Three weeks ago, I purchased an Apple Watch Sport with white band. Target was having a 10% off sale on all of their electronics and I just couldn’t resist. My fiancée and I had been looking over our wedding budget a few days prior and found some extra money for attire and accessories. We decided to spring for an Apple Watch for me in order to more evenly match the wedding band, necklace, and earrings we were buying for her. The Watch was ordered for in-store pickup and it arrived on November 30.
I’ve now spent just over two weeks with the device and I’ve been very happy with it. But honestly, it was a little rough going at first. I’ve never worn watches and the device felt uncomfortable being strapped to my wrist all the time. Luckily, the feeling subsided after about eight days and now I barely give the Watch a thought unless I’m actually using it.
After two weeks, I’ve learned that Notifications are by far the most compelling feature. They might not have the pizzazz of third-party apps or digital touch, but they are the primary reason I continue to wear my Apple Watch everyday. Especially considering that most notifications are actionable — being able to like, retweet, or reply to mentions on Twitter right from my Watch is absolutely incredible.
And a lot of the people I’ve talked to since purchasing the Watch have questioned why notifications are so much better on your wrist than on your iPhone — it’s simple, subtlety. You don’t have to pull out your phone to see what your being notified of, just lift your wrist and within a fraction of a second you’ll know whether it’s something you have to deal with immediately or not. Being aware of what or who is trying to notify you without the need to completely disrupt what you’re working on — that is incredibly powerful.
Beyond notifications, I think the other killer feature is in being a piece of fashion. Now I’m not one to be too interested in wearing the latest trends or anything — my typical outfit includes an American Apparel t-shirt, jeans, and a pair of converse. But the Apple Watch is quite attractive and I plan on buying many bands in the future to match a variety outfits. I’ve already purchased a Leather Loop in midnight blue that I plan on wearing at the wedding. Unfortunately, I accidentally ordered the wrong size and wasn’t able to exchange it for a replacement. My local Target didn’t have any in stock, so I settled on a return and will be purchasing one at some point in the next few months.
One thing that surprised me about the Apple Watch was that I really enjoy having a timepiece on my wrist. I never understood why so many people continued wearing watches when they had smartphones in their pocket, but knowing what time it is with a lift of your wrist is shockingly convenient — especially when your watch face also displays information like the outside temperature, date, the time of your next calendar event, and so on. It’s quickly become second nature for me to look to my watch for this information rather than pull out my iPhone.
I haven’t found glances to be nearly as impressive as complications, though. There’s a few that I use almost daily — Dark Sky for precipitation information, Clear as a shortcut to their fantastic Watch app, and Now Playing to control audio playback — but most of the glances I’ve tried just don’t display the information I’m looking for. For example, the Weather glance displays the current temperature alongside today’s forecast conditions, high, and low temperatures. But I would much rather the glance display conditions, high, and low temperatures for the following three days. I’ve even tried third-party weather apps and none of the ones I’ve tested display this information in their glance. That was a bit of a disappointment.
I also haven’t been as enamored by activity tracking like I thought I would be. Maybe it takes a few more weeks for the device to offer more fine-tuned suggestions for goals, but I’ve easily demolished my daily move and stand goals for most of the last two weeks. I’m sure my busy schedule during the holiday season isn’t helping things. I’m probably better ofrom reserving judgement on this particular feature until I spend at least a few more weeks with it.
As for third-party applications, I’m regularly using Fantastical, Dark Sky, Clear, Tweetbot, and Clicker on my Watch. But there’s still plenty of other apps that I’m dying to try, I just haven’t had enough free time to sit down with them. Sleep++, Instapaper, and PCalc immediately come to mind as applications I expect to be using regularly within a few months.
I have slowly came to the realization over the past several months that the Apple Watch was never going to be Apple’s next revolutionary product. And now that I’ve spent the past two weeks with the device, I can confirm that this is the case. But that’s fine. It’s an iPhone peripheral that also happens to be a software platform. Maybe that will change in the future as cellular networking chips become more energy efficient, but for now the Watch occupies a comfortable place in Apple’s product lineup. It’s the kind of device whose owners absolutely love it and I expect will continue to get plenty of support from Apple, third-party developers, and users. The Apple Watch isn’t something that everyone needs, but personally, I don’t plan on going a day without it anytime soon.