At the beginning of this month I headed over to New York. Broken leg and all. On my last day, I finally gave into the temptation of the Apple Store and made the decision to buy an Apple Watch. Sure the next generation will be out sometime soon but a week on, I’m really happy I did.
When the iPhone first came out, I was still into my Blackberry. The touchscreen seemed made for people without nails. All my previous experiences had been clumsy and frustrating. I didn’t see a need for me for a phone full of apps.
I don’t have the latest iPhone, for one reason or another, but it’s clear that apps rule our digital world. I’m not complaining. My phone has a decent camera and capability to help track my health and stay connected wherever you are. Isn’t that enough? Why buy the watch as well?
It’s not worth it
Actually when the watch first came out, as with all Apple products I was in awe. Then I convinced myself it was too big and, like all new products, I should wait for the second generation. Friends in the tech industry ordered theirs. A month after having it all said it wasn’t worth having (they still wear them).
Filling a need
I tried on a few friends watches and still wasn’t convinced. I still had a need, perhaps along with some good Apple marketing, that I could use this device.
Then I broke my leg and over the last 19 weeks have actually been craving being able to move. I think I’m quite lazy when I want to be. I love watching movies from my sofa. What I hadn’t realised was how much between I do. I horse ride, I walk to the market, I go out, I take the dog for a wander, I go buy groceries, I go to yoga. I even had a personal trainer once a week.
Now I couldn’t do any of those things. Carrying my phone while I had two crutches wasn’t an option anymore. It was at that point that I knew I needed something to help me. Something to help me as I got better and make sure I stayed healthy. After all once you reach 30, you can’t be good for a week to fit into that party dress anymore. (Damn!)
A full marketplace
The Apple Watch isn’t the only device for health monitoring on the market. Nor is it the cheapest. There are a lot of devices that are trying to be more attractive for female wearers. Incorporating into a piece of jewellery or hide more discreetly under clothing.
But I didn’t just want a fancy pedometer. I’ll admit to not knowing about the Pebble Round till researching for this article. At approximately the same price as a sports edition, I prefer the screen on the Apple Watch.
Other friends have already highly praised some of their wearables that were pre-Apple Watch. I think for me, you can’t deny the Apple Watch has an aesthetic to be displayed. As are all Apple products. It’s a part of the brand appeal. Part of what appeals to me.
It’s for me
I took the plunge. I didn’t buy a black one but got it in rose gold. I’ve actually had lots of compliments that it looks good for not being the one everyone’s seen.
When I first got it. I’ll admit to not understanding how it worked. The best bit of advice I got, is to treat the digital crown as the home button. I think now they’ve been selling it a while they know how to sell it in a helpful way for users. It takes a while to set up the right notifications and have a clock face that gives you the info you want first hand. Then you’re ready to go.
Three things I love
All that said. I’ve no regrets about buying it so soon to a possible next announcement. It’s fulfilled the need I had. So if you wait or not, here are my top three things I love about the Apple Watch.
I thought these would annoy me. I got rid of most of them on my phone because I didn’t want them cluttering my screen. On the Apple Watch, they’re easy to dismiss. I’ve also noticed more information that I was otherwise losing in the clutter of noise. I just get a light vibration on my wrist, like a strong pulse, and they collate for me to view and deal with. I feel so much more organised without the need to be constantly opening apps.
I wasn’t sure about this one to start with. I’ve been using Moves on my phone very happily and liked that it just ran in the background but gave me the info when I wanted it.
Now that I have been able to start walking, I want to have something more accurate. This is where the Activity function on the watch is it’s exactly the motivation I need. It reminds me to stand when I sit for too long. To move. I’m even using it to exercise and get my heart rate up, as I can. It’s pretty basic but I’m sure a software update will help improve it. As I get more able, the Workout function will come into it’s own too I’m sure.
On the iPhone, I hate Siri. It’s only worth occasionally having random conversations with. Even then, it struggles to recognise my voice more often than not. On the Apple Watch though it’s surprisingly more intelligent. It’s useful and helpful. I’ve actually sent messages via dictation. It’s a world away from where Siri started.
Actually this is a bit of cheat as I can’t use this function due to none of my cards being supported. The idea though, of just tapping my wrist is amazing. Especially at the moment while getting cash or cards out of a bag is a real hassle. As an accessibility thing I can see this as being a huge enabler.
It’s only the beginning
I can archive emails quickly. See messages and decide if I want to respond. And at last, I can properly track my activity. It’s just what I wanted and I feel great wearing it. It’s true that it could do more. Apps need to be smarter about what they use the watch for and it needs the phone in range for most of them to work. Sadly, most apps don’t work if the phone battery dies, which is frustrating. I’m sure the next version will have more resolved.
All in all. It’s great, and it’s only going to get better.