Thoughts on Apple Watch

(I’ve had the watch for longer now, but my thoughts on it haven’t changed much – I wrote this then didn’t get around to posting it. I’ve had it over a month now, and still find it a really good watch. The only thing that’s changed now is how I think of a ‘watch’. I’ve always known a watch as a quick way to see the time at a glance, but now I think of it just as much as a way to see, for example, how cold it is outside before I leave. I think going back to a ‘normal’ watch now would feel like a step back.)

I’ve had an Apple Watch now for a week, thanks to my wonderful wife, Sam, who bought one for me from the Apple Store in Covent Garden when she was in London last weekend. The very short version is that I love it, and find it really useful. The longer version is still short – a few bullet points:

  • It’s better at being a watch than I expected. Raise to view actually works well. Most of the face designs are nice and clear.
  • Mine is black – Space Grey – aluminium Series 2, with the black Fluoroelastomer strap. I think it looks great – quite understated and minimalist. And black matches everything I wear.
  • It’s a really good fitness tracker. I’ve used older trackers (the original Fitbit) for step counting, but this captures a lot more information, and it’s interesting to have my heart rate monitored throughout the day. Good to know it’s still beating.
  • It saves taking my iPhone out of pocket as often. Notifications are unobtrusive, and really quick and easy to access.
  • There are lots of ways to launch apps to do things. Enough that it’s difficult to know what to put there – which apps will I launch from complications, which from the dock, and which from the main apps page? Alex’s review of watchOS 3 on MacStories was helpful with this, unveiling details like the fact that apps in the dock get extra resources to keep them available and up to date.
  • Battery life isn’t a problem, as long as you don’t want to wear it to sleep.
  • I’ve just started experimenting with wearing it to sleep, and that seems to work as long as I give it a bit of time to charge once or twice a day while I’m not doing anything.
  • The release of the watch app for Pokémon GO within a week of me getting a watch was good timing. It’s not perfect so far, but it’s good, and will make the game easier to play more.
  • Experimenting with different watch faces is fun, and I doubt I’ll ever stop tweaking. I’ve settled on the Simple face with some complications for my main face, with a nicely minimal version of X-Large for times when I want fewer distractions, and another face for extra complications. From the main face, one swipe will give me whichever other face I want.

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