I don’t really love the shape of the Apple Watch. I got the smaller one, 38mm. I think the 42mm looks like a small iPhone attached to your wrist. But I’ve always been a small watch guy. And while at first I was writing off the new iDevice, I fell in love with the idea of the Apple Watch when I saw my first one, on the wrist of a friend and Apple employee. He told me what he liked about the watch.

It’s great for responding to texts and alerts while you’re in a meeting. The calendaring, if you use alerts and notifications is seamless and transparent to others around you. For the most part, the blips and bleeps can be silenced and turned into vibrations. The call it haptic vibrations, and apparently you can use all kinds of crazy patterns to let you know what kind of alert it is, without looking at the watch at all. But that’s not really how I’ve used mine in the first 30-days.

I didn’t buy the Apple Watch because I thought it was going to change my life. And it hasn’t. I bought one because I believed the “platform” of the watch face was going to create a significant transformation of the mobile space. Sure the killer app, the reason for the Apple Watch to exist, hasn’t really been invinted yet, but the interface and the swiping and poking has. So I wanted to understand, and perhaps even design, apps for the Apple Watch ahead of the masses.

Let’s see how the watch has become more than a watch in my first 30-days with it.

Here are my Apple Watch Home Runs. 

  • Text messages and responding to them is easy and intuitive.
  • Incoming phone calls, when I can reach my watch, works reasonably well. It’s a bit more like Dick Tracy, talking into the watch. But when you need it, the watch-as-phone is cool.
  • Find my phone functionality is cool. Ping my phone from my watch. Good.


  • Glances for various apps are quite useful. Date/Calendar, Heart Rate Monitor, Weather, Activity. I’ve turned off all the other “glances.”
  • Fitness and health functionality extends many of the options already available on your iPhone. Most significant is the heart rate monitor. When active, it takes a pulse every hour. A great way to understand your fitness level.
  • Siri on the Apple Watch is amazing. Not 100%. Occasionally I will get better results when I simply use the iPhone. Most of this is because of the displayed results of web searches. The small screen simply doesn’t have the room to give me quick and easy selections.

And here are few of the things I’ve only touched on, but not fully explored.

My Apple Watch Winners

  1. The Workout App. I’ve used it several times, and it seems to be gathering and aggregating a lot of my workout data into useful chunks. I haven’t spent the time with it to know how good or bad that information is. (Workout app review to come.)
  2. Maps and directions has been a bit hit or miss. Usually I’m using my iPhone as the GPS/mapping tool. I don’t need my watch to mirror these instructions. If I had my iPhone in my pocket, I suppose these would be awesome.
  3. Apple Music and iTunes. I use my iPhone as a music player when working out. I can pop up an app on my phone to control the playback, but I haven’t really needed to. Nice if your iPhone is in your backpack rather than your back pocket.
  4. Camera app. I can see and control the shutter of my iPhone’s camera. Again, cool, but I haven’t used it. I will try it shortly to do some remote selfies.

Overall Impressions of the Apple Watch:

I’m still not thrilled with the Apple Watch size and format. I am, however, in love with the functionality that allows me to keep my phone in my pocket or computer bag more often. I can do 75% of the things I do with my phone from my watch. The main things I don’t do from the watch: make calls, write long texts or emails.

What we will be doing with the “watches” on our wrists in the next few years will seem astounding from today’s perspective. Has Apple got a winner. Yes. Is it perfect? No. Should you wait until the next rev? Well, not unless you’re okay with us early adopters and innovators figuring out how to make cool stuff for the Apple Watch.

I don’t need an Apple Watch. But I’m not ever going back to my Nike Fuelband, that I loved. There are too many improvements. Once you have an Apple Watch you won’t be able to live without it. Don’t need one today, that’s okay, we’re going to figure out the killer app and then you won’t be able to live without it.

The Future of the Apple Watch

My greatest hope is Apple will allow other manufacturers to embed the Apple hardware into other form factors. I really want an Apple Watch that looks more like my Nike Fuelband. Until Apple loosens the design grip on the watch, I think we’ll see small slabs of black glass strapped to our wrists.

 @jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

permalink: https://uber.la/2015/07/apple-watch-review-30-days/

all the Apple Watch Posts:

Breaking: Apple Announces Watch Sales July 2015 – Business Insider Video

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