The first time I can remember someone using a watch for something more than a thing which tells time was in the 1987 film, Dragnet. I was only a kid mind you, but when a young Tom Hanks started watching TV from his wristwatch I was mesmerized.
Later on, I was disappointed to find out that the TV on Tom Hanks’ watch was the stuff of movie magic and not yet reality.
The idea of wearing a computer on one’s wrist has always been, for me, the stuff of science fiction. The world we are living in now is the future. The science fiction of my youth is now the reality of my adult life. With smart phones, thin laptops, iPads, streaming devices connected to TVs, smart home devices, the internet of things, and now smart watches.
Let me start by stating my ominous current truth: I do not exercise.
I do stand … for what I believe in.
Sometimes I go for walks after work to help relieve some of the day’s stress. I breathe to maintain the largest muscle in my body. My heart. Without breathing it would not pump any blood through my body. From what I’ve heard that is important. I try to breathe every day.
Here is another admission: I don’t sleep enough.
And now I have six months of stats to support each of the claims.
Trouble in Paradise
The trouble with the Apple Watch is it’s everyone’s fantasy proven false. You can’t do everything via a tiny wrist computer. Even though the options are there they are still a long way from being refined. But once the Apple Watch’s technology is improved to run as smooth as the latest smartphone - its often impractical.
The limitations of a smartwatch include the follwing: A tiny screen, battery life, and the need for an internet connection or Bluetooth connection of some kind. All represent the false truth of every smartwatch.
But still a ton of fun to play with!
It was six months of obsession.
For six months I obsessed over the Apple Watch. Every time I would find myself in the Apple Store I always found my way to the Apple Watch display area.
The beautiful promise of having a smartwatch was going to solve all my problems. Or at least all of the issues I decided I needed to address. Who doesn’t want to answer a call from their wrist? Especially in a busy street or while waiting in line for your turn to order lunch?
They experts say if you want something don’t buy it right away. Wait a week and see if you still want it. That logic has never worked on me.
Instead, the more time passes, the more obsessed I become. The more time I waste watching review YouTube videos and reading other review articles. Then the fruitful day comes when I finally spend large sums of money on something I don’t need. But something I want.
It was Love at First Sight
The Apple Watch I ended up getting was the Nike version with LTE. The only difference between the Nike version of the regular version of the Apple Watch are the Nike watch faces. There was no extra cost. So it made sense to give myself that option.
The promise of LTE excited me. I argued in my head this was the perfect opportunity to somewhat future proof the Apple Watch.
Apple has released a new version of the Apple Watch every year. But I knew I would not upgrade the Apple Watch every year once I made my purchase. I can’t afford to do that. I mean, who spends their money on a new smart watch every year? Not me. Certainly not.
Setting up was a breeze. After I connected the watch via Bluetooth to my iPhone most of the set up was done via the iPhone Apple Watch app. So easy.
The only issue was updating the watch’s operating system. It seemed the day I activated the watch Apple released an important update. Not wanting to be left behind I plugged my watch in. (One cannot update their watch unless it’s connected to the charger.) I let the update upload to my iPhone and then upload to my Apple Watch via Bluetooth.
This process took almost an hour. I also found I had to keep my iPhone unlocked with the Apple Watch app open. Thus rendering the use of two expensive devices for almost an hour. First World Problems
My Daily Usage
My daily usage changed as I grew comfortable with the watch. Along with figuring out what I like and what I didn’t like.
At first, I put the watch on right after my morning shower. Then I would keep it on until I crawled into bed. After four months of doing this, I changed this a bit when I wanted to use my Apple Watch to track my sleeping patterns.
I started having trouble sleeping as work begin to get a little stressful. I thought maybe if I tracked my sleep I might get to the bottom of this unwanted amount of stress I keep having.
To help track my sleep I used Sleep++ . A great app, by the way. Of course, this meant having to leave my watch on and only taking it off when I took my morning shower. It takes me about 15 to 20 minutes to shower and shave in the morning.
The watch did not charge to 100%. Since I was wearing the watch more, I found this unsettling. Considering one night, I came home to see my watch with only 2% battery life left. I started taking my watch off after I came home from work and putting it back on before going to sleep. And then letting it charge again while I got ready for work. This proved a better way to keep my watch charged. Without the headache of worrying about whether or not my watch will die.
I’m not sure when Apple will be able to improve the battery life? I don’t fault them on the battery life. Apple is limited by what is possible with technology today. I’m sure one day they might figure out. I have no predictions of when that will be. I do know this: it won’t be happening tomorrow.
Notifications are the same for the Apple Watch and the iPhone. With the only difference being a constant distraction.
I don’t always have my phone on me. At work, I leave it on my desk. At home, I leave it in the charger and only grab it when I need it. I have an iPad which I use while I’m at home. I get all the notifications I need from the iPad.
Now my notifications follow me wherever they go. Attached to my wrist. And each month I turn more of them off. At least I know when someone texts me or is trying to call me (usually SPAMMERS). So I have that going for me—which is nice.
I also muted the Watch. Receiving sounded-notifications from my write was too distracting. Whenever I get notified the watch gently tabs me. That’s the only kind of notification I prefer.
If you’re into to exercise, then the Apple Watch may be perfect for you.
I bought the Apple Watch hoping it will encourage me to go out outside and run. Or go hit the gym. Neither of those two happened.
Instead, I found myself annoyed by a notification telling me to stand-up. Or telling me to breathe. Don’t get me wrong! At first, I was enjoyed receiving those notifications. Instead, they turned to an unnecessary annoyance. Primarily when I was deep in thought at work or trying to get some writing done.
Messages and Workflow
At one point I tried to use my Apple Watch to help automate my commute. Sometimes when I am heading home, my wife offers to pick me up. To better help know when to be at the train station I send her texts when I arrive at a specific train stops before my final one.
In the past, I always sent these text via my iPhone. On the train, I have a book out. Or I will be reading from my Amazon Kindle. Having to pull my iPhone out while reading when I have the Apple Watch on my wrist seemed silly.
The idea: I would tap my watch and Workflow would do the rest.
The problem: both the LTE and WiFi are spotty in the subway.
Sometimes I have to manually connect to WiFi when it’s available if LTE is suddenly unavailable. The iPhone doesn’t do this automatically—yet. And the Apple Watch Series 3 definitely doesn’t do it.
I remember trying to send a text a couple texts to my wife. None of them were sent. This experiment failed.
When I Wear the Watch 6 Months Later
Six months later and I am still wearing my Apple Watch every day. Especially when I am at work or out running errands.
I used to wear the watch all the time—even at home. Now, I leave it on the charger when I am at home. And only put it on before I’m going out.
There is a small dent on the bottom right-side of the Apple Watch. When I first started wearing the watch I wasn’t used to the extra bump the watch added to my wrist. I kept bumping the watch face on things while reaching for something. As a result, there is now a scratch on the glass. So much for the famous Gorilla Glass. I am concerned that one day I might crack the glass.
I have seen some friends with broken Apple Watches on their wrists. They are braver than myself. If the day comes when the watch face glass is cracked I might just put it away until I decide it I ever need to get a new Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is a refinement of the last two generations. With the promise of LTE, most were given a chance to using the Apple Watch only and leaving the iPhone at home. But like all good things, it was too good to be true.
With the Apple Watch, I can pretend to be like Dick Tracy. Or talk to my communicator like an episode of Star Trek. It doesn’t always work but when it does it’s pretty awesome.
Beautiful and imperfect.