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Apple Watch Newbie Initial Reactions

Canyda

macrumors regular
Sep 7, 2020
167
175
I should add to my initial observations bit that I ordered my S6 with one of the velcro nylon sport loops and it's remarkably comfortable and soft. I'm very impressed.
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G4
Jun 14, 2010
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I should add to my initial observations bit that I ordered my S6 with one of the velcro nylon sport loops and it's remarkably comfortable and soft. I'm very impressed.

That's my favorite "casual" band. Also quick drying after a post-workout rinse.

I've been please with how well they hold up over time too.
 
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JulianL

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 2, 2010
1,305
274
London, UK
Also got an S6 as my first Apple Watch. While I still think it's mainly a toy and objectively a waste of money, I have to admit it does everything in an excellent way, so I'll keep it. Definitely wouldn't buy one if I were on a tight budget, but I can afford it and those health and fitness features are simply amazing. ...

The biggest drawback is the battery life. Technology has involved in an amazing way, but battery life did not. ... My dumbphone of that time lasted me a week on a single charge, my iPhone needs to recharge every day....

On the iPhone, since iOS 14 we can finally hide apps without deleting them. They should really have this on the Apple Watch as well, where it would be even more useful than on the iPhone in my opinion.
I strongly agree with all of that (and I don't do orienteering so am indifferent about the compass but agree that it's cool to have so much stuff included).

On the toy/waste-of-money thing I already made a passing reference to my "initial scepticism" but I'll come clean and be more explicit. I picked up my watch from an Apple store on Monday afternoon but didn't get a chance to unbox it and start playing with it until about 6pm that evening. I played with it pretty much constantly until about midnight and I admit that I went to bed that Monday evening thinking that my use case just wasn't strong enough to justify the cost even of downgrading to a basic aluminium one and that I would return it. Then on Tuesday I played (incessantly!) with it some more and I can identify a number of things that happened that day, not necessarily in any order of importance...

1 - Many more notifications came in on my wrist and I began to get hooked on the admittedly very minor but still satisfying convenience of not having to get my phone out to see them.

2 - I used it for the first time for one of the things I actually bought it for. I've been using Applepay for at least 99.99% of my in-person (as opposed to internet) purchases for a number of years now, I never use cash and only ever need to get out a physical credit card once or twice a year at most and sometimes never, but with the recent world situation it has been a bit frustrating to have FaceID verification fail every time and have to type in my passcode because I'm wearing a mask. One of my reasons for buying my S6 was so that I could use that for my ApplePay authorisations and it works perfectly with no additional payment steps required apart from the double-click on the side button.

3 - I began to realise how extensive the fitness functionality is. When I went out for a walk it even alerted me 5 minutes in to say "It looks as if you're doing an outside walk, do you want to start an Outdoor Walk workout?". Just amazing. Even the hand washing, standing up and deep breathing reminders add just a little bit of extra rigour and I'm sure health benefits into my life plus the flashier features like the EGC, blood ox and activity rings. And the metrics it pulls up in the iPhone health app! Heart rate variability, double support time and walking asymmetry were all new and interesting to me and as someone with a back problem probably the latter two genuinely useful to monitor now and again for changes.

4 - I started getting more familiar with setting up my watch faces and learned that I could swipe left and right across multiple faces so I started finding the user interface less restrictive.

By the end of Tuesday I was hooked and by Wednesday I was raving about my experiences here. I find it interesting how I went from "I'm probably going to return it for a refund" to raving about it to friends and even online to strangers within 48 hours. I'm not sure I've every had that complete and rapid a change of opinion about any product before.

Re battery life - I hear you! That is the one area where we've had so many false starts, innovations that promise doubling or tripling of charge density but turn out to be impractical or too expensive to manufacture in volume and/or degrade too quickly so can't handle enough charge/discharge cycles. As well as a dumb phone my first personal device was a Palm Pilot (a Palm V) which I actually used a lot like my iPhone. I used to read ebooks on it, take notes on it, and use it for my calendar, contacts, simple spreadsheets, tracking expenses etc. It didn't have any connectivity (it needed to be synced with a PC to get data on and off) and the screen was monochrome without even a backlight, but it gave me about 5 days of fairly heavy use between charges. I think it's my old experiences with that device which is why I'm so obsessed with battery life on my iPhone. If anyone were to stalk me here by looking at my old posts they'd find that a large proportion of them of them are related to iPhone battery life in some way or another!

Re hiding apps. Absolutely, and I agree that if anything it is more important on the Watch than the iPhone (although of course very welcome on the iPhone).

