My day with an Apple Watch

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by beanbaguk, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. beanbaguk macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2014
    My company gave me an Apple Watch today. Nice little gift to find on my desk I thought.

    So I spent the morning setting it up, updating it to Watch OS 2 and getting my apps on there.

    That took just under 3 hours (2 hours to download Watch OS 2!!!), but nevertheless, it was fairly straightforward.

    So my first impressions. Very fiddly. I was given the 38mm bezel which I found a bit small with a white sports strap. Hey it's free! I found the touch screen next to impossible to interact with. For example, the pass-code is almost impossible to enter with my big chunky fingers. I managed it but only after 2 or 3 failed attempts.

    I also found the digital crown very sensitive to use and quite frustrating. Again, chunky finger syndrome perhaps but it was not a great experience rolling past my selections and having to be ever-so-delicate with my choices!

    Using the apps was interesting. I liked my Barclays banking app. Having my balance at a glance was helpful but not exactly necessary.

    Messaging was useless. Getting short messages was frustrating as I couldn't reply. Selecting a smiley was a tedious process thanks to chunky fingers again, and while the functionality of Siri was excellent, I felt like Dick Tracey (the latter part more-so), talking into my wrist while walking about the office and into town at lunch.

    I then tried TuneIn Radio. I use this app all day long and it's my favourite thing since sliced bread. I launched the app and....oh, I have to launch it from my phone too. Well that's a bit pointless. I might as well just pick up my phone. Hmmmm.....

    And this was the case with most apps. Perhaps this will change with OS 2....

    Another mega flaw is the ability to not be able to simply glance at my wrist to check the time. Weirdly, I do this with a watch. It tends to be the core feature in these devices! ;) But not, I couldn't do this with the Apple Watch. A very positive flick of the wrist was needed to bring up the time and I found this annoying.

    So it's not been a great start with Apple Watch, but it's not over yet....

    I like running so the next test will be while running and using the watch as a sports device. Pretty expensive for this but lets see how well that works. The heart-rate monitor was great but I'll also pair up my Garmin chest strap to see how they compare.

    But there are already downsides in sight. I still need my iPhone for my music, so if I need that, what's wrong with my HR strap? If it measures my heart-rate, my iPhone will do the rest. Steps, music, GPS, etc....

    Put simply, there is still no "wow" factor yet with the Apple Watch.

    In the meantime, I'll put my mechanical watch back on my wrist. I know it doesn't read my message, have Siri, or give me my bank balance, but it does give me the time. When I want, however I want. And as an added bonus, it'll also measure time and it'll never run out of juice with it's very clever mechanical gibbons.

    For the rest of my stuff, I'll just pick up my iPhone.... :)
  2. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    Update really did take forever...

    I would ask for a replacement (or credit?) for a larger model. If you have big fingers you're going to be unhappy with the small one. Don't knock the Watch for this... it's just that you have the wrong size for you.

    The digital crown takes a bit to get used to it... but once you do you can get stuff done quickly

    This, again, is something to get used to. You learn what type of messages you can respond to quickly using the Watch and which ones to just pull out your phone for. Also: spend some time putting in custom quick responses (in the Watch app on your phone)... it helps a lot.

    Over time I have used my Watch more and more for messaging... and now rarely pull out my phone. But it does take time.

    What do you mean by "have to launch it from my phone too"? I've never seen an app where you had to do that... but I've never used TuneIn Radio. With WatchOS2's "native apps" you won't even need to have your phone with you to launch apps.

    You can also wake the watch by just touching the screen. Once you get used to this it's a very unobtrusive way to check the time.

    You don't need your phone with you to play music. Simply sync a playlist of running songs over to your Watch (you can sync up to 1GB) and use bluetooth headphones that are paired directly to your Watch. No more need to take your phone with you on a run!

    Don't give up on it yet. The "wow" factor in the Watch is how it integrates with everything you do... making many things quicker / simpler. There's no _one_ thing... it's the hundreds of tiny things that makes it worth it.

