The Apple Watch is now on the wrists of the users who were quick enough to order some of the cheaper and non-black models when the pre-orders went live a few weeks ago. Is it a winner? Not yet. But it is certainly trying hard. At least that’s what my three-day first impressions tell me. Don’t think of this as a review, think of it as a series of “glances” at one user’s impressions after spending three days with this new and indeed very personal device.
After waffling back and forth I decided to pick up one of these new gadgets and give it a try. I’ve been tempted by other smartwatches in the past. But in a surprising display of discipline I’ve resisted those earlier temptations. This time I did pull the trigger on a purchase of a 42mm Apple Watch Sport with a blue fluoroelastomer band. Let’s call the color Microsoft Cyan as an annoying point of reference. It certainly isn’t as annoying or cloying as the other sports band colors to my eye.
I figured that at worst I would be out $400 to test this new technology and also satisfy some geek lust. I’ve spent far more on new gadgets and been disappointed in the past. At best I’d have a digital watch that could tell the time and help me keep track of some medical and fitness needs now that I have to pay attention to that stuff.
I’m also very interested in how this might help with notifications when I’m directing a show. Theatre rehearsal etiquette requires that you don’t look at your phone except on breaks. I’ve violated those rules of the road in the past after hearing and feeling notifications buzzing in my pocket. I’m hoping notifications on the Apple Watch might make me feel a little less of a rule-breaker. It never rains but it pours and typically when I’m knee deep in rehearsals it will also be a period where I am expecting and receiving important to semi-important notifications from other facets of my life. As a director I’m glancing at a normal watch constantly to keep track of our time and work progress within the hours allotted. My hunch is that the Apple Watch will make it easier to glance at those notifications on my wrist than my current mode of sneaking a look at my smartphone.
So, that’s my thinking going into this. Here are some quick glances at what I discovered in three days of Apple Watching as I began to find out if any of that is real or not.
Out of the box
Damn, that’s a big box. The Apple Watch Sport comes in a very long and heavy box. I say heavy in the context that the watch itself is not. When I first picked up the box I thought I was picking up a small stage weight. It’s heavy enough to be used as a bludgeon. There’s a long box inside of a long box inside of a long box. In fact, the unusual length and the unexpected weight of the box(es) reminded me very much of the shape and feel of a box I received as a child from a relative. That box contained a very large and expensive kaleidoscope that I treasured until it was destroyed in a pretty wild cast party after a show. But that’s another story.
Even with the unusual size of the container for the Sport, the packaging is typically well designed, as you would expect from Apple. I’ll leave off the rest of an unboxing report, as there are plenty of them all over the web. Suffice it to say, that once your watch and charger are out of the box you’ll have a nice long oddly shaped paper-weight to keep track of if you’re thinking of selling this thing when next year’s model comes a-calling.
Putting it on
My watch comes with the fluoroelastomer band. It actually comes with a band and a half, as do all watches ordered with a sports band. This is to accommodate for different sized wrists.
Installed with my watch was the larger version of the pin and tuck band. Its smaller sibling was tucked into a sleeve-like portion of the packaging. The smaller one is too small for my wrist, which falls into the range of what Apple calls a medium wrist. The larger one feels just a bit too long. Strapping the watch on my wrist is taking a period of adjustment as the pin and tuck method Apple has designed here isn’t that intuitive for me. In fact, I often worry the watch is going to fall out of my grasp when I’m trying to put it on.
Once on the wrist I noticed a couple of things. The watch wants to lay flat on the top of your wrist. Apple actually points out that having the watch lay flat on your wrist is the desired approach. My thinking here is that makes it possible for the sensors that read your heart beat to do their thing more accurately. What I’ve learned is that with most previous watches I’ve worn, I typically wear them a bit loose and the business portion of the watch tends to sit just on the top of the inside portion of my wrist, making a quick glance at the time an easy thing. I’m still adjusting to the feel of this, and I guess with all previous watches I could be accused of wearing them wrong.
What’s interesting beyond the feel of this is that when I’m working at keyboard the Apple Watch actually appears to be riding on the outside edge of my wrist, completely opposite from how I’m used to seeing watches on my wrist.
I’m not sure if this will be the same with all of the band options that Apple offers or not. How the many variants fit on many types of wrists will yield many different results.
One nice thing about the fluoroelastomer band, is that wearing it while typing I don’t feel like I will be leaving the usual scars and wounds on the surface of my MacBook Pro as I attack the keyboard with my usual gusto. Perhaps these sports bands should also be marketed as “designed for writers and keyboardists.”
