As soon as I saw the Apple Watch launch event last year I was curious what I’d make of the Watch. I haven’t worn a watch for several years – a very basic device that had been replaced by my iPhone. However as phones got bigger it became increasingly inconvenient to pull out my iPhone to check the time or look at a notification; so the arrival of the Apple Watch seemed like auspicious timing.
My early impressions are that despite being a 1.0 device it works extremely well. As has been pointed out the software has a few rough edges, especially around some third party apps which can take an age to load. However the native apps plus a select few third party apps make the Watch a convenient extension of the iPhone. The trick is not to put too much on the Watch; keep notifications to the essential ones and don’t install apps you don’t really need on the Watch.
In the first week my favourites:
- Seeing who a message is from or who’s calling, without pulling out my iPhone is so convenient.
- Taking a brief call (as long as there’s not much background noise) or replying to a message is simple.
- Tracking activity without the need for a separate (and somewhat flaky) device and in a more comprehensive way is excellent.
- Receiving notifications for spend on my Amex card is a useful security check.
- Unlocking my Macbook by tapping my watch is a time saver, thanks to MacID.
- Quick check if it’s going to rain in the next hour, thanks to Dark Sky.
- Quick access to my most used passwords, thanks to 1Password.
- And it’s quite handy to be able to glance at my wrist to see the time!
So what’s missing? The biggest omission for me is the lack of Apple Pay in the UK. Once Apple sorts out the UK banks and the Watch can be used for payments its utility will be transformed.
And now I’m not so dependent on using my iPhone for quick checks, a 5.5” display iPhone 6 Plus becomes a practical possibility.