Everyone’s first question is, “How do you like it?”
My answer: I’ve now had the Apple Watch Sport for a week now, and I really like it. I also don’t need it at all.
Once I got the shipping info (3–4 weeks ?!?!), I looked around for app recommendations and reflections from normal people on being a Watch owner — that is, reflections from someone besides tech bloggers looking to make a big statement on the device category, or on Apple, or on Tim Cook, or whatever. I especially liked Evgenia Grinblo’s piece, “How the Apple Watch Cured My iPhone Addiction.” Everything she said is right.
And, to pay it forward, I’ll add my two cents.
“Should I get one?”
It’s not a purchase I can justify any better now than I could two weeks ago, but it’s a nice gadget that has some cool uses. I had been wavering on purchasing one for a few weeks, and my fiancee went ahead and ordered it as a surprise. The Watch is going to do really well during the holiday season, without a doubt.
Apple Watch apps have a ways to go. I’ve slowly removed apps most of the ones I installed initially. The apps that remain have the following qualities:
Immediate benefits related to my physical location
Foursquare — Answering both “where should I eat/drink?” and “what should I get” serendipitously
Dark Sky — Telling me to run to the subway because it’s about to pour!
Uber — Picking me up when I’m too lazy to run to the subway
Preventing e-mail, text, and phone call FOMO
I have trouble ignoring my phone when it’s vibrating; with the Watch, I can very quickly dismiss notifications as they come through, without getting buried in my phone.
Getting information that I absolutely want to have as soon as possible
NY Times and ESPN breaking news alerts — Using specific functions of apps that I’d rather not have my phone out for
Wunderlist — Checking off the grocery list as I’m pushing the cart down an aisle
Overcast — Skipping “and on the next episode…” with one tap
There are also a fair number of useless apps
Mail — I use Mailbox for email, and my Gmail accounts push to it immediately; iOS Mail doesn’t. Since Mailbox doesn’t have an Apple Watch app, I’m getting email notifications from Mailbox up to 15 minutes before I can look at the full message on my phone in the Mail app. I set up CloudMagic to solve this, and now I get my Gmail messages immediately on my Watch.
Apple Pay — Rarely accepted and awkward to use in stores.
I get a lot of compliments about how not dorky it looks! The Spot is really sleek looking. It also doesn’t look like a typical workout watch.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more, I’ve seen the Apple Watch (non-Sport) out in the wild, and it looks much better with the non-Sport bands. The Apple Watch Sport, however, looks great with the Sport band.
It feels good, both for daily use and during workouts. I hope our monochromatic uniforms of the future are made of similar materials.
Force touch and the digital crown are great ways to interact with the device. I use the crown even when I don’t really need to.
The activity tracker
Gamifying fitness works; that’s no surprise. I had a Jawbone and hated it, though. Gamification only works if I can see the results without trying. Makes sense… if I cared enough to check my fitness results regularly by going into my phone, I’d be thinking about fitness frequently enough that I wouldn’t need some device to motivate me in the first place.
- I wish I could have different notification settings for third party apps between my phone and watch.
- I wish third party apps could serve as complications in watch faces. (Coming in WatchOS2)
- I wish glances were more useful. I really see no purpose for them whatsoever.
- I wish the Watch was a little faster, more responsive. There is a lag when opening apps that defeats the purpose of them at times.
- I wish it came with a charging dock. It’s pretty awkward to have it sit on the charger flat on a surface.
- I wish there were apps for Dropbox, Mailbox, Google Maps, Venmo, and Flixter.