Review: Apple Watch is beautiful, but rough around the edges

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  • Reply 41 of 146

    Tweetbot for Apple Watch confirmed! :)

  • Reply 42 of 146
    booboobooboo Posts: 48member

    Good review. I received my Watch last Friday, and it's been working well for me. Not perfect, but better than I expected.

     

    Pros: the 38mm is a perfect size for me (I have 180mm wrist circumference). Not too big, not too small. The sport band is comfortable and easy to manage. Battery life is much better than I expected; I put on the Watch about 7:00 a.m. and it has about 50% charge or more left at 11:00 p.m. when I take it off. The display looks great and is easy to read. UI controls (force touch, touch, scrolling, digital crown) all work very well. I think the Watch looks great. The arm motion required to light up the Watch display is reasonable, although I would prefer it would also light up with just a twist of the wrist. I'm a long time watch wearer, and this is how I look at watches.

     

    Cons: I don't get all of my notifications for things like incoming phone calls, emails, text messages. Seems hit or miss, even though my iPhone is right next to me. I haven't figured this one out yet. Some third party apps are s-l-o-w. I see that Loading thing a lot. I think some developers tried to do too much with their apps. Less is more.

     

    Tip: I believe the default pairing script is to have all of your iPhone apps with Watch app extensions enabled on the Watch. I didn't do that. Instead, I manually enabled just a few Watch apps that I knew I wanted to try and have gradually added more over time. I did this because of the NY Times review where the guy wrote that he was overwhelmed with too many notifications from all of his apps.

  • Reply 43 of 146
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    "Rough around the edges"? "3.5?" Seriously!?

    I've been using the watch since Friday with almost no issues, particularly when considering its myriad functions. I picked up the UI very quickly, I've gone to work, gone to bars, showered with it, ran with it, did yoga with it, controlled my Apple TV, used the remote shutter, sent messages, made phone calls, used Siri to great effect while driving, navigated with maps, and effortlessly switched between watch faces.. this thing is fantastic! And I have yet to get the battery below 20%. I was surprised at how well the watch anticipates my intention to look at the watch face, and turn off when I don't need it. To me this seems like a fantastic first product, and I would not call this "rough around the edges."

    Of course, a couple things did come up for me, but not a big deal. Maybe others have had similar issues:
    -Strangely, it took about 10 tries to pair it with my Apple TV, but after that it has worked great, and it works differently than other apps in that it stays on instead of reverting back to the watch face as other apps do, which is very convenient.
    -The photos app doesn't really work for me. I selected "Mirror iPhone" but only my "Favorites" folder synched, and screen shots do not show up on my watch, or anywhere. I have yet to contact Apple about this, so maybe there's a simple fix I'm not aware of.
    -It would be nice if the taptic engine was a bit stronger. But the "tap" is really great, much better than a typical vibration motor.
    -It seems like the heart rate monitor takes a bit long to register the initial heart rate, but is more fluid after that first read. On the other hand, Consumer Reports did say that it was just as accurate as their highest rated chest strap monitor. I keep the heart rate monitor glance on during yoga for fun, but also kind of as a biofeedback mechanism, to know when I need to ease up, and it works great for this.

    Nice write up. Interesting what you say about picking up the UI quickly as reading through John Gruber and some other techies twitter feeds they seem to struggle with it. It's amusing to me that average joes seem to pick it up just fine where as some techies are struggling with it.
  • Reply 44 of 146
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,526member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by xixo View Post



    Great review. A year from now when the watch is thinner, the 3rd party and native apps have their bugs worked out and the battery lasts 3x longer, sales should really take off.

    I hope I am wrong, but everything I read on battery tech indicates a very small % improvement year-over-year for a given volume of battery.  Nothing on the large-scale technology variety (that Apple needs for their devices) that will provide a 3x improvement in the next few years.  Of course the other half is reducing the power draw, but looking at the technology in the watch today, and the likely drive to include GPS in a next gen device, I don't see significant improvement in overall battery life for the watch on the horizon.  Maybe go from ~18 hours for a set of tasks to 20 hours, or 22?