On and Off: The wrist thing
The Apple Watch is designed so that the screen is off until you want to glance at it. You need to raise and actually turn your wrist into you to activate the screen. I’ve seen in earlier reviews that some complained this functionality didn’t work well for them and from others that it worked very well. I’m in the latter camp. Each time I’ve raised and rotated my wrist the watch face has lit up as expected after a short second. Pleasantly, it doesn’t seem to activate the screen in many instances of moving my wrist around generally. The one notable exception being when I eat from a bowl of popcorn while sitting on the sofa.
In an earlier post about the Apple Watch before I got one around my wrist I wondered if the act of typing would activate the watch. Aside from the act of eating popcorn I mentioned earlier, the Apple Watch seems have enough smarts in the sensors to mostly turn on at the appropriate times. In my early experiences it does not. So, there’s that.
That said, I also noticed that while driving there’s an interesting thing happening. I typically drive with my hands somewhere between 10 and 2. If I’m one handing the steering wheel with my right hand it will be between 11 and 12. Each time I raise my left hand to assist with steering the watch does light up. Also if I’m making a 90-degree right turn the watch will light up as my hands do their thing on the steering wheel to make the turn.
Third party apps
Let’s just get this out of the way, have a laugh, and think of all of the App developers busily recoding their Apps to work with the Apple Watch. The Watch App Store launched with somewhere between 2500 and 3000 Apps last week. I certainly haven’t tried anywhere near a minority of them, much less a majority. Those I have tried easily demonstrate that most either aren’t ready for prime time use, or the developers have no idea what the Apple Watch platform is.
Third party Apps want to be this giant sea full of potential and your Apple Watch is like a small ocean liner sailing across it. Unfortunately at the moment, those Apps are more like icebergs waiting for your watch to crash into them. It’s a chaotic experience at best, and allowing all of your iPhone Apps with Apple Watch capability to flood your watch during the install might drag you and your Apple Watch into the depths under a crushing wave of confusion. While third-party Apps might be the key to keeping Apple’s smartwatch dreams afloat, right now the tsunami like rush to be included is almost foolhardy enough to sink the enterprise.
There’s no surprise here. Most developers haven’t had a watch to experiment with. While some got to participate in Apple’s super secret workshops, let’s just say that the future holds more promise with Apps than the current state of “hurry up and join the party.”
If an Apple Watch is in your future I’d highly recommend you use the companion Apple Watch App on your phone to turn off automatic install of Apps during the set up process. I’d recommend you do the same thing with all of your Notifications as well. Get to know the Apple Watch on your wrist before installing Apps, some of which just don’t seem to work or are just poorly designed first attempts. EverythingiCafe’s Christopher Meinck wrote an excellent piece about taking it slow with Apps that is worth a read.
I’d also recommend ignoring all of the “XX Best Apps to Download for your Apple Watch” posts, especially if they’ve just been released in the last day or so. Anyone who can claim a “best list” at this point is just trying to get you to read his or her stuff.
Perhaps Apple could have done better here by not allowing such a profusion of not-ready-for-prime-time Apps to be available for this obvious version one product. I don’t know.
From my perspective what Apps and functionality you do decide to put on your wrist is going to evolve into a process of subtraction and not addition. That is the polar opposite of how we typically use smartphones and other mobile devices.
Call me crazy, but I don’t think users are going to want large numbers of Apps and App experiences on their smartwatches like they do on their phones. The attraction and old habits may be there, but the smartwatch seems designed for so much less. I say that in the context of less being more. At least that’s the type of user experience the design of the Apple Watch hardware and native software indicates to me. Apple’s marketing and hype machine do not support this at all however.
I won’t begin to list the problematic Apps I’ve seen or the better ones either. Right now that would be like judging the success of a military campaign by counting the number of troops and fancy flags on parade before heading off into battle. Suffice it to say, everyone is really excited for the campaign to begin, but planning is meeting real world action here, and in my view, many of those plans need to be reworked. Look for quite a few App updates in the near future.
Native Apps and Functionality
Apple’s native Apps fare better as you would expect. However, there are a few wrinkles that need to be ironed out. Native functions for the watch also seem to work well in my early experiences.
Dictation works surprisingly well in both quiet and noisy circumstances. Siri works better on the watch than it does on my iPhone. This is a key point as entering any sort of text is mostly done on this small screen via voice. I’ll say I’m quite pleased with the voice functionality so far.
