It's been a month since we eagerly awaited our UPS drivers and the arrival of the Apple Watch. Since posting our definitive Apple Watch review, we've now had the chance to spend an additional two weeks with it. How has it changed our lives for the better? Where does it still need work? The iMore staff sat down and chatted about how we feel the Apple Watch is fitting into our lives, one month later.
How has the Apple Watch design held up? How comfortable has it been to wear?
Ally: I'm incredibly satisfied with the way the Apple Watch fits, mainly because of the small size. I've hated wearing watches as long as I can remember. The Apple Watch is different. It also helps that the bands are very well made. I barely notice them.
As for durability, I had some issues with my initial Apple Watch. The screen scratches only days into using it, and I had no idea how. I also had issues with the Digital Crown and pairing. Apple replaced it no questions asked, and I've had zero issue with durability or software on the replacement unit, so I'll rule it as a bad egg.
Rene: I've said it before and I'll say it again — this is the best hardware Apple's industrial design team has ever shipped, and given how much industry-shaping hardware they've shipped, that's really an achievement.
The Apple Watch looks great, especially when you're wearing it. Apple made the wisest choice possible when it came to sizes and shapes. From 38mm to 42mm you can fit a wide range of people, and the rounded rectangle can fit a wide range of apps and data types. Neither size nor shape are unique to Apple's Watch, of course, but it manages to blend Apple's design language with a retro watch vibe, and that's also an achievement.
My stainless steel and sapphire review watch still looks great. Polish it a little, and even a month in, it shines with not a scuff or scratch in sight. That's not been my experience with all stainless steal cases and bands.
The Apple Watch has also been far more comfortable than I imaged. When I'm not using it, I often forget I'm wearing it. With other watches, including other smart watches, I had to remove them when working because I didn't like the feeling while typing. Apple Watch I've left on without a problem.
Could it be thinner? Sure. As long as the bands can attach, it can always be thinner. Should it be rounder? No, not any more than an iPhone should look like a banana with two cups on either side just because Ma Bell made that design famous decades ago on landlines.
Apple's managed to blend both technology and tradition here, and to really propel digital watches into the computing age. And they've done it with impressive materials and style. I'm not sure many other companies could do both of those things, but I really hope the Apple Watch drives them to try.
Ren: A few days ago, I finally got my first scratch on my Apple Watch Sport — after weeks of biking with it, playing roller derby, moving furniture, walking dogs, and traveling around the U.S. — and it's so tiny, I can't even find it now as I type. That's a short way of saying that I love the build quality on this thing. The aluminum model may not look quite as shiny as its steel counterpart, but it hardly feels cheap, especially when paired with premium bands.
That carries over to fit: My 38mm Sport disappears on my wrist when I'm wearing it. Like Rene, I had concerns about bumping it against my keyboard or laptop while working, but those were largely unfounded. The Sport band feels light and comfortable on my arm whether I'm wearing it during the day or playing roller derby — it doesn't get sweaty, itchy, or uncomfortable, and the few marks I've gotten on the band have come off with a quick wipe of a damp cleaning cloth. I've gotten the hang of quickly fastening and unfastening the Sport clasp, and I dislike it a lot less than I initially did; I will say, though, that the band tuck-under occasionally pinches in hot weather when you're putting it on.
The Sport is a little more noticeable on my wrist when paired with the Milanese Loop, but not necessarily in a bad way — it just feels more like jewelry and less like a part of my body.
Georgia: The Apple Watch design has held up remarkably well, not only in comparison to other smart watches, but also to regular watches. Most people don't even notice it isn't a regular watch until I receive a notification.
The Apple Watch is thin enough to wear without feeling overly heavy, though it is slightly too thick to fit under some of my buttoned-down sleeves. That's a fair price to pay, though, for the battery life required to drive all the features.
Nick: My 42mm Sport has held up well so far. I was worried about the non-sapphire glass scratching easily, but the face has yet to pick up any blemishes — thus far, the build quality has held up wonderfully.
Aesthetically, while the watch doesn't feel bulky, the design continues to look a little fat to me. Given the space constraints Apple was working within, I can't imagine a design that would have been a better choice, but as hardware often does, I think it will come to look old quickly. Whenever I look at the thick rounded edges, it's hard to not be reminded of the first generation iPad or pre-iPhone 4 handsets.
What bands have you been using? What other bands are you considering?
Ally: I switch between a white Sport band and the Milanese Loop. I'm incredibly happy with both. On normal days where I'm just working, going to the gym, and running errands; I use the Sport. Every other day I get the Milanese.
I've really enjoyed wearing the Milanese slightly looser so it fits more like a bracelet than as tight as a watch normally would. The only issue I've had with the Milanese is that every once in a while it'll grab at an arm hair or two. It's only happened a few times but when it does, it kind of hurts. :(
Rene: For the first four weeks I alternated between the Milanese and the white Sport, both of which came with my review Watch. Two weeks ago I added a black Sport into the rotation, and just this week, the black Link Bracelet and black Leather Loop.
The Milanese is terrific. It's great for both casual and formal occasions and, because it's magnetic, you can not only get a perfect fit, but adjust it to maintain a perfect fit throughout the day and week. For those reasons, it's the band I wore the most over the course of the last month.
Even though the weights technically vary, both sport colors feel the same to me. I wear them for working out or whenever I'm around water, and I like the looks and the performance. They don't wick away sweat, but they don't absorb it either. I started wearing the black sport more as time went on, which surprised me. The pin and tuck system just worked, and the comfort level of the band was hard to beat.