     

    Also, even if battery life doubled - to say ~36 hours for a reference - would that really alter the required behaviour?  It would maybe last 2 days of light use, but some drain overnight might mean it would run out in the middle of the next day.  So it really still needs daily charging.  And if you didn't do it every day, would you not get in the habit, and then find it running out more often?  Really, unless it gets to almost a week on a charge, having to charge it every 2 or 3 days isn't going to make much difference to most.

     

    Ability to rapidly charge (fully charge in 30mins or less) would seem to have more benefits than extending battery life by 50%.

  • Reply 45 of 146
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 905member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

     

    Remember the first iPhone and the first apps?

     

    Yeah. That.

     

    But it was still Insanely Great. 

     

    It was a watershed moment for the entire industry, the world over. It isn't just what the iPhone was in and of itself at the time, it's what it represented – the promise and the possibilities, all emanating from that device. It was about what it declared to the industry and everyday people: This is how it's done right

     

    Same deal now. 




    Agreed.

     

    The most telling of this writer's comments were at the end, how he expressed how "worth it" the watch is for him.

     

    Apple has commented often how the Apple Watch is the most personal product they've made. And Tim has said often how Apple has remained true to its goal of "getting the technology out of the way."

     

    The Apple Watch is the next evolutionary step along that road.

  • Reply 46 of 146
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PatchyThePirate View Post

     

    "Rough around the edges"? "3.5"? Seriously!?

     

    I've been using the watch since Friday with almost no issues, particularly when considering its myriad functions. I picked up the UI very quickly, I've gone to work, gone to bars, I shower with it, run with it, do yoga with it, control my Apple TV, use the remote shutter, use Apple Pay, send messages, make phone calls, use Siri to great effect while driving, navigate with maps, and effortlessly switched between watch faces.. this thing is fantastic! And I have yet to get the battery below 20%. I was surprised at how well the watch anticipates my intention to look at the watch face, and turn off when I don't need it. To me this seems like a fantastic first product, and I would not call this "rough around the edges."

     

    Of course, a couple things did come up for me, but not a big deal. Maybe others have had similar issues:

    -Strangely, it took about 10 tries to pair it with my Apple TV, but after that it has worked great, and it works differently than other apps in that it stays on instead of reverting back to the watch face as other apps do, which is very convenient.

    -The photos app doesn't really work for me. I selected "Mirror iPhone" but only my "Favorites" folder synched, and screen shots do not show up on my watch, or anywhere. I have yet to contact Apple about this, so maybe there's a simple fix I'm not aware of.

    -It would be nice if the taptic engine was a bit stronger. But the "tap" is really great, much better than a typical vibration motor.

    -I agree with the description of Passbook/Starbucks in the article. But it wasn't too much of a hassle, and, for starbucks, no more effort than using my iPhone.

    -It seems like the heart rate monitor takes a bit long to register the initial heart rate, but is more fluid after that first read. On the other hand, Consumer Reports did say that it was just as accurate as their highest rated chest strap monitor. I keep the heart rate monitor glance on during yoga for fun, but also kind of as a biofeedback mechanism, to know when I need to ease up, and it works great for this.

     

    Edit/Add: Btw, this thing looks fantastic (SS, 42mm, white band) and virtually everyone I've shown it to gets excited about it and says they want to buy one.




    Stop with this - for many of us still waiting for Apple store to move on from "Processing items" this just added to my frustration. I ordered two hours late, a SS with sports band. I could just pucker up and get one tomorrow from eBay - you should see the crazy prices they are actually selling for....

  • Reply 47 of 146
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,423member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    The 128k worked kinda sorta. It needed more RAM. Even Steve's demo used what became the 512k.



    I had the 128k and it wasn't the memory that was the problem, since you could only have one application in memory at a time anyway until they released 'the switcher'.   It was that before the hard disk, you spent your whole life switching 3.5" floppies as you switched from the OS to a floppy with apps on it (I think I had one floppy with both MacPaint and MacWrite) and perhaps a third floppy with your actual files.

     

    But the machine seemed miraculous.   I was working in educational publishing at the time and one of the first things I did was take a page from a textbook, replicated it in MacWrite using the closest matching fonts and then printed it out on the Laser Printer.   I walked it into my boss' office with a big smile on my face and said, "I just did this on the Mac".    They had just spent $ millions on a Wang word processing system that wasn't WYSIWYG.    No one could believe that this little Mac and laser printer could accomplish great looking output in just a few minutes.   And people were also shocked by the clarity of laser printing since everyone was still using typewriters at the time.

