When Apple launches a new product, it’s always cause for celebration and panic from the technophile community. Usually I don’t purchase a new product right away. I give it a couple months, let the lines die down, and read some reviews. The Apple Watch was different.
That isn’t to say that I camped out for days in in front of a store or anything. But I did get in on the pre-order list to get a watch as soon as it hit the Canadian market. I’m not sure what it was about the Apple Watch that first intrigued me so much. I’ve owned watches before, in fact, my father is a sales rep for a watch company. But typically, I don’t wear a watch. It’s just never been something I’ve felt like I needed. My phone is, and has been, adequate as a watch since I first got it. Plus, it comes with so many other features that a standard watch can’t provide. So, it wasn’t out of necessity, it was something else. Maybe it’s the futuristic push, the lure of a connected wearable that drove the purchase. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever know. For now, let’s chalk it up to great advertising and clever marketing: I am a sucker for something new, especially when it comes to products and packaging.
Initially, I was really impressed with the watch. Aside from telling the time, the watch had tons of really cool features such as fitness levels — as depressing as they might be at times —, music, weather, maps, directions, notifications, texts, calls, and even the ability to tap the wrist of other friends with Apple Watches. But after a couple of days, some of the features lost their lustre. Phone calls and texts are pretty inconvenient, and Siri isn’t very useful. The navigation is interesting but doesn’t compare to the experience on a phone or tablet. That isn’t to say that all was lost: the weather feature is great for quick glances. Also, the fitness features are helpful the device tracks a ton of information and lets you know when it’s time to stand up.
The fitness tracking is impressively useful, and push notifications are very convenient
As someone who sits at a desk for long hours, the fitness tracking and standing prompts actually go a long way to keeping active. After a short time, I started to see exactly how little physical activity I actually did day-to-day. For the first month or two, I made conscious choices to follow the prompts and try and up my fitness score. Over time, I felt like it really was making a positive difference in my overall health and lifestyle. I also started to feel naked without the watch on my arm. I would forget to wear it one day occasionally and it would feel like my arms were unbalanced. Up to this point, I was happy with the device and would recommend it to anyone who didn’t already own a watch or wearable. Then, I bought a pair of Apple Beats headphones, shortly after the launch of the Apple Music streaming service, and the watch became even more indispensable. The Beats 2 headphones are equipped with Bluetooth pairing, meaning no cord and no phone during workouts. Before this, I would have to take my watch, phone, and headphones with me everywhere should I want to listen to music. Now, I can simply sync a playlist and it’s available on my watch anywhere and everywhere. It seems like a small thing, I know, but there’s something so freeing about it. It just feels so much more natural to control the playback of your music from your wrist rather than pulling out your phone.
So there you have it, six months in and the watch is still useful and worn daily. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a watch, upgrade your existing watch, or thinking of purchasing a fitness tracker. It has all the things you’ve come to expect from an iOS device plus, it pairs with a ton of other products and services.