Before you read this please have a read of my experience today trying to swap a white band to black. It’s almost unbelievable.
I wanted the Apple Watch after trying it. More than that though I knew it had the potential to be great for my wife. I’d already paid for the Pebble Time Steel so there was no backing down now. I could still be involved from day one so in a spectacular boomerang present I bought
myself my wife the Apple Watch as pictured above.
Then it hit me that this could be useful material for the blog. What’s it like for a non-techy person to own an Apple Watch?
Let’s be frank most people who bought it immediately are total tech enthusiasts and fan boys. This can slant their outlook, expectations and willingness to let faults go ( or the opposite ).
So how ‘normal’ in terms of tech is my wife? Its fair to say she has been exposed to a lot of tech living with me but takes only a passing interest because its my passion. So for example it wasn’t until the iPhone 3GS that she moved to a smartphone. Next the 4S and like me was uninspired by the 5 so waited until the 6 and then went full barrels and got the 6 Plus. She is a professional woman and is a heavy user of her phone it terms of interactions with it. She plays almost no games although I thought an intervention was going to be needed when she discovered the game Threes.She uses iMessage loads as all her pals are on iPhone. I’d say she was a light-moderate Facebook user and although has a Twitter account rarely uses it. She uses calendar, emails and reminders heavily.
I decided to ask her some questions after her first week with the Apple Watch. I’ve tried to keep to her words as much as possible.
These are her thoughts:
What were your first impressions of Apple Watch?
Sleek. Sophisicated. Very nicely presented packaging wise. It was nice that the straps were in place and ready to wear without fiddling. It didn’t feel premium but that’s because its a sport watch. I don’t expect it to.
How did you find the set up process?
Not too difficult. You had to charge it and then sync it.
How did you know to do this?
You told me? I can’t remember now.
The Watch app on the phone told you to. Any problems with it?
I don’t think so. It was up and running quite quickly. It was good that you didn’t have to wait half a day or something. It felt simple. Actually I didn’t like that it prompted me to create a passcode for the watch. I had to turn that off. It was a nuisance.
In terms of actually wearing Apple Watch this first week, whats that been like?
Quite good as I have a nickel allergy and its aluminium so it hasn’t brought out any reaction. I like the physical touch alerts as I often don’t hear the ‘tings’ from the watch when in a noisy environment. Its been comfy and doesn’t get in the way.I don’t like the strap design. Its too fiddly.
Do you know the name of the thing that creates the touch feeling?
Its called the Taptic Engine
< Sighs and rolls her eyes >
How have you felt wearing it on your wrist as you’ve not been wearing a watch for a long time now?
Its been fine. Doesn’t feel cumbersome and its pretty light but then this is the smaller one. It looks quite modern with it being square.
Do think that’s been the right approach? If it had a round watch face would it have been better?
It would look more like a sports watch if it had a round face.I’m not saying I would like that particularly.It does have a distinctive design.
Here we had a chat about using it at work. In her work for hygiene she has to have nothing worn below the elbows. This means she has to take it off for large chunks of the day. She tends to store it in her handbag at these times. She wasn’t to worried about it getting damaged there.
Has anyone been asking you about it?
<Redacted> noticed it straight away and said “Ooh you’ve got the Apple Watch!”. Her husband has the Samsung one, everything he has is Samsung. She’s Apple. She’s not interested in getting one but <redacted> is. She’s very excited about getting one.She wants the gold one…
A small <ahem> rant from me at this point as to why this would be a really bad idea for her friend to get the gold version.
Is there anything you would change about it?
I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing it to sleep. Can it do sleep tracking? Mind you the battery wouldn’t last. The battery life it too short on the watch itself.
I don’t like having location on all the time for my privacy and its all or nothing. I can’t allow apps to use my location when I want them to from the watch. I think they should change that on the iPhone. I’d like to be able to swipe up from the bottom and quickly toggle location services on and off. They have made it more steps to turn location off than on too.
I don’t like being nagged to stand up every hour even when I have been doing anyway. Its just annoying.
On the chronograph watch face I use I’m regularly accidentally hitting the timer button in the right upper corner when I’m trying to access notifications.
What happens when I archive emails? It gives me the choice of archive or dismiss and I don’t know where do the archived ones go? There should just be a delete option.
Siri doesn’t work immediately sometimes. There can be a delay between what you say appearing on the screen and I’ve had times I’ve accidentally sent something three times. That was on our home wifi. Siri is useful for sending messages though. I tend to use it for longer messages than short.
I don’t want Stocks on my watch there, its a pain in the backside! I don’t want the stupid Yahoo Weather app either. I can’t see a way to hide them either.
I pushes you to set a defined time, distance or calories for a workout.
We discovered you could to this as an ‘Open’ session but this was hidden several swipes over making her think she had to chose a parameter as a goal.
How do you find it useful at the moment?
It’s an all in one. Tells you the time. For sport it tells you your heart rate, calories burnt, timer. Its versatile and can be used for lots of different types of sport. It’s really useful to know when my phone is ringing as I would have missed those calls otherwise. Messages is more of a luxury.
What’s changed since you’ve started using?
I’m even more upto date with emails and texts.I’m more connected ( she said that in a mock tone ).Not that I’m that bothered about that. Quite often you leave your phone hanging around and you don’t know where you left it so its handy like that. I’m not missing loads of messages.
I’ll still use my iPhone when I’m out and about. I’m not going to talk to my watch in public.I’d feel like an idiot. I sometimes do that when I’m at home though. I’ve been using my phone less overall.
We chatted at this point about how my digital interactions with her have totally changed this week. Normally if I call or message her she almost never picked up first time. Now its the total opposite. I get responses from messages quickly often resulting in us not wasting opportunities to do things for the other at convient times. A typical example would be at the supermarket and asking if she wanted anything whilst I was there.
Is there anything you are looking forwards to trying with it that you haven’t yet?
Going for a bike ride and on the treadmill. I’ve used the exercise app. I followed the instructions from one of the videos to sync some music to the watch. I just sync’d my workout playlist. Not sure if I can do individual tracks.
Have you added any non-stock apps yet?
No. I didn’t know there were others available.
Looking at the watch together we found in setup it had already added icons for apps that had some watch function like Amazon and Tripadvisor. She was unaware this had happened. In all of the videos and instructions she had read she was unaware that there is a section of the App Store highlighting apps that use the watch. I thought this was a bit of a failure on Apples part.
So we are only one week in. How would you feel if someone said you had to give it back now?
I’d miss it. It’s been useful. I like the sports side of it.
So there you have it. As you can see she had plenty of things to say about it. It was more positive than I was expecting her to be. The word ‘fiddly’ came up quite a lot in the interview though.
I await her reaction to todays events with Apple customer service..
Any questions you want me to ask her please do ask in the comments or send me a message on Twitter @RichHarkness