The Apple Watch is a smartwatch developed by Apple. It incorporates fitness tracking along with notifications and apps and integrates with iOS and other Apple products and services.
Here are things I liked and disliked about it after three weeks of using it daily:
Ten things I like
1. Progress / Activity app
I use the native Apple Watch app every day because it tells me how much I exercise with easy-to-understand visualizations. The three rings tell me instantly how many calories I’ve burned, how much brisk exercising I’ve done and how many times I have stood up during the day. The goal is to fill up the three rings each day.
Besides reporting, the activity app gives me nudges when I need to move more, which stimulates me to get up.
2. Remote picture taking
You can control the camera of your phone from your Apple Watch. When you open the camera of your phone and put your phone somewhere, you can use your watch to take a picture. The end of the selfie stick? I like it!
3. Range of apps on the watch
It’s handy that the Apple Watch comes with pretty much any major app that you can find on the iPhone. I must say, though: the apps can be slow: I am looking forward to the 2.0 versions when they will be faster.
4. Glances & push notifications
I like the Apple Watch “glances” feature, which allows me to easily and quickly open apps and see what is happening in apps like my weather app, Addapp and email. You can view glances by swiping up on the watch face and then swiping either left or right to see different glances.
Besides glances, the push notifications are handy too, particularly the ones from Slack, which the Addapp team uses 24/7 to communicate with each other. You can define per app which glances and push notifications you want to receive.
When I am biking, I love using Siri. I can easily add reminders to my calendar and do a lot of other things without having to use my hands. It makes biking easier.
If you’re using navigation on your iPhone, you can also see the map on your watch, which is handy when navigating through the city.
7. Battery life
The battery life is quite good. It lasts more than a day if you don’t use the Apple Watch too much.
8. Usability / touch screen
Once you get used to the touchscreen, it’s handy and it makes a lot of sense. For the most part it follows the gestures of the iPhone. If it doesn’t follow the gestures of the iPhone, it’s really easy to figure out the navigation. Like force touch, which allows you to zoom out of an app.
Sometimes navigating the watch is still a little buggy, but that will without a doubt improve in the future when new updates are released.
9. Workout app
The Workout app on the Apple Watch is a simple app that does what it says: It helps you with your workout. It’s not the same app as the activity app tracker but an extra one that sends the data from your workout to the activity app, too. There are quite a few activity options to choose from, but I have only used the Outdoor Run option so far. Once you select your activity, you can set a goal for your run based on the calories you need to burn, the duration you want to run, or the distance you want to run. Whatever you choose, the Apple Watch buzzes you while you’re running to let you know how you’re doing on your performance.
The design is of the watch is very ‘Apple like’. It streamlines with my iPhone, iPad, MacBook—basically any current Apple product under the sun.
Five Things I Don’t Like
1. Heart rate tracking
The Apple Watch doesn’t track your heart rate accurately; there are a lot of gaps in it. Another disadvantage is that you can’t check your heart rate quickly on the watch. You have to push the button on the side to be able to see it. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could access my heart rate by shaking my hand?
2. Sleep tracking
Sleep tracking is important to me, so it’s a disadvantage that it doesn’t track it.
3. Activity tracking
Because the Apple Watch doesn’t track my sleep, I don’t look at my watch as an activity tracker, but more as a watch and an extension of my phone.
If I were to forget a wearable at home, I wouldn’t turn back to pick up my Apple Watch. I would rather go back to get my Fitbit Charge HR because it has become a regular part of my day as my activity tracker. Although the functionality of the Apple Watch is excellent, I can still do everything with my iPhone if I were to forget it at home.
The set-up of your watch is hard and time-consuming, especially with the notifications and glances.
A lot of apps on the watch don’t work well. If an app is an iPhone app, adjusted to the watch, the app usually is too complicated for the watch. A service needs to strip away everything and bring it down to one essential function to have a decent Apple Watch app. Apps like Uber and Slack have managed to do one thing for their Apple Watch version and do it really well.
Would I recommend it?
Overall, I believe it’s an awesome (and expensive) smartwatch to have and it is useful. If you are looking for a fancy watch or a notification gadget, this is a good choice for you. If you want it to have a good activity tracker, then you shouldn’t buy it.
I do believe that the value and the relevance of the Apple Watch will increase once more people have it. Wouldn’t it be cool if people could use the Apple Watch to exchange business cards? Only time will tell…
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