    Get a bigger one and give it a _real_ try of about two weeks and then you'll find out if it's worth having on your wrist.
  3. matrix07, Sep 22, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2015

    matrix07 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2010
    Most of the reviewers said they've come around once using the watch for some time (3-4 days), so if you want immediate impression you likely won't get it.

    And it sounds like you're kind of against it from the beginning so it's no surprised.
  4. Jakeycov macrumors member


    Jul 9, 2015
    Give it a chance. One day really isn't long enough I don't think to evaluate it properly. Try it for a week and then if no then no problem. Oh and just use touch ID to unlock it - once in the morning and that's it.
  5. beanbaguk thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2014
    I won't lie. I was quite against it from the start, but I am persisting....or at least I tried until the battery ran out which was quite annoying. I honestly barely used the phone. I messaged smiley faces to my wife a few times and tried our company's app on the phone, and I played around with the clock faces a little but the reality was, I barely used it as I had a ton of work to do.

    The updates were done while the watch was plugged in so the battery went from 100% at 12pm to just 7% by 6pm.

    I will continue trying when I get back to the office again tomorrow but I am struggling but unfortunately as one person suggested, I can't upgrade it to a bigger face as it was a company gift and it's already open. It is the only reason I have this watch as I would never have bought one before. (Perhaps my boss was teasing me???)

    Regarding the music, I use Spotify and I haven't worked out a way to sync music to the watch so the phone is still really needed. I also own a pair of £250 Shure SE425's so I'd rather not replace them with a pair of bluetooth phones. It just more expense I don't want.

    I genuinely will keep trying but I think I just prefer a traditional watch. It certainly won't replace what I have as I'd be putting aside £10,000 worth of watches if I did but maybe over time I can use it for exercise.

    I'll provide an update of day 2 tomorrow....
  6. beanbaguk thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2014
    Good tip on the touch ID. Stumpy finger here found that really irritating!!!! I will keep persisting but while I love my Apple products, I've always been sceptical of this from the start.

    On the other hand, I can't wait for my 6S and New Apple TV to arrive! :)
  7. friedmud macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    I use Spotify as well... so I know that pain. I expect a native Spotify app for the Watch soon now that watchOS 2 is out.

    One good thing is that your Watch CAN control Spotify while it's playing. This is super handy... both while running and around the house. I'll often use Airplay from my phone to my Apple TV to play Spotify at my house. And with the Watch I can leave my phone sitting in the living room while I walk around the house and do chores. Using the Watch I can skip forward and back... AND control the volume... which is really convenient.

    As for battery: The first day is always the hardest on the battery... both because the Watch is doing more (installing apps, etc.) and because you're doing more with the Watch (getting everything setup and playing with it since it's new!). Generally, my Watch battery has about 40% left on it when I go to bed at night now... and I use my Watch quite a bit (including running every day).
  8. beanbaguk thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2014
    Day two. The Apple Watch is back on my wrist again alongside my mechanical watch.

    Yes I look like a plonker but there's an elegance I get with my normal watch that I don't have with the Apple watch and I don't like leaving a US$6.5k watch lying on my desk.

    I'm still liking the whole health thing. I've been keeping an eye on the heart rate which appears to be surprisingly accurate. A very nice feature.

    I also checked my balance with my bank and that was nice...apart from the balance.

    Feel-wise, I do find the watch quite heavy on the wrist. That is comparing it to my two automatics. I feel there is almost an internal movement in the watch itself but perhaps that's in my head. The other thing I noticed is the rubber doesn't let my wrist breathe. I removed the watch for a while and found my wrist to be sweaty which is pretty nasty. The solution to this is a leather strap which of course is available but at cost.

    I am also finding the notifications a trifle distracting. I'm used to my iPhone dinging or simply doing nothing when muted as I usually have it at the office, but this watch is buzzing away on my wrist like an out of control Mexican bean. Is there any way to control this or is this part of the Apple Watch experience?

    Other than that, I'll keep on using it and reporting on how it feels.

