I guess as the techie of the family, it is only befitting that I should get the newly released Apple Watch as my birthday gift. :p Ok no, its also because I have a sweet husband who knows that I love gadgets especially Apple gadgets. Ironically I have been so busy that I haven’t really had the time to keep track or really read about Apple’s latest product. Which also meant that I only read about all of its functions for the first time, 2 days before the watch was delivered/gifted to me.
So now that the watch has been in my possession for slightly more than 12 hours, I will attempt to review this watch from the perspective of someone who has been using it for less than a day.
What are some of its better features that immediately ‘grabbed’ me within the first 24 hours? What are some of the features that could potentially come in very handy once I get the hang of the watch? And who knows maybe we will have a ‘longevity’ post in a couple of weeks or months on what are the features that I still find useful months down the road.
The Apple Watch was delivered in a solid brown box which looked like I would open it to find an Apple Strudel inside but well it weighed a ton so probably not. I opened it to find a nice white box (typical of the Apple packaging) that was longer than your 15cm ruler (ermm how long was this watch going to be). The watch came in a default M/L length with an additional strap (S/M length) which I later replaced.
To configure your watch, you just had to make sure that you had the Apple Watch app installed on your iphone, switch on wifi and Bluetooth and follow the instructions on your iPhone screen, easy peasy!! Setting up your notification preferences, favourite people to call, apps to appear on your watch etc was done very simply through the Apple Watch app.
Now that we have ascertain how easy it is to set up. Lets talk about what I think are some of my favourites features from a new user perspective.
I love how easy it is to customize the watch face. While I would admit that I have not fully explored this function. I have been able to change the look and feel of my watch just by switching between certain in-built options during my initial exploration.
I also later found out that I could further customize certain ‘parts’ of each chosen face eg. colour of the watch hand or whether I need the day to be indicated. A far cry from my first generation Pebble Watch which was definitely not as interactive and intuitive. I mean yes, this is an Apple watch after all and therefore as intuitive to use as an iPhone.
Health Tracker/ Pedometer
I love the Heart rate monitor (don’t ask me why I need it) well I just do! And also love the calorie counter/ pedometer and exercise tracker. I like that there are simple functions that are working in the background and reminding me when to stand up (if I have been sitting for too long) or how many steps I have taken. No need for a separate Up by Jawbone. Potentially I think the exercise tracker might come in very handy when I start using it for cycling trips but we shall have to wait and see if that feature will be easy, accurate and seamless to use.
Well yes I guess at the end of the day, this is supposed to be a watch after all. So yes I am super glad that I can tell the time and date with this but whats even more awesome is that I can tell the time of another city (all within the same view). Super useful during travels and when there is a time difference. I will no longer have to repeatedly check my handphone for the time difference because it is all on my wrist! Oh yes and not forgetting the weather too! Below is just one view of the weather page, tap and you will find the % possibility of rain and the temperature.
Yes, the calendar is going to be ultra ultra useful! Since my office calendar is synced to my iPhone and now synced to my calendar. I will get ‘buzzed’ 15 minutes before every scheduled appointment or class. I honestly think this is going to prove to be super handy for days when I am overwhelmed with classes and meetings.
The Apple Watch has Siri installed and allows you to read your SMSes and reply to them either by standard default messages or by dictating your message. I have yet to try out if this Siri is any better from the one on my iPhone or if there are less errors in understanding my dictated message. The one thing I have tried though is receiving a call through the Apple Watch. Personally I probably wouldn’t be using it in public because its just weird to have someone on ‘speaker’ and allowing the whole world to listen in on your conversation. However I would say it probably would come in handy when you need to pick up a call as you are driving. The volume and sensitivity seems pretty good so I’m sure it can pick up my voice even if my hands are on the steering wheel. Good if you don’t have an in-built mic and Bluetooth in your car or for days when you didn’t bother to hook it up.
Oh yes and no more missing calls while my handphone is in my handbag because now I would know that someone is calling me even if I don’t pick up the calls from my watch.
While the Apple Watch does not have an in-built camera (I heard that that’s in the works for the next generation?) but it is able to control your handphone camera. Think handphone on selfie stick and not needing a separate Bluetooth clicker device. I guess this has some potential especially for ‘professional’ selfie stick users but this family still needs some figuring out in that area. So some potential there but not sure if it would be that useful for us.
So my verdict or impression of the Apple Watch after using it for less than 24 hours? I would say pretty decent and it has far exceeded my expectations. Honestly I didn’t expect much from the watch, perhaps because I had owned a Pebble Watch earlier and was abit ‘disappointed’. But of course Apple is not Pebble and for a 1st generation Apple Watch, I say it ticks most of the boxes of what I would hope it could do. I’m still contemplating if I would like to ability to tap on it and perhaps the answer will be more apparent to me in a few weeks/ months time but for now I’m happy with my Apple Watch!
Ok going to play with my watch now..:)