04 May
2015

Kirsten Campbell

By

Friday April 24th

6.46pm- I walk in the door at the BBQ and Clarence the social media kingpin demanded to see the watch immediately.  This didn’t surprise me since the three screamy texts I got during the day were to remind me to bring the watch over.

6.47pm- Commit to living the full Apple watch experience by leaving my phone in my bag.

7.09pm- Regret decision to leave my phone in my bag because when I dictate replies to my wrist everyone stops talking and looks at me.  Awkward.

8.48pm-  Some people say that the ding noise when I get a text sounds like ‘a microwave or oven timer.’  Each time the watch makes a noise people laugh and tell me that my cooking is done.  Laugh all you want, rejection from society is what created X-Men!

9.19pm-  While losing miserably at Settlers of Catan, the watch tells me to stand up and walk around.  This is going to get old fast.

10.18pm- Verdict on my first day with the Apple Watch:  I feel like a caveman trying to learn about gravity.

Saturday April 25th

9.07am- Apple watch, I will best you!

9.40am- Fine Apple, I shall watch your instructional video but I won’t be happy about it.

9.42am- Ohhhhhhhhhh, now it makes sense.  As much as I hate to admit it, I think learning all this would have taken me a long time without the video.

11.04am- Commence stalking my brother to see if he got his Apple watch yet.

11.05am- Colin tells me that he got his watch and has been sending me taps but I haven’t responded.

11.06am- Fumble around with the watch and locate said taps.  Huzzah!  I win this round!

11.06am- ?? Slip into black hole of time sending taps, heartbeats and crudely drawn pictures to each other while laughing at our own hilarity.  Since Colin is the only one I know with an Apple watch, he’s the sole victim of these special watch features.

3.09pm-  Try to use my Starbucks reward card on my watch but fail horribly.  The barista shares in my disappointment because she said she wanted to see the watch in action too.

3.10pm- While waiting for my drink I conclude that I have no artistic skill and the Digital Touch drawings make me look like an escaped mental patient. Tweens stare at my watch while I put a lid on my latte.  The world feels right again.

7.00pm- At dinner I keep checking my watch because I fear I missed a tap or notification.

7.01pm- No missed communication; I’m just unpopular.

Triage

One thing I have to keep reminding myself about the Apple watch is that its main purpose is for notifications, like a pager from back in the day.  Initially I got annoyed that I saw an email or whatsapp then had to get my phone out to reply to it, but now I’ve trained myself to think of it more as triage: decide which ones are worthy of getting my phone out and which ones aren’t.

Can You Hear Me Now?

When I have phoned people they have unanimously agreed that the call quality on their end is great; even better than the handsfree set I use in the car. It can be hard to hear on my end if I’m on the street or somewhere noisy, but overall I’ve been quite happy with it.  In addition to the call quality, the watch is fantastic when you’re driving.  You can switch songs and answer calls without having to touch your phone.

Size Matters

I am used to a very heavy Nixon watch so switching to the Apple watch has been a shocking adjustment.  I didn’t think it would make a difference but it does since I’ve worn my Nixon for I’d say 10 years and I feel naked without it.  The Apple watch I’m wearing is the 38mm Stainless Steel model and there’s a 42mm option available for those like me who prefer a larger face.  I don’t find the watch small to use, it just feels so light compared to what I am used to.

The apps on the watch appear super tiny and I had no idea how my giant paws were going to access any of them.  In a true testament to the glory of Apple, they are so precise!  I can stab my finger at the screen and accurately hit any app I want. It must be witchcraft!  Most third party apps aren’t supported on the watch but that will change very soon.  The Digital Crown on the side is fantastic because it helps you zip through long lists of emails or texts so you don’t block the screen with your finger.  I keep accidentally taking screenshots though, so I guess my finger accuracy still needs some fine tuning.

 

How’s the Weather Up There?

Since Vancouver is notorious for rain, I thought pulling my wrist out to check messages would be a recipe for a waterlogged disaster but the watch has been great.  We’ve had a strange assortment of weather (rain! wind! sun!) each day so it’s been wonderful for my testing.  Even in the blazing sun, the watch is easy to read.  It still doesn’t have a scratch on it but I’ve been guarding it with my life.

Leopard Print, Polka Dots, Oh My!

I adore my Nixon watch- it goes with everything because its band is made from real bamboo.  10 years ago (I still can’t believe that) I couldn’t decide which timepiece would be best for my long term watch dreams and needs.  When I was assigned the Apple watch, I wasn’t sure about the white band because white ceramic watches have been trendy with hipsters and I wanted to stay far away from that nightmare.  Since I’ve been wearing the Apple watch, I don’t feel restricted in my outfits whether they are casual or more formal.

I think the Apple watch is the most fashion forward of all the smart watches because it’s sleek, sophisticated and minimalist.  It works for both men and women and has enough colour options to suit everyone’s tastes.

Accessorize that watch!

Accessorize that watch!

I’ve Got the World on my Wrist

Since the workplace is now anywhere that has internet access, the Apple watch nicely complements any member of the mobile workforce.  I can be sitting at Starbucks and see work Google chats, emails and any other notification and decide if they are urgent or not.  Usually when I’m walking on the street, I don’t hear my phone in my handbag so having a gentle tap on my wrist is the perfect alert.  The Taptic Engine isn’t intrusive but it’s still noticeable.  I would argue that the tap is the most impressive part of the watch;  the technology is truly brilliant.

The battery life of the Apple Watch has been great.  I read several reviews where readers complained about the battery on their phone or watch dying in the afternoon.  I am not a techie but I’ve been pleased with the battery life of the watch.  It hasn’t died, nor has it needed to be charged in the middle of the day. I normally charge my phone in the late afternoon because I fear living life with less than 50% battery.  The watch has not accelerated my need to charge my phone so I generally don’t even think about it.  I can see if some people are constantly using the watch that that would drain their battery, but for normal users I can’t imagine it will be an issue.

I’ll Fax Ya!

Since many of the features and fun aspects are only available to other Apple watch users, it feels like I own the first fax machine.  I have this amazing piece of technology but it’s not terribly useful for some features until it hits critical mass and everyone is walking around talking into their wrists and sending drawings of cowboy hats to each other.

Not a cowboy hat

Not a cowboy hat

The Beginning of An Icon?

It’s too soon to tell if the Apple watch will be iconic the way that the first iPhone and coloured iMacs redefined their brand and place in the market.  After I got the first iPhone, people actually followed me around campus and on the street just to get a glimpse of it.  Strangers requested demos and couldn’t believe they were seeing it in person.  From the first day I had the iPhone, it was a showstopper and it was clear Apple would change the way we communicate.

The watch doesn’t have the iconic feel of the first iPhone but its technology will have a lasting effect on us.  In less than a year I’m certain everyone will be talking into their wrists and it will become as normalized as everyone at a dinner table, heads bowed, staring into a dimly lit screen.  Only time will tell but now we have a watch to keep track of our progress.

Stay tuned for my next Apple watch review where I stop being so lazy and finally give the activity apps a whirl!