After having the Apple Watch for one month, I can truthfully say that as Apple wishes, “It just works.” Make no mistake, the Apple Watch is no iPhone, and it does have a lot to improve on, but overall, the potential for this device is exceptional. What it currently does, it does well. Apple’s first ever Smartwatch is phenomenal in the context of a regular day while having great hardware and design that aren’t currently matched by any other competitor on the market, and as a result, the use of this device is incredible.
The Apple Watch definitely has room for improvement in the ways of customization, a lack of third party app support, slow load times for apps and a lack of VoiceOver gestures. As outlined in this article, it has several different clock faces and complications that users can choose from. The only downside to them is the fact that third party ones currently are not supported on the watch, while competitors like Pebble and Samsung allow faces from outside developers. While a walled garden approach has been a traditional stance in Apple’s products, it would still be nice if they opened up the platform, and third party clock faces or complications would be the least they could do. In a way, the Apple Watch reminds me of iOS back when it debuted and was a rising star in the technology world. Like iOS, the Apple Watch will most likely be made more open to customization in the future, and from sources inside the community, we have also learned that a jailbreak for the Apple Watch is not entirely out of the question down the road. Along with this lack of customization, the Apple Watch doesn’t have nearly as many third party apps built for it as I would like. Although this issue is currently an impedance on the watch’s overall worth in my eyes, like iOS when it first debuted, more and more services will begin to support the Apple Watch as it increases in popularity and as time passes. Many apps from bigger companies such as Twitter and Instagram have apps already, but some companies may take longer than I, and many others would like to release Apple Watch apps. Another gripe that I personally have, and many others have as well is the long load times for apps. Although this will improve over time, it’s still slightly annoying to the point where in some scenarios, pulling the iPhone out of my pocket and opening the app on it instead is the faster method. According to some, Watch OS 1.01 has slightly improved this issue, but I cannot personally comment on this because for the time being, I have decided to stay on 1.0 to have a better chance of being able to jailbreak, if one comes out to the public. The final complaint that I have about the watch is the fact that presently, VoiceOver is slightly limited. All that can be done with it is turning on screen curtain, adjusting the volume, adjusting the speech rate, toggling hints on or off and toggling if it speaks when the wrist is raised or not. I’d love to see a rotor or some kind of granularity adjustment, it’s just difficult to hear VoiceOver talking in very noisy environments and it would be easier if we had the option to view individual words or characters for those situations. That being said, the Apple Watch is still more accessible than all of its competitors on the market, and will only continue to improve as the operating system develops.
Although the watch definitely has some room for improvement, there are many things that it does well. In wearing the watch in my day to day life, I have found uses for it at just about every turn. Checking notifications while in class is an absolute dream providing the volume of VoiceOver isn’t too loud, and the glances feature is great for when I don’t have the time or inclination to take out my iPhone and look at quick information. Accompanying these prominent advantages of the watch are the health tracking features, I use them in every workout that I do and the readings are accurate to the point where it’s a little scary. It also promotes an active day, but does so in a way that is manageable because of the fact that I can select how difficult I want my goals to be to accomplish. The Apple Watch has other amazing software features, the maps application, Siri and messages are just a few more, but its design is nearly flawless. Before the Apple Watch, I hadn’t worn a time piece in about ten years. I thought that having the extra weight on my wrist was going to be awkward and annoying, but the Apple Watch made itself right at home, blending in seamlessly. I also thought that it would make typing harder, and at first, there were points when I considered taking off the watch to do so. Here I am, one month later, writing this article with my watch sitting snuggly on my left wrist, my typing as smooth as silk. A feature that I additionally enjoy is the digital crown, which can be used as a home button, a way to activate Siri, a way to go to the previous application, bring the VoiceOver focus back to the clock on the home screen and move VoiceOver forward and bak by one element. It’s amazing that a little dial on the side of the watch can do so much and yet feel so natural at the same time. Not only does the digital crown feel incredibly intuitive, but there is no other Smartwatch that has it, showcasing Apple’s ability of innovation once again. When pressing it, the button feels concise and sturdy, I like it even better than the home button on the iPhone., and turning it to scroll feels easy, the crown just glides. By far, the digital crown is the most impressive aspect of the Apple Watch’s design, and may always be so.
I firmly believe that no other company puts a product together as well as Apple, and the latest offering from Cupertino further increases my opinion. Combining the different aspects of the watch makes for an excellent user experience, even if it does have a few flaws, the positives outweigh the negatives when using it. The best part of the apple Watch is that it has only been available for about a month, meaning that it has years to grow and mature. When buying it, I made my decision to test the accessibility, make my technology experience more convenient and to see what kind of potential it had in the coming years. The Apple Watch has shown me that it has lived up to almost all of my expectations and buying one was one of the best decisions I could have made. I look forward to using the Apple Watch for years to come.