15.05.15 — Writing
Apple Watch Impressions
Just last week I finally got my hands on the Apple Watch I ordered back in April, and have been wearing it out and about ever since. I haven’t been up to all that much as revision has begun ramping up in preparation for exam season, but here we go…
I shan’t bother to go over the setup of this things, it’s been done many times before (and much better than I could ever discuss), but I found it relatively quick and simple, with the initial synchronisation taking just long enough to stop for a cup of tea.
The first test was a drive down to a cricket club for a wedding party, where the tapping on my wrist as notifications came through from Facebook was subtle enough not too cause any accidents – that’s more likely to be my bad driving. I eagerly await Facebook’s release of a Watch compatible app, as having a tonne of messages come through and being able to read them without the ability to reply became frustrating very quickly.
At the party, however, it came in quite useful. Waiting in line for a hog roast gave me the chance to glance over my Instagram feed, and the queue for an ice cream provided the opportunity for some quick tweeting. A song came on during one of the dances which I liked the sound of, and it was only a couple of taps to get Shazam on the job identifying what the DJ was playing.
Afterwards, however, an issue was pointed out to me by my mother that has been well documented elsewhere – that it does indeed look incredibly rude to show up to a party and spend a lot of the night glancing at your watch. With all the excitement of trying out this new toy, I assume I was using it more than I will be doing in a few weeks time once the excitement has dissipated, but the issue still remains.
The next adventure came the next day, when I journeyed back from Burnley to Leeds. Aware that I couldn’t accomplish all too much with the erratic mobile signal as I flew through the Yorkshire countryside, I took to using my laptop to keep me occupied instead. I did, however, make good use of it purely as a watch – that train journey can be very monotonous after nearly two years.
Once I arrived back here in Leeds I began the strenuous task of not really doing all that much. I baked a cake, laid in bed for a while, glazed a cake, did a bit of filing and admin work and then laid in bed a while longer. The Watch came in useful whilst cooking – I had my iPad for my recipe – but the watch I found best for all my timing. The raise-and-speak function for Siri came in ridiculously useful as I lounged around the house, allowing me to make reminders as I remembered things whilst walking around, and send goofy emojis to any text messages I received.
Needless to say that the Activity App was going crazy at me for lounging around – every hour I received a polite tap and text reminder to stop being so sedentary – which surprisingly I have been obeying thus far. It even made me stand up on the train on my way over here!
Just the other evening a group of us decided to head out to a Harry Potter quiz down in Milo Bar in Leeds City Centre, and of course I was wearing my new timepiece. Facing a barrage of notifications, I popped it onto Do Not Disturb and tried to ignore it as much as possible – however everyone wanted a go with the remote camera and heart rate monitor!
I did find that having tiny notifications appear on your wrist does the opposite of force you to pay attention to your incoming notifications all the time – rather it allows you to use your phone much less often as you immediately know which ones to ignore. I think it’s much better to occasionally glance at your wrist during social events than be preoccupied with pulling your phone out of your pocket at every (and most of the time irrelevant) notification.
Just yesterday my close group of friends consisting of Izzy, Em, Rhea, Luisa and I (we call ourselves “Occupy Grass Studio” due to the amount of time we spend working in our uni’s design studio) met up at our house for an indoor picnic. After a worrying amount of Iced Gems and sausage rolls and a very unhealthy plate-sized cinnamon bun that I baked, we ended up lounging around and chatting with a bit of music on in the background.
My phone was on the verge of death and so was charging in one corner, I had a bluetooth speaker setup in another, and I was lying on the sofa in another – and so the Watch really came into it’s own. I felt absolutely exhausted, and so being able to control the music without having to so much as move my arms was a blessing. I was pleased to find that, even though it doesn’t have it’s own native app (yet), Spotify could be controlled via the Now Playing screen in Glances.
Then the remote shutter function was actually used as intended, and we gathered on the sofa to snap this group photo of questionable photographic composition…
After this we headed to the movies to watch Pitch Perfect 2, where a quick tap of the Do Not Disturb button silenced both my phone and watch simultaneously. I was worried about the watch lighting up every two minutes as I shuffled around in my seat (laughing, mostly), but I do think Apple have got the sensitivity of the raise-to-unlock function bang on.
So do I like this watch? Yes – most definitely. It allows me to get important messages quickly, decide when not to bother taking my phone out my pocket to respond, and whenever I want I can ignore the taps on my wrist altogether without anyone knowing they even occurred. Is it worth the money I spent on it though? With the limited number of available apps and functionality, I’ve yet to decide…