Apple Watch owners' first impressions; what were yours?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by BarracksSi, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. BarracksSi Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #1
    I've had my SS Apple Watch for almost exactly 48 hours as of this writing. What were YOUR first impressions?

    Let's get to it:

    It's not as convenient to read as my regular watches, namely my Citizen and Seiko 009, early in the morning. I've taken to wearing a watch with good lume into bed so I can see what time it is between alarms from my phone. The Apple Watch is on the charger, of course.

    The AW is also impossible for me to read if I have to carry my coffee in my left hand. Only my G-Shock, even with its automatic turn-to-activate backlight, is similarly difficult during my predawn walking commute.

    I got to answer a couple texts via the Watch while walking in this morning, which was pretty awesome. I can imagine doing this often. I used a canned "OK" response and dictated another, and it worked well.

    Somehow, though, I missed my wife's text asking if I could pick up some bread on the way home. I've said before that this would be a perfect AW scenario, but I missed this first opportunity. Not sure yet if it was user error or an app problem.

    Dictation can be rough in a noisy downtown environment. Between work trucks, buses, and a demolition site, I couldn't be bothered to try saying anything to the Watch.

    Apple Pay is awesome. I have a 5S, so I never got to try it until yesterday.

    The Taptic Engine is the bee's knees.

    I had the Watch give me directions while driving and while walking. How it taps for direction changes is cool: tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap for right turn, tap-tap..tap-tap..tap-tap for left. It also nudges gently when I should just go straight/not take an exit. Now that I think about it, this is how my wife and I communicate while we're walking and holding hands; changing direction or stepping off for a green light, we tap each other with our fingers. It's kinda weird that they've made the Watch also do this… but somehow natural and cool.

    Third-party app writers are confused. Give them a year or two to figure out the best use for a Watch app, or if they should bother building one. I let mine configure itself with every compatible app, tried them all out, then uninstalled half of them. I had several camera apps, for example, then removed them because the native Apple camera remote was smoother, cleaner, and launched the iPhone camera from the Watch; the others required me (for now) to go to the phone and launch their parent apps.

    News apps are hit-or-miss. Right now, I'm keeping the AP and NYT apps, and uninstalled the Washington Post and Flipboard apps. Look for your preferred balance between short headlines and just enough reading material. Hopefully, local news outlets are paying attention and will write their own AW apps.

    The music controller is slick. We were having dessert, and I made my iPhone magically start playing. I'll set it up with our Apple TV later.

    The Activity app, as I see it, is just a starter fitness app. I added (but haven't yet used) a couple 7-minute workout apps, and I've also got the Under Armour Record app waiting for my next workout. I don't plan to use MapMyRide or several other common fitness apps. I don't mind Activity being so basic, then, because if it were configurable to everyone's tastes, it would be way too complicated. My Garmin was complicated, and I want to get away from it.

    (still, I think I need to adjust my Activity goals, because yesterday I filled all three circles, one three times around; I fear the day when I switch to a job which is so inactive that filling these circles would be a challenge)

    The included faces are all beautiful, and plenty are configurable. I spent the first day using Astronomy, and have settled into Simple and Utility most of the time. It'll take some design geniuses to come up with third-party faces that look any nicer than these. (most of the examples I've seen in Android Wear are just horrid, to put it mildly)

    The Sport band is very comfy for me. I'm using the S/M size on my 170-175mm wrist, and I've got it on the second-largest hole. But, it's just a smidge loose, and the Watch has prompted me for the passcode a couple times today. One notch smaller is too snug to be long-term comfortable.

    I've got one game on it, and it's "Rules!" It's a little sequential tapping game, and perfect for half a minute on the tiny screen. I wouldn't ever consider a big title like Gears Of War.

