My Apple Watch Review: Week 1

Ever since the Apple Watch was available for pre-order, I have been standing on the sidelines watching and observing discussions regarding the latest and greatest product from Apple, the Apple Watch. Well scratch that, the latest and greatest product from Apple is actually Apple Music, which you can read about that by clicking on the button below.

Read: Here’s What You Need To Know About Apple Music

I’ve been at the Apple Store several times to see how many people were buying the Apple Watch and for the two or so hours I observed at two different Apple Store locations, there were a fair number of curious patrons, but I did not see one person purchase an Apple Watch. Yesterday Apple announced their earnings and while the vast majority of the financial reporters were clamoring for any data on Apple Watch sales, Apple was un-expectantly quiet for the most part. Yes, they did say that sales exceeded their internal forecast and that the Apple Watch sales outpaced those of other products during their initial launch.

While I have no vested interest in the success of Apple as an investment, I certainly have a tremendous amount of Apple products. For example, I am typing this article on a 15 inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display. In my left pocket is an iPhone 6 plus. In my right pocket, listening to Apple Music is my iPhone 5s. In my backpack is my iPad mini with Retina display. And lastly, now adorned on my left wrist is my Apple Watch.

Now I know what you are thinking. Didn’t I just say that I was going to stand on the sidelines for a bit? Yes that is true. In fact, I had previously Periscoped about the Apple Watch indicating that I was going to wait for the second generation Apple Watch. Even though I love to be the first poet on the block with the latest and greatest gadgets, I wasn’t quite yet sold on the Apple Watch.

Then a funny thing happened. My work partner, whom I love dearly in a platonic way, last Wednesday he was bouncing around like a kid in a candy store. Granted, he may have just consumed a whole bag of Skittles, so an apparent sugar rush could have easily explained his hyper-activity, alas that wasn’t the case. He pulled me aside into our adjoining office and gave me a hug and handed me an un-wrapped box. He explained that although my birthday was about two weeks from last Tuesday, he couldn’t keep my present a secret. We share this similar trait and trust me; it drives Mrs. Product Poet crazy. If I have a gift for someone and their birthday or anniversary is a couple of weeks away, I give out more hints than Scott Walker accidentally pre-tweeting he was running for President of the United States.

So here I Am. Now a proud owner of the black, stainless steel Apple Watch. It has been one full week since I opened my Apple Watch and my Panerai’s and Rolex are silently weeping waiting to be worn again. Don’t worry; I’ll see them soon when I return from my current Boston trip. Over the past week I have been experimenting with my Apple Watch and while I am not certainly able to say that I absolutely adore my Apple Watch and that everyone should run out and get one, I am really, really enjoying learning about some of the functions of the Apple Watch, despite some of its’ quirkiness.

Once you pair your Apple Watch to an existing iPhone, all of your iPhone apps that have corresponding Apple Watch apps will be immediately available to use. I paired my Apple Watch to my iPhone 5s; as that is my personal “Bat phone” and is where the vast majority of my texting and telephone call making occur. Over the past week I have made and answered telephone calls from my wrist using the speakerphone and feeling very much like Inspector Gadget. I have voice texted (note: you cannot type on an Apple Watch) and sent animated emojis. I have ordered Uber’s, paid for my Starbucks and went through the TSA pre-check line with my Apple Watch. I find that magical.

Yet many of the apps I have used on the Apple Watch do require me to utilize Apple’s Passport wallet, which is just something that you need to set up if you have never done so before. I highly recommend utilizing Apple’s Passport wallet especially if you are using Apple Pay, as it is the perfect way to pay. However, what I found to be the coolest app to utilize on my iPhone is the Maps app, which is powered by data from Tom Tom. The reason why I really like this Map app is I can ask Siri for a location and then immediately have the directions on my phone. But that’s not the coolest part. As you are driving or walking, the closer you get to your turns, the haptic pulses (think of this as a love tap) are almost identical to that of a car blinker. I’m not sure if I heard correctly, but there may even be a slightly different noise or pulse between a left hand turn and a right hand turn.

Although I have a navigation system in my own car, last Friday I had to drive my partner’s car back from a meeting. I asked Siri for directions to The Poem Home and then with my hands in the two-and-ten o’clock position, I could easily see right on my wrist all of the turns for my 30 minute drive back to The Poem Home. That was incredibly cool in my opinion and when I was in Boston this week, I used these functions for finding restaurants in Foursquare (see my review about Boston Burger Company here) and directions. I find that magical.

So now you are probably asking, what didn’t I like about the Apple Watch or what are some of the quirks that I haven’t yet figured out yet or I find slightly annoying. Here goes:

  • Turning on-and-off the Apple Watch takes an excessively long amount of time;
  • My Apple Watch consistently enters Airplane Mode when I move from Wi-Fi to 4G cellular service;
  • There doesn’t appear to be a “Force Kill” option when an option is stuck “thinking what to do”;
  • As a power user of Twitter, I can only see my main Twitter feed, which is something I never pay attention to. Perhaps allow me to see my notifications or mentions;
  • Many of the Apple Watch apps need you to open the app on your iPhone to either update or function properly.

While my list of quirky items is certainly manageable, someone who may not be all that technologically savvy may possibly become frustrated with some of the gimmicky, gadgetry components of the Apple Watch, but that’s just fine by me.

Overall, I’ve had the vast majority of people that have seen me wear the Apple Watch and do certain things as check-in on my airplane at the gate, I have had may more “Whoa, that is cool” versus “Whoa, you’re a tool.” I find that magical.

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Originally published at theproductpoet.com on July 22, 2015.