     

    I went on vacation and when I came back, my associate said "I have bad news for you".   Someone had stolen my Mac.   I replaced it immediately, but I can't remember if a newer model was out by then.   A few years later at another company I had the Mac with the 20MB hard disk.   I got a call from a designer friend of mine asking me if she would ever need anything larger than 20MB.   I (foolishly) said, "of course not...I've had this machine for two years and I've still only used a tiny percentage of the space!"    But that was still before email became ubiquitous and when Word (or Write) files and Excel files were tiny.

  • Reply 48 of 146
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    Nice write up. Interesting what you say about picking up the UI quickly as reading through John Gruber and some other techies twitter feeds they seem to struggle with it. It's amusing to me that average joes seem to pick it up just fine where as some techies are struggling with it.



    Thanks. Yeah, I'm not sure what the big deal is, there are only 2 buttons!, plus tap an force touch. If you don't over think it, and just try what seems logical, it doesn't take long to figure out. The only thing that maybe caused a bit of pause was realizing that you have to go back to the watch face to access notifications (swipe down) or glances (swipe up). But 95/100 times this is not an issue since most interactions occur after bringing up the watch from sleep, in which case the watch face automatically pops up.

  • Reply 49 of 146
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rexbinary View Post

     

    Tweetbot for Apple Watch confirmed! :)




    That's just the notification coming from the phone. No replying, etc., just yet.

  • Reply 50 of 146
    If the Apple Watch is rough around the edges, then the competition is so bad they are dirt. That is why Samsung is taking a break from making smartphones.
  • Reply 51 of 146
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Right_said_fred View Post

     



    Stop with this - for many of us still waiting for Apple store to move on from "Processing items" this just added to my frustration. I ordered two hours late, a SS with sports band. I could just pucker up and get one tomorrow from eBay - you should see the crazy prices they are actually selling for....




    Lol. I don't envy you. I don't want to get your hopes up, but I have a friend who's order was a few weeks out, but then got a notification that it was shipping in a couple days. She ordered the sport I think.

  • Reply 52 of 146
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

     



    I had the 128k and it wasn't the memory that was the problem, since you could only have one application in memory at a time anyway until they released 'the switcher'.   It was that before the hard disk, you spent your whole life switching 3.5" floppies as you switched from the OS to a floppy with apps on it (I think I had one floppy with both MacPaint and MacWrite) and perhaps a third floppy with your actual files.

     

    But the machine seemed miraculous.   I was working in educational publishing at the time and one of the first things I did was take a page from a textbook, replicated it in MacWrite using the closest matching fonts and then printed it out on the Laser Printer.   I walked it into my boss' office with a big smile on my face and said, "I just did this on the Mac".    They had just spent $ millions on a Wang word processing system that wasn't WYSIWYG.    No one could believe that this little Mac and laser printer could accomplish great looking output in just a few minutes.   And people were also shocked by the clarity of laser printing since everyone was still using typewriters at the time.

     

    I went on vacation and when I came back, my associate said "I have bad news for you".   Someone had stolen my Mac.   I replaced it immediately, but I can't remember if a newer model was out by then.   A few years later at another company I had the Mac with the 20MB hard disk.   I got a call from a designer friend of mine asking me if she would ever need anything larger than 20MB.   I (foolishly) said, "of course not...I've had this machine for two years and I've still only used a tiny percentage of the space!"    But that was still before email became ubiquitous and when Word (or Write) files and Excel files were tiny.




    Yes, I have a Plus (really a 512k that was upgraded-which I like because I have the original front case with just the Apple logo) and floppy swapping can get tiring. Though it is cool to run 6.0.8 entirely in RAM.

     

    Having an HD-20 means you probably had the Plus, or an SE 800k, unless it was internal in which case you probably had an SE FDHD/Superdrive.

  • Reply 53 of 146
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member

    A reasonable review, generally reflecting my own conclusions after my first few days with Apple Watch. The only quibble is perhaps the review is a bit premature. My own feeling is the product is quite a bit deeper than what I personally have been able to experience in just the first few days. I've spent a lot of my time with the configuration setup in the iPhone app, customizing the clock faces, looking for third-party apps that might be useful, and deciding on whether I want those apps in glances, or on the Watch at all. That didn't leave a lot of time over for actually using the thing.