    Speaking of "half a minute":

    Drill this into every app writer's brain:
    SHORTER INTERACTIONS ARE GOOD. LONGER SUCKS.
    It's really weird to hold my arm at this angle for much longer than ten or twenty seconds. I didn't think about my personal limit until I tried reading an entire news story. It sucks. Forget videos or scrolling through a Facebook feed.

    Battery life was enough for me on my first full day. Starting at 0530-ish, it finally hit 10% at 2300, and that was with frequent fiddling and three workout sessions. I'll bet I can stretch it a lot longer if I switch it to airplane mode when my phone is out of range.

    Final verdict? Are you kidding? I've only had it for two days. I'll use it all this week, take it off for a day or two, and see if I miss it. Then I'll put it back on.

    Now, if you're cool with taking care of short, important tasks via your wrist, and leaving out other common mobile activities (such as posting on web forums… ahem), you might enjoy an Apple Watch. But if not, then you don't need one. You could probably try a friend's AW if you're not sure; un-pairing the Watch and pairing to your iPhone can be done over a lunch break.

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  2. Rok73 macrumors 65816

    Rok73

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
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    #2
    TL;DR

    Also, you're late to the show. There are lots of first impressions threads. Use the search function, please.
     
  3. BarracksSi thread starter Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #3
    Sorry, kinda forgot that I wasn't on WatchUSeek. Apple Watches are treated like fourth-class objects there and nobody's posted much of anything there.
     
  4. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #4
    Pretty much my first impressions when I got mine. It takes some initial adjustment, so if I ever convinced my parents to get one I would probably get "HELP HOW DO YOU DO THIS?" calls 24/7. I still haven't figured out to do the little drawings they showed in the unveiling or how to share your heartbeat.

    Some app developers are figuring it out. Some aren't. I like how Wink has added just your shortcuts to the app instead of going for more. But then I haven't figured out Hulu's app that is supposed to control the app on another device. What f@%#ing good is that? It doesn't seem to work on the Apple TV Hulu app, so I don't see the point.
     
  5. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #5
    I was and am still somewhat disappointed in the fitness aspects of the Apple watch. Comparing it to my Surge hardware and it's app, the Apple watch has a way to go. Hope Apple will work on the Health App as it needs a big refresh.
     
  6. BarracksSi thread starter Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #6
    I think you can only use those if the recipient also has an Apple Watch. I can send taps and sketches to my coworker who has a Watch, but I can't send them to my wife who doesn't have one. Apple's iMessage system is so integrated, it knows which devices are available to each messaging account.

    I can send my wife animated emojis, though. But, I think those can only go to other iMessage users (iOS, Mac) along with Watch users. I don't think they can go to other phone OSes (but I haven't tried yet).
     
  7. redman042 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #7
    Great post. I don't mind that you started a new thread because you did a good job writing up your impressions. If you posted to an existing thread, I would have had to weed through a lot of short, poorly justified impressions to get to yours (and may have never made it that far).

    Your impressions mostly mirrored mine after a few days. I've now had my 42mm SS with Leather Loop for two months and am enjoying it thoroughly. The greatest appeal for me is that it looks great, feels great, is nice to have the time and date on my wrist again after all these years, and most importantly it gives me a super easy way to field notifications, alarms, and messages without pulling out my phone or getting up and walking over to the counter to get my phone at home. I get a lot of phone alerts, so this is a big asset to me. It's not necessary, but it's convenient, and it feels futuristic. I also like using "hey Siri" to quickly set a timer while cooking, or a reminder while driving.

    Also, the taptic engine simply rocks (with one qualifier). Not having my iPhone ring and buzz at me all day is great for my blood pressure. The qualifier is that I don't always feel the taptic alerts. I have gone back and forth between regular and Prominent haptics. Prominent haptics are rarely missed, but feel slightly "overboard". Regular haptics work most of the time for me, but not 100%. I have a SS watch which is a bit heavier than the Sport, and this causes some dampening in the haptics. Hoping OS 2 allows deeper tweaking of haptic strength and pattern to find a better balance. But the whole idea of a tap on the wrist alert is so fresh and innovative that I'm still thrilled with it overall.

