Insanely Great

Photos, videos, stories and anything related to Apple and cycling the Cultural Trail.

A personal photoblog with stories, photos and video about Apple, cycling, photography, and other events in my life.

The Apple Watch Finally Arrived!

I received my Apple Watch on late Wednesday. I can honestly say after using it for 3 days that it is an exciting and satisfying purchase! The learning curve was a bit higher, but only because it was a completely new device and not just an upgrade to an older one. I'm sure I spent more time learning how to use the very first iPhone.

This is what I like most about the watch:

  • The battery life. I charge it each night. Last night I still had a 40% charge left!
  • The haptic technology. This is especially helpful when driving with directions from the Maps app, or when I'm cycling and listening to music on my Beats wireless earbuds.
  • Maps. This is the feature that surprised me the most, in a good way. In addition to the haptic touches, it has a cool sound when a turn is coming. It reminds me of the turn signal sound in older cars. Plus it is a much safer driving experience since I'm not fumbling with my phone in the car. My wrist is on the steering wheel, and it's much easier to glance at the watch and keep my eyes on the road.
  • The screen quality is excellent.
  • The watch color (space grey) and sport band (black).
  • Glances. I like the option to show or hide each app as a Glance. Plus a tap on a Glance screen opens the corresponding app.
  • The Friends button on the side. A quick and easy way to call or message my close friends.
  • The ability to take screenshots (see below). This was a cool surprise.
  • The Activity app. I like the clever design of the 3 rings, Move, Exercise and Stand. And the watch adjusts my goals over time based on my activity.
  • The Workout App. I use this mostly for Outdoor Cycling, in addition to the Strava app on my iPhone which is placed on my bike mount. Supposedly Strava is working on improving their watch app, but for now I use Strava on my iPhone and the Workout App on the watch. I'm happy that the watch can measure my heart rate in addition to mileage and speed!
  • Notifications. I can turn on only the ones I want to receive. For me it's mostly messages and Twitter.
  • Timer. It's easy using this while cooking. The watch goes wherever I go and the phone stays in my pocket.
  • Siri. This is handy for creating short messages, events and reminders. I just lift my wrist and say, "Hey, Siri . . ."  I'm still learning all of the ways I can use this.
  • Photos. I don't need a lot of photos on my watch, so I'm glad that only the Favorites album syncs with the watch. It works great with the Mac Photos app. After you click a photo to view it, you turn the Digital Crown to get back to the album view. It took a few times to get the hang of that since I was used to pinching to zoom in or out on the iPhone. It's all good now.
  • Watch Faces. I played with this the first day, but for now I like the Solar face best.
  • The Charger. What a cool concept! Since I was in the habit of charging my iPhone at night before bed, it's easy to plug in another charger for the watch.

This is what I don't like or what needs improvement:

  • The Amazon app. Oh, this works great. Too great. I simply tap the Search icon and Siri waits for me to say what I am looking for. It opens the list of items, and I can add an item to my wishlist or purchase it from the watch. This is dangerous for me! Ha ha.
  • I was going to complain about the delay in turning on my watch when I lift my wrist. But on the first day I wore it Apple released the 1.01 update. This improved Siri, among other things, and shortened the delay time. It's not instantaneous, but it's close. Since the battery life is so good I hope that Apple will soon have an option to leave the watch on for a longer period of time, and improve that slight delay when turning it on.
  • Hopefully Apple will figure out how to charge the watch wirelessly.
  • I want to be able to play my Beats music on my watch! For now it seems to work only with iTunes.

Here are some screenshots that I took on my watch:

The unboxing!