Apple Watch 30 Day Test Drive: Better than You Think
By Jim Lundy
There have been many reports in the press lately saying that the Apple Watch is failing. If you don’t recall, the same thing was said after the initial iPhone launched – it was only after a year that people finally understood what the iPhone represented. I’ve been using the basic Apple Watch Sport for a month and this blog post is about the Apple Watch – and what it means to the Digital Worker.
The Apple Watch Sport with a Black Band priced out at $399, not counting Apple Care extended warranty and support. The Apple Watch comes in a big long case, along with the power charger, which magnetically attaches to the bottom of the watch when you charge it.
Apple Watch is all about Notifications
In a month of using the Apple Watch extensively in a work setting, it has surpassed my expectations. It isn’t that the Watch is a mind blowing device – it is an extension of what you do on the iPhone – but in the form factor of a watch. Now, nearly every day, the Apple Watch notifies me of an event, a text message, or my next meeting, all without anyone else knowing. The reason for this is because the Apple Watch can be set to pulse your wrist with a notification.
The Power of Touch – Eliminating Glances at Phone
The big surprise of the Apple Watch is the Taptic Engine – which is what allows the Apple Watch to pulse your wrist when an event or other activity is taking place. For example, when using Directions on the Apple iPhone when Driving, the Apple Watch will tap your wrist quickly when a turn is coming up. It was a surprise but the Watch tapping ensured that I didn’t miss a turn. It has been great when on a business trip in a location that you don’t know.
Apple Watch – Messaging gets Faster
The big thing for business people on the go is responding to all kinds of activities during the day. One of them is Text Messages. For me my Business Text Volumes are getting larger. In a meeting, it can be very distracting and rude to look at your phone, but the other side of the coin is that someone is trying to reach you. With the Apple Watch – you get a Tap on the wrist (like a short thump) when a new message arrives. A turn of the wrist allows you to see the text, often without others noticing.
The bottomline here is I was able to respond to many messages much faster due to the preset responses and the ability to have Siri dictate a reply. Speed of replies is a deal maker – a productivity enhancer. If you run a team or manage projects, you will love how fast messaging is on the Apple Watch.
Exercise and the Apple Watch
Fitness fanatics may not jump up and down regarding this part of the Apple Watch, but for me – the Dashboards you get with the Apple Watch and the activities it encourages you to do – has made my level of fitness activity go up. I haven’t tried the Nike Running App yet with the Apple Watch but that is probably the next step.
The big thing about exercise and the Apple Watch is that it makes you more aware of what you are doing and it motivates you to do a little more. I don’t have a personal trainer, but with the notifications and the dashboards, I have found that it is just the right amount of incentive to move more and to walk and run more. For people on the go, this is hard to beat.
Custom Watch Faces
One of the hidden gems of a Digital Watch is that you can change the face with the tap of a finger. I have a Work Face that I use that tells me my upcoming appointments and one that is just a regular watch for weekend or evening use. Again, I can see the next appointment by glancing at my watch and also get the notifications about meetings all without looking at my phone.
Battery Life – Not a problem
I get asked about Battery life the most. Most days – I have 35-42% battery life left – this is after a day full of meetings and messages. It does mean you need to charge the Apple Watch every day – with a different charger, but I haven’t had any issue with this. The Watch works all day – I do expect that in 3 years it will be a multi-day charge. I did get to use the low power mode when the battery gets low – Apple Watch shuts down all apps and just gives you the time. That worked well until I was able to recharge it.
The Digital Watch and the Digital Worker
The digital watch is here – from both Google and Apple. We are not even at the 2.0 release of Apple Watch and for me and for most of the people I know that have one – it has been a surprise about how much more I can do without having to look at the phone. The big thing here is that the Apple Watch does enhance productivity. For people who want an advantage in the workplace – this delivers. For me and many others, eliminating at least half the daily glances at the phone make the Apple Watch a winner.