I spent several months musing over purchasing an Apple Watch. I read reviews by journalists from a broad range of views on Apple. I lurked the Apple Watch subreddit. Even though I am a surefire fanboy for Apple, I needed to allay my concerns about this device before purchasing it.
I found the consensus to be that the device is definitely not a necessity or absolute game-changer, but always a talking point.
They are precisely right. Over this past week, I find that I have spent more time talking about the device than using it. Several cashiers have wigged out over using it to Apple Pay, from the McDonald’s cashier screaming “Wha dat?!” to the Circle K cashier that couldn’t stop cooing and giggling over it. My friends want to hear about it. It is definitely a status system right now.
As for actual functions, I knew the notifications were a strong point, but no explained how subtle they work into your day. The soft ping with the tap on your wrist is quietly insistent without being overbearing. It’s like that adorable child tugging on you for attention without necessarily needing it. And it is awesome. I do not miss a single thing in my day and if I don’t feel ready to read my notifications, they quietly sit there until I have looked at them. This is great difference to the iPhone’s notification pulldown always being a mess. It is great to see the notifications on your locked screen, but if you have to unlock past them, they get lost in the abyss of the pulldown menu. Meanwhile the Watch will keep them there and if there is a relevant app inside the watch, you can respond. This works particularly well with Instagram and Twitterific, I can see the posts and interact with them from the Watch.
The timer and alarms are a function I have used, but it is utterly simple with the Watch. You can tell Siri to do it, or open thru a complication on the Watch face and you’ll get another insistent but unobtrusive pulse from your watch.
There is a separate pulse pattern and tone for SMS/iMessages. Responding through the Watch is simple, you can respond with a simple pre-generated message or dictate one to Siri. You could also respond with the audio clip of you talking.
Navigating the apps and the glances still needs work, but there is promise. The Apple Watch excels at keeping your phone in your pocket, but you still feel connected to your digital life.