Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tech Tips Tuesday

Apple Watch

So, I've been wearing the Apple Watch since they first came out in May 2015. I haven't reviewed it yet, and the second edition has now been released. So I thought maybe I should say a little something about how I've found it fits with my lifestyle, one year in!

My Apple Watch is Series 1, 38mm case in Stainless Steel with the Sapphire Crystal face (or so the back tells me!) I chose the black sports band - hoping that it would blend well with my work attire. I haven't purchase any other bands and the original is still going strong after one year of wearing it every day. I recently fell while running the other day, and while the watch took a decent hit, the Sapphire Crystal face only suffered minor scratches as did the Stainless Steel and sports band (as seen in the photo).

This is the most expensive watch I have ever owned, probably not the most beautiful, but definitely the most useful. I tried out a few different watch faces that looked cool, but ended up with the most functional for my lifestyle - boring but informative - Modular. At a quick glance I can see the date, time, upcoming events, temperature, fitness and stopwatch.

To be honest, there were a couple of hiccups early on that bothered me - I seemed to be churning through the battery, both on the watch and on my phone. After dropping my phone in "the sink" I couldn't tell whether the battery issues I was facing were related to that incident, or whether it was the extra drain from the watch. Rather than replace the phone battery I decided to get a charger case to keep my phone going. Now I have enough phone battery to get me through the day, and my watch has only run out of battery on a couple of occasions. Generally I plug both in to charge as I go off to bed at night. Not the most elegant solution to the problem, but it's working for me so far.

In a lot of ways, it does what my phone does for me, but up close and on the go. Also, people are used to seeing someone pull out their phone to check on messages etc, and it has a bad reputation. By doing it on the watch, it is much less noticeable. That said, when I start looking at the watch in the company of others, people do tend to think that I'm checking the time and feel concerned that I have somewhere better to be!!

At times it can be frustrating to wait for the wrist flick to wake it up, especially when tapping the screen is not an option eg. when cutting up meat for dinner, but generally it is pretty good. Another trick comes when trying to show the watch to someone else. The amount of times I've turned my wrist to show someone and they've come back with "All I'm seeing is a black screen!"

I love the flow of information to my watch. I use it frequently to check the time, the weather and to see how I'm going with my fitness targets. I use it to set timers with my class and my son to try to get things done in a certain amount of time. My favourite feature at school is when I'm not really sure how to spell something. Siri sorts me out pretty quickly and my students are suitably impressed.

I keep my watch on silent, so love that I can feel when a notification has come. I'm the only one that knows that it's there, so can time when to check on it without causing a disruption. I love that I FEEL my watch telling me my phone is ringing even before I HEAR my phone ringing and can cancel the call quickly if I've forgotten to silence my phone. I like being able to send a quick message from the watch, or try my luck with the dictation feature.

There are of course fun bits, that are interesting to play with - sending your heart beat, drawing little pictures, viewing your photos and taking a call. It's also interesting to have Apple telling you when you should stand up and take a walk, and now with the recent update, telling you when to inhale and exhale!

I love my watch. I wish it was prettier without being more expensive. It's hardy, going strong and I would struggle to go back to a watch that doesn't tell me as much. I'm not sure of all the features of the new watch and haven't been in to the Apple Store to play with it yet. But it can only get better, right?!

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