It’s getting to be that time of the year when folks spend what little they have or what little they were able to save on gifts for the Holidays. Some people get really stressed out about this (I do), not only because of the financial impact, but also the because of the pressure on deciding the ‘perfect gift’ for a loved one.
Which is why me reviewing the Apple Watch at this late stage (after the real tech reporters already did) is still somewhat valid I guess. Plus I’ve had it now for two months, so I didn’t just write a review of it after the first week I had it. I’ve had time to use it in many different scenarios including travel, and there’s been several OS updates so far. My opinion on what was probably the biggest wearable tech gadget released this year, isn’t all “I like my shiny new toy”, because I’ve had it long enough now that I can start complaining.
If you are thinking about getting someone an Apple Watch this year. Wait. Here’s why:
Guess I’ll start at the beginning and work up to today, as it’s just now sitting on my desk.
Week 1: The Unboxing
K, so I got an unexpected bonus a while back. Obviously there should have been way more important things to spend the money on, but I got this beast instead. I’ve been wanting it since it came out. I got the cheapest, smallest one available, the 38mm Apple Watch Sport for $349 from the Apple Store online. Shipping was free and it was on my back porch (as instructed) in three days. I was stoked. That weekend, I began using it like everyone would assume you would use a smart watch, but this was my first time using wearable technology. Never used a Fitbit or anything like that. Not really surprising.
I really liked it at first. Always thought the novelty of wearing a watch, even though we all know what time it is, still makes them a cool aesthetic. But now I actually had one I could you know, do shit with. Wait, what time is it again?
Week 2: Apps and games
I spent the weekend doing other stuff really, but when I got the chance, I would try out the VERY LIMITED apps that were available.
All of these with the exception of Twitter are excellent. Consider that it’s a watch, so the feeds on any given social media app are limited to maybe ten or so posts. Guess I’d say that, oddly enough, Pandora was the best but I’ll get into that later. When it comes to interacting with people irl via the watch it’s pretty obvious that I don’t have very many friends. Let’s move on, shall we?
Before I get too bitchy about my Battle Camp Tamagotchi dying, I just didn’t really want to pay for any games, or anything else for that matter this early in the uh, game. I got the free stuff. There’s a handful $1.99 wordplay and math games, but the Apple Watch App Store is seriously lame. A handful of apps that I can only really see a single white male/female (ages 24-36) using, really. Ask me how many GPS based dating apps there are. 15 of them. Don’t quote me on that.
Week 3: The Cool Stuff
We had some good times, I suppose. Nearly a month in and I found that it suited well for checking email, texting, and faving tweets etc., and you can talk on it and pretend you’re Dick Tracy (no face time camera, but I’m allowed to pretend). However it drains the battery almost instantly. Ok, like if you talk on it for more than 15 minutes, it’s time to charge your wearable again. Blah.
Whenever someone I meet asks me about the watch and why I decided to wasted a shit ton of money on it, the quickest way I can show them that I am not a pretentious douche is to show them the camera feature. You can launch the camera on it and use as a ‘virtual shutter’ if you will, hand your phone to some one else and take group photos and stuff. Timer and everything. But it can’t initiate a video recording, so that kinda sucks. I could see a lot potential with of a function like that.
As I mentioned before, I don’t have very many friends so no group photos to show, but that week I got bored and hungry so I went out and got sushi alone and took and bunch of selfies. All hail ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
General smart phone functions work really well on it. Just really tiny. It did at first, I guess. Back to Pandora and Apple Music. This is the best feature on the device. No contest. I didn’t try any other music app besides these two. The hand-off to your phone or an Apple TV via your phone is so light and seamless that it doesn’t even launch that app on your phone, it just turns it into a speaker and then you can hop in the shower. Which is what I’m going to do right now, still wearing the watch. Brb.
Week 4: Travel
The next week I had to fly out to Baton Rouge for a site visit. This was an excellent opportunity to field test the device, for work, fun, airplane mode, and getting Twitter/Snapchat notifications from people that don’t talk to me anymore. I attempted to use the device for anything I could without having to take my phone out of my pocket. What I learned from this is that maybe I should pay less attention to social media and just do my fucking job but now I’m digressing a bit. However, if it turns out that you’re on the go and people won’t stop hitting you up on SM, all you have to do is put your watchless hand over it, and all of the birds stop chirping. Same for email, btw.
But on the job, it functioned well. I dictated a few texts to my boss to keep him updated on the site visit, and chatted with him Dick Tracy style, while I was pointing out that speaker placement was not as per our design but still OK. Like, what am I going to do? Rip the wires out myself? Nah, I called it a wrap, put that shit back in airplane mode and headed home.
Week 5: Problems
When I got back, I was exhausted beyond belief and got the flu. It wrecked my world. I was so sick that I took a week off and I NEVER do that. Sometime during that miserable five days this happened:
Twitter fucking disappeared.
Then my Battle Camp Tamagotchi died and that was a bummer as well. The game doesn’t even exist anymore on Watch OS.
Week 6: Watch OS Update
Felling a bit better this week, I was really hoping to see some more app development happening on the device, but then there was another Apple event that happened while I was travelling, iOS 9.1 was released as a non beta, and I just went back to work. I stopped tweeting at work because I got depressed that I couldn’t afford to go to the Twitter Flight conference, and I just sorta kept wearing the thing, like I was someone who was important. I’m not.
After I was done making sure that my colleagues could now properly give someone the middle finger via emoji on their phones, watch OS 2 came out. Then 2.0.1 a few days later. Still no Twitter. What the hell. I’d like to say that this wasn’t a big deal but it really was for me. Skip to the end to today: Nada.
Week 7: But I don’t like wearing a watch
Yeah, neither do I, tbh.
Week 8: Buyer’s Remorse
Well crap I have to pay rent, and I’m behind on my truck payment, and “Oh look! My plans of going on vacation this year just flew out the window!” Hey, we all make mistakes, but really though, the stench of buyers’ remorse is far more over powering than denial, which I’ve heard is possible by merely pinching your nose. Still no Twitter, and still one dead Battle Camp Tamagotchi.
Score for Apple Watch [4/10]