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Nathan

Apple Watch

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So I was one of the lucky (or fanatical few) to get mine on April 24th. Thoughts after ten days of using it are below:

 

I have the 42MM stainless steel with the Milanese loop band.

 

General thoughts: It's not an obvious gamechanger....but I think "smartwatches" or something like them, will be ubiquitous in five years. ten at the outside. you don't understand the necessity until you use it...for a while. It's convenience factor and time saving. pure and simple. I get all the notifications I want (and only the ones I want)...on my wrist. a slight tap on my wrist is all I feel, I move my wrist up and glance at it, the message or notification appears. I quickly look at it and move my wrist down and it disappears. it works in the middle of a meeting, in the middle of a conversation, etc. if I need to reply I can do that. my phone never leaves my pocket or other room...depending.

 

this review is closer to my thoughts than any I have read: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-watch-review-2015-5

 

I have the large size. it's small. most other "smartwatches" look gargantuan next to it. they all look cheap. the 38MM is truly sleek. and definitely aimed at women. but it would definitely work as a more elegant size on a man. my band, the Milanese loop gets more comments than the watch itself. everyone loves the band...it opens and closes with a magnet so it's infinitely adjustable. the fit and finish of the stainless steel is definitely comparable to anything in the $1,000.00 and other watch market (mine cost about $750.00). that's why other smartwatches all look cheap. theyr'e $150-200 watches. duh. (the tech press doesn't understand this because they never wear watches (or suits) and because they think in terms of specs = price. jewelry/fashion is beyond them)

 

as a fitness tracker it's motivating. and will only get better. the heart rate sensors on the bottom are massive (Consumer Reports claims after testing it that it's the first accurate wrist-based sensor). apparently they are actually a plethysmograph (a pulse oximeter) but that feature hasn't been activated (Apple probably doesn't have FDA approval yet). anyway, the fitness apps work very well.

 

actually, all the Apple apps work very well. the third party apps almost all suck so far. Dark Sky, Uber, Evernote and Things (task management software that I sync between my phone and computer and watch) are the primary exceptions. that will change.

 

you note what this is? it's the first iPhone. much better designed and more capable than any of its erstwhile competition but a first-generation product in many respects. it was the 3GS that really sparked things for the iPhone. I imagine the third generation will be huge with the Apple Watch.

 

give it a year and you'll see much higher quality (and much more expensive) competing smartwatches...but right now they're all geeky and cheap looking and feeling in comparison.

 

final points:

 

the two greatest advantages of the Apple Watch? the "haptic engine" and Apple Pay. the "haptic engine" is those subtle little touches (forcepress and the digital crown are useful too) on your wrist. this is key to keep this as the subtle device it is. no one else can tell it's buzzing. and this is the device that Apple Pay was made for. if you have an iPhone 6 or 6+ you should be using Apple Pay whenever possible due to the tokenization (much more secure) but it's not really a timesaver, Apple's PR to the contrary. with the watch it really is faster. that's been the aha so far every time I've used it at the cash register. I pay my bill in half a second. stuns everyone. you just hold the watch up to the register and done.

 

and it looks nice enough that you can wear it with good clothes. happy to answer any questions.

 

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My mom is waiting for hers to arrive. She 83 and needs the newest fanciest tech thing out there. She'll never figure out how to work it but she might finally know when she has a text or a call. I'm looking forward to apps that track her well being so she can stay in her dangerous big ass house without us worrying all the time. Eventually I will get one to track my workouts, etc. when I tried them on at the Apple Store, I had my eye on the Milanese loop but it wasn't comfortable on my wrist. I imagine someone who could comfortably the larger version of the watch might find that strap comfy. I plan to go with the 38mm sport version in the space grey, in hopes no one on the subway will notice it and kill me for it.

 

Nathan, do you find the health activity tracking from the watch migrates to the health app completely?

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My mom is waiting for hers to arrive. She 83 and needs the newest fanciest tech thing out there. She'll never figure out how to work it but she might finally know when she has a text or a call. I'm looking forward to apps that track her well being so she can stay in her dangerous big ass house without us worrying all the time. Eventually I will get one to track my workouts, etc. when I tried them on at the Apple Store, I had my eye on the Milanese loop but it wasn't comfortable on my wrist. I imagine someone who could comfortably the larger version of the watch might find that strap comfy. I plan to go with the 38mm sport version in the space grey, in hopes no one on the subway will notice it and kill me for it.

 

Nathan, do you find the health activity tracking from the watch migrates to the health app completely?

 

when your mother sets hers up she probably will want to turn on "prominent haptic" in the settings. it activates a more potent buzz before every notification...I don't use it but it might be a good idea for her.

I wouldn't worry about the subway...think about how many people in NY are rocking $25,000.00 watches on the subway (seriously).

 

as for the activity tracking...the active calories burned and distance traveled appears in the Health app on your phone. a new Activity app will also appear on your phone...which contains all the data from the fitness tracking on the Watch.

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So far with the iphone I find that activity is not consistently making it into the health app I'm hoping it will be closer to 100% with the watch.

 

Ill worry about the subway until the watch is readily available for purchase. It will be stolen to be the first on the block with one not because it's expensive. I rock a pretty expensive watch most days on the subway but almost no one notices. I think an apple watch will be tempting for a while

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The health features are getting a lot of interest in the medical press. The ability to document activity levels etc and link to health records is huge.

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I would imagine that some companies will subsidize it for employees, they've done it for fitness trackers before and they've run into the problem that they're ugly and people won't wear them.

 

other thoughts: the interchangeable band system is a massive advantage over traditional watches (and something that should have been invented a century ago. just push two buttons and the band slides right out and you slide in another.

 

like I said the apple apps work very well. it's an excellent Apple TV remote and using it as a viewfinder for the iPhone camera works well. problem is that this will lead to higher quality selfies...which the world doesn't need.

 

interesting aspect to service...Apple offers a free setup and overview of the functions with an apple support person via FaceTime (sorry Sneakeater, you can see them but they can't see you)...

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other thoughts: the interchangeable band system is a massive advantage over traditional watches (and something that should have been invented a century ago

 

 

Wasn't this always the fossil shtick? Or is there something different about their system?

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These watches need to get down to like $50 before they become ubiquitous. How many people are going to want to spend $750+ every couple years to replace their obsoleted watch?

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I see that as Apple's big problem with this. It's not like a desktop or laptop, which you can hang onto for years. These watches will become obsolete -- unusable with current operating systems and apps -- quickly. It's hard to justify.*

 

(I'm sure I'll get one eventually [it's easy to see the attraction of what it does] -- but I would NEVER spend $750 on the first version. You just have to look at it to see that the next iteration will be much thinner and less clunky.)

___________________________________________________________

* Nathan's response to this, when we were discussing Apple Watches when they were first announced last year, was that it's easy to justify spending $350 on a product you'll only use for a couple of years. But now we see how the pricing works -- and even Nathan has implicitly acknowledged that no non-techie grownup** is going to go around with an aluminum Sport model with a rubber band on his or her wrist. A watch you can actually be seen with will cost $650-$750. To me, that's above what I'd comfortably spend on a two-year purchase.

 

** Sorry, Jason. You're just wrong about this. At least in the professional, non-techie world I inhabit.

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Although in that case, the only smart thing to do is wait a couple of iterations until they get the case to where it's going to be.

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If they are smart - and they are. They'll figure out a form factor that allows one to swap internals in a very nice professional looking case.

 

That's never been the apple game, though.

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But they've never had a product that functions as jewelry and is priced strictly according to appearance.

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