    At this stage I can't say I'm convinced by it yet. I will be heading over to London tonight so I'm going to try it with Apple Pay. (A feature I am genuinely excited about), and also Apple Maps / Google. I'm curious as to how it'll direct me around the city....
  9. coldsweat macrumors 6502


    Aug 18, 2009
    Grimsby, UK
    I had exactly this issue with the 38mm, so I promptly upgraded to a 42mm version & never looked back!

    I also had a similar battery usage to you with the 38mm - down to less than 10% in just a few hours. Agin, since I upgraded to a 42mm I now get through a full day (7am - 10pm) with still 30+% left over.

    I understand that you can't just 'retun it for a larger model, but if it does start growing on you & you begin to fine it invaluable - buy the 42mm version as the experience is so much nicer.
  10. deany macrumors 68030


    Sep 16, 2012
    North Wales
    You should feel very fortunate to be given an apple watch by your employer as a suprise gift.

    We give gifts like that that after 20 years of employment. (UK)

    My friend is a NHS paramedic and he just got a 'thank you' letter after 20 years of loyal service.

  11. beanbaguk thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2014
    Each business has its own perks I suppose. Your friend will earn himself a very decent pension package at the end of his tenure. I don't get that benefit. :)

    I do a 65 hour week including my travel and work in a very high stress environment with tough targets. Tonight I'll fly to London, have 2 meetings in the morning, then go to a conference that lasts until 5pm, then go out with clients, before heading back to bed probably very late, and catching a flight back home at 7am, meaning I'll be awake at 5am, and then straight back into the office again until 6pm, and then a 1.5 hour drive home. There are swings and roundabouts on every job.

    However, having just made the company a huge sum of money, the gift is very small in comparison, but nice and very much appreciated nevertheless.
  12. beanbaguk thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2014
    I just don't see enough benefit yet to warrant the money on a bigger version. While battery was an issue yesterday, I can't tell if it will be today as I've barely use it apart from to wonder why it keeps buzzing on my wrist all the time!

    Unless I find something genuinely useful on it, I'm guessing somebody in my family will be getting an Apple Watch for Christmas. It simply doesn't scream "buy me" as an iPhone 6S does, or a New Apple TV.....
  13. Evad3 macrumors member


    Sep 18, 2015
    Portsmouth, UK
    I also love machanical watches and have fairly expensive pieces - for me I couldnt leave these at home for the Apple watch, no matter how good it is!
  14. Four oF NINE macrumors 68000

    Four oF NINE

    Sep 28, 2011
    Hell's Kitchen
    My solution was to wear one on each wrist.

  15. beanbaguk thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2014
    It's exactly how I'm testing this watch and I feel like a total plonker wearing two watches. It's really not practical and not a solution for me. I'm really not getting on with it...even installing App in the Air but I get notifications on my phone so why I need it on my wrist too, I don't know...I just don't see any value in the Apple Watch.

    I'm coming to the conclusion that it's like marmite. You either love it or you don't.
  16. manincognito macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2015
    At the moment it really doesn't sound like its for you which is fine, it's not for everyone, but just to help & maybe clarify things for others if they are contemplating buying the watch. To me it feels incredibly light, don't notice on my arm at all & the band is very comfortable, I work in an active job & don't notice that it gets sweaty at all. The flicking the wrist thing to get the time to activate works every time, feels natural to do & if my arm is flat, say leaning against a table, you can just tap it to get the time like someone else said, isn't too much of a chore.
    Ive noticed with some apps after I've installed them the first time or after an update it will ask me to log onto the app on the iPhone before it can be used but that's just a one time thing, not needed every time the app is used so once again not an issue. Notifications can be tailored to how you want them, if you want everything coming to the watch then great you can do that, if not then just go into the watch app on your phone and change the settings to get less of them. I don't think it's a product you just stick on your wrist & it suddenly does these amazing things, it takes some personal setting up but so far I love it, Apple Pay is great as well once you do get round to using it...
  17. douglasf13, Sep 23, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015

    douglasf13 macrumors 68000

    Jul 2, 2010
    Wait, are you joking? That's a bit like carrying a typewriter along to the coffee shop alongside your Macbook.

