May 10, 2015

Apple Watch: productivity Plus.


After several days of using the Apple watch, I am moved to write that it is totally excellent, and beyond my expectations. I thought that it would be a "nice to have" but have found that it is an absolute "must have".

I am a minimalist, so body jewelry is something I avoid. Although I own a Breitling Navitimer, a necessary but never used backup chronometer I wore during my flying days, now it just sits in a drawer.  It's great to look at, but it just tells the time, and I can get that on my smartphone. And I never did like the strap; it was truly uncomfortable to wear.

For the last 15 years, I think I might have worn a watch maybe 10 days, max.

So how come I'm such a fan of the Apple watch?

1. I just really got tired of pulling my tablet sized iPhone 6+ out of my pants just to check the time.

2. And, for anything more than checking the time, I had to go through the extra steps of thumbprint ID or entering the 4-digit code. This is a significant irritant, but you really need to have it secure.

3. I can honestly say that I have reduced the number of times I handle my iPhone by at least 95% because the watch does what I need from the phone, and it does it better and faster.  For example, on day one, I used Apple Pay to get lunch at Whole Foods, with the watch!

4. It's Fun! And I'm sure you'll agree the first time you answer your phone on your watch. Serious Dick Tracy stuff here. Text messages and email too. And Siri is right there to tell you everything she knows. However, I do find it weird that she knows sunrise/sunset times, but not high/low tides. I'm sure she will study up on that for the next version.

5. It's really well designed. Out of the box, I just naturally set it up to wear on my left wrist (like most right handed people do) and with the controls on the right side of the watch. But just today I turned it around with the controls on the left, and prefer that arrangement. Breitling's watches, at 10x the price at least, will never do that. The display is dazzlingly clear and bright, and customizable beyond imagining. I set up mine to show sunrise/sunset, time/date, moon phase, temperature, and battery reserve all on the main screen. Nice.

6.  First class support. Fedex delivered the watch, I signed for it, and by the time I got back to my computer, there was an email from Apple congratulating me for my new watch, and inviting me to a free 1-on-1 web chat with Kathryn, a very attractive Apple genius (see photo above).  How can I, how could anyone, refuse such an offer. She was very engaging, and there was no time limit at all. Take as much time as you need, no question too intricate or stupid. Yes, I do prefer redheads, but I prefer smart most of all, and she was absolutely on her game. Apple does customer service right.

7.  More customer service!  I got the 38mm watch size, the smaller of the two, because I thought the 42mm might be too big for my wrist. After a few days of wearing it, I suspected that the larger size might be OK for me, and stopped by the local Apple store to try one on.  It was a total madhouse, packed with Saturday afternoon crowds checking out the new toy.  I was expecting a long wait for service, but as soon as I flashed my watch, I went to the top of the list. Customers first!  Best of all, free exchanges!  I ordered the bigger one, which is expected to ship in July. Two months wait! They must be selling a bazillion of these things. Pay when I get it, bring in the old one for credit card refund, no problem.

8.  There are apps galore, and features I don't want to bore you with in print, but you'll love when you discover them on your own.

9.  And did I mention that I almost never take my phone out of my pocket any more?  In fact, when I'm home, I don't even carry the phone with me because the bluetooth connectivity from watch to phone is excellent. I have found battery life on the watch is certainly adequate to last all day, with a charge at night.

This watch will sell a lot more iPhones, and vice versa. You gotta get one!