     

    The other major aspect of Apple Watch that I think is perhaps somewhat underplayed here is how different it is than anything we've ever used before. It is definitely not an iPhone on your wrist! The UI is unique and requires some mental training to use without a second thought. After three days I know I am not there yet, so I personally don't feel entirely prepared to fully evaluate it.

     

    Battery life: Granted I have not stress-tested it like some others, but I have yet to see the battery level under 65% after a day of use.

     

    On the coolness front, I don't have to show it off, people ask to see it. That's actually not so easy to do, since it's sort of attached to your body!

     

    EDIT: Another thing I noticed. I wore the Watch on a bike ride around the neighborhood over the weekend, and for some reason it did not monitor my heart rate during that time. Not sure why.

  • Reply 54 of 146

    I have been a devout user of Apple product since the late 90s when I began working in the publishing industry and in a sensible way, eagerly gobble up their technology and devices. I've been an early adopter with just about everything from them. That said ...

     

    I ordered an Apple Watch last Saturday after gong to the Apple Store and trying on and playing with it. I've been reading all the reviews I could find that were written by people who actually have used it for at least a week and on what I think are credible tech sites that are capable of seeing clearly when it comes to needed improvements in Apple products.

     

    I canceled the order last night. I'm going to wait for the 2nd generation even if that takes a year. I think there will be significant improvement that will address many of the things that caused me to decide to wait. Battery life, while it seems Apple has told the truth, is big for me. Refining the software is another issue. Usefulness of third party apps is another issue. The watch needs to become somewhat less dependent on your iPhone. Not independent, but less dependent which will help with the lag issues surrounding phone dependent apps.

     

    Don't get me wrong. I think this is a wonderful device. I want one and see it in my future. Since I do not intend to replace this ind of item with the same frequency as I upgrade my iPhone, I am going to wait. For me, I see an upgrade cycle more like what I've developed for my MacBooks/Air. I am willing to wait ... at least I think I am!

  • Reply 55 of 146
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

     

    A reasonable review, generally reflecting my own conclusions after my first few days with Apple Watch. The only quibble is perhaps the review is a bit premature. My own feeling is the product is quite a bit deeper than what I personally have been able to experience in just the first few days. I've spent a lot of my time with the configuration setup in the iPhone app, customizing the clock faces, looking for third-party apps that might be useful, and deciding on whether I want those apps in glances, or on the Watch at all. That didn't leave a lot of time over for actually using the thing.

     

    The other major aspect of Apple Watch that I think is perhaps somewhat underplayed here is how different it is than anything we've ever used before. It is definitely not an iPhone on your wrist! The UI is unique and requires some mental training to use without a second thought. After three days I know I am not there yet, so I personally don't feel entirely prepared to fully evaluate it.

     

    Battery life: Granted I have not stress-tested it like some others, but I have yet to see the battery level under 65% after a day of use.

     

    On the coolness front, I don't have to show it off, people ask to see it. That's actually not so easy to do, since it's sort of attached to your body!

     

    EDIT: Another thing I noticed. I wore the Watch on a bike ride around the neighborhood over the weekend, and for some reason it did not monitor my heart rate during that time. Not sure why.




    Especially with better / more third party apps to come in the next few months, usefulness of the Watch may improve. Some of the frustrations (like Siri, Passbook) are up to Apple for updating. I do agree it's hard to show to other people. I let some try it on themselves, but cranking my wrist to show people the apps, etc., was difficult. Also hard to convey what it is actually useful for in just a few seconds with someone.

  • Reply 56 of 146
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    how do you like the 38MM?  Was the 42 too big?  How large is your wrist.

     

    I still can't decide between the 42 and 38


    I have a very small wrist. The 38 looks perfect on it. However, I did also try out a 42, and surprisingly, that did not seem too large either!

     

    So, if you have a normal-sized wrist, my unambiguous recommendation would be to go for the 42.

  • Reply 57 of 146
    peteopeteo Posts: 356member
    Pretty much agree with most of the stuff in this article, though I think the device is a 4 out of 5 for me.