    I actually have the same Submariner, but I'm planning on selling it. Mechanical watches are a fun anachronism that I've been interested in since I was a kid, but I find the Apple Watch so useful that I don't want to give up the wrist real estate...and I'm certainly not going to wear them on each wrist. I guess I could go this route, like I did with Swatches in grade school: :confused:


    On a side note, the above illustrates why I bought the 38mm Apple Watch. The large black screen makes the Apple Watch read larger than it is, and I find it more comparable in size, visually, to my Sub vs. the larger 42mm model.
  18. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    Simple fix - go into the Watch app that is on your phone, scroll down to Passcode, and set your watch to "unlock with iphone." That way, all you have to do is wake your phone, and your watch will unlock.

    You don't have to have your iPhone for music if you sync a playlist with your watch.

    You may be wearing it too tightly. I wear it all day long and it doesn't make my arm sweaty unless I am at the gym or running around outside (I live in Florida).

    I think part of the issue is that you went into this thinking that the watch just isn't for you. Which is fine. But if you really want to give it a go, then you have to move past that, learn how to use the functions and give it a few days.

    By the way, if you don't want notifications on your watch, you can change that through the Watch app on your phone as well.
  19. nickm81us macrumors member


    Mar 12, 2012

    The amount of British-ness in this thread astounds me. :)
  20. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Yes, you can pick and choose which notifications you want to get on your watch. Open the Watch app on your iPhone, make sure you're on the "my watch" tab, pick "notifications," then scroll down. You'll see a list of all the apps that can send notifications to your watch. Turn them off, and your watch won't buzz.
  21. parseckadet macrumors 65816


    Dec 13, 2010
    Denver, CO
    Yep, important step to take, especially for mail. I have mine setup to tap (no sound) only for my work email account, and then I setup the VIP group to tap and ding, which works regardless of which account the email came in on. All other emails (I have 4 accounts total) revert to behaving on the iPhone the way they always did before I ever got the watch. That way I get some indication of the importance of incoming emails.

    As for app notifications, I keep most of them off. I think of my watch and phone working together to triage things. Important stuff like certain emails (see above), text messages, calendar updates, weather alerts ping on my watch. These are all things I want to see right away. If it's something that can wait until the next time I look at my phone then it doesn't ping my watch.

    Another tip a lot of people do is to just always leave the watch in silent mode. I do notice that the ping sound Apple chose is a bit too.... immediate sounding. Almost like a bell on a counter customers ring when they need service. Right now. I'm hoping Apple will add more notification sounds in the future that are toned down a bit.
  22. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    Yep. Put my watch on silent at the end of the first day of owning it in April, and haven't ever had sounds on since. I find them completely unnecessary: the whole point of the watch is that it's on your wrist and always with you, so I really don't need to go telling the whole room I have an email. The tap alone is more than enough.
  23. beanbaguk thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2014
    My relationship with the Apple Watch has finally come to an end.

    After 7 days of keeping it on my wrist, the frustration has worn through and I simply don't get the point of it and the watch is back in the box, reset back to factory settings, ready to be given away....