    Generally I use third party apps very little, and I mostly avoid any activities that involve holding my wrist up for a long time and reading. Microsoft just released a watch version of the Outlook app, and while it's nicely done, the whole idea of reading and acting upon emails on the watch just doesn't feel right to me. I'll do it occasionally, say during a meeting while my arm is resting on the table, but rarely otherwise. So, I completely agree with your comments that glances are better, and third party apps are marginal.

    I am very much looking forward to Watch OS 2.0. The current version is great for some things (thankfully, the most important things) but 'beta' for some other things. That's okay with me - I know more good things are coming.
     
  8. profmatt macrumors 65816

    profmatt

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    This kind of post really gets on my t*ts.

    The OP has taken the time to put down considered, helpful, interesting thoughts and the best you've got to contribute is to appoint yourself a forum policeman and give him a ticking off. (Whoops. What am I doing right now?)

    I really see no problem with fresh threads like this. Keeps the forums lively.

    Thank you OP for your post.
     
  9. BarracksSi thread starter Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #9
    Hey, no sweat.

    I've been wondering, how many AW/smartwatch/fitness band users are regular watch wearers? Has an informal poll already been done?

    Word was that wristwatch sales, especially at the low end populated by simple utility watches, took a major hit in the late 1990's-early 2000's when cell phones became widely popular. I stopped wearing a watch myself for several years, and I didn't start again until we began discouraging carrying our phones at work (seriously, we don't need them, and playing around on smartphones was becoming a distraction).

    I got back into watches just a few years ago and now have a stash of seven "dumb" watches to choose from. I have to admit that I approached the AW with some trepidation.

    I've got just a few more parts of my normal routine to try where I think it'll be useful, and maybe some more which I haven't thought of. I'm already wondering when I'll wear the other watches.
     
  10. redman042 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    #10
    In my case I haven't worn a watch for 25 years. As soon as I started carrying a flip phone, the watch was gone. I liked having nothing strapped to my wrist.

    What brought me back wasn't the ability to tell the time. It was all the other stuff. By the time the Apple Watch was released, I had grown fully dependent on using my iPhone to remind me of a dozen todos every day, including critical alerts, plus a lot of back and forth messaging. The iPhone keeps me much more on top of things, but I've grown to hate all the alerts and reminders too. Seems like I can't have a moment's rest (I'm in a leadership position in my company and I have a wife and a seven year old, so life is busy in general). The Apple Watch gave me a much lower stress way to receive and manage those alerts.

    Telling the time on my wrist is icing on the cake, really. But for watch enthusiasts, the Apple Watch is a tough sell, because they see watches as jewelry, they expect the battery to last an eternity, and they want to be able to shift their eyes to see the time without a deliberate flick of the wrist and slight delay for the display to wake up. Even people who just wear digital watches expect most of those things (maybe not the fashion part). So for those people it's a different animal.

    That's why I tell people who ask me if the Watch is a good buy: it all depends on you. It takes some soul searching about your specific use cases to know for sure, and even then you won't be sure until you spend a week with it. Thankfully there's a generous return policy.
     
  11. sean000 macrumors 6502a

    sean000

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2015
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    #11
    I had not worn a watch since some time in the mid-to-late 1990's, but I have been a longtime personal digital assistant user since the Palm IIIx and an iPhone user since the 3G (before that I had a couple of different Blackberry models through work). After some 15 years of carrying either a PDA + dumb cell phone or a smartphone, something I got tired of was pulling the PDA or smartphone out of my bag, backpack or pocket to just get a quick bit of information like the time of day, date, to check my calendar, or to quickly check a note or a list. You also pull it out when you get a reminder. You do that over and over throughout the day and it becomes annoying... even if you keep your device in your pocket (I usually keep mine in the pocket of the bag or backpack I'm carrying that day... or in a jacket pocket).

