Initial Apple Watch Experience

Early in the day, I’m mildly giddy with anticipation. I’ve ordered the space grey sports watch. It finally arrives around midday, when I’m in the middle of a call with my bank who have screwed up. This obviously makes the phone conversation even harder, as it’s not at all my point of focus anymore. The shrink wrap on the packaging is so snug that it’s impossible to open by hand. Frustration is taken out on the lovely bank lady on the other end of the line. I barely manage to put the watch onto my wrist, while on the call as it’s not the easiest of tasks. It needs tools and some mental work to open the watch packaging and put it on.

The watch feels good on the wrist and does not itch or annoy me, as other watches have in the past. Setting up the phone is straight forward, but takes far too long for my liking. You’re not allowed to use the watch while it syncs your data for approximately 10-15 minutes, all while just want to play with the watch. What a downer. Once set up, watch apps that you have on your phone download in the background while you can use the watch. There are more apps available than I anticipated. Well done to Apple for rallying some troops. I obviously play and configure the watch for a while, but am at work, so will leave extensive play until later.

For the first hour or so I’m unsure of it’s use. For some reason, I receive zero notifications and it feels unjustified to have bought the watch. I receive one or two messages that should have notified me but that don’t pop up on the watch. Maybe it’s because I’m using my laptop and the watch ignores the notifications because of that? In any case, I rant at my girlfriend to send me more messages which she typically does all the time, but this time she’s seemingly ignoring me (or as it turns out, just on a run). Tech evildom!

Finally, I receive some notifications and they are very handy to glance at. I reply to some of them with some awkward siri interactions, trying to keep my voice down as it feels silly to talk to my watch. Siri does a mediocre job at interpreting, as ever, but it definitely feels like something from the future. The watch is useful for snappy short answers, but not really for anything else. Unless you’re into typos and mis-use of words all around.
The dictation seems kind of broken. Longer sentences will “compute” for a period, meanwhile the watch will turn itself off. So far, I’m finding that sending text messages have a roughly 50-50 success ratio. I’m unsure what causes this as yet. Am I using it incorrectly? Am I not allowed to turn my wrist? It’s a bit confusing.

At some point a warm appreciative feeling sets in. I receive notifications and its actually useful to quickly glance at them. I can reply to my messages and everything I do just works. Though why are so many watch faces copies of real watches? Apple seems to be imitating physical watchfaces, which is hopefully a temporary fad. On the other hand, I feel particularly in awe with the jellyfish watch face. It’s extremely aesthetically pleasing and unlike anything a traditional watch could offer. Though why do the jellyfish have to disappear all the time? Apple needs to train some better jellyfish. At this point I feel like the watch is worth its cost.

On my way home, I try to text my girlfriend that I’m on my way but siri refuses to work. I raise the arm, the watch face appears and I start the awkward “hey siri” chitter chatter and nothing happens. I try shouting, whispering and normal “hey siris” to no avail. I feel very stupid. I try this over the course of about 30 minutes while walking and cycling home. Is it too windy? Though I’m sure at some points there was no wind. Was there too much background noise? Or was it simply broken? Just as I arrive at home, siri starts working again. Ok siri, it’s going to be the dog house for you if you don’t “watch" out!

I’m still unsure whether the watch is worth it. It looks and feels good, but has somewhat limited functionality. After arriving at home I receive some weird silver badge for achieving my activity goals. Well done myself. Not quite so well done Apple Watch.


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