Apple Watch diary – my first weekend

Anthony Caruana
18 May, 2015
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It’s taken me a couple of weeks but I’ve finally managed to get an Apple Watch strapped to my wrist. As a journalist, Apple has furnished me with an Apple Watch Sport adorned with a white Sport Band. Here’s what I’ve learned after my first week.

On Friday after noon, I attended a briefing at Apple’s Australian HQ where I sat through an information session as my Apple Watch was set up. In a minor act of rebellion, I showed up to the briefing with a Pebble smartwatch on one wrist and a Fitbit on the other.

From an engineering point of view, it’s hard to not be impressed by the build quality and design of the Apple Watch. While much has been written about the Apple Watch, this article by John Biggs at TechCrunch summarises the Apple Watch thus:

“In short, the biggest-selling point on a $34,000 Ressence – a watch with a pillowy, almost organic case and dial style – has been improved upon and mass-manufactured by a company that makes cellphones. I would never compare the Ressence, which is legitimately a work of art, to the Apple Watch, but from a manufacturing standpoint, there is little difference.”

During the initial setup process, all of my iPhone apps with an Apple Watch equivalent were automatically installed. On the advice on the Apple representative with whom I spoke, I immediately went through the notification settings and turned off the notifications for a number of applications.

My first experience of really using the Apple Watch came walking the streets of Sydney and using Maps to navigate. Receiving directions and advice via text, sound and haptic feedback made it easy to get around.

Over the course of the weekend, I received many text messages and other notifications.

With text messages, being able to use either template answers or dictation made it easy to respond. One thing I found annoying was Facebook Messenger. Although I was able to receive notifications when a new message arrived I couldn’t reply. Hopefully, an update will come soon.

On Sunday morning I went for my regular run. Normally, I track my runs with a Nike+ Sportwatch. One of its most important features is the integrated GPS – something lacking in the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch makes an approximation of running distance by counting the number of steps I run and using my height.

According to the Apple calibration guide for Apple Watch this will become more accurate over time. I hope that’s true, as I estimate it was out by about 800m over a distance of just under 8km.

Over the next week or so, I’ll be reporting back on my Apple Watch experience. That will cover a look at some aftermarket accessories as well as various apps.

If there’s something specific you’d like me to check out, let me know through the comments.

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