.
Another side effect to the lack to random interaction was the battery life. Apple claims “up to 18 hours” with Apple Watch. I can say that not a day has gone by where I’ve been worried that my watch would die. From a full change at 8 a.m., to when I was ready to hit the sack around 11:30pm-ish, my watch was always above 40%. So for me, myself, personally, Apple Watch battery live has not been an issue.
When I had to intentionally interact with my Apple Watch was where its usefulness shines. Here are some features that I’ve used the most.
Activity and Workout Apps
I sit in my chair and stare at computer screens most of the day. I’m not a heavy “monitor my activity” person, so I don’t pay attention to most of the Activity features and functionality. But, I do know that I need to be more active throughout the day. Activity notifications remind me every 50 minutes or so that I need to “stand up”. So during those times, it get up, get on the ground, and do some pushups – Yes, I’m trying to get my “guns” back, and being reminded every hour to do a set of 20 push-ups, I should be set in about a month.
One of the main things I was interested in with Apple Watch was can I play music and can I track my runs without being tethered to my iPhone. Apple Watch has up to 2GB of built-in storage so I can save playlists directly to my watch. All I needed was a pair of Bluetooth headphones, and I was set on the tunes.
Without getting too techie, Using the Workout app, Apple Watch can learn more about your stride after a couple of runs. Without my phone’s GPS, it can’t track my location, but can offer indoor and outdoor time, distance, and pace readings. I did a couple runs this week using the Workout app, and compared then with the readings of those same runs using the Nike+ Running app, and they were similar within a couple of seconds of each other. I don’t care about where I run, as long as I can track time/distance/pace (and heart rate), I’m good.
I don’t know why people hate on Apple’s version of Google Maps. It works fine for me. Using Maps on Apple Watch especially comes in handy when I’m walking, or even driving. When I need to make a turn, it taps my wrist and displays the next directions. Since I drive with my left hand, all I have to do is twist my wrist for navigation instructions when notified. I can also use Siri to dictate locations or addresses, so technically, I never have to pull out my iPhone for directions.
I’ve really noticed that I’ve been using Siri to interact with my watch way more than using Siri on my iPhone. I just seems more natural to verbally interact with my smartwatch versus my smartphone. Maybe because the screen is smaller, my mind is forced to talking to my wrist to respond to text messages and emails, check my calendar, the weather, and take notes, instead of touching and twisting. I can dictate all Apple Watch commands, but I’m using Siri whenever I can to interact with Apple Watch. I even do it in public.
Those are just a few of the features/functionality I’ve used the most during my 1st week. I’m positive that when more and more watch apps that offer seamless interactions with Apple Watch, I will find even more reasons to keep my iPhone in my pocket, or on the charger.
While “I’m over it” is the phrase that comes to mind when thinking about my lack of hype-ness, over Apple’s first smartwatch after only a week, the idea that I will be constantly uncovering new ways to streamline my frequent daily activities in my wrist is pretty exciting.
Any Apple Watch owners who read my site? What are your 1st week Apple Watch Impressions?
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