The Leather Loop is akin to the Milanese in fit and function but very different in style. I've only worn it once, but it feels like it'll be a great night-on-the-town band. The Link Bracelet is just something else. Thanks to the DLC coating it looks and feels otherworldly. Like something from fantasy or science fiction. The sizing system is simply ingenious as well and shows just how deeply the industrial design team cared about the details.
Ren: Like Rene and Ally, I've been alternating between the white Sport band and Milanese, though I also occasionally rock a blue-and-white Sport band mix. I use the Milanese almost exclusively for dressy occasions; I kind of love the look of the Sport with everyday clothing as well as for actual, y'know, sporting. I find myself playing with the Milanese's magnetic connection constantly — fidgeter here, hi — and I do wonder how long the magnet will hold up to my daily fiddling. So far, I haven't seen any degradation, but I'm keeping an eye on it.
After one month, though, I'm itchy to get my hands on more band options. It's too much fun to swap and switch.
Georgia: I have two bands: the white Sport and the Milanese Loop. I really like the Sport band; it has a soft finish so that it doesn't feel sticky or slimy, and doesn't get stuck to lint or dust. It is very easy to clean as well, which I really appreciate. I love how the corners of the band are rounded, so they don't cut into my arm, and that lets me almost forget that I am wearing a watch band at all. The ingenious indentation on the inside of the Sports band also helps the moisture evaporate, so there's less chance for skin irritation or degradation of the polymer that makes up the band.
I do wish Apple would make more neutral colors available. I wanted silver, so I had to choose the white band if I wanted something appropriate for work. I also found that my wrist size fell in between two of the holes on the band, so I have to choose between slightly too tight and slightly too loose.
I love how the bands are interchangeable, though. Swapping for the Milanese Loop was almost effortless. It's a great looking band though not quite as comfortable as the Sport. It does cut into my arm at times since I find I have to wear it tightly to get accurate readings from the heart rate sensor.
The magnetic fastener on the Milanese Loop is wonderful. I can fully customize the fit, and putting it on and taking it off couldn't be easier. It's also a terrific option for anyone with motor skills issues or arthritis.
I'm getting the black Sport band next and can't wait to see what third party options become available. (I'd love something with more bling!)
Nick: The only band I've worn so far is the original "developer blue" Sport that came with my watch. The Sport band is a great default option. It doesn't look or feel cheap and is versatile enough to keep as your normal band for most occasions. It fits comfortably enough that I make it through most of the day without thinking about it being on my wrist. I have this habit with watches though where after a long day of wearing them, by the evening my wrist feels claustrophobic and all of a sudden I can't not notice this this restraint wrapped around my wrist… gripping tighter and tighter, squeezing the life out of my hand! Until eventually I just have to take the watch off for a few minutes, and I'm fine.
When I first ordered my watch, I couldn't bring myself to justify spending the extra money on a fancier band. However, after the first week or so of wearing the sport band, I found myself wanting something heavier; more substantial. All of the wrist watches I own have heavier, metal link bracelets. I find myself missing the feel of the hardware on my wrist. I ordered my Apple Watch with the intent of utility, not fashion, but find myself being very easily tempted to spring for a couple extra bands to switch between depending on my mood for the day and the occasion.
Which clock faces and complications have you been using most? Which other ones would you like to see?
Ally: I really like Modular and Utility. I find myself using Modular during the work day when I need to see more information at a glance. I much prefer the look of Utility for everything else. And yes, I occasionally change the color of my watch face to match whatever outfit I have on.
Rene: Like Ally, I use Modular during the day when I want to stay on top of things. Digital is just so much more glanceable. I have the color set to white, and the complications are set to day and date, calendar, temperature, activity, and battery. Battery life has been so good, though, I'll probably switch that one out.
I do use Utility when I want to add some fancy but keep functionality. For fun, I've been using Solar. It's just gorgeous.
I'd still like some more digital options with higher density complications, and more licensed characters. Some of us are just more Donald than Mickey.
Ren: Modular's my fave, and I have at least three iterations of it for different circumstances (work, leisure, and derby coaching). I like Utility for more of a classier look, and Astronomy's my no-complications favorite when I want to see moon phases and solar system rotations. Holding out hope for more complication options in the future, though, and maybe even custom faces if Apple can figure out a way to do it without too much cruft.
Georgia: I started off with the Motion clock face because, fluttering butterfly on my wrist. Such fun! It didn't give me the information I needed, however, so it eventually lost out to Modular. Calendar appointments on my wrist are just so very useful.
What I really want, though, is a clock face that has reminders as an option. Often seeing what I need to do is as important as what I have scheduled.
Nick: I've had a hard time getting myself to use anything other than Modular since day one. I really like the look of some of the other faces, but Modular has been the most functional for me. I've been keeping an eye on battery life, but as my battery is usually around 50% at the end of the day, I plan to remove that soon. Weather has been the most valuable complication for me, though sometimes I find myself wondering how up-to-date the data is.
How easy or hard has Watch OS been to navigate, to find what you need, and to use?
Ally: To be honest, I don't do too much navigating on Apple Watch. I use Glances often and have activity set up to be accessed from my watch face. The only navigation I do on a regular basis is interacting with notifications, and that works great for me. For everything else I use Siri. From launching apps to dictating messages, it works great.