    Here's my gripes:
    3rd party apps take to long to load, if they do at all. Also have allot of issues with glances updating. I know the issues here are with the SDK (the transit app developer said apple changed how watch apps refreshed just before launch) 3rd party apps are limited. No use of crown, can not swipe to scroll in maps etc.. Hopefully WWDC will bring fully native 3rd party apps.
    Hey Siri works about 70% of the time, when it finally launches sometimes it stops listening and you need to click on the mic icon. would like to have it send without needing to click send (maybe say Siri send during dictation)
    a Passbook glance that updated to show the card of the place closest to you would be a god sent.
    Theres no way to for a notification sent from your phone to open the apple watch app for more info/actions
    Taptic engine could be stronger. Hard to tell different taps during directions (though i am learning) wish you could make different taps for different people (like you can on the iphone)
    Can not see more than one month in the calendar app (Why?). Can not add an appointment (using dictation of course)
    No notes app, no reminders app (umm hello)

    Gmail, hangouts, wink, sonos 3rd party apps Please!

    What I like:
    Battery life has been good for me. Easly get a full day.
    Love getting notifications on on my wrist (after filtering with the apple watch app) and replying to (some) them
    Love the watch faces and the quick info items on them (like the weather)
    Love the weather glances (when they update)
    Love playing games, yes GAMES.. Check out Dungeon monsters, rune, black jack and video poker.
    Like paying for stuff with the watch (apple pay and passbook)



    So I tweet Kevin Lynch about Passbook and this is what he said:

    Kevin Lynch [email protected]
    @peteostro Pete, location based passes show up in the notification area like on iPhone -- swipe down from clock face to view
  • Reply 58 of 146
    bradipaobradipao Posts: 145member
    My own assessment of the Watch after four days with it (38-SS-ML)? 5.0 for ambition, 5.0 for hardware, 4.8 for thoughtfulness in design, 4.5 for Apple software, 3.0 for third-party software (all of which I have got rid of). Overall score: 4.5 out of 5.0.

    If I may ask a question: did you regularly wear a watch before this?
    Just to understand how much daily routine was affected with respect to a normal watch (need to recharge, wrist gesture, readability in sunlight, ... other).
  • Reply 59 of 146
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by peteo View Post



    Pretty much agree with most of the stuff in this article, though I think the device is a 4 out of 5 for me.



    Here's my gripes:

    3rd party apps take to long to load, if they do at all. Also have allot of issues with glances updating. I know the issues here are with the SDK (the transit app developer said apple changed how watch apps refreshed just before launch) 3rd party apps are limited. No use of crown, can not swipe to scroll in maps etc.. Hopefully WWDC will bring fully native 3rd party apps.

    Hey Siri works about 70% of the time, when it finally launches sometimes it stops listening and you need to click on the mic icon. would like to have it send without needing to click send (maybe say Siri send during dictation)

    a Passbook glance that updated to show the card of the place closest to you would be a god sent.

    Theres no way to for a notification sent from your phone to open the apple watch app for more info/actions

    Taptic engine could be stronger. Hard to tell different taps during directions (though i am learning) wish you could make different taps for different people (like you can on the iphone)

    Can not see more than one month in the calendar app (Why?). Can not add an appointment (using dictation of course)

    No notes app, no reminders app (umm hello)



    Gmail, hangouts, wink, sonos 3rd party apps Please!



    What I like:

    Battery life has been good for me. Easly get a full day.

    Love getting notifications on on my wrist (after filtering with the apple watch app) and replying to (some) them

    Love the watch faces and the quick info items on them (like the weather)

    Love the weather glances (when they update)

    Love playing games, yes GAMES.. Check out Dungeon monsters, rune, black jack and video poker.

    Like paying for stuff with the watch (apple pay and passbook)







    So I tweet Kevin Lynch about Passbook and this is what he said:



    Kevin Lynch [email protected]

    @peteostro Pete, location based passes show up in the notification area like on iPhone -- swipe down from clock face to view



    Haven't for me yet but I'll try a run by Starbucks later today. 

  • Reply 60 of 146
    dougddougd Posts: 232member
    Thanks for the detailed review. I don't regret NOT ordering one
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