Apple Watch Part 1: Unboxing and Preliminary Observations
My Apple Watch has arrived. This was an exciting moment at JSON HQ. I’m going to save a meatier review for after I’ve had the watch for a while. Meanwhile, here’s the unboxing and some preliminary observations and thoughts.
As always, Apple products are beautifully packaged. Accompany me on my unboxing adventure!
Oooh…. I’m having feels.
Ima teasing you….
Nice. Very nice.
Soon, it will be on.
Even the underbelly is pretty.
Black box? OK, not really. But this sure is exciting!
Original Pebble vs the 38mm Watch.
My lovely wrist modeler… She wears her watch on the inside of her wrist so that was a habit. But, nice, eh?
Oh, yeah, there are accessories. Here they are!
Set up was smooth and easy.
We’re almost there. This is from the iPhone Plus screen, by the way. This was super fast.
We’re almost there. I started out all enthusiastic, synch ALL THE APPS! I backed down from that pretty quick.
The adventure begins.
This is the screen in the Apple Watch app on my iPhone. This is familiar to anyone with an iThing, though there are some additional options.
Here’s some of the apps I had brought over.
Oh. An update. OK. Well, I knew this would happen because I read about the 1.0.1 update a couple days before.
Have you been watching the battery levels on my iPhone?
So? I have a dirty mind. They’re totally doing it.
I started ramping down what apps synched with the Watch immediately. I continued to do this.
Configuring. With Evil (Check the Monogram)
Testing the heart rate. Sorry it’s blurry.
Preliminary Thoughts and Observations
As expected, the watch is beautiful. Total win. It looks nice on my wrist and the watch faces are elegant. There’s someone for just about everyone here.
I was able to get through the initial set up without much trouble at all. It was easy and intuitive, for the most part. I managed to customize the watch face and use the iPhone app to do additional set up and customization. There are gestures on the watch, taps and slides mostly, that I was able to figure out without referring to any documentation.
The only trouble I had was with text notifications, and that appears to be resolved. (As I write this, about 20 minutes ago. More on that below.) At work the following day I took the Pebble along, but wore the Apple Watch. A couple of times I could hear the Pebble receiving a text that I did not get on the Watch. I considered that a serious issue since those notifications are one of the reasons I love smart watches.
The activity application was pretty neat. You set it up with your gender, height, weight, etc. It registered my morning workout but I forgot I could check my heart rate during my workout, which I should have done. Next time. What I really liked during the day was the taps to remind me that I should stand up and walk around. I spend a lot of time sitting in my chair coding. Nice.
I was able to send a text from the watch and use it to play and control music on my iPhone. Again, I blundered my way through this feature without many issues. I did Google a bit for this, and learned there’s a way to create a playlist and load it onto the watch. In the coming days, I will do that.
You can sign up for a personal introduction, either in person or online. I chose the online one, which I just concluded moments ago. The process was a lot like setting up a genius bar appointment. You select your preferred appointment day and time as you do for an Apple Store appointment. My watch came Thursday afternoon, and I had my set up appointment today. (Saturday) This takes place via a chat and screen share with an Apple representative. I had my phone and watch ready. This was a very useful and fun session and we were able to zero in on things I hadn’t covered yet on my own.
If you get a watch, I recommend doing this either online or in person this since there were lots of little tips and tricks. Oddly enough, it seems that just running through some of the setup for notifications addressed the text issue because as soon as we finished that, (without my changing any settings) I could swipe and see the Friday notifications that hit the Pebble but not the watch. One thing Gregory, my personable Apple representative, mentioned was that if you are actively using the phone, texts will not go to the watch, since (doh) you are using the phone and presumably saw the text on the phone.
Just as an Apple to oranges comparison (bwahahahah!) my Pebble lasts 3-5 days on a charge. I hope it’s obvious to everyone that this really isn’t an apt comparison. The Apple Watch and the original Pebble are two different devices.
I already knew that the Apple Watch battery life is 18 hours, give or take. I did not see a huge issue, though it’s really only been one full day. I began at 4:50 AM with 100% and by about 8:00 PM there was 37% left. That’s well within tolerances. Obviously, you must travel with a charger. Probably I’ll order a second one so I can leave one at the house and travel with a spare one.
What I did notice was a horrific drain on my phone battery. The screen shots give a hint. Usually I only charge the iPhone every few days, but on Friday? Whoa. I went from nearly fully charged to under 40% in a matter of hours. In discussions with Gregory, he hypothesized that the notifications issue may have been causing the phone and watch to constantly attempt to communicate. I have the phone number now for the Apple Watch tech guys and will be monitoring this carefully.
I haven’t had the watch long enough to have much to say about functionality or things that won’t be awesome or annoying in future. Stay tuned for that. So far I love the watch.
However, I will note that my Pebble cost me $150 and the Apple watch model I bought cost $800 (with Apple Care). My second generation Pebble hasn’t arrived yet so I can’t compare. If you’re on a budget and/or don’t want to spend a fortune finding out if a smart watch is for you, the Pebble has a lot to offer.
More to Come!