    So I have been waiting for something like the Apple watch for a long time. I already knew a lot about it by the time I visited an Apple store, because I had read a lot of reviews and messages on forums like this one. I think there were so many somewhat negative early reviews because so many journalists/bloggers reviewed the watch just to because it was a new device with a lot of buzz. This meant that a lot of people reviewed the watch even though they had no desire for such a device, so of course many of them could not see the point. I took these reviews with a grain of salt, but they still influenced my expectations. I purchased the Apple Watch expecting something that was slow, buggy and clumsy. Since I'm in the tech industry, I'm used to being an early adopter and dealing with some issues until the product matures. To my delight the Apple Watch exceeded my expectations from Day One. It was fast and responsive when it came to native apps, and even many of the third party apps are not as slow to update as some reviews would have you believe. Fantastical is really quick for me. I am able to get a lot of information more quickly and conveniently than I get it from my iPhone. Haptics are brilliant and now my iPhone is completely silent unless I want it to make sound. Notifications have been very reliable for me since I bought the watch a few weeks ago. If I do miss (or ignore) a notification, the red dot will be there. Siri has been unexpectedly useful on the watch, and reading/replying to text messages is much easier than more useful than I expected.

    Yes there are a few things I look forward to Apple adding or improving, but I am extremely satisfied with how the watch performs in its current state.

    Sean
     
  12. Rok73 macrumors 65816

    Rok73

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2015
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    Planet Earth
    #12
    Forum police? I just stated my opinion and so did you.

    If people would browse the forums a bit (what I am actually doing) before posting about the same topic over and over again the forum would stay much more overseeable. Interesting threads and topics would be easier to find. I can't see anything bad in that.
     
  13. sean000 macrumors 6502a

    sean000

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2015
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA
    #13
    I'm kind of interested to see what more people think once the novelty wears off. I know some people have returned the watch within the 14 day trial period, but that's well before the novelty wears off. They just decided they didn't like it. I'm thinking more about 6 months in.

    I'm approaching the start of my second month with the watch. The novelty factor is still there, but not like it was the first week or two. I'm getting to the point when it feels like a normal part of my wardrobe and routine. I don't think about it as much. It's just as useful to me as ever, but now I'm used to the conveniences. I did think about it half an hour ago because my wife texted me with a question while she was out on an errand. I was upstairs putting away the kids' laundry while my iPhone was downstairs where I drop my wallet and keys off when I come home. I got the text on my watch when I otherwise would have missed it completely. I replied using Siri to dictate to text. Siri got a couple of words wrong, but the message still conveyed what was intended...the words Siri got wrong were kind of funny but still understandable given the context. My wife texted me back with, "Are you texting me from your watch?" I replied and said, "Yes. That's the only reason I got your text at all." Siri nailed the second response without any typos, and I went back to the laundry. Pretty cool, so yeah...I guess the novelty hasn't worn off for me just yet.

    Sean
     
  14. BarracksSi thread starter Suspended

    BarracksSi

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    #14
    I've been reading opinions of people who've returned theirs, too, and half of their complaints look like they'll be addressed with the OS 2 update. I'm fine with that. I'm also using the Watch away from the phone often enough to find out what it won't do, so maybe I'll get a good handle on what native apps I want to use.

    The novelty is still there for me, too, but I'm consciously trying to use it as intended, especially for replying to and dismissing messages. I started my own transition to dictation via the phone a few weeks ago, so it's not completely foreign to me. But, it's nicer on the watch.
     
  15. iBlazed macrumors 68000

    iBlazed

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Location:
    New Jersey, United States
    #15
    Get tapatalk on your iPhone, it doesn't have a companion Watch app but you can still get forum notifications pushed to your Watch from it. I set it to push quote notifications and if someone posts to a subscribed thread. A lot of people don't realize that an iPhone app doesn't have to have a companion Watch app in order to push useful notifications to the Watch.
     

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