The wait is over! On Wednesday a sleek, I’ll say beautiful, package arrived on my doorstep. My Apple Watch, Apple’s first step into the growing world of wearable technology. This post gives my impressions from the first 26 hours, which included cross-country travel.
Here’s the official unboxing (complete with silly subtitles).
The First 13 Things I Learned
- I bought the big one, and it’s not that big. My wrists are the only skinny part of my body, and with the smaller strap, the watch fits just fine.
- Pairing is almost science fiction. You press one button in the Apple Watch App on your phone, and your Watch changes. It’s just so seamless, as if the Watch is just a separate screen on your device.
- It does have a learning curve. Usually I can push buttons and get to where I need to go right out of the box with a new device. But it took me several hours to get the hang of the Watch, and I still will probably discover new capabilities.
- Yes, you can take calls on it and hold conversations by talking into your wrist. It’s cool and awkward at the same time.
- The battery life is worrisome. On the plane I watched it rapidly lose juice, even though it was in airplane and on do not disturb. I thought it would die way before bedtime, but when I put it on the charger on the East Coast, it still had 20 percent after about 15 hours of use.
- It’s very good looking, but the watch face keeps a smudge that’s hard to wipe off. And it’s dark until you look at it, which means that other people don’t know you’re wearing a really cool device until you show it to them.
- Siri is pretty cool. Just bring the device towards your mouth and say, “Hey, Siri,” and she’s at your command. She doesn’t speak back, though. That’s ok. She gets a little mouthy on the phone.
- You can’t type on it, so you rely on audio input. If Siri messes up the transcription, you have to redo it because you can’t manually correct it. But you can also send the audio message instead of the text.
- I had to look up the word “haptic” to understand the notifications. Haptic notifications are taps. I prefer them to the noises. The taps are fairly strong, but I missed a few when I was rushing through the airport.
- It’s incredibly cool to use your wrist as boarding pass. People ooh and ahh. But some security scanners have slide-in slots for phones and paper passes, and the Watch won’t fit.
- Not many people own these yet. All day yesterday I heard, “Oh, you’re the first one I’ve seen.” I was hoping that one of my friends might have one so I could try out some of the Watch-to-Watch communication they show in commercials, like drawing little doodles for each other or sharing heartbeats. I haven’t found anyone who has a Watch in my contacts. But I did discover that I need more friends to fill up the whole friend list they offer.
- You have the option of importing all your iPhone apps during setup (the ones with a Watch version). Don’t do that. Set the Watch up with the basics, then pick and choose the apps you want on your Watch.
- Some of the apps are wonderful. Some suck. The built-in Activities App is really cool in that it helps you keep moving and has great graphics. Shazam is fun to recognize music on the go. The stupid Solitaire App is stupid. It just shows the stats for your solitaire games. Who wants to see how much time she’s wasted on a game? And many apps are worthless if you’re in airplane mode or not connected to the iPhone.
Here’s an overview of the Watch basics. I’ll be posting more as I explore. Do you need one? The jury is still out.