Since its inception, Apple is known for its innovation, and it is one of the companies that venture into new product categories every year. Apple watch is one of its kind that created a bandwagon in the market.
Apple’s Watch is in line with smart-watch that challenges the traditional watches, Fitbit and Android wear. Going by the theoretical challenges given by Apple, does that corroborate the same in real experience? We have used the Apple watch for 10 days and tried to find out it is up for the challenge.
Apple watch has a polished design and it reflects the top-class engineering. The watch has a nice touch and the watch we used that had 42mm silver casing and a white sport-band. The base of the watch has the heart rate sensor which is favourable for fitness enthusiasts. However, we felt a weight on our wrists and weren’t very comfortable wearing it.
Apple has different software and has a digital crown for scrolling, and by default it shows the watch first, but users can swipe upwards and downwards to check notifications and to check Glances.
Glances have iOS Notification centre widgets where a tapping shows the app and more information. It also shows you the weather and the music playback controls. The Apple watch shows notifications and if you clear a notification on the Watch, it goes away from the iPhone as well. Similarly, if you clear it from the iPhone, then the notification goes away on the Apple Watch. Your alerts are silenced on the iPhone, provided if you are wearing the smartwatch, that it significantly reduced the time we spent checking our iPhone.
A slight tap on the digital crown takes you to the apps screen where all apps are arranged in a hexagon that spreads outwards as you install more apps. It also allows you to customise the layout to keep your favourite apps near the centre. And on rotating the digital crown it zooms in or out in this view.
Apps and ecosystem
The Apple watch works better with iPhone and you need to pair it with your iPhone through Bluetooth.
All Apple Watch users will face a problem as apps are merely companion apps for their iOS counterparts. If your iPhone runs out of charge and a few minutes later you plug it in to turn it on. In a while if you try to run apps on the Apple Watch, several apps will ask you to open the app on the iPhone first. These kinds of issues are faced only with third-party apps while pre-loaded apps such as Stopwatch, Timer, Activity, etc. will continue to work even if your iPhone runs out of charge.
Apple Watch features voice recognition, as Siri has developed a lot in few years, so it had no trouble recognising our English even though we have a thick Indian accent. Along with that, another feature of speech- to text feature which makes you easy to send a message across, however, it doesn’t type accurately as you said.
The Apple watch can be used as a fitness device. There are three circles, Red- for movement, Blue- for standing, and green- for exercise. The app ensures that you fill up all the circles like, for instance, if you have a desk job that requires you to sit in front of the computer for hours, and the app will ensure that you take regular breaks. The more you workout, all the circles will fill up automatically.
The device has an amazing feature that wakes the screen when you raise your wrist. This could be very convenient for us most of the time and the moment we’d feel the vibration of the watch vibrate you can raise our wrist to see a notification pop up. You can also ignore the unwanted mail or message by quickly putting the hand down and continue working. This feature saves a lot of time throughout the day rather than checking your phone at every buzz. However, this feature doesn’t always work reliably, though. Sometimes we had to raise our wrists twice to wake the screen. Perhaps upcoming software updates can fix the lagging.
Moving on to the battery life, the device need charging for 2 hours and can live up to a day and half, as we experienced. It could have been better if the charge could last for at least two days, users could feel tiresome to charge yet another device almost every day.
Apple watch is not available in India. The price of the device in the US is $349 which could come around Rs. 23,000 if launched in India. However lot many people conceded that they don’t wear watches anymore as a smartphone has replaced the work of a watch.
Apple Watch only supports with iPhone. Apart from its trade-offs which are minor, the Apple Watch feels very polished for a first generation device and affordable users shouldn’t stop you from buying the device.