Rene: Most of the time my Apple Watch usage is super simple — I respond to a notification or initiate something with Siri. (And that includes launching apps.)
I've always been a big Siri user on my iPhone, including dictating the first drafts of many articles right into Notes, and I've kept that up on the Apple Watch. Talking into your wrist already feels futuristic, and once you get the hang of it, the utility even manages to match the cool factor.
When I can't use Siri and need to delve into the system, it still takes a me a moment or two to remember what the Digital Crown will do. I want to just press it and go between clock face and home, but often it'll return to the default state of a clock face first, or recenter home first, or commit a change first, and that's inconsistent enough I can't make it muscle memory. At least not yet.
I hope Apple simplifies that behavior and makes it more consistent.
I do love Continuity on the Apple Watch. The ability to see a text or mail message and instantly figure out if it's important is terrific. If it is, the ability to then swipe, tap, or click on an icon on my iPhone, iPad, or Mac and instantly resume handling that text or mail on a bigger screen and with full input methods is beyond terrific. It's sublime.
Ren: Moving around the Watch has gotten easier as I get more comfortable with it, and the 1.0.1 update seems to have sped up general navigation on the home screen. I try not to tap icons too many times — instead using Siri, Glances, or complications to launch apps — but the vertical home screen layout has been incredibly helpful for me in finding what I need.
Siri alternates between being the Best Thing Ever and a source of constant frustration. It's so good on the Watch normally that when it doesn't work, I get unreasonably annoyed. The delay between holding the Digital Crown and getting Siri is sometimes tricky when speaking phrases; it probably accounts for at least 40 percent of my Siri errors.
Georgia: I'm still falling in old, iPhone-style navigation habits with the Apple Watch. What goes back versus what switches modes is still not registering for me, and I'm not always sure which gestures work in which apps and in what way.
Also: If notification center and glances were available everywhere, I'd use them everwhere.
Nick: I keep running into the same problem as Georgia. The hardware buttons just aren't intuitive to me, and I frequently have to backtrack what I just did, as it's not what I intended to do. Additionally, it feels like every time I launch a watch app, either the screen turns off or my arm gets tired before data actually loads. The process of my watch talking to my phone, my phone getting the data, then my phone pushing the data to the watch is too slow for practical use a lot of the time. The unintuitive buttons, plus the slow data, on top of the frustrating home screen means I rarely launch apps.
It came as a surprise to me that after the first week or so with the watch, 90% or more of my interactions were with glances, Siri, and notifications. In most cases, I've found that by the time I need functionality beyond what a glance offers, I'm usually better of pulling out my phone – a watch just doesn't seem meant for extended interactions. Because glances are all lined up like cards that you have to swipe to, I also removed glances that I didn't use often. Keeping the number of glances on my watch under 10 keeps them usable.
How are notifications working for you? How have you set them up?
Ally: I have only the most important notifications on my wrist. Everything else can wait until I have an opportunity to pick up my iPhone. I keep haptics turned on to the highest setting and sounds completely off. This way I don't ever distract anyone around me. This has worked as a great way to keep me off my iPhone in a way I couldn't have ever imagined. And I love the Apple Watch for that.
Rene: I always knew notifications we going to be part and parcel of the killer convenience I was hoping to get from the Apple Watch, and they've turned out to be exactly that. I no longer worry if my iPhone is out of sight, or my Mac is across the room. And I'm no longer stressed when I hear a buzz in my pocket and try to figure out if I can politely reach for my iPhone or not.
I just glance at my wrist and triage immediately.
My biggest gripe remains the lack of VIP system-wide. It's wonderful for mail, since only my VIP mail is set to hit my Apple Watch, but messages remain all or nothing, and I really find myself needing something in between.
Overall, though, because of how unobtrusive Watch notifications are, I'm both better informed and less beholden. My friends and family have commented that it's a noticeable difference, and that makes me truly happy.
Ren: My "buzz in case of emergency" system has been working great, and I love looking at Notification Center to see what I've missed instead of being annoyed by little red notification blips on my home screen. The big banner notifications, though, need to die. When using my Watch, I'd much much rather see a small black banner at the top of the screen with the app icon and maybe one word: "message," "alert," "email," "sketch," etc. The full-screen banner takeover often interrupts Siri messages and all sorts of other tasks — it reminds me of old iPhone notifications, but worse.
Georgia: I love notifications. Mine are set up to give me the mildest tap so I can glance at them if it's appropriate and totally ignore them if not. The whole system is incredibly discreet and allows me to go on about my day without worrying I'm missing something important, but also without the annoyance of constant, loud interruption.
Nick: I made the mistake of allowing all notifications to be enabled on my watch from the start. While I partially accept responsibility for this mistake, I do think the onboarding process for the watch could improve the process of choosing which notifications you want. That said, now that I've tried my notification list, this is easily my favorite feature of the watch. I am really enjoying the convenience of seeing my latest notifications at a glance. For such a simple, straightforward, and obvious feature, it's one of my favorite parts of the watch. When people ask me about my Apple Watch and what it can do, I always feel strange trying to talk-up notifications, but it's truly a wonderful convenience.
How have the Apple Watch health and fitness features been working for you?
