You might already be thinking, “didn’t the Apple Watch came out, like ages ago?”. The answer is yes, and no. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones living in a country where it has actually launched, you might have a hard time getting your hands on a Apple Watch. In Copenhagen, Denmark, unfortunately the Apple Watch has not yet launched (but will on the 25th of September) - however, a quick train ride to Sweden solved the problem. So, thats what the awesome company I work for did, and because of that, I’ve been wearing the Apple Watch for around 2-3 weeks now.
These thoughts are based on iOS 8.4 and watchOS 1.0.1
Design and materials
I was not particular fan of the rather unnecessary and non-environmental friendly packagging. I was however pretty impressed by the overall look and feel of the watch. Having never seen it before IRL, I was a bit skeptical, but after seeing it and wearing it for some time, I think it both looks and feels good.
Being to able to just raise your arm to read your incoming notifications is a convenience I’m really starting to enjoy. A lot of people I talk to make jokes about, why it is so hard to just look at the phone instead. However, in a busy day, these small convenient improvements does add up I think. Being on a bike, in a meeting, out walking with your girlfriend, it’s simply just a lot easier to quickly look at your watch.
Complications and glances
For me, the use case for the Apple Watch is pretty different from using an iPhone. On the watch, I rarely open any apps and do tasks that take longer than a couple of seconds. First of all, your arm gets pretty tired of staying in the position, and second of all, this is not where the watch excells. Neal Ford talks with the iPhreaks guys about this in episode 119.
Anyways, complications and glances rock 👊 in my opinion. Complications are those small pieces of information you can set to be displayed on your watch face. Glances are those small views you can swipe through when you swipe up on the watch. Instead of having to navigate to menus, apps and so forth, these are examples of easy accessible information that takes a short amount of time to read. E.g. on my watch face it tells me the current temperature, and if I click that value, it shows me the weather of today. Totally useful when you live in rainy Copenhagen and you need to decide whether or not to bring rain clothes. My watch face also shows me my next upcoming meeting.
After being in a lot of discussions and hearing a lot of rumors about the battery life of the Apple Watch, I must say that I’m satisfied. I think I’m able to get 2 days out of it with normal use. But it doesn’t matter since I charge it every day when going to sleep. Compared to the battery life in our iPhones, I think this is acceptable for now. Because of the fact that it’s a watch (and not a smartphone), of course, it would be nice to see an increase in battery life in the future.
Even though Siri recently launched in a Danish version, which makes it slightly less awkward to speak with her, I wouldn’t consider myself as a user that uses Siri regularly. Unless I’m on the bike that is, and I want to do simple commands as calling somebody. However, Siri on the Apple Watch somehow blew my mind. Yes, Siri is not perfect. Yes, she needs time to evolve, and yes Siri needs more integration with third party apps. However! Siri proves her worth on the Apple Watch, and it has been an eye opener for me, that Siri (or one of her competitors) will have a huge impact on our daily lives some day.
I’ve put notifications both on the good and the bad. The reason? You really need to customize the Apple Watch in order to avoid getting overwhelmed by all the incoming information on your wrist. Most of the apps you have on your phone, you’re probably not interested in getting the notifications on your wrist as well. I weren’t at least. So even though notifications is super convenient to have on your wrist, you need to customize and maintain the amount of information you allow.
For the past couple of weeks I haven’t really been using the apps, and by using I mean, actually opening an app and doing stuff from inside the app. The only reason why I have apps on my Apple Watch is to be able to get access to their accompanying glances and complications. I really hope that this will change in watchOS 2.0.
The price may be the biggest issue when I want to advice people in whether or not they should buy the Apple Watch. This piece of technology does bring a lot of nice convenient features to the table, but can it justify the price? For now, I don’t think it can for the average smartphone user. Would I still buy it? Yes. Maybe the price will be more fair when the (postponed) watchOS 2.0 comes out.
So, should you go out and by the Apple Watch? I think it depends on your wallet. For me, I want the Apple Watch, but I think it’s primarily because I’m an iOS developer and/or a tech junkie. For the average iPhone user I’m not convinced that the price is justifiable yet. My bet is that this will change over time when watchOS 2.0 has landed and when we’ll hopefully start to see apps taking more advantage of the platform. Or perhaps when app developers just understand the platform and it’s use-cases better.
What’s your thoughts on the Apple Watch? Did I miss any cool features or do you simply disagree with my views? Please feel free to pitch in on @steffendsommer or in the comments ✌️.