The Apple Watch after 3 months

Published August 23, 2015
I have to say first that I am an early adopter and “tester” of most gadgets – and many of them don’t pan out, but the Apple Watch is on the right path.
I was a Kickstarter backer of the Pebble. Loved it for a long time and upgraded to the Pebble Steel. The 7 day battery was great and I had even been scuba diving with it – a REAL watch. But then they had a major software problem in April that caused the watch to constantly reboot unless I turned off Blu-tooth–making it a dumb watch until my Apple Watch arrived in early June. 
By that time I was wearing a FitBit as well to track my sleep. So I had a strange number of weeks where I would wear the Apple Watch during the day and the Pebble while I slept for the silent alarm. 
Then I left my Pebble Steel on a plane by accident. And I had 3 fit bits in a row “break” inexplicably (without much support / help from FitBit themselves, I might add).  I was hoping my Pebble Time Steel would arrive in mid-July, but that is delayed now until September or later I am told.  So having resigned myself to using the Apple Watch during the day in my experiment and some other device at night as a silent alarm, I was now forced to push forward with the Apple Watch.

Here is what I found:

  • It is great for notifications.  One of the “smarter” developments over the Pebble is that if you have seen the notification on your phone (i.e. unlocked the phone or were viewing it), they do not go to your watch.  This was a real frustration with Pebble (double alerts).
  • It also respects your “Do Not Disturb” automatically, meaning there is no need to disconnect the watch from your phone while you sleep (something that was required with Pebble).
  • It automatically installs “Watch Enabled” apps when they come out.  Now this is a blessing and a curse, but better than hunting for new things if you like trying the apps.  They just need to set the bar better for the watch apps themselves.  FaceBook for example just tells you to open the app on your phone — #FAIL.
  • The native fitness apps are great, especially in hear rate tracking.  But Apple needs to hurry up and give access to those features to RunKeeper and other apps who could do so much more than tracking (i.e. interval training between two heart rate levels).
  • The Uber app is actually really well done and is a value add on the watch.
  • The native music app is terrible…and way behind any of the 3rd party apps– a bit surprisingly.
  • The “modular” watch face is very productive, but there needs to be a better way to find “cool” watch face apps than there is today (perhaps a trial mode where you get to test a new one every day).
  • The Weather app sucks and is broken.  The number of times I have selected my cities on the iPhone only to have something (the watch, Apple, iTunes, the phone) turn them all back to how they were set previously.  I have given up until they are updated.
  • The TripIt watch app is VERY helpful while traveling.
  • The Passbook app is pretty good.  While paying is still too difficult (to many buttons to press and select to arrive at it while at the register), it does work for boarding planes, movie tickets, etc, which is pretty cool.
  • The speech to text “Siri-like” capability it pretty good (i.e. start a time for 4 minutes).  It works well for dictating texts as well.
  • The messaging app is pretty good at predicting useful short responses to texts you receive.
  • Even the Wunderlist app is pretty good at arranging your priority actions right where you want the reminders.

I think this category will continue to improve and reach mass adoption, but only when the batter problem (i.e. 7 days minimum) is solved and the water proof capability (i.e. at least swimmable to 10 ft) is solved.  The reality is that while most people complain about the $350 entry price tag, it is cheaper than most watches that people already own who also own an iPhone…

Latest Headlines

  • KPN launches DreamWorks, updated Fox Sports 1 channels for KPN iTV (Digital TV Europe)

    Published July 23, 2019

    Dutch Telco KPN has signed a deal with NBCUniversal International to launch DreamWorks on KPN iTV. The channel, which launches today (July 23), will initially operate for several hours a day building to a full 24-hour broadcast schedule in September. Content shown on the DreamWorks channel includes family shows and movies such as The Adventures […]

  • Netflix targeting India at €4 per sub (Advanced Television)

    Published July 23, 2019

    Netflix is contemplating an ultra-low pricing plan for India subscribers at just 300 Rupees (about €3.90) per month. Netflix told analysts during its Q2/2019 results call last week that India would need a less expensive plan, with CEO Reed Hastings saying: “After several months of testing, we’ve decided to roll out a lower-priced mobile-screen plan […]

  • UK delays decision on Huawei, plans law on telecom procurement security (Telecompaper)

    Published July 23, 2019

    The UK government has announced plans for legislation to impose tighter security requirements on telecom operators and their supply chains. However, it stopped short of taking a decision on “high-risk vendors”, saying it will study the matter further following the US government’s recent blacklisting of Chinese equipment maker Huawei. The ‘Telecoms Supply Chain Review’ released […]

  • Distributors warn MIPTV changes could be “universally detrimental” to market (TBI Vision)

    Published July 23, 2019

    MIPTV’s new floorplan, confirmed by Reed Midem today, has prompted outrage from international distributors who worry the changes could be “universally detrimental” to small and mid-sized outfits. While the businesses have been aware of potential plans to concentrate the market within the Grand Palais since April, MIP organiser Reed Midem’s decision to go forward with […]

  • Netflix boosts kids’ originals slate (Rapid TV News)

    Published July 23, 2019

    Netflix has taken the wraps off of seven original pre-school series, including a CG animated comedy adventure to premiere this year that serves as an expansion of DreamWorks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon franchise. The series will consist of five animated, one nonfiction and one live-action series, all aimed at Netflix’s global audience of […]

  • Kajita To Lead Sony Media Solutions Business (In Broadcast)

    Published July 23, 2019

    Hiroshi Kajita has been named as the new Head of Media Solutions at Sony. Kajita joined Sony in 1985 and has extensive experience working with media organisations, partners and customers across the industry. He will build on the success Sony Professional Solutions Europe (PSE) has seen in media and entertainment by delivering on its product, […]

Members

2nd Screen Blog