Ally: I use the Activity and Workout apps on a regular basis to track gym workouts and any other activity, like long walks. I love both so far but think there is still lots of room for improvement. Stationary exercises need resistance settings (choosing level 15 on an elliptical is vastly different than level 1 and I should be able to tell Apple Watch that kind of information). More types of activities need to be added, and I'd love to see third party app integration so I can view all my fitness data inside the Activity app. Apple already has a central repository with the Health app, so I'd love Activity to pull from it, not just feed into it.
Another huge want is a better way to view workout summary data. Right now, I can only view the metrics in the Health app or search for individual workouts on any given day in the Activity app for iPhone. But what about comparing workouts over several days including calories burned, duration, etc.? I'd love to see a better and more meaningful way to interpret workout data.
Rene: If I'm left entirely to my own devices, I'll work without food and sometimes without sleep. Interruptions cause me to get moving, but counting on interruptions is folly. So, both the nags and the encouragement built into the Apple Watch Activity app have been extremely beneficial in keeping me aware of movement.
When the stand alert goes off — often while I'm already standing at my desk, so renaming that move would be great! — I dance or jump or kickbox around a bit, and then go back to work. I try, and often fail, to fill up the rings, but knowing they're there makes me keep trying.
Siri is a pretty good virtual personal assistant. The Apple Watch feels like it's on the cusp of being a pretty good virtual personal trainer as well.
Ren: I talked about this at length last week, but Apple Watch's fitness features are absolutely changing how I work day-to-day. With 1.0.1, stand tracking also seems to have been much improved, with it more accurately tracking the difference between stationary movement and non-stationary. After quite a few Other workouts, though, I am desperate for more sports mapping, or a weight training/resistance option. C'mon, Apple: Skating Sports. Lots of people do them. The Watch is perfect for them. Make it happen!
Georgia: I've turned off or ignored the activity app reminders to date. That's after I gave up cheating by waving my hand around or attaching my watch to my dog. (I may or may not be joking about that last one.)
That said, just seeing the activity ring and the goals have inspired me to pay more attention to standing up and moving around. It's also great to look at the heart rate monitor and see how hard I've been working.
Nick: When using my Apple Watch during an actual workout, I was surprised to find that once my arms were sweaty, the Watch absolutely could not get my heartrate, which was disappointing. I was also disappointed when I would try to catch my heartrate during the workout and see that it hadn't gotten my heartrate for 10 or 15 minutes. I was really hoping that it would know I was exercising, and start polling my heartrate more frequently to give accurate readings during the time I care about them most.
As far as day to day activity, I wouldn't say I've substantially changed my lifestyle in response to the activity feedback, but it does keep me more mindful of my daily activity. I haven't started running marathons, but when I see my rings looking low around lunch time, I definitely find myself wanting to move around a little more to make up for it.
How well has the Apple Watch held up as a communications device?
Ally: It's a great gatekeeper so far. And I've found it incredibly useful the few times I couldn't' find my iPhone when it rang. I could at least take the call until I found it and then transferring it was as simple as tapping the call bar at the top of my iPhone. Handoff for messages is also incredible. My Apple Watch knows I'm on my Mac or iPhone and doesn't alert me if that's the case. The whole system is seamless and working better than I hoped, especially for a 1.0 product.
Rene: Communicating from my wrist is a childhood dream come true. Sometimes the speaker isn't loud enough, or the connection solid enough, but most of the time it feels and sounds like magic.
Like Serenity, I initially feared the 3D emoji would be way too Yahoo!, but they've grown on me and now I start to see the expressions of people I know and cherish in those grooving round faces.
I still Sketch a ton, but sadly most of my friends don't anymore. BAD FRIENDS!
Smply being able to glance at messages and mail, though, and answer calls and messages when I need to, has been incredible. Not quite yet a dream come true, but oh so very close.
Ren: Love it, especially Siri's dictation features, sketches, and 3D emoji. I thought those silly emoji were going to be the cheesiest thing ever, but I've found myself replying to a bunch of different text messages with them; they're easy to send and convey my feelings a lot better than attempting to type out text, in some cases. Sketches are just fun, and I want more of my friends to get Apple Watches so I can send more of them. Dictation is a lifesaver and I use it constantly while on the go now — I can speak so quietly into the Watch and have it recognize me that, often times, it makes more sense to use even in a crowded space.
Georgia: My iPhone is always set to silent. Before the Apple Watch, I'd miss a lot of calls because it simply wasn't appropriate to pull my phone out and look at it all the time. Now, with the Apple Watch, I can triage calls as they come in and not worry about missing something important.
Same with Messages. I can even glance at emails and see if I need to reply immediately.
I use Siri to initiate a lot of my communications on the Apple Watch. It's still hit and miss at times but has gotten better with the recent update.
Not having to reach for my phone to stay connected is just amazing and one of the best things about the Apple watch.
Nick: I have yet to make a phone call with my watch, and the allure of drawings and emoji has dropped off a bit for me. They're fun features, but without trying to remind myself to use them, they just haven't come naturally to me yet. When I remember it's an option, voice dictation works very well for responding to messages without pulling my phone out.
Which apps and glances are you using? Which are you still missing?
Ally: I use glances for weather, package deliveries, and music. I have them set up for Twitter and a few others but use them on rare occasions. I prefer to use the Watch as an access point for things I need to know right this second. Anything else waits until I can get to my iPhone.
Rene: I used Deliveries to track my Watch shipments, and I've used Hue to control my lights. I love the Apple TV remote app and what djay can do is amazing. Both PCalc and Calcbot fill my calculator watch void, and Shazam is really cool. But I don't use most apps most of the time. Nor glances. I react to notifications or use Siri to initiate actions.
