By Kelsey Blevins, PR Account Coordinator
When I first put on my Apple Watch Sport on May 9, I was not a huge fan. I could barely feel the notifications and I felt a little pretentious walking around in public. I even went as far as to turn the watch face to the underside of my wrist before I went into stores where I knew I would have to interact with people. And by no means would you ever find me speaking into my wrist. If we are being honest, my distain could have stemmed from the fact that never in my life have I ever worn a watch.
A lot has changed since then, except you will still never find me speaking into my wrist. I don’t even talk to Siri on my iPhone so I have no interest in taking phone calls on my watch.
Now you’re probably thinking, “If you don’t use any of the voice controls, why do you even wear the watch?” Yes, it’s true I probably have cut the capabilities of the Apple Watch in half, but I still find it useful.
Below are my thoughts on the Apple Watch Sport broken down.
Like all Apple products, the packaging was beautiful. Unboxing the Apple Watch is an event in and of itself. The Apple Watch Sport comes in an elegant white oblong box with the Apple Watch logo embossed on the front. Inside the box you will find the watch with a band already attached, a charger and another wristband.
I don’t read directions so I can’t tell you if the manual is helpful. But I can tell you that you don’t need it. At least to set it up…
If you open the Apple Watch app on your phone it guides you through the setup, which is fairly easy as you use the camera on your iPhone to do most of the work.
I will admit to having to Google a few things after the initial setup though, so maybe the manual would have been helpful to read and not immediately throw on the floor.
After I got used to wearing a watch for the first time in my life, I liked the fit of the watch. My wrist does get a little sweaty under the band if I am outside in the heat, but this could be a common problem for watch wearers- I have no clue.
At first I was not at all impressed and I still think they could use some improvements. As I mentioned earlier, I initially could barely feel the ‘taps.’ But after tightening the wristband by two notches and turning on prominent haptic (pre-tap to some alerts so now I receive one long buzz followed by two short) I could feel them much easier. The taps are a great gentle vibration and are not startling or annoying in the least.
The second thing I noticed is that when I get any kind of notification, my iPhone does not vibrate if I am wearing the watch and my iPhone is in sleep mode. If you tap the power button on your iPhone to take it out of sleep, you can see all of your notifications as long as you did not dismiss them from your watch. According to Apple’s website they did this to make the notifications less of a burden, but I would prefer if both my iPhone and Apple Watch vibrated with notifications.
I only use a few of the apps, but I do like the ones I have had a chance to use.
The camera app will connect with your iPhone so you can see a display of your iPhone’s camera on your watch and it allows you to take a picture or set a 3-second timer. This capability is only for photos, not video.
As someone who is particularly directionally challenged, the Maps app has helped me out on a few occasions. After picking a destination, your watch will tap you and display your next turn. This is extremely useful as it taps you three times right before you need to make a turn.
I also receive all my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Pages notifications on my watch, which is nice. The Facebook Pages notifications are very helpful for me to stay up-to-date with the multiple pages I manage. In this day in age people want a response to their question on Facebook instantly. I can get closer to that time if I get a tap on the wrist rather than having to check Facebook in my browser every couple of hours. However, I never go into the apps to view my feeds. I would rather just use my phone for that.
I have everyone in the office set as a VIP in Mac Mail so I am notified of these emails through the Apple Watch with the caveat that a lot of the messages are unreadable. Sort of defeats the purpose of even being notified.
All text messages come through to the phone as well. You do have the option to send emojis, the most important part of a text message. But you can only send one at a time, which is a bummer. In addition Apple has added the capability to send hand-drawn pictures to members of the 12 pre-set contacts on your watch, which is pretty useless. You can reply to texts with pre-selected replies or speak into your watch to reply with audio or voice to text. Most of the time I would rather just pick up my phone, which mind you always has to be in range of your watch anyway for it work, to reply.
As someone who does not exercise whatsoever, the activity tracker doesn’t really do much for me. Except send me constant reminders of how lazy I am. But the Apple Watch will track rowing and cycling unlike the FitBit. Although, I cannot vouch for this as I have never done those activities in my life. The permanent crease in my couch is a pretty good indication of my poor life choices.
I’ve seen battery life fall into a lot of con columns in other reviews, but for me it’s a definite pro. When I wake up in the morning I take it off the charger and put on before I go to sleep. Never have I had a problem with it running out of battery before the day is through.
I can see how it might be a problem for vampires or people who never sleep. But let’s face it; your phone will probably be dead way before you would even think about worrying about your Apple Watch. And without your phone, your watch is basically rendered useless unless you want to know what time it is.
Overall, the Apple Watch does everything your iPhone can but with more work on your part and less efficiently. However, it does come in handy if you are on the move a lot and don’t have your phone glued to your hand. I found the Apple Watch most useful on recent video shoots. I was able to keep my hands free but still stay notified of important emails, texts and call.