Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 3.04.26 PMI have not come close to putting my Apple Watch through its paces. I’ve got a long review of the fitness and activity apps, but it’s a few more days coming. There are a few things I’d really like to share, however, that might fill in some gaps about what you’ve heard.

Battery Life

It’s fine. Do you plug in your iPhone at night? I know I do. So now you’re going to be plugging in your watch in a similar way. Some nights I realize I have gone to sleep with the watch on, I just plug it in for the last hours of the night, and I’m fine. The watch has threatened to go into power-save mode several times when I’ve not gotten a full-night’s charge, but if I’m conscious of it, the watch has just as much staying power as my iPhone 6. See my My Dumb Apple Watch: A Pet Peeve to learn about the power-saving mode. One tip: don’t forget your charging cable when you travel, it’s different from any other charger in your bag of tricks.

Dick Tracy’s Watch/Phone

The phone function works fine on the watch. I usually only use it when I can’t immediately find my phone. It looks a little funny, talking into a watch, just like Dick Tracy comics. The sound is small and tinny, but hey, it’s just for that odd call. The last time I answered my phone with my watch I was on the tennis court and my phone was somewhere in my bag. I carried on a short conversation and got back to tennis without much interruption.

Texts Are the Apple Watch’s SuperPower

Responding to texts on the Apple Watch is probably the best thing about it. A quick glance at my wrist, during a meeting or while walking around, and I don’t have to get out my phone at all. The canned responses are often enough to give my friends and family the thumbs up to some question.

Siri on the Apple Watch

Yes, she’s there and easy to connect with. Web searches are often a bust but only because the display screen requires a lot of scrolling to get to the right link. The Apple Watch is not so much for consuming information, but is great for responding to the alarms and text messages of the day. And talking to Siri works fine, as long as your tethered iPhone is within reach. The watch uses your iPhones web connection to do the Siri work. And if you’re responding to a text, Siri on the Apple Watch gives you the option to use the text translation or send the audio message. I’d love to tell you that I posted this entire article with my Apple Watch and Siri, but that would be a stupid and painful experiment. Maybe poetry.

All the Other Apps

I’m not using most of the apps available on the Apple Watch. In fact, I’m not exactly sure how to get more of the apps on the watch. The newest version of Microsoft’s Outlook on the iPhone says it’s got an Apple Watch App but I can’t figure out how to make the connection. But I’m not an instructions or manual type of person. And that’s the joy of the Apple Watch, it simply works. What you know how to do on your iPhone, you know how to do on the Apple Watch.

I’m ready for some transformative app to come out on the Apple Watch, but it hasn’t happened yet.

WIN: The heart rate monitor is awesome and very accurate. And combined with all the other fitness, data… Well, you’re going to have some big data of your own to analyze.

WIN: The Texting is great.

MISS: Searching for data or composing long messages with Siri, are trying.

DRAW: Answering the phone on the watch in a pinch is acceptable.

Is The Apple Watch a Keeper?

Would I give up my Apple Watch at this point? Not a chance. I’m selling my Nike Fuelband on Craigslist. That was my gold standard for a fitness tracker. And with the newest numbers from IDC, Apple has now jumped into 2nd place world-wide after only the uni-purpose FitBit. Yes, you can have a Fitness Tracker for a lot less than an Apple Watch. But it’s not all about the money, now is it?

Yes, I’m an Apple Fan boy, but I was skeptical about the Apple Watch when it was released. But I can tell you, if you’re thinking about getting one, go ahead, it’s a painless and often enlightening experience.

Apple Watch Yes. 38mm version for me. Black on Black sport.


Go forth and connect.

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

see the complete apple watch archive


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.