    I'll go through it point by point:
    • It's slow. OMG it's SLOW! It's not silky smooth, reboots take so long and updates took hours. Even installing a basic app is painful.
    • The only useful app I found was my banking app, but it took so long to open and retrieve my balance, it was quicker to grab my phone and open the app on my iPhone.
    • The simple act of looking at the watch for the time requires a tap or movement. There's no simple glance at my wrist for the date and time which I do often with my traditional watches.
    • The apps are incredibly fiddly to use. The digital crown is not easy to use (perhaps I'm cack-handed), but in my office (full of developers), I'm not alone in these thoughts.
    • I found the strap very grim. It didn't allow my skin to breathe so it became sweaty which I hate. A leather strap or steel strap would be miles better but unless I was going to keep it, I don't plan to invest €100's in a strap.
    • Following on nicely from this is fitness. This I thought was going to be the winning formula for an Apple Watch, but no. Both Runkeeper and Strava (which I pay for), require me to have my iPhone with me along with the watch. What's the point?! I don't like running with a watch but I figured if I could wear it without carrying my phone, great. I might as well just wear my HR chest strap. It's just as accurate and pairs with my phone beautifully. The iPhone also gives me GPS, steps and everything the AW gives me.
    • Additionally, music. Spotify don't have an app for it and I see why. Even if I could use the watch as a standalone item, I still need a pair of bluetooth headphones. Utterly horrific to run with as they weight a lot and are usually quite bulky. Fine for sitting down but again, I've spent a small fortune (over $500 on a pair of Shure earbuds), so why would I want to buy a pair of bluetooth headphones is another reason to avoid the Apple watch.
    • Notifications are the next point. I appreciate the tips given to me, but if I remove the notifications, what's the point it? I can't really read message on the Watch and I certainly can't reply. I might as well just pick up my phone.
    • Taking calls next. I felt like a complete berk talking into the phone like Dick Tracey. It worked reasonably well in the car but it was definitely hard to listen in. Plus, I have a fully integrated bluetooth system with my car so I don't see the point. Why listen through a tinny speaker when I have a 5.1 surround system built into my car? I don't get it. I suppose it works if you don't have this, but isn't that illegal?
    • Next there's the battery. I found myself having to charge the watch at work all the time. Twice a day was the norm which got annoying. Constantly having to carry the charger around and if it's not on my wrist, again, what's the point? It becomes like my phone on the table, albeit with a longer battery life and much more powerful.
    • I guess this leads me to my final point. I don't actually see why we need this. Steve Jobs always said Apple should dictate what we need, but the Apple Watch doesn't actually do anything new and frankly, I don't think Steve Jobs would have ever endorsed it. (JMHO).
    I won't lie and say I was that keen on the Apple Watch from the start, but this has really set my views in stone and the Apple Watch receives a personal thumbs down from me.

    I know this is my own personal opinion and others love it, which is great; But ask yourself, why do you really need an Apple Watch? What does it bring to your life that you never had before and how does it make life easier for you?

    Once the hype ends, I don't see Apple Watch sticking around for wrong. I may probably end up eating my own words but in its current incarnation, its nothing more than a status symbol and gadget.

    On the upside, my bro-in-law is going to love his Christmas present and he's going to think I'm in insanely generous. :)

    Now I just need to wait until October 9th for my iPhone 6S.....I can't wait!
  24. Night Spring, Sep 29, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2015

    Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    There's something really wrong with that. A lot of people are reporting they get a day and half of battery life. I certainly can't recall anyone else complaining they have to charge the watch twice a day. Maybe you had a defective unit?

    For me, it is the activity tracking. I had considered fitness trackers before, but wasn't quite convinced they'd be useful enough to justify buying one. The watch supposedly does other things than just fitness tracking, so I felt more confident about buying it. Unfortunately, the apps on the watch don't work so well -- there, I agree with you. But the activity tracking has made me much more motivated to get more active, and I feel healthier and more fit because of it. Maybe one of the other fitness trackers will work as well, but Apple Watch was what motivated me to finally get one.

    But I do think for the watch to be truly useful, it needs to be a stand-alone device, not tied to an iPhone. I think it'll get there eventually, but not sure how long it will take.
  25. manincognito macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2015
    Well you are perfectly entitled to your opinion & there really is no point in you keeping the watch if you aren't enjoying it that much but there's so much I disagree with in your post that I can't even begin to start a reply going into that much detail. The battery drain, the straps, the notifications, reading messages, taking calls, turning your wrist to look at the watch?! I do wonder if you were actually wearing it on your wrist & not on your ankle as you've had so much trouble doing very simple things on the watch. Hopefully your brother will have a much better experience with it...

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