One thing I expect from paid political commentators is insightful analysis on the day’s political news. What I don’t want is fanatic conservative or liberal approval or disapproval of everything that happens in politics these days. Issues are complicated. Fans belong in a stadium.
Likewise, I expect technology writers to have an understanding of today’s new gadgets. I expect them to try popular products and provide insightful analysis on using the device. What I don’t want are fan boyish observations. And I don’t want is superficial analysis.
A Day In The Life
What would you expect in a product review from a technology writer for a large online publication, a U.S. technology policy advisor, a distinguished lecturer, author, and advisor? Insight? Uh huh. Me, too.
Apple Watch was announced almost three years ago and has been on the market for more than two years. Famous technologist David Gewirtz decided to try it out. Finally.
I’ve never really had any use for watches. There are clocks almost everywhere. Also, ever since I got my first car, I figured a dashboard clock was pretty much like a watch I took everywhere, except that I rode inside. Yeah, the poster boy for watch fanatics I’m not.
Is this really the person to review Apple Watch? How about a comparative analysis of Watch vs. Samsung Gear?
As much as I like tech gadgets, smartwatches haven’t had that much appeal to me because…see previous paragraph. They’re expensive, seem a bit clunky, and never really provided a compelling use case that made it worth not only shelling out the cash, but putting up with wearing them all day.
And yet Apple has a few dozen million customers wearing them and extolling their virtues. If you can’t figure out a use case for a device with that many customers and many thousands of applications, should you be reviewing and recommending (or not) said device? Don’t you get paid for making exactly such recommendations and providing insightful perspective?
I’m already annoyed at the cable. It’s able to reach the floor, but just barely. Oh, and hey. Inductive charging. Way to catch up with your competitors, Apple! Way to catch up to 2009.
Got a better way to charge the device? I’m sorry. I missed the famous technologists answer.
Tried on the sport wrist band, which fits. Barely. First impression: I hate — hate, hate, hate — this wrist band. It’s a royal pain to put on. There’s a good chance I’ll damage the watch by dropping it, merely attempting to put the band on. If I keep the watch, I’ll need to get a band that’s not so sucktacular.
Maybe someone needs to go on a diet. Or, maybe check out reviews of Watch bands. Amazon has a few gazillion already. Is this an insightful analysis of a 24-hour test ride or just a way to complain about that which hardly anyone else complains about?
I set the watch up initially with a passcode. This was a mistake. Yes, having a security code is good, but on the watch, it renders the watch completely, frustratingly abominable. The watch settings app on the iPhone allows that to be turned off, but I had to fight with the watch to enter the passcode three or four times to simply get to that point.
The passcode is good security, but nobody I know with Watch uses it. Watch has a nice sensor which locks up Watch when it isn’t being used. Otherwise, you’re the user, right?
Another mistake was allowing all apps to be synchronized to the watch. The watch launcher interface is already terrible, but with what looks like the group output of an art class gone mad, the launcher is poor design brought to life.
Agreed. Launcher sucks. Dock does not. Even better is the option to switch from one watchface to another and populate each with different complications.
I found the “dock,” basically a scrolling list of launched or preferred apps. This will help a lot, although, for some reason, I can’t remove the Music app from the dock. Apple keeps foisting its preferences on users to the detriment of productivity.
Funny thing. True story, too. You don’t have to use some of Apple’s preferences. Or, you can. Your choice. People who listen to music on their iPhones can use Watch to control it without having to fish iPhone out of a pocket, handbag, or backpack. Thank you, Apple.
The default watch face is ugly. I haven’t done much to optimize or customize watch faces because I was far more concerned about how the Filmic interface would look, but the watch face needs to be tweaked. Definitely.
Maybe that’s why it’s part of the preferences Apple gives us. Score one for insightful analysis.
Also haven’t yet found any battery indication. I know that can be added as a complication (the details on the watch face), but I haven’t set that up yet, either.
Grandaddy is having a problem with the basics. Too bad there are no instructions or reviews or how-to articles about Watch anywhere online for Grandaddy to read.
Google appears to be absent from the Apple Watch. Not only is there no Hangouts app, there’s also no Gmail app, so if I want to do anything with mail, I have to it with Apple Mail.
Or, with any one of the half dozen other iPhone email apps that also do Gmail and also have Watch apps. Oh, Apple’s Mail does Gmail, too. Who knew?
Discovering new product capabilities is fun. Yes, I know, I could read/view/find some manual. But this was neat. I just naturally swiped down from the top of the screen to look at the last email message that came in. And there were my notifications, just like on the phone. So, thinking there might be a pattern, I swiped up on the phone. Yep. Up came phone settings, battery life, do not disturb mode, and so on.
Uh oh. A pattern is building. The good?
- Notifications were surprisingly nice. Getting an email at lunch and simply taking a quick glance at the watch was pleasant. Not pleasant enough to justify the annoyance of wearing the thing, compared with just having my phone with me, but cool nonetheless.
- Sleep tracking was very interesting and seemed to work reasonably well.
- Heart beat tracking during exercise worked well, although treadmill gripping with both hands nerfs the tracking ability.
But did your nurse like it?
All in all, an interesting perspective, but two years too late and way too little analysis.