One final point, actually on your compass observation. I did at one point set up a screen which had the compass as its central element that might be of interest to you. I set up a "Infograph Modular" watch face, not as my main watch face but as an extra swipe-left page, where I put the compass as the full-width middle complication and elevation as the top left complication. That then left me the three bottom left/middle/right complications to use as buttons to launch other apps that I felt fitted in with that orientation/navigation/hiking theme such as Maps, Activity, Weather etc. I thought that the compass complication and the rest of the page looked really good when set up that way, a sort of single page navigation dashboard. You might want to give it a go if you haven't already come up with something better yourself.
 
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JulianL

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 2, 2010
1,305
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London, UK
Did you try the Infograph face? It allows up to 8 complications.

Infograph Modular has space for 5 complications, with the middle one being a info display.
Thanks Night Spring. I've already been playing with the Infograph and Infograph Modular faces quite extensively for my extra swipe-left/right launcher pages and they are what I've settled on but you're absolutely right to remind me of Infograph and it being in first place for number of complications, at 8 only 1 short of my fantasy 3 x 3 icon/customisation grid to allow me to emulate a mini iPhone home page screen. My problem with the Infograph face though is that I find the complications inside the watch face too cluttered to make me want it as my main screen, for that I find the far more minimalist Utility and California faces much more to my entirely personal and subjective taste, and for my swipe left/right pages having that great big clock face makes it feel less like a launcher page to me which puts me off a bit. Maybe I should try to get over that visual concern regarding using it for my launcher pages and focus on function rather than form because, as you point out, functionally it does get me the highest number of complications on a page of any of the faces. Thanks again for the suggestion.
 
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JulianL

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Feb 2, 2010
1,305
274
London, UK
Thanks to you too Canyda for the Infograph suggestion. See my reply just now to Night Spring regarding my entirely personal hang-ups there regarding that entirely functionally-correct suggestion.

I should add to my initial observations bit that I ordered my S6 with one of the velcro nylon sport loops and it's remarkably comfortable and soft. I'm very impressed.

Don't get me started on accessories :) . Finding the perfect watch strap, bedside table night stand and super-compact travel charger are some obsessions now coming into play after the first few days with my watch. I suspect other accessory hunts will emerge in due course although I'm not sure what accessories I might still have to buy short of discovering that collecting multiple straps is my thing. I suspect not though, frankly I'm too lazy to keep swapping straps over too often! Sometimes laziness can be an asset.
 
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naught@home

macrumors newbie
Jul 10, 2020
9
6
a Pacific island…
Don't get me started on accessories :) . Finding the perfect watch strap, bedside table night stand and super-compact travel charger are some obsessions now coming into play after the first few days with my watch. I suspect other accessory hunts will emerge in due course although I'm not sure what accessories I might still have to buy short of discovering that collecting multiple straps is my thing. I suspect not though, frankly I'm too lazy to keep swapping straps over too often! Sometimes laziness can be an asset.

When you start your accessory hunt in earnest, remember that fine leather bands are an investment. The Apple Watch is just an expense…

Have fun and try to stay out of the 'event horizon'… ;)
 
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Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
13,154
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My problem with the Infograph face though is that I find the complications inside the watch face too cluttered to make me want it as my main screen, for that I find the far more minimalist Utility and California faces much more to my entirely personal and subjective taste

What I do is have a simple face as my main face, but put the Infograph face next to it, so it's a swipe away, and use that for an app launcher.

I can also get obsessed with the visual aspects, I spent an obscene amount of time moving things around on my Infograph face to get it to look as balanced as possible. I'm pretty happy with how I got it to look, but in the end, I keep my watch on the simpler faces most of the time and just use the Infograph to launch apps. ;)
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G4
Jun 14, 2010
10,286
4,026
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Don't get me started on accessories :) . Finding the perfect watch strap, bedside table night stand and super-compact travel charger are some obsessions now coming into play after the first few days with my watch.

For travel I keep one of the 0.3m cord pucks in my travel charger/cords bag. Plugs into the multi port usb charger also kept in that bag with the other stuff.

I don’t need a stand for the watch, either home or traveling.

Personally I’d suggest going easy on buying stuff beyond necessities. You may find there’s a lot more stuff available than you actually need.
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G4
Jun 14, 2010
10,286
4,026
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What I do is have a simple face as my main face, but put the Infograph face next to it, so it's a swipe away, and use that for an app launcher.

One can also make two or three “copies” of a favorite face with different complications so you can easily swipe back and forth.
 
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