10 Impressions After Almost 3 Months with Apple Watch

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 4 min read

The first few days with the Apple Watch were a whirlwind of excitement and exploration. I wrote up some first impressions over the first few days with the Watch. Now, 76 days into my Apple Watch experience, here are some more impressions.

1. I’ve worn it everyday

Yes, I have worn my Apple Watch every single day since I got it. There has never been a time where I was like, “eh, I’ll leave it at home.” It just hasn’t happened. I have also not had the desire to switch to my traditional watch even for a change of pace.

I also wore it to a wedding and got plenty of compliments on how fancy it looked.

2. It’s amazing for iMessage

Responding to text messages remains one of my favorite things to do on the Watch. It’s so easy to do, and is a much more seamless experience than bringing out my phone, unlocking it, opening Messages, and typing out a reply.

Other messaging services’ apps are going to get so much better in watchOS 2 this fall when they can run natively and work more like this.

3. I don’t use that many apps

My app usage is quite a bit lighter than I expected at first. Here’s what I’m using regularly:

Workouts - This is a great app from Apple, and is my favorite app on the Watch. It’s easy to keep track of my workout progress as I go.

Passbook & Apple Pay - I use my Starbucks card when I get coffee, Cartwheel at Target, and Apple Pay everywhere that accepts it. It does still feel a little weird to hold my wrist out there for the cashier to scan, but it’s become more natural the more I’ve done it.

Twitterrific - This is the only Twitter app that has a Watch app worth a damn. The notifications in particular are so good. I can very quickly reply to, favorite, or retweet new mentions/DMs. It’s also my favorite-looking app in my opinion.

Do Button - IFTTT’s button app is great on the iPhone, and it makes even more sense on my wrist It’s so easy to trigger my Do recipes in a second.

Squarespace Metrics - Shows me my website stats at a glance. Simple and also feels made for the Watch.

Timer - The built in timer app is super fast and the only way I set timers anymore. Activating them with Siri without breaking stride is awesome every time.

Dark Sky - When I want to know if it’s going to rain, Dark Sky is where I go on my phone, and I find myself going to the Watch app more and more often. It is a little slow to load, but it does a really nice job of displaying weather data.

Remote - Finally, I use this app to control my Apple TV. For whatever reason, I find it much easier to use than the iPhone app, and it’s a lot harder to lose than the actual remote.

4. Apps are slooooow (except the Apple ones)

Apps are going to get a lot better with the release of watchOS 2 this September, but they are painfully slow right now. Many apps are well designed, but I simply don;t use them because they take too damn long to load up. Watching a spinning progress bar on a phone or computer is one thing, but looking at one on your wrist is maddening.

The Watch is at its best when it’s doing things my phone can do, but faster. While it excels in some areas (timers, messages, twitter replies, etc.), it is god-awful in others.

5. It’s all about notifications right now

This is the big one. With apps being so slow, the apps that have the best notifications are winning me over the most. Dark Sky’s notification with the net hour’s rainfall projection is hugely useful. Twitterrific’s multitude of options for what to do with a new tweet that’s come in has made it my twitter app of choice even though I like Tweetbot better on iOS.

Great notifications are the best way to give Watch wearers quick interactions every time at the moment. If you’re a developer, consider this while making your watchOS app.

6. Battery life is great

I guess there is a power saving mode on the Watch but I still have never seen it. I also wore it for 2 days straight on a couple occasions and still made it just fine.

7. I never, ever use the Friends button

The button may as well not be there at all. I double-press it to activate Apple Pay, but that’s it.

8. The screen turns on fast enough

I was worried about this at first, but I have gotten used to the half-second it takes for the screen to turn on (if you blink, you’ll miss the moment of black screen when raising it). I also know how to turn my wrist to activate it. I can even turn it just a few millimeters while typing and get it to turn on.

9. I’m better at telling people how I use it

This was also a big holdup for me at first. I’ve got my pitch down much better these days. I legitimately feel like I’m communicating better and I’m getting distracted by my phone much less often.

10. I don’t regret my purchase at all

The big thing I suppose is that I am still very happy with my purchase. $400 is by far the most expensive watch I have ever bought, but this is also my favorite watch I have ever owned. It’t not a replacement for my iPhone, it’s an indispensable companion for my phone. If you’re on the fence, let me know and I’ll try and persuade you to make the jump!