The Digital Crown and touch screen perform just like you’ve probably already seen in a gazillion videos and I haven’t discovered any surprises here. The two-button thing is a puzzler until you get used to the Digital Crown serving as essentially the home and back button. The second button seems like it wants to do much more, but all it really does is bring up your Favorites contact screen or allow you to turn off or lock the watch.
Here are some observations of other Apps and experiences that work well, or as expected.
Music: I don’t intend to store music on my watch permanently but I did create a playlist expressly for testing. You make your choice of which playlist you want to sync in the companion App on the iPhone. The playlist you choose to sync will do so when you’re plugged into AC power for charging the watch. That playlist plays as expected within the Music App via Bluetooth listening devices.
Driving around on errands I discovered an interesting convenience. It is very easy to use the watch’s Music App for playback controls for music playing over your iPhone when driving. I find it quicker and I guess safer than doing so via voice or touch on the iPhone while driving. Note, I don’t have a vehicle with advanced music controls wired in.
There is also a “Glance” that allows you to control music playback on the watch and your iPhone, but it seems like it might be redundant as it provides the same functionality as the App. (See more on Glances below.) You can also use the Remote App to control music (or video) playback on your Apple TV. Again, this works as advertised. We had my mother-in-law over for her birthday Friday night and she really enjoyed watching me use the Apple Watch as a remote for the Apple TV.
In fact, I think this is one place that the Apple Watch (and others like it) will excel: serving as remotes and controls for other devices and systems. You know, in that whole Internet of Things world that’s supposedly coming.
Messages: As a primary communications tool for the Apple Watch this is working just like I would expect it to. The quick replies Apple offers are quite ingenious, and you can create your own to be used at a touch. Using voice to create a reply works very well; again, better than it does on the iPhone.
Perhaps I missed this along the way, but you can send one of the new animated emoji’s in a message to another iPhone user who doesn’t have an Apple Watch. I found this out by texting my daughter and my wife yesterday and today. They were both surprised to see the animations.
They both also think they look a bit creepy. I didn’t realize this emoji feature existed between the Apple Watch and the iPhone.
Camera Remote: This is a nifty little App that allows you to use your watch as a viewfinder for a picture and then snap a picture with your iPhone camera. For some it will be a cute novelty, and for others I can see this working well to set up pictures without running to pose after you turn on the time.
Maps: I haven’t done much real testing with this, but in both walking and driving around the neighborhood, this is working reasonably well. The taps on the wrist when it is time to make a turn come a little late in the game when you’re driving. It’s still Apple Maps, so while Apple continues to improve that experience generally, keep that in mind.
Voice Calling: Yep, the Dick Tracy analogy is both apt and fun. You can indeed make and receive calls from your watch. It works well, and is a hoot.
Here are some of the wrinkles I’ve discovered.
Photos: Like with Music, I don’t anticipate keeping photos on my watch in the long term, but I thought I’d test out the functionality. Apple allows you to store a number of photos in an amount (number of photos or total storage size) on your Apple Watch. You can make this adjustment in the companion App on your iPhone. I had read previously that you could sync over photos that you’ve favorited, but it appears that the desired functionality will allow you to sync over any single photo album you’ve created in Photos. (Note I’m using the new version of Photos and iCloud Photo Library on my OS X and iOS devices.)
While it looks like you can choose to sync any single album, for some reason newer albums I’ve created in Photos do not show up as available in the companion App.
In fact, the companion App for the watch on the iPhone doesn’t use the newer stream-lined display of albums that the Photos App does on iOS devices; forsaking the folder structure and instead showing a long list of events from the past. Bad planning here on Apple’s part.
I have far too many favorited photos to sync those over, so I thought I’d create a smaller album of photos with the express purpose of syncing them to the watch. As it turns out, that album and any albums I created in the last week or so do not appear as available to sync to the watch. Those albums appear fine across all of my other Cupertino based devices. That’s a real puzzler and problem for those, like myself, who might want to carry just a few family photos on their Apple Watch.
Mail: I’m of two minds here. One is that I’m not sure email should even be included on the small screen of a smartwatch. But then again, so many depend on email for so much that it has to be included. But the experience so far with Mail on the Apple Watch rates an incomplete. Your only options with an email in the Mail App are to mark it as unread, flag it or trash it.
The incompleteness of the experience might be compared to a eunch shopping for wares in a red-light district. Ultimately unfulfilling, not having a quick way to send a quick response just doesn’t click.
