Yesterday in Manchester I managed to get my hands on the brand new Apple Watch. I was as skeptical as most people when Tim Cook introduced these at the Apple Keynote in March 2015 but I must say I was very impressed. It was a bit of a scrum to get hands on with these watches in Manchester. A lot of people showing interest & Apple Employees where doing “fittings” which essentially means opening beautiful wooden drawers below the Apple Watch display & allowing you to try on the various editions.
The Apple Watch essentially comes in three distinct editions. We have Watch Sport, Watch & Watch Edition. I must admit I fell in love with the 38mm Watch Edition with 18-Carat Yellow Gold Case & Black Sport Band – Typical the one I loved was £8000. That’s a massive investment in a first generation so I think I will hold off until they mature a little.
So now a little about the watch itself. It seems to run a custom build of ios which works very well on this tiny screen. It has a dial button on the side which can be turned like a standard watch time dial & pressed as a button & it also features a rectangular push button which brings you back to main menus. The custom ios works really well, you can slide the icons around enlarging the in focus icons allowing for a seamless user experience & also allowing for an almost infinite amount of icons.
I concentrated on the aspects of the watch I feel I would use most, notably the itunes control, email, iMessage, maps, weather & passbook. I absolutely loved them all. Emails display clearly (although only a few words per line) and can even inline photo attachments. It’s a similar story with iMessage which could offer a very usable way of reading messages on the go (although you would still need to use your phone to reply and interact).
The maps are great. It uses Apple mapping and shows a small full featured map on the watch face which can easily guide you to a destination. This would be perfect for finding places in any city and means you could glance at your wrist for directions as opposed to looking down at your iPhone. I can see this being a great new way to use online mapping & gps.
iTunes control was brilliant. It had play/pause and previous/next buttons. It also shows you the artist information & volume controls. It also allows you to browse & select music. This would be great for me as I listen to a lot of music on the go. Being able to visually skip tracks without taking the phone out would be perfect in wet British weather & much safer than carrying your phone in hand. It is also much more user-friendly than the inline controls on Apple Earbuds.
I can see Passbook being a game changer. Boarding passes, mass transit passes, Starbucks & store cards. The possibilities are endless for cashless & paperless transactions. I personally like paying cash for things for both privacy & budgeting reasons, but I am tempted to try out more passbook compatible apps for travel such as boarding passes. It means carrying less paper & no chance of losing boarding passes. I’d be really interested in seeing how this new way of interacting with businesses grows.
The weather app does exactly what you would expect but the UI is beautiful and works so well on such a small display. Something I’m also getting into since upgrading to iPhone 6 are the health sides of iOS devices. I really enjoying the pedometer & tracking my daily steps & distances walked. The health integration into the watch include pulse/heart rate monitoring & I think we are going to see much more integration of health apps into our daily lives.
Anyway, as the iPhone & iPad where laughed at when introduced, I think that the naysayers will peel away & many people will soon treat an Apple Watch as a daily companion. It makes a lot of sense with the exception of the price tags. I’m converted after an afternoon of playing with
Have you tried the apple watch yet? What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments. The Apple Watch is now available for Pre order via the apple store online & in physical stores. Delivery estimates are already slipping and as of today a June delivery estimate is being shown. Order quickly to avoid months of waiting.