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15.05.2015

Nicolas Bichon,
Business

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Apple Watch: leave your iPhone in your pocket

3634 read – 2 comments – Mobile – Tags: Apple watch, Apple watch review, iPhone app

It has been almost two weeks since I received my Apple Watch and that I use it every day. Here are some remarks on my experience. 

Unpacking

I ordered the Apple Watch Sport 42mm in Space Gray with the Black Sport Band.

The box contains two bands, a S/M size and a M/L size.

The first configuration took me about 15 minutes, it is done via the Apple Watch app on the iPhone.

By default, all your apps containing an Apple Watch app are installed on the device. Then you can uninstall the apps you want (except the Apple ones, as usual), and also choose which glances to show.

You can also choose which notifications to receive. If it is a third party app, you can just choose to activate or deactivate it, and if it is an Apple app, you can use the same configuration as on your iPhone or you can personalize them.

Then it's time to personalize your watch face! A useful point is that you can adapt the look of your watch according to your environment: a party, a meeting, sport, etc.

Long life to your Battery (or not)

The Apple Watch battery is fine, I end up most of my days with 50-70% battery remaining, the charging takes approximately one hour, which is decent.

The battery problem is on the iPhone side, as all the operations in Apple Watch apps are made on the iPhone, it literally strike his battery! I can't even finish a day without charging it twice. From what I've experienced so far, the battery of my iPhone lasts around 10-12 hours without doing anything special, just a normal day. This is a big problem I think, hoping it will be fixed in a future release of Watch OS.

Notifications! Notifications! Notifications!

The Apple Watch is simply the best way for checking your notifications. Apple has really done a great job with it, because the notifications are automatically shown on your Apple Watch or on your iPhone depending on the situation: if the iPhone's ambient light sensor doesn't detect light or if your iPhone is not just next to you, they appear on the Apple Watch. If that is not the case, they appear on the iPhone. This is really practical if you don't have your iPhone in your pocket or if it is lost in your Mary Poppins' bag. Furthermore, they're synced between your Apple Watch and your iPhone. If you read them on one device, it disappears from the other and vice-versa.

Apple has also used the pre-defined buttons in notifications, so that they appear and can be triggered on the Watch. For example, when you read an email you can choose to send the mail directly to your trash from the notification. This might be sufficient for some apps, instead of developing a complete Apple Watch app. Above this, there is nothing to do to support it, it is automatic.

Plus, the Apple Watch has an option to make your iPhone ring, if you don't remember where you've put it...

What's this for?

Under the hood, Apple has named the Apple Watch apps Nano apps, and I understand why. These apps are not real apps, they're just an extension of your iPhone apps, they contains almost nothing, just the basic information and interaction. This could change though, when Apple will offers the possibility to develop standalone apps later this year.

The Apple Watch is really a consultation device, there's not much to do on it. This is a bit frustrating sometimes, as I'd like to answer a message without pulling out my iPhone or speaking out loud. But the Apple Watch is not built for that king of usage.

I my opinion: the best apps and the ones I used are most often the simplest ones:

  • Do a Check-in in Swarm,
  • Check your flight in Passbook,
  • Shazam a song with Shazam,
  • Check your delivery with Deliveries,
  • Launch an exercise with Exercise,
  • Mark a task as done in Things,
  • etc.

The device is built for short interactions.

Another great feature of the Apple Watch is the ability to control other devices via AirPlay. I tried it with the Apple TV or with my music player, it is very nice.

And of course, the exercise app, which works very well. But it is not as complete as RunKeeper for instance.

This is (not) a revolution

The prediction I made in my previous article proved accurate, I mostly use the Apple Watch for interacting with my notifications and control other devices. The consultation of Instagram or Twitter feed is nice, but the screen is to small and there is no interaction (no support for links, nor HTML), so I don't use these apps that much.

The most noticeable change is that I pull out my iPhone very less often than before, because I can quickly see the notification and decide to go further or not. I've also realized that most of my notifications aren't important, and whereas with only the iPhone, I would pull it out from my pocket and I would unlock it anyway. So most of the time I just take a look at my notification on my Apple Watch and don't go further because it's not that important. So I'm less distracted now.

I also try to walk more, with the Activity app I can see how much activities I make everyday... I figured out that on a normal work day, I don't make exercise more than 7 minutes during the entire day! This is scary!

And last but not least, I don't pull out my iPhone to read the clock anymore. After all, that is what a watch is used for...

Leave a comment

2 comments

Thanks for your feedback Nicolas, looking forward to try mine :-)

15.05.2015

11:01:47

Jérémy
It seems that since the Watch OS update to version 1.0.1, the battery problem on the iPhone is fixed! :-) I can now finish a day without charging my iPhone twice.

22.05.2015

09:05:04

Nicolas

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