An interesting side note: Notifications from Microsoft’s iOS Outlook App provide a better range of options for you to act upon than does Apple’s own Mail App. You can Archive, Delete, Schedule, Mark as Read, or Dismiss the notification entirely. If email is going to remain an iPhone (or other device) chore then it might be worth considering using the Outlook App if that is something you’re already using.
Activity: The Activity app will probably be one I use quite a bit to monitor my health and fitness activities. While it seems to work very well on the watch I’m noticing that the information syncs over to the separate Activity App on the iPhone sporadically. And, I’m not quite sure (in very early testing) how well it is syncing with Apple’s Health App on the iPhone. I’ve turned on the function to remind me to get off my butt once every hour. The problem here is not getting up and moving, the problem is that I get reminded even if I’ve been up within the last hour. It seems the software and sensors should know this. I’ve also noticed that there are some kinks in the system with a couple of other fitness Apps I’ve tried on the watch, so there is work to be done here.
Reminders and Alarms: Perhaps this is desired behavior, but I notice that if I use Siri to set an alarm on the Apple Watch, that the alarm is not carried through to the iPhone. If I set the alarm on the iPhone the alarm goes off on both the iPhone and the watch. The same is true with reminders. If I set a reminder on the iPhone I will be reminded on the watch and the phone. If i set a reminder on the watch, I am only notified on the watch. There’s some inconsistency beyond the behavior I’ve just described, so obviously work needs to happen here, or at least some clarification of how this is supposed to work needs to be more evident.
Also of note here: There is no Reminders App icon on the home screen of the Apple Watch. You can create reminders. But you can’t check a list of reminders you may have set. Not sure if that is really an issue or not.
How does the Apple Watch handle notifications? It’s a big question for me and for many others. So far, so good in my limited experience. The notifications I’m allowing to pass through my iPhone to my wrist are working as I would expect them to by and large. Although there are some challenges that need to be worked on going forward.
If you’re at all like me (my sympathy if you are), you’ve inevitably gone through a process over the years of winnowing away notifications on your iPhone to only what you want to see. Some have turned them off all together. There are some notifications I enjoy receiving on my iPhone and continue to let them remind me or catch my attention. I’ve begun the process of letting some of them flow through to the Apple Watch. And I’m forcing myself to do that very slowly. Unsurprisingly I’ve noticed that notifications from Apple’s native Apps work about as expected. Those from third party Apps are more hit and miss, and divining why there is an inconsistency isn’t easy.
When notifications work the way I expect them to, I feel like my expectations have been met. Those expectations are simple. When a notification comes through, I expect it to be seen. So far I would say I’m about 70% there. Suffice it to say I’ve got much more testing to do on this before I reach anything close to a conclusion. At the moment I’m going to chalk up some of the inconsistencies I’ve experienced to this all being a new experience for me and for those who are developing Apps for the system.
Here’s a specific example. I let all of my reminders on the iPhone flow through to Fantastical, my calendar App of choice. I’ve turned off notifications for the Reminders app on the iPhone. I turned them back on to test them for the Apple Watch. But, while there isn’t a Fantastical App for the Apple Watch yet, all of the recurring reminders I have set (taking pills, picking up my wife, etc..) flow through Notifications to the watch. I can mark those reminders as complete on the watch. Consequently I’ve turned off notifications for the Reminders App for a cleaner experience.
The larger point here is that we may not need some of our most relied on Apps for the watch depending on our usage of them.
One interesting observation from my first couple of morning wake-ups as an owner of an Apple Watch. I’m used to my iPhone having a stream of notifications that have come in over night. Those notifications I have turned on for the Apple Watch did not populate into a stream on that device. I believe that is the designed and desired behavior, and if it is I’m glad. One nice addition that the Apple Watch brings to the world is that with a force touch on the watch, you can clear all notifications at once. Please bring this to the iPhone soon, Apple.
I’m only going to comment here to say that I can’t really comment. I’ve been installing and uninstalling Apps like crazy and I’m sure that has an impact on battery life. What I can say that is that after starting around 2pm on Friday, and fiddling with the watch all day the way you do with a new gadget, I hit 10% battery life and got a notification about turning on Power Reserve mode around 10pm Friday night. The watch was about 80% charged when I started working with it at 2pm.
Day two with the Apple Watch was closer to what I think a regular day might be. I played the install/uninstall App game some, but much less. I begin with a full charge at 5:45am and when I hit the pillow at around 10pm battery life was registering at 11%.
