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A Tale of Two Watches- Part II- Watch & Learn

June 17,2015

Scott’s dupe of Daniel into buying him an Apple Watch (see intro blog post to this series) is now fully realized - both Scott and Daniel are now proud new owners of the device. The twosome discuss their initial experiences with the product below; whereby Daniel’s feedback is based on a few more days of experience, having received it first (on account of his pull at the factories in China, according to Scott).

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Daniel

And the verdict is…

Awesome.

With the caveat that it’s only awesome if you are expecting not-super-awesome.

So, those of you expecting to not be wowed, you’re likely to be wowed (though it’s possible I just ruined it for you by screwing with your expectations).

Bottom line is that I’m very happy to have it and very comfortable wearing it.

Somebody asked me the other day what I do most with my new Apple Watch. The clear answer…check the time. But there’s plenty of other fun and productive stuff beyond the obvious. A week in, here are my highlights and lowlights:

Highlights:

It’s much easier to figure out and get used to than the chatter indicated. It takes a little experimentation, but all the controls are pretty intuitive and you’re not going to ruin anything while playing around.

The customization of the watch face is very cool, both in terms of achieving a look that represents you and simplifying access to the tools and information most important to you. The watch allows you to define which four “widgets” (pretty sure I just applied an Android term to an Apple product) you want showing on your watch face. I have chosen date (which lets me access my daily calendar with one touch), temperature (which lets me access today’s weather forecast with one touch), the activity app (which lets me bemoan my life as a sedentary businessperson with one touch) and sunrise / sunset information (which is a nice feature for Jews like me who actually need that info daily).

It’s extremely comfortable to wear. I was worried about the weight and size, but it doesn’t get in the way at all. Other watches I owned in the past were more obtrusive than this one.

The notifications, of course, are awesome. With a ding or a haptic tap on the wrist, I know something is coming in that I might have missed with my phone in my pocket. Best tip regarding notifications: By assigning VIP contacts on your iPhone, you can limit email notifications on your wrist to just those people who are most important. Otherwise, you might ding incessantly and render the notifications feature useless.

Loved buying a Starbucks with the scan of my watch!

Lowlights:

Using the watch to control my music when I run – the element I was most excited about – sucks. The “playing now” screen doesn’t stay active during the run so you have to navigate to it on the move, and controlling a touch screen with sweaty hands isn’t easy.

The mapping and directions aspect of the watch is useless to me without a Waze app. No way I’m going to rely on Apple Maps to get me from here to there and risk losing the 2 minutes Waze could have saved me. Still pulling out my iPhone for that one.

I should be able to silence my Watch with a single touch of something, or at least with Siri. I can’t.

The App assortment seems overall weak and under-developed, something that time will cure.

For the compulsive among us, the progressive smudging of the watch face from one’s natural finger oils can cause a pervasive sense of internal discord. However, I’ve solved that here.

That’s all for now as far as first impressions. And now a small digression… I’ll end by saying the path to connected watch ubiquity is clear to me and I’m glad I’m not in the business of selling traditional time pieces. The earliest generation of these devices are already useful enough and, more importantly, the wrist as real estate is so choice (in terms of access to one’s pulse and availability to the eyes and other hand), there is no chance it can be squandered in the future as merely a place to showcase the time.

Scott

And the verdict is…

Awesome. (Plagiarizing Daniel, but totally agree.)

I’m actually pretty surprised at how fluidly it integrated into my life from the moment I paired it and slipped it on.

Here are some highlights & lowlights of my experience so far.

Highlights:

This really is a beautiful piece of jewelry that feels and looks elegant, well-made, and still subtle enough where it’s not the first thing someone sees when looking at you. I have, though, been cognizant of my wardrobe choices so that it fits in with my outfit of the day. I’m very fashion-conscious, so that was a big deal for me. My opinion is that it looks best with a simple outfit, preferably black. You can never really go wrong with a black outfit, unless it’s a thousand degrees outside and the humidity is at a million percent like it has been this past week.

In contrast to Daniel, I really loved the mapping experience. I have one of the worst senses of direction known to man, so I rely on robot voices to tell me exactly where to go (even if sometimes they lead you the wrong way down the occasional one way street). Feeling the tap on your wrist and just glancing at that for my next turn was a big difference from having to look down into my cupholder where my phone usually is resting.

LOVE the Mickey Mouse face. Enough said.

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The text messaging is great. The haptic touch is not annoying (and I reallllllllly thought it was going to be annoying, especially since I have no vibrations on my iPhone for anything because it annoys the hell out of me) My dad got the apple watch as well, so it was cool sending our heartbeats back and forth to each other, but I do feel like that’s just a little fun feature for the first couple weeks wearing it, and eventually that’ll get old.

Yes, the apps are still underdeveloped, but I know this is generation one of apple watch. With that said, I’m pretty impressed for a first generation product of this kind at how easy the watch is to navigate to quickly get to weather, CNN updates, or my calendar.

So as a recap: I’m really impressed with it and already feel like I can’t live without it. With that said, I am part of the Apple cult and get very attached to their products. I took it off when I went swimming and I had the feeling of “missing it” on my wrist.

Lowlights:

I absolutely love this white fluoroelastomer (or if you’re a normal person you can just say rubber) band. It’s super comfortable and these sport bands are relatively inexpensive. I just need and want a ton of different band options at reasonably prices. Right now, any band other than the rubber sport bands start at $150. I did, though, find some other companies selling Apple Watch bands in a variety of colors and patterns. I’ll buy a few to try them out, but would really like apple to offer more bands at lower prices.

Watch faces. Not enough. Okay, yes, I love the Mickey face, but other than that the rest seem generic, or a one-trick pony face that gets old quick (jellyfish, flowers, butterflies). I think the jellyfish face is super cool, but I got bored with it really quick. I’d like a variety of even more modern or creative watch faces, but I’m confident they will come around eventually. Here’s a look at the jellyfish face.

Overall I love it. I actually love it so much that I have to grieve for the fate of some of my beautiful Diesel watches that I treasure. I’m sure there will be nights that I go out where I slip on one of my other watches (you know, the ones where the batteries are dead and they are only a fashion accessory). But I can tell you this – so far I’ve wanted this thing on my wrist since the second I put it on. It’s not so intrusive that it interrupts your life; it fluidly integrated itself without being as annoying or obstructive as I originally thought it would be.

Bravo, Apple.

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