I'm sure I'll grow into using more apps, but right now it's the core native functionality of the Watch that's most compelling and valuable for me.
Ren: To be honest, I've rarely been using non-stock Glances, preferring to stick to information about my Activity, Heart Rate, and use the Music controller. Instead, I rely on clock face complications and notifications to give me most of my information, and I'll visit individual apps for anything more specific.
On the app side, I've been using the NYTimes app and loving it for quick headline check-ins in the morning; PCalc and Carrot Weather are two other apps I check pretty often. For discrete tasks, I've been quite taken with using the Camera Remote, as well as Uber and Yelp. Recently, I discovered that Authy had a Watch app, and that is my new favorite way to quickly access two-factor authentication codes. I'm hoping when full Watch apps are an option, they'll build an offline version, because it's so much easier than trying to pull up the app from my phone.
I've also been playing Lifeline on the Watch, which has been a really fun distraction.
Georgia: I'm only using Hue to control my lights and Shazam to identify songs at the moment, but I'm hoping I'll find more cool apps that really make sense on my wrist soon.
Nick: The stock weather app, Pedometer++, and the Heart Rate app account for most of my glance usage. Admittedly there are a lot more glances I should probably check out, but the slow data load times limit the valuable options right now.
The bottom line
Ally: The Apple Watch helps me curb my iPhone usage every day, and that is reason enough for me to call it a win. Are there features that need improvement and bugs that need exterminating? Of course. But I'm willing to suffer through those for the convenience and freedom the Apple Watch already offers me. But if you want a perfect product without the 1.0 quirks, hold off until next year.
Rene: The Apple Watch is the best first generation product Apple has ever shipped. Sure, it's not a must-have like a phone or a partial PC replacement like a tablet, but it's the beginning of the next step in the evolution of personal computing. It's letting me walk away from my iPhone in a way that's more limited than, but just as liberating as, my iPhone let me walk away from my Mac.
The battery life has been outstanding — I routinely have 30-40 percent left at night. That's far, far better than I ever imagined, and a testament to the wizards on Apple Watch engineering. It's so good, I don't even panic on the rare occasions when I've forgotten to charge it overnight, and that's a huge plus.
A year or more ago I wondered out loud if Apple's next big thing could be even smaller. Whether or not the Apple Watch ever equals the popularity and value of the iPad, or one day replaces the iPhone, it's value to me has been proven. Take it away, and I miss it.
That's because it's convenient and efficient, but also because it's fun. And if there is to be another step forward in the evolution of computing, that's the direction it needs to go.
Ren: I maintain that the Watch is a 1.0 product and probably not for everyone just yet. For me, though, it is absolutely changing how I work, live, and interact with my digital products throughout the day. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Georgia: The Apple Watch has been helpful to me when I am at work and when I am roaming around the house. It's nice to not have to lug around my large iPhone 6 Plus and wear nice dresses and keep my phone in my purse and still know if there's an important phone call or message.
It still lacks in third party applications and, yes, sometimes the app extensions aren't as responsive as they need to be, but I think that Apple has done an amazing job overall and I can't wait to see where the Apple Watch is six months from now.
Nick: The biggest shortcoming for me has been data load times. If a watch app takes 5 seconds or more to load data (and many do), it's faster for me to just pull out my phone. In a future iteration I would love to see some sort of intelligent background refreshing for apps that don't drastically impact battery life. As an example, every morning when I'm getting ready I check the weather. My watch is the perfect device to tell me the weather, but it's usually showing yesterday's weather when I first look at it, even though it's been charging on my nightstand all night with plenty of time and power to refresh its weather data.
That said, I have no regrets. It's hard to overstate just how convenient and helpful I've found Apple Watch notifications to be. Glances, when they work well, are also tough to oversell. Glances offer the convenience that I had hoped for when we got widgets in iOS. Widgets are great, but ultimately I forget about them and rarely check them. By the time I've pulled out my phone and unlocked, it's easier just to look at the app I want than it is to pull down notification center and scroll to find the content I care about. Glances offer on-demand information about the stuff that's important to me.
The thing that has intrigued me most about the Apple Watch is how much more I'm using Siri. I don't like talking into my electronic devices with other people around, but it feels almost magical to lift my wrist and tell my watch to start a timer for me. It seems like a small thing and it's not something I would have been sold on before I had the watch, but I've been surprised at just how much I find myself talking to my wrist these days.
A lot of my thoughts on the Apple Watch may sound negative or naggy, but they're not meant to be. I'm happy with this first release, and I think Apple did a great job. When iOS 7 was announced, and we saw a huge overhaul and redesign of iOS, I was intrigued, but what I was really excited about was iOS 8. With the Apple Watch, I'm excited it's here, and I enjoy having it, but what I'm really looking forward to is seeing what will be built on top of this foundation.
Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.
I personally would not say or catagarize my Sport Space Gray and black band with link space gray band on order as "Making My Life Better" per se. I would just say that i can get to a few things easier or quicker than pulling my iPhone off my holster. Even with the recent upgrade where I saw very little improvement because not much was wrong with my watch anyway this was have IMO have to be a significant device above and over what is is to "Improve My Life". Having said that please do not think this is a negative or knock on the new Apple Watch, Just my take on the title of your article Serenity no more or no less. I find many things to just be quicker to achieve as opposed to anything else I could personally say. Thank you very much for the follow up article and caring about writing and giving your opinion. I will look forward to hear what the staff writers have to say individually as well. Have a great Memorial Day!!
