Apple Watch – 10 months later and still loving it!

Hello folks! I originally purchased the Apple Watch last year, 38mm silver aluminum case with blue sport band. Now, ten months later, I thought would be a good time to let you know how it’s lived up to my expectations. The premise was that I would be home with twins on maternity leave and would not be able to keep my phone on me at all times. While this was a completely valid reason, in the interest of full disclosure, I love Apple’s mobile products. Like, stand in line, stalk the rumor sites, love them. Hubby bought me the original iPhone as a congratulatory present for my thesis defense, and I have been hooked since. Between the two of us, we have more iPads, iPhones, iPods, and watches than is sane.

Here’s mine as it came in the box (with the shorter band):

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This is the least expensive version, but all the models have the same software, just different watch hardware. For an extension of the phone, it is a great device. I am hoping for the J. D. Robb novel futuristic version one day where a hologram pops up of the person you are talking to, but in a near-term iteration I would really love one that is autonomous from my phone! I would love to be able to use it at very least with my iPad mini and ditch the phone completely. But as an extension of my phone, here are some of the things I love and improvements I can share now that I have used it a while.

Watch – Loves…
For me, the best part has been not keeping my phone with me, especially at home. It’s easy to wear and I don’t notice it, so I basically put it on when I get up and take it off at night. My phone stays in a central location unless I’m using it. It connects to my phone from about 30 feet in any direction (including different floors) for Bluetooth or any distance on wifi. The face is simplified and easy to read. You can see that I’m using the customized face, which is a bit too limited, but basically gives me most of what I need at a glance. I also love the sketch feature which Hubby and I use all the time for quick messages. This is a neat feature only between Apple Watch users where you can draw messages and send to each other. Definitely one of the most functional features that Hubby and I use. We have developed hieroglyphics of a sort to communicate routine things, like leaving work, girls napping, etc.

A few other housekeeping items that I usually get asked. The battery usually lasts about two days before charging, which is plenty for me. It recharges pretty quickly, less than an hour, and comes with a Watch specific cable. I also purchased an off brand stand because the cable would pull my watch off the nightstand sometimes. There are probably better ones now (and Apple has released a flat one), but I’m still pretty satisfied with this one. You can find it on Amazon still for $16:

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It also claims to be water resistant, and although I haven’t showered with it, I have done dishes and seen no issues. I have also used mine for workouts and it is all I need, although I’m not training for any marathons, so serious fitness users, draw your own conclusions! You can set goals by calories, time, or distance depending on the activity.

Also you can always check your heart rate on the “glances” menu, which you set up on the app and can be found by swiping up on your watch.

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I have used it to answer phone calls when I had my arms full or couldn’t locate my phone, but you have to speak fairly close to it. It’s great for email and text, and Hubby has ingeniously used it to take photos of the girls napping by setting his phone upright next to their beds (it only operates the phone camera, but it shows the picture on your watch). Similarly to the camera, it controls music from the phone only, so no speakers. Although it didn’t seem very useful at first, I do use it anytime that I am playing a to my Bluetooth speaker.

Hubby also bought me a second band for variety. I was pleasantly pleased with how it has held up considering the light color. Changing bands is super easy and the sport bands run around $50 each, with the each band coming with both lengths.

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Here’s my Hubby’s, also using a version of the customized watch face. His is the 42mm space gray aluminum case with black sport band, using the longer band.

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Ok so I really do love it and basically wear it every day, but here are a few things that would make it so much better.

Watch – Needs improvement…

The calendar. Notice that it shows no events on my watch face above? That’s because it only shows events that have a timed duration; if it’s an all day event, nothing. Birthdays, garbage day, etc., all do not show up on the face. Also, you can only see a limited number of days even in the calendar app. You cannot manually select days. If I need to check my schedule two weeks from now, I have to revert back to my phone, when the watch could be so handy for this!

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Email from multiple iOS devices. This would be especially handy for those of us who use work devices and personal devices. Merge notifications to the watch. It defeats the point of of freeing me from carrying my phone if I’m still toting my work phone around at home.

Sketches. So many times I have a sketch playing and do not realize it, and there is no way to get them back or replay! This is so frustrating! Also, if I’m using my phone, I would love an option that tells me I have a sketch waiting.

Also I have not tried it with Apple Pay but will update with comments when I do. It seems to be pretty handy, so I’m looking forward to that!

Ok, last one, the watch can light up when you turn your wrist, but it’s a little buggy if it’s mid-text, sketch, etc., and can go black. Happens a lot actually. Also I’m one of the weird folks that likes to wear my watch on the underside of my wrist, and would love an option for that with the lift to light up feature.

So all in all, a great first device for Apple, but definitely a lot of room for improvement!

Kristen

photo credits kmparker

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