Day three featured me flipping on the exercise monitoring. I wasn’t doing this in a gym. My wife and I are moving in the next few weeks and I monitored my activity as I loaded up our first batch of boxes and moved them to the new digs, which feature three flights of stairs. The exercise monitoring does make a dent in battery life. After about a 90 minute workout loading, unloading, and moving boxes, the Apple Watch decreased from about 82% to 51%.
Note that I suspect there is some optimization going on behind the scenes as the watch adjusts to you. After slowing down the App testing frenzy of the first two days, I’ve noticed that battery life seems to be incrementally improving a bit. This is no different than my experiences with any new iOS device. It takes awhile for things to settle in.
Once I figure out more how the watch will fit into my routine (or not) I’ll have a better indicator of what battery life on the Apple Watch really means. Everyone’s experiences with battery life are going to be so different depending on how they choose to use the Apple Watch.
As I mentioned above the early moments with the Apple Watch are all about playing around. Setting up and choosing a watch face is fun; as is checking out the other features. I do note though that I want to feel like things were set and ready to go much more quickly than I do with a new smartphone. If nothing else, Apple has indeed designed an experience that features a glance-like approach to this new device.
Here’s my take on some of those new features:
Watch Faces and customization: There are enough to get you started but users are going to beg for more. The customization is easy to do and serves as a nice way to get you used to Force Touch. I prefer a simpler watch face, although it is fun to show off the Mickey Mouse face to friends.
Force Touch as a concept just makes so much sense on this device. The sense of digging in deeper to make adjustments just feels intuitive. I’m anxious to see how this propagates through Watch Apps and throughout Apple’s other devices.
Digital Crown: Using the digital crown as a scrolling mechanism makes complete sense once you use it. I’m curious though, when I use it to adjust color or other functions in a watch face customization it seems to be not as precise here, often bouncing back when I stop spinning it.
Digital Touch: Alas, I am without friends at the moment to send sketches and heartbeats to. Hopefully that will change, as others who didn’t get a watch delivered on Friday get luckier in the days ahead.
Taptic Feedback: At the moment I have this turned all the way up with the switch for Prominent Taptics also turned on. The default level is not enough for me to notice the taptics consistently. Your mileage may vary and I’m going to guess that on these very personal devices how they fit on different wrists will also make a difference. With the haptic volume, so to speak, turned up past 11 I am quite pleased with how the Taptic engine works.
Glances: This is an intriguing area and it gets to what I believe to be one of the core or elemental uses of the Apple Watch. Glances are meant to be quick ways for you to glean information. You swipe up from the bottom of the small screen to bring up your installed glances and then swipe left or right to “glance” at the glances you have given a place on the watch.
That’s all well and good and it works as advertised mostly. But I don’t think Glances are solved just yet. In fact, I think it is very early in the evolution of Glances as a concept.
You can choose to set up the behavior that your Apple Watch will exhibit when you raise your wrist. It can either show you the time (default) or “Resume Previous Activity.” Resuming the previous activity currently means it will take you back to an App you have running. It makes logical sense to me, in a more streamlined world of smartwatches opposed to the larger more encompassing environment of smartphones that many Apps could simply provide you with a Glance and not a full-blown App experience.
But if you have a Glance selected, say the weather for example, you don’t return to that Glance when you “resume previous activity,” you return to the watch face. If you are running your weather App you are returned to that App when you resume. That begs the question why you would want an App running when a Glance will suffice.
I don’t think this is a fault, as it appears to work as designed. But I think it might point to where we might be headed in future generations. Why can’t we return to the Glances section when we resume? Let’s say we have three types of Glances we view frequently. A raise of the wrist brings up one of them and it is only a swipe or two to get to ones to either side in the Glances carousel.
As it is, you can only access Glances from the watch face, not from within any other experience. So, to take a “glance” at a Glance, you need to raise your wrist, and then swipe up to do so. I can imagine a day where the behavior I have listed in this section could happen. I don’t know if it is possible or not, but it would make the watch experience even more personal and, I think, productive.
I’d go so far to suggest that a smartwatch that doesn’t depend on onboard Apps to provide Notifications and Glances might actually be an ultimate and worthy goal. But that is going to require reliable connectivity on board the watch itself, in addition to some way to deliver that information without lag. My thinking flies in the face of those who wish for a smartwatch that has its own connectivity and the ability to run Apps on its own. Certainly there are folks who see smartwatches as potential platforms for all kinds of Apps and games. I don’t. In either case we’re certainly not there yet in version 1. Might never be, and I’m starting to think we might not want to go there.
