Apple Watch Review

The Apple Watch is finally here! Last year Apple announced that they were launching the Apple Watch and all Apple die hards have been sitting on the edge of their seats waiting to have one in their mitts. Android has been playing the smartwatch game for over a year and they are pretty good at it. Well on April 24th the watch landed on consumers wrists and Apple is now in the game. Is Apple too late to the party, or were they fashionably late enough that people will want it even more now? In typical Apple fashion they were not first, but are they best?

I have waited so impatiently for my Apple Watch like thousands of others. I have not been this excited about a new Apple product since the iPad. I ordered the 42 mm space gray sport model and I received in on the 7th of May. I have used it for a almost two weeks and can honestly say that I have enjoyed my experience. The Apple Watch is far from perfect, but it is a great first attempt, better than any first attempt from Android. I am an Apple user, but I am far from bias. I love Android wear, but I enjoy the Apple Watch even more.

The best part, notifications.

What the Apple Watch does best is notifications. I personally keep my sounds off on my Watch. I do not see the point of having everyone hear your notifications. I love the Taptic engine, it gives you no reason to have the sound on, the implementation is perfect. The subtle tap on your wrist feels natural. It is a slight double tap that isn’t jarring, but it always gets your attention. The thing that is great about it, is that no one else hears it. Notifications have a caveat or two. When receiving multiple text messages they don’t always start to thread, but if your wrist is up at the exact time they are coming in, they will. Some photo messages show up in the “alert”, but occasionally it will show up stating: “____ sent you an image. You can view it on your iPhone.” I am not sure why this happens, but it can be a bit annoying because the photos still show up on the messages app on your watch. This is a small gripe, because the notifications have been spot on otherwise. The defining factor about notifications, is the ability to actually respond to notifications, a feature that was omitted from the first generation of Pebble smartwatches.

That crown though!

The Apple Watch is not the most attractive smartwatch, there are many Android Wear devices that blow it’s design out of the water. I think that the design could be definitely revised, BIGGER, but the standout hardware feature thus far is the Digital Crown. The Digital Crown really does change how you manipulate a small device. The idea of a watch component that we are used to, now implemented for a different purpose, is genius. The Digital Crown is smooth and functional. I cannot imagine using the Apple Watch without it. The utility, to just zoom or scroll respectively with a watch crown feels so natural. Thank you Jony Ive, the crown is perfect.

Force touch everything!

Apple should write on the box, force touch everything! The Apple Watch is not the most intuitive of Apple’s devices. Being a first generation model I knew that there would be learning curves, but it really should be notated to force touch more. Just a few examples: How do you compose a new iMessage, force touch; How do you stop navigating maps, force touch; How do you add an alarm, force touch. This is not notated anywhere in the UI. Upon initial setup the watch shows you how to force touch to change the watch face, then thats it. In my opinion there should be a one time “how to” feature, with the first launch of an app. This feature should also be able to be turned off from the accompanied iPhone app for your “pro users”.

Something weird is going on here

There are some oddities to the Apple Watch….. First off, composing an email. Going to the email app you cannot compose an email, but if you receive a calendar invite, force touch it. Surprise, a compose email option becomes available. Secondly, force touch your watch face, you are presented with other faces. If you wanted to delete a face all you have to do is swipe up, this is nowhere noted and is extremely useful. The calendar, a simple implementation that you’ll love. That is until you realize you cannot switch months, or even go more than five days into the future. Oh and photo messages, like I stated earlier, so inconsistent!

Battery?!

The elephant in the room, battery. I will say right off the bat, better than expected! The Apple Watch gets what it is rated for and then some more. You will make it through a day, even one and a half, but never two. When you get yours, the first few days will be tough, mainly because you won’t be able to keep your finger off that crown. After the initial euphoria settles down, you will have no problem at all. I am a heavy user of my products and I finish most days with 40–50 percent remaining. Could it get better, yes. Does it need to, no.

Tricks, or treats?

There are some additional tricks that it touts that should be mentioned. Glances are essentially favorite apps you use regularly and need to have at your disposal; think of them as your dock on your iPhone or Mac. The health features are impressive and accurate! I try to exercise everyday and having a device that tracks my progress and rubs it in my face is great. The updates of how much I a kicking or dragging ass are perfect for me and the implementation of it is spot on. The stand reminders can be a little humdrum, but for someone that doesn’t stand at their own accord should have it annoy them. The heart rate monitor is stupefying! It is so accurate and works even when there is a layer of sweat between you and the watch. I know the whole tattoo gate is kind of shocking, but this sensor is so accurate that I don’t care, and I have numerous tattoos.

Will the Apple Watch be able to do what others haven’t?

I think that Apple has the best chance to getting the wearable mania in the right direction. They have an enormous following and one of the best retail structures. Apple has built such a deep ecosystem and the Apple Watch deepens that even more. You can now have your Apple products with you in a new, more intimate way.

Buy it?

Let me get this out of the way, do you need it, totally not. I can say that this is my favorite smartwatch though. I use it everyday and it has added additional utility that was needed and increased my quality of life. It increased my quality of life because I am not grabbing my phone every time I feel it buzz. Now I can quickly glance to see it that if it is worth my time, or if it’s a necessity. I do not think that the Apple Watch is over priced. Mash a computer and a designer watch together and ask the price…. If you are in the Apple ecosystem I can wholeheartedly recommend the Apple Watch to anyone, just remember: force touch everything!

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Originally published at http://www.mindhungry.com

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