A few hours with an Apple Watch

The pocket-sized super computer that I use as an alarm clock woke me at 2:45. It was the first morning the Apple Watch went on sale and I placed my order within that crucial first three minutes window of maximum availability.

My Silver Aluminum Case with White Sport Band was delivered on Day One (24-April-2015).

Here are my first few observations after using it for the past few days:

  • I wasn’t expecting it to arrive in a long rectangular box. It was like someone had mailed me a baton.
  • My daughter figured out how to turn it on before I did.
  • Pairing the Apple Watch to an iPhone is very straightforward. You point the two at each other. The Apple Watch begins to shine with the sort of semi-coherent, structured static that I’m pretty sure fills the dreams of androids. The iPhone grows entranced. A moment passes and then they’re paired together.
  • Lots of my iPhone apps had already been updated with an Apple Watch component in the days leading up to the launch. The initial setup screens after the pairing offer to install and activate all of these new apps automatically. I declined, opting instead to set them up individually on a case by case basis.
  • The question of Watch configuration quickly becomes “what information in your life is really important enough to direct to your wrist?” For example, I interrupted dinner last night to excitedly show my family how the results of a new eBay search for “Tron keyboard” had just arrived on my wrist. Sometimes I make bad choices.
  • Configuring the Apple Watch and your interactions with it is a bit fiddly and surprisingly deep for a 1.0 product. It makes me think that this has been quietly incubating behind closed doors for a long, long time now.
  • For example: you can customize which new apps make their way onto your watch, how notifications are handled (by default, it mirrors your iPhone settings), and which apps have Glances available (note: glances are little application views that can accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen)
  • The Taptic Engine is really… interesting. It’s not a buzz, like you feel from a PS3 controller, but an actual tap. The exact sensation is that of invisible (ghostly?) fingers tapping lightly upon your arm. It’s surprisingly intimate.
  • Some of the apps are a bit pokey. And by “pokey” here, I mean having sometimes having to wait 3-4 insufferably long seconds for data to refresh as it’s pulled from your phone.
  • Having an Apple Watch really has kept my iPhone in my pocket for most of the weekend.
  • Modular is my favorite watch face. Mickey (pictured above) is a really close second – except all the wiggling makes me forget to look at where his arms are pointing most of the time.
  • My daughter has been wearing the Apple Watch around the house now and then. Every so often my iPhone starts playing a song or one of my apps comes alive in the background or asks for something. This makes me think we’ll all be making fun of the grown-ups who published Apple Watch 1.0 reviews citing the perilous complexities of the new interface.
  • The idea that a piece of jewelry is also a machine that’s slurping and squirting bits of data from a global internetwork is totally normal to my daughter.