One issue I do notice with Glances from third party as well as native Apps is that because the watch is relying on the iPhone to pull information, Glances at times can take awhile to update information. Define that as simply making things appear slow. In the upper right corner of a Glance screen you’ll see the Apple Watch equivalent of the spinning beach ball Apple users dread when this occurs.
Last night none of the Glances was updating for what I consider to be too long a period of time. I rebooted the watch and everything came back just fine. But while I’m somewhat entranced with the concept of Glances as mentioned in this section, a glance isn’t a glance unless you can view the information you need without a delay in bringing it to you. The semiotics are as important as the execution of the concept.
Swiping Up and Down: The iPhone has trained us to swipe up from the bottom of our iPhones to bring up the Control Center and down from the center of the top to bring down the Notifications screen. The same behavior applies to the Apple Watch. But, you don’t have to be as accurate with starting from the center top or the center bottom. I’ve noticed that swiping in from the bottom and top corners will bring in Glances (bottom) and Notifications (top).
Apple Pay: I’ve saved this big feature to last because it is unavailable to me to test. My wife and I ditched all but one of our credit cards last year and alas, our bank hasn’t yet joined the Apple Pay bandwagon. So, I can’t report any observations on this feature.
I mentioned earlier that my in-laws came over for a birthday gathering Friday night. So, being a good host and a good son-in-law I obviously stopped tinkering with the Apple Watch during the party. That said, throughout the evening I did indeed reply to some texts and Tweets surreptitiously while participating in the festivities. In fact no one commented about my using the watch until I demonstrated how to use it as a remote for the movie we all watched. I also used the watch for communication throughout the movie without upsetting anyone around me.
That’s obviously only one event, so it might not be an accurate measure of how this might be perceived in other social settings. But I’ll take it as a good sign.
Look and feel
As I mentioned in an earlier post about Apple’s try-on experience I was impressed with how the watch felt on my wrist. The same is true now that I own one. It is not as bulky as it appeared in the product photography. I’m sure future Apple Watches and smartwatches will become thinner in time, because that’s the way these kind of things go.
I do like the way the device feels on my wrist. I like the way the fluoroelastomer band feels around my wrist. I will try out a few other bands down the road and have a couple on order. The aluminum finish of this model Apple Watch Sport wouldn’t be my choice as a style option because I think it does look a bit cheap in comparison to other watches whether they be smart or not. But as a test device to get me into the world of smartwatches I feel it looks just fine for what I was willing to pay.
I prefer to leave the sound off on the watch and use the haptic touch for notifications and so far that is working well for me. In fact, that’s probably an apt metaphor for how I’m feeling early on about the Apple Watch. I’m beginning to think of it as a silent partner. I need to play and experiment with it more to determine how I want it to notify me and how I want to use it. Once I’ve traveled down the road with it a bit more, it might just fill that silent partner role.
Summing Up These First Impressions
I purchased this Apple Watch on the BTR plan. That’s Buy, Try and Return (if I don’t like it.) At the moment I’m encouraged enough to say I’ll probably be hanging on to the purchase. That’s not a definite decision yet. Well see how the next week or so goes. I’m encouraged because I see and feel the potential. I also believe that the third party Apps currently flooding in will only get better now that the Apple Watch is in the wild. There is work to be done by Apple and App developers and I’m anxious to follow that work as it makes its way to my wrist. That work needs to happen sooner rather than later. If it doesn’t than the complaints from those with an Apple Watch run the risk of damping down consumer interest right about the time Apple might be able to deal with the supply constraint issue it is currently facing. At the moment the experience feels very much like a first dress rehearsal. All the pieces are in place but there are a few buttons missing, a hem or two that need taking in, and the hairstyles may not be quite perfect yet. You can still enjoy the work, but as you watch you know improvements need to happen.
The real personal question I have is can I develop the discipline to keep things off the watch for a streamlined experience, which could make it a useful tool and not a distraction. The more I work and play with the Apple Watch, I’m discovering that I want it to be a companion more than a mobile go-to device. That’s what feels right at this early point. Time will tell if any of that thinking survives.
Final caveat here. I’ve had this thing for three days. These are very early first impressions from someone who has followed the coverage and the hype so far. That said, some of the things I’m being critical of may spring from my own ignorance or lack of experience with this shiny new thing on my wrist. I’ll update after I’ve used the watch more and we’ll see where that takes us.