3 Days With The Apple Watch
I need to begin by saying that the Apple watch is a great step in the right direction for the smartwatch market – it’s slick, sexy and pretty game changing. But it’s not that useful. Lets see what I got up to over the 3 days.
Presented with the Apple Watch at about 4:30pm, Friday afternoon, I was pretty rushed in getting it set-up, however it was really easy. Just hold your phone camera over the watch screen and the two sync up effortlessly, a quick few changes in the phone settings and I was good to go.
Friday night I was off to London to visit the other half, allowing me to put some of the travel features to the test.
Uber: Massively impressed with how well the app translated down to watch size. Super easy to use and it was really convenient to have the driver’s arrival in easy view on my wrist.
Trainline: Unfortunately, I just felt disappointment after I launched the app. The only feature is the ability to see train arrival times and platforms. No further information on destination or even an exact time. Closed and didn’t use again for the entire weekend.
Watch face Calendar View: Having my calendar synced up to the watch face was a life saver! I’m forever getting my phone out to panic check what time my train is, having it viewable at a glance without faffing around with my phone was so useful. Up there as being my favourite feature.
By the evening the love affair with the watch was still going strong, great for travel and I was enjoying exploring the features and playing about with the settings. At this point my optimism was at a high.
After giving the watch a charge on what can be described as the coolest charger (it’s wireless), I was fuelled up for another day of putting it through its paces.
CityMapper: Being down in London let me play around with the CityMapper app. Turning notifications on from within the iPhone app enabled the watch to show a detailed journey breakdown. The app handily routed me from Stratford across to Paddington station, where I was grabbing a train to go visit my family in Henley. Like the other travel features this was useful for checking times but the small screen and hard to use map feature just didn’t compare to the familiarity of my iPhone.
Activity: Visiting my family meant an entire day of running around my cousin’s house entertaining my 2-year-old nephew. According to the Activity app I burned something crazy like 600 calories from an afternoon on my feet. As great as this looks on paper I find it hard to believe that the app is that accurate. It was also a little intrusive at times giving you a slight vibration to remind you to stand up!
Workout: Playing with my nephew meant being able to test out the workout app. I enabled ‘other’ and started bouncing! The app allowed me to track my heart rate and calories burnt whilst throwing my little cousin around the trampoline! Again I’m unsure how much I trust the app’s reliability but I really liked the workout summary and can see this being useful for going on runs and integrating with other lifestyle apps such as MyFitnessPal.
Battery Life: Saturday was a pretty hectic day which inevitably took its toll on both my devices. By around 3pm by iPhone had taken a serious hit, down to around 20% battery. Compared to a normal day this was just obscene.
Dependency on iPhone: A massive disappointment was how much the watch relied on being in range of the iPhone. It was pretty much rendered useless if it was disconnected from Bluetooth. Apart from checking the time and viewing offline you really can’t do much else. Before getting the watch I thought that it could replace the iPhone in some instances but it’s too dependable on your phone and can’t act as a standalone device.
By day three the love affair had well and truly ended. I was struggling to find valid uses, it was draining my battery life and I had just lost interest. I ended up turning off Bluetooth and disconnecting the two devices, a better option than my phone dying in the middle of London.
However I did take it for a visit to the Apple flagship store on Regent Street!
As a self-confessed Apple enthusiast who is normally hanging on their every word, I have to report that I feel a little let down and slightly disappointed. Until third party apps get on the hype and develop with further consideration for watch users, I won’t be getting one.
Bad points aside, it’s a great piece of tech and arguably the best smart watch on the market today. It will be interesting to see what’s in store for the next generation and maybe then I would consider trading in my Michael Kors!