I try to always tune in and watch the new keynote presentations from Apple for product releases. After watching the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2 release, I thought I would share my thoughts on my Apple Watch.
Almost ten years ago, I bought my first Apple computer. Since then, I’ve had multiple MacBooks, iPods, iPads, and iPhones. When the Apple Watch was first announced, I was excited, but also disappointed because of the cost. I decided to buy a much cheaper Pebble Watch that I have worn for the last 2 years.
But that changed three months ago due to the generosity of a great friend, I was blessed to receive a stainless steel Apple Watch and I’ve been using it daily ever since. Here are my thoughts after using it for the last three months.
Apps, Apps, and More Apps
What really sets the Apple Watch apart from anything else on the market is the availability of apps. I can quickly read texts and emails, quickly respond to text messages, or check my to-do list , and even track my heart rate, activity levels and workouts throughout the day . I can even adjust my home thermostat directly from my watch. The apps keep advancing at a rapid pace. They are getting more intuitive and easier to use as the platform matures.
Battery life has been the biggest adjustment from the Pebble. However, it’s not a huge deal breaker. You just have to get used to charging the Apple Watch every night while you sleep. That does mean that the Apple Watch isn’t a good choice for a sleep tracker. The watch typically has between 25 and 45 percent left at the end of the day with my typical usage. In three months of usage, I haven’t had the battery run out before I go to bed each night.
The Cool Factor
The watch looks and feels like a premium device . While I liked the Pebble watch I wore, it seems like a toy compared to the Apple Watch. It is solid and well made. The screen is much brighter and clearer than I anticipated, and I love the feel of the vibration alerts compared to the Pebble.
The Availability of Bands
While Apple sales many premium watch bands, you can find many options on Amazon for a fraction of the cost. I picked up a cheap silicone sports band for under $15 that I use for running. Since the bands are so easy to change, I’ve been looking at several other bands for different occasions and uses.
One of the first things I did was upgrade to the newest beta version. It’s a huge improvement and it really does make the watch more responsive. Apps load faster, and the new button UI is much more intuitive. I felt like the first two versions of WatchOS were a little gimmicky, but now it seems more polished and professional.
Over the last few months I have been increasing my mileage and running more. Honestly, the Apple Watch doesn’t have the best reputation in the running community. In some ways, I like the Pebble better for run tracking. The biggest advantage of the Apple Watch is the heart rate monitor. I’ve experienced some bugginess with the Runkeeper app that I typically use. The last few updates seem to be fixing some of the problems I had, so it’s definitely getting better. The current watch doesn’t have GPS, so you still need to carry your phone.
This is where the watch really sets itself apart. It tracks your total exercise time for the day, your calories burned during the day, and how often you stand throughout the day. The reminders to stand have been really helpful to me. It reminds me to get away from my computer and do something active. It’s also great to look on my activity app on my iPhone to see trends and my history of activity
With the release of the new Apple Watch Series 2, they have added some great new features. Now it has built-in GPS, and it’s fully waterproof. They also added a faster processor. They also kept the existing watch in the line up and lowered the price while increasing the speed.
At the current price, I think it’s a great deal. I really wouldn’t go for the new version unless you need the GPS or you are a swimmer. I don’t mind carrying my phone while I run, and if you are a serious runner, you would probably be using a nicer GPS watch. The biggest advantage I see in using a smart watch is that you don’t have to constantly pull your phone out of your pocket to see who is texting or emailing or calling you. Overall, I really love the watch, and I plan on using it for a long time to come.