If I may add to my previous post after reading many different opinions from the staff - I want you all to know having the 42mm is quite easy to wear and comfortable as well. I have no issues there and also easy to see and read for the most part. I have been trying to get use to it in my new Accord as a HFD like my phone to compare apples to apples - Pun intended, LOL :) but otherwise I still stick with the rest of my previous comments as they stand. Wanted to make sure you all got the right idea on my part. Very good points made here for sure to better my comments.... "That said, I have no regrets. It's hard to overstate just how convenient and helpful I've found Apple Watch notifications to be. Glances, when they work well, are also tough to oversell. Glances offer the convenience that I had hoped for when we got widgets in iOS. Widgets are great, but ultimately I forget about them and rarely check them. By the time I've pulled out my phone and unlocked, it's easier just to look at the app I want than it is to pull down notification center and scroll to find the content I care about. Glances offer on-demand information about the stuff that's important to me.
Comments from Serenity: The thing that has intrigued me most about the Apple Watch is how much more I'm using Siri. I don't like talking into my electronic devices with other people around, but it feels almost magical to lift my wrist and tell my watch to start a timer for me. It seems like a small thing and it's not something I would have been sold on before I had the watch, but I've been surprised at just how much I find myself talking to my wrist these days."
I would have loved to read Peter Cohen's take on the watch. Why wasn't he included?
Because I don't have my Apple Watch yet. It's been on order since April 10th. They're telling me I'll get it around the end of May or beginning of June. Frankly I'm just hoping to get it in time for WWDC.
Oh didn't know that. Hope it comes soon and you get a chance to review it as well :)
After owning one for a few weeks I consider it a nice accessory but nothing I would recommend to friends and coworkers at the moment. If I had an Android phone I could easily justify one of the cheaper smart watches because the entry price point is lower, for notifications I think it's useful. I did recommend it to a coworker who is into fitness because then you go from notifications and fitness tracking so the Sport edition seems like a decent entry level price point. Currently though I wish there was something nicer than the Sport but not as expensive as the stainless steel, Apple knew what it was doing though because once I saw the Sport and SS I knew I wanted the SS but the price for what I wanted was so much higher lol. The one useful thing that is making me buy another one is to give it to my wife. It is here where notifications are useful, we split up at the store to grab things and I want to ask her something. I send a text and her phone is in her purse on vibrate. She needs me? boom I get the notification buzz on the wrist, feels like a leash but it's useful.
Wait just a minute..........STOP THE CLOCK!!! Ren - roller derby????
"Rene: The Apple Watch is the best first generation product Apple has ever shipped."
Very personal item that I frequently forget I'm wearing until I feel a tap. Love the white band (my watch is SS). Milanese loop arrived yesterday. Easy to swap; however, it takes a little effort to get the "circle' band over my hand. Actually prefer the look of the sport band. Will use the Milanese for dressier occasions. Cheers all!
I'm kinda glad that I'm not the only one who had the Milanese tug at arm hairs. Especially since it affects women too. I've now replaced that with the black classic buckle, which is more comfortable but sadly not a good looking.
I'll repat that the missing killer feature is Find My Friends baked into the side button.
I've noticed that I've built up a bit of blue onto one of the edges my white band from rubbing against dark blue jeans. It did wash off initially but It's getting harder to do so and I even wear the apple watch into the shower on a regular basis. I also scratched my sport's screen and I'm pretty sure it came from my car door when I brushed against it while getting in. Apparently I flail more than I thought. I'm supposed to get my black sport band on Monday, so I'm not worried about the white band since I'm probably not going to wear it much. But I'm very tempted to get a milanese loop.
Excuse me while I clean up my drool, from hearing about all the cool things you guys are using your Apple Watches for. Mine is still "processing", and delivers May 29th-June11th. I guess that's what you get for ordering a 42mm Space Grey Sport with black band. I ordered the day pre-orders went live, though not at 3 am.
"I, for one, Super-DUPER lurve my Apple Watch. " said everyone who wanted to keep getting swag and invites to Apple stuff.
