A day in the life — with Apple Watch

Just like the iPhone put the computer in your pocket, the Apple Watch is putting it on your wrist.

Taking the Apple Watch off its charger is as simple and satisfying as pulling a magnet. There’s a slight resistance, then freedom. Slipping it over your wrist and fastening in — in this case using a Milanese Loop, which like the Leather Loop feels almost like a Lulu Lemon waistband for your wrist — is easy, and then you’re just a passcode — or strong password — away from being good to go.

I’ve had the opportunity to spend some time with all of Apple’s watches, from the light aluminum Sport to the classic stainless steel Watch to the luxurious golden Edition and they all feel not only comfortable to wear, but sleek. The stainless steel, which comes with the Milanese, feels substantial but not onerous. It’s just a watch.

The time is easy to check. Turn your wrist and it’s there. Well, unless you choose to have the last app you used show up by default instead. I don’t normally wear a watch, so I’m not in the habit of casually glancing for the time, and having it available on turn is more than fine.

After a brief flirtation with Mickey Mouse for fun, I’ve settled on the Utility face for now, with complications to show me the temperature, battery level, date, and next appointment. It’s such good information at a glance that I wish my iPhone’s lock screen offered them as well.

Wearing the Apple Watch is a very different experience. It really doesn’t buzz the way an iPhone does in your purse or pocket, or the way a Pebble would on your wrist. It can bing, loudly, if you want it to, but if not it just taps you on the wrist, either subtly or with a little more gusto if you want it to really get your attention.

The convenience proves itself almost immediately. Gone is running or reaching for your phone. You just look and all your notifications are there. Of course, if you’re at your Mac or your iPhone is unlocked and you’re using it, the notifications go to where you are instead. But otherwise, they just appear on your wrist.

Sketches, which are delightfully animated images you draw, taps, which are are beats you tap out, and your heartbeat, which you capture with a wide two finger touch, are the exception. They’re only for your Apple Watch and someone else with an Apple Watch.

There is a little bit of an elitist feeling at first. Not many people have Apple Watches yet, so sending and receiving Apple Watch-exclusive communications is fun at first. There are only so many Batman, Hulk, and dragon heads you can send before you calm down, after all.

In contrast to notifications, which pepper you as they come in, the Activity tracker just does its business in the background. I stand when I work most of the time, so the reminder to stand up isn’t that important to me. The reminder to move, however, and to get my heart rate up, is hugely appreciated. That the Apple Watch counts calories instead of steps is something I’m still trying to wrap my brain around — it’s like metric conversion if you’re used to feet and pounds.

Controlling the Apple Watch is easy, as long as you remember it’s an Apple Watch and not an iPhone. It’s not meant for ours or minutes of prolonged use, it’s meant for seconds. It’s not meant for you to hunt and peck for functionality. It’s meant for you to glimpse, to respond, to speak, to interact briefly and then go on about whatever is you were otherwise busy doing.

Ignoring someone at the other end of the table, burying your face in your device instead of you conversation, is harder to do with the Apple Watch. First, it covers less face. Second, it pushes you out as much as an iPhone pulls you in.

Some apps really understand and nail this. There are a lot of really good ones that offer the same convenience and speed as the Apple Watch itself. They let you act on a message or tweet instead of presenting long lists to browse. They let you see when your car is arriving or flight is boarding rather than giving you a stack of things to do. They let you make a calculation, unlock a door, alter the hue of a light, check on a delivery, and do much, much more, all without having to run back to your iPhone.

In that regard it’s similar to how we already do a lot on our iPhones without having to go back to our Macs.

That’s not to say everything is perfect yet. Apps that require communication to and from an iPhone are like apps that rely on an internet connection — great and marvelous until anything disrupts that connection. Having twelve friends you can sketch and tap and heart is fantastic until your thirteenth friend gets an Apple Watch and you have to start hot swapping.

Those quibbles are minor, however. Far more minor than I imagined they’d be. Once you get used to the Digital Crown, once you start to feel comfortable with decoupled interface and push interactions, once the haptics start to resonate at a more primal level, once the Apple Watch becomes as much a part of you as the iPhone has, it really feels right.

It’s fair to say I knew going in that I was going to like the Apple Watch. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it as much as I do and as quickly as I have. I thought I’d be fighting it more, or stumbling over it more, but instead it’s been really great. Better than I though. I’m sure others will have very different reactions, but this one is mine.

Yes, it’s a first generation device, and yes taking a phone call on your wrist can be intoxicatingly cool, but in many ways it’s Apple’s most capable first generation device ever, and taking phone calls on our wrist really is bloody cool.

Taking the Apple Watch off at night and returning it to its charger feels just a little sad. It’s like when you lose data on your phone and the connected world you’ve become accustomed to is suddenly a lot less connected.

It’s only for the night, though. And given how many features the Apple Watch has, the next day might be very different. The next week and next month even more so.

Okay, maybe one more Batman head sketch before lights out…

Source: iMore

About Bhavesh Rabari

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