First 24 Hours With My Apple Watch
I am one of those geeks that pre-ordered an Apple Watch at 12:05AM April 10th. So when I received notice it was coming, I stayed home all day and I even made my fiancé with a broken foot walk our dog by herself because I needed to wait at the door for UPS. I received it at the end of the day on May 14th, and my frustration melted away.
Since opening it, I have been wearing it almost non-stop. I used to wear a Fitbit Force and the Apple Watch takes its place. While heavier, than the Force, it’s more comfortable in many situations like strapping it on, sitting, walking or even typing. However, I’ve been doing a lot of handstands recently, and I noticed that the Apple Watch will feel more cumbersome while upside-down or moving my arms quickly. The leather loop band I chose for the watch does adjust easily using magnets, which helps tighten or loosen it in just seconds. It feels of much higher quality than the Fitbit and, as a result, I want to wear it more. In terms of wearability, the Apple Watch matches the Fitbit Force, which had felt wonderfully weightless but lacks a quality feel and ease of adjustment.
But to dismiss the Apple Watch on the basis that it feels too heavy would be wrong. What makes the watch great, and potentially even greater, is the software. With the Apple ecosystem, the watch already has tens of thousands of dedicated developers. Already there are hundreds of good or decent watch applications with thousands on the way. So far, the software has entertained me and saved me some time.
While the software is good or decent now, it needs to become much better. The Apple apps that ship with the watch are well designed and do just a few things, but they do them very well. However, the third party apps are lacking polish, or worse, are unnecessary. Additionally, Apple has restricted access to some of the best parts of the watch from third-party developers like the heart rate sensor. Cult of Mac has a great list of the restrictions. Such are the issues with nascent technology. Soon though, there will be must-have apps that will make the watch even more valuable.
The best experience so far has been a phone call. The watch can answer and place phone calls with ease, also, the person on the other line won’t notice the difference (my fiancé, when asked afterwards, was unaware that we spoke via my watch on a phone call from the grocery store). Second place goes to the Workout app with its great visualizations and goals which I can tell already will motivate me to move more. Third place goes to scheduling — I use Timeful and the iOS calendar on my phone religiously. To my delight, my watch face optionally can show my next calendar event, but it doesn’t always work. Some Timeful notifications I postponed from my watch just got lumped into one slot at midnight instead of appropriate times, something the phone app wouldn’t screw up. Once Timeful has better support for the watch, scheduling will certainly be a great experience with the watch.
The worst experience so far. The software delights as often as it confuses. On my first walk with the watch, I asked my fiancé what time it was. I immediately realized that I should check my new watch. To my embarrassment, I struggled to find the clock app on my watch so long that my fiance gave up on me and just checked her phone. Of course, I eventually learned how to get the time (a click of the crown), but it was not obvious at first. Second worst might be the buggy apps or the battery, which barely makes it a full day while still new.
In summary, the watch is great. I’ve hardly wanted to take it off. It looks sleek and it is far more fun than frustrating to use. I also love customizing the watch faces, but I want even more options. Apple Watch is in its first generation and has some issues but nothing Apple and developers can’t overcome. I have worn fancy watches and Fitbits but I’d be surprised if I go back them for day-to-day use now that I have my Apple Watch.