I keep reading about folks raving about the Utility face. It's nice to see most of the iMore folks prefer Modular, like me. Sent from the iMore App
Finally got mine today. I preorder 10 Minute after launch. So far I love it. Sent from the iMore App
Many glances and their associates apps are extremely slow and from time to time require a reset of the entire watch to work properly. I have also had Siri become totally unresponsive which has happened just once in the few weeks I have owned the watch. I am hoping OS updates as well as native Watch code help alleviate some of the above 3rd party app symptoms. Otherwise, when these apps work, they complement the native Apple functionality. Overall, I think the watch has become a great iPhone accessory. Sent from the iMore App
I'd have to say that the percentage of time I actually use a watch app has dropped to almost none. Beyond glances, this usually doesn't happen. And it's only a few glances at that just to have things tidy. I've had to tweak notifications and definitely go with VIP email. I'm still thinking of going with something outside of Apple's reminders but haven't had the time. Right now, it's ok. I don't think apps are the future with the watch. At least not as you think of them with iphone by opening and closing apps. Again, the 3rd party apps are more like half baked widgets and it's a shame to see people call them apps. It's all about notifications and quick responses or actions...if you call this an app then sure in terms of how you can respond or what quick actions you can take. Where this shines is the Watch always being on. Just in time notifications. Perpetual computing. Because most important things are pushed to your wrist, discreetly. It can change your whole way do doing things. Sure you can use your phone. But that's a periodic system. I don't have my phone out in my hand 24/7. It's on mute in my pocket most times. Now and then, I'd check phone. But you're basically checking what you've missed. That's the key. With the Watch, you don't miss. I've stuck with Milanese. It does pull hairs once in awhile but not a big deal. The loop's magnet's annoyed me as they rattled with movement. Didn't care for the rubber bands. The classic leather was ok. May get one again later if I had to get another band. Don't care for link bands. Back to the notifications part. Unless you're the type of person that lives their life around calendar, reminders, and don't want to miss certain things, I don't think the Watch is worthwhile. Is it worth the money? Easily. It's already paid for itself a few times over. Some examples: Getting notified of an investment reaching the price I wanted. A few key clients who I'm able to act on as I solve their problem quickly. A daughter picked up from school sick as I was able to be reached with no missed calls. Getting texts from wife pushed to wrist. Reminders on watch just as I need them. Getting a price alert that an item I wanted has a deal going on. I've seen a lot of "no one NEEDS this." Or my phone does all this. Well, if you want perpetual computing , you kinda do need it and nope, your phone can't do that unless you tape it to your wrist.
I'd have to say that the percentage of time I actually use a watch app has dropped to almost none. Beyond glances, this usually doesn't happen. And it's only a few glances at that just to have things tidy. I've had to tweak notifications and definitely go with VIP email. I'm still thinking of going with something outside of Apple's reminders but haven't had the time. Right now, it's ok. The 3rd party apps are more like half baked widgets and it's a shame to see people call them apps. It's all about notifications and quick responses or actions. I don't see me using the watch to summon an uber car. Or go through the airport with it. Or as a remote. Taking notes. Viewing yelp. Viewing maps (turned this off). These things are much better and quicker on the phone. Now if you could be prompted to do something...say a screen comes on watch when you get in contact with something else. Or able to say "hey siri, start my car." That seems far off. If you have to open an app to do this, and spend a few seconds tapping your watch, then you may as well have pulled the phone out. Where this shines is the Watch always being on. Just in time notifications. Perpetual computing. Because most important things are pushed to your wrist, discreetly. It can change your whole way do doing things. Sure you can use your phone. But that's a periodic system. I don't have my phone out in my hand 24/7. It's on mute in my pocket most times. Now and then, I'd check phone. But you're basically checking what you've missed. That's the key. With the Watch, you don't miss. I've stuck with Milanese. It does pull hairs once in awhile but not a big deal. The loop's magnet's annoyed me as they rattled with movement. Didn't care for the rubber bands. The classic leather was ok. May get one again later if I had to get another band. Don't care for link bands. Back to the notifications part. Unless you're the type of person that lives their life around calendar, reminders, and don't want to miss certain things, I don't think the Watch is worthwhile. Is it worth the money? Easily. It's already paid for itself a few times over. Some examples: Getting notified of an investment reaching the price I wanted. A few key clients who I'm able to act on as I solve their problem quickly. A daughter picked up from school sick as I was able to be reached with no missed calls. Getting texts from wife pushed to wrist. Reminders on watch just as I need them. Getting a price alert that an item I wanted has a deal going on. This list could go on.. I've seen a lot of "no one NEEDS this." Or my phone does all this. Well, if you want perpetual computing , you kinda do need it and nope, your phone can't do that unless you tape it to your wrist.
It seems everybody is happy with the Apple watch. Eagerly waiting for it's launch in my country.
Like I stated in another post I returned mine along with 7 other people in line. The ones I spoke with felt it was just not what they expected and they were able to get same info from their phone which was either in their hand or hip pocket, just as accessible one stated.
Little over a 2 years ago our company moved from BB to iPhones, against wishes of IT, due to the uncertainty of the BB as company. Since then those that made the decision know now they have just been feeding the machine and got caught up in all the hype using iPhone as an enterprise level device. Lot of employees love it but mostly for the personal apps and uses.
iMore was a place I would always go weekly to get tips on how I could better use my iPhone for work and I received some good info that was beneficial. But since the iPhone 6 arrived and now the Watch, it just seems the site should be named iMore Watch or iWatch or something. When the devices reach EOL, and most are there, we hear they will be moving to something more compatible with a work environment.
Yea, all the Apple publications have to spend a lot of time on the Watch now, I suppose, because it's the new thing. IMO, it's the most irrelevant product Apple has ever produced, but I guess we'll see once all the buzz has worn off. While I love gadgets and Apple products (and have owned nearly every one over the years), I've been seriously trying to think of some reason to want a Watch.... nada... nothing.
I've never worn a watch and don't plan on it - not even the Apple Watch, but that doesn't drive me to think that it's the "most irrelevant product Apple has ever produced." Having an open mind allows one to think that there might actually be a lot of people who might find such a device useful. Especially those that value the convenience of not needing their phone in their hand all the time. If it's not for you, then it's not for you. So what? The articles are clearly being written for those that are interested; you're not obligated to read them or even post a response. Convenience is subjective; did we really need an iPod? No, we had portable radios and cassette/disc players. But the convenience of having so much music in your pocket made the device desirable to a lot of people. Do we really need to be tethered to the rest of the world every moment of our lives? No, but the convenience of being able to stay in touch and communicate whenever we wanted was extremely important to a lot of people. It's the same with the watch. Not needing to look at your phone every other second and being more "present" within your environment is very important to a lot of people, especially when those people interact with other humans more often than not.
