Apple Watch follow-up

I’m just about at the end of my first week with an Apple Watch, so I thought I’d post a few thoughts.

First off, of course, Best Buy has the Apple Watch on sale this weekend. The 42mm stainless steel watch with sport band is $200 off, bringing it down to $399, which is only $50 more than I paid for my aluminum 42mm Sport. But that’s fine, since I don’t really care whether I have the aluminum or stainless steel, and I wouldn’t have been able to use my Apple Store gift card at Best Buy. But, all other things being equal, if I hadn’t had that gift card, and if I hadn’t bought the aluminum watch last weekend, I’d be tempted to get the stainless steel one this weekend.

The weather has been great this week, so I’ve been doing a lot of walking, and keeping track of that with the Activity app and Workout app. The Activity app is kind of fun. I’ve hit my 30-minute exercise goal, and the “stand” goal, every day, no problem. The “move” goal, though, got set at 560 calories, and I never hit that number. Maybe 400, tops. I think the watch is supposed to suggest tweaking that number after a week of use, and I imagine it will suggest lowering it. So we’ll see what happens there. Either way, I’m not one of those people who feels like I’ve failed if I don’t hit some arbitrary goal, so it’s fine.

I haven’t found any third-party apps for the watch that are terribly exciting. I’m using Dark Sky and Fantastical, but I haven’t found them to be that much better than the stock weather and calendar apps. I’ve also installed Drafts and Evernote. The Drafts app is basically useful for capturing a quick note via dictation. And the Evernote app allows you to do that too, and is good for taking a quick look at recent notes.

I’ve found that the watch affects my iPhone battery life a bit. If I still had my 5s, I think the watch would have just killed it, given how far gone the battery was on that. With the new SE, I’m a lot better off, but the watch is clearly draining 10-20% of the iPhone battery every day. The fact that I’ve just been fiddling with the watch and the phone so much this week may be contributing to that too. Once I settle down and stop fiddling with things all the time, maybe it won’t be that bad.

I’m still getting used to the effort required to get the sport strap on every morning. It’s still kind of awkward. Once it’s on, though, it’s very comfortable and it fits well. It’s definitely more comfortable than the Swatch Sistem51 that I’d been wearing previously.

I’m using the Modular watch face. It’s easy to read both the time and date, and I’ve added complications for Fantastical (in the large middle area), Dark Sky, Activity, and sunrise/sunset. I think that’ll work well for normal day-to-day use. I might switch to something more fanciful, like Astronomy, on weekends.

One thing I was a little worried about is that people would notice it, and I would get comments. (And that would make me feel awkward, because I’m the kind of guy that feels awkward when people talk to me…) But apparently it’s either common enough now that it’s unremarkable, or maybe the black watch with black strap doesn’t really call attention to itself. (Maybe I should have gotten a neon green strap.) I do notice other people’s watches, and I haven’t really seen a lot of people with Apple Watches, or any kind of smartwatch, so I don’t think it’s that common, but it has been around for a year now, so it’s not really new.

So, overall, I’d say that it’s more comfortable and useful than the Swatch that I’ve been wearing recently. And I can read the date on it without taking off my glasses and squinting. Of course, it requires more “care and feeding” than the Swatch, and it’s a good bit more expensive. And, given that the battery isn’t user-replaceable, it won’t last as long as the Swatch. But it’s fun, and it’s useful, and I’m pretty sure I’ll keep wearing it every day for the foreseeable future.

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