Agreed... using the Watch as some kind of attempt to more subtly check your notifications instead of the drudgery of dragging out the phone DOES seem to be the use-case for the Apple Watch. And, you're right that that is something. However, I'm not seeing how that doesn't still make it the most irrelevant product Apple has ever produced. Can you think of another? And, I also agree there might be a lot of people who are so distracted by their phones that they can't function socially who might see this as a solution. I'm not sure it's going to help, but they can try, I guess.... If they succeed, maybe it will sell better than I think. However, I don't think that's the core of the problem, so once people figure that out, it might not sell nearly as well any longer. (If you're looking at your phone or watch every-other-second... you've got a bigger problem!) re: iPod - no, we didn't *need* and iPod. We don't need iPads either, or laptops or desktops, or even electricity. Some of those, though, are sure nice to have. Maybe a watch is nice to have too, for some, but I just don't see it on any bigger scale. My argument isn't with the idea that it's a cool tech device, possibly with future potential. My argument is with the idea portrayed in all these 'review' articles around the web that the Watch is this greatest thing since sliced bread that once you use one, you won't know how you got along without it. That's either A) tech gadget naivety... or B) promotional baloney.
It's a brand new device and everyone is still new to it - and some are still trying to decide if they want one - so of course, Apple-centric sites are going to write up more articles about it. That's the nature of things. The same thing happens whenever a new product comes out. I'd also like to point out, there's a navigation bar at the top of the site that takes you to articles about the device you're most interested in. Don't you also find it amusing that most of the positive articles about the watch are from those that have actually given themselves time to allow the device to slip into their lives, and many of the negative articles are from those who did not? This tells me that it's a device that needs the time to become habit forming, once that happens most find it difficult not to have it on their wrist. Comments such as, "it doesn't do anything my phone already does." simply demonstrates that convenience is not as valuable to you as those who find it useful. I'd also like to point out that there is no such thing as a device that's the right device for everyone. It sounds like you got caught up in the hype over something you clearly did not need. Which would leave me to believe that it's not the device that's the problem, but your inability to make informed purchasing decisions.
After 10 days with the 42mm stainless version, I have decided to return my Apple Watch. The fitness capabilities fall short of my $200 Fitbit HR. I cannot justify $600 when it does not meet my expectations. Calorie count is still off after the update. Heart rate monitoring is intermittent since the update. Perhaps the next version will draw me back in.
Diet is much more critical than exercise in the big picture, and calorie tracking is a waste of time. Unless the Watch were just a matter of challenging yourself to beat some previous metric, there isn't much need for such tracking.
I don't know, 3 1/2 weeks and there are already face scratches. Makes me nervous to see what they will look like in 1-2 years when we are ready to upgrade.
I didn't see anything about sending your Heart Beat? Did this turn out to be a gimmick after all?
Loving my watch since it arrived on the 24th. Started with a 38 mm Sport and have since upgraded to a 42 mm SS with milanese loop. Basically used my GFs watch until my birthday present arrived. ;-) Most people want a demo once they see I'm wearing one. We don't have an Store here in S. Texas so most don't have an opportunity to play with one. I usualy show them the activity app and notifications w/ Siri to respond. What do you use to show off the watch? //
Rene, how do you control the TV from the watch? I don't see the remote app having a watch app. TIA! Sent from the iMore App
I too find that people often want a demo when they notice the watch. I read an iMore article that highlights the Siri features. I think I'll try that next time I'm asked. I tend to explain how it's helpful for navigating with Maps, and also how I can tell Siri to call my child and talk through the watch when I'm on the go using the phone is less convenient.
I've had mine about 2weeks. 42 Blue sport. It's ok but I feel it's kinda missing something. Changing bands is great, I've found that using the remote for Apple TV , playing & controlling music, Unlocking my Mac all very helpful. Maybe because it's primary function is to complement your iPhone usage it's working away and I'm not really noticing it.
Great 1st Gen. Looking forward to the next 12-18 months Sent from the iMore App
IanRip, Now you're just teasing me. Can someone please shine a light on how to control my TV from the watch? Sent from the iMore App
it's one of the built in apps and It looks like a blue and white play button. It's on this list of apple apps: https://www.apple.com/ca/watch/#mn_p
Yes, thank you. I figured it out soon after posting this.
I should've paid more attention to the full exhaustive review by iMore. Props! Sent from the iMore App
Test Sent from the iMore App
It's built in, but you won't find it on the iPhone watch app?, you can't add it to glances yet.
But trust me it's there Sent from the iMore App
Thanks. Somehow I missed it. Sent from the iMore App
I'm still waiting for Peter's take on this Rene just talks shit most of the time nowadays...
Heh, yea, I think the term is advertorial. And, it's a HUGE problem with journalism in general these days. That said, I'm not sure I'd agree Rene is particularly guilty... but I agree some are better than others.
Excellent article. I've had my Apple Watch for about 3 weeks, and I've been looking for commentary like this. It's why I've been an iMore reader for years. Great job, and Thank You for all the Apple Watch articles. Please keep them coming. I don't understand why people feel compelled to complain. No one has to read them if they're not interested.
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