Yes, I did it again. A week after its launch in the Netherlands, I bought myself an Apple Watch. So after using the device for little over two weeks, I wanted to jot down my thoughts on the new device.
To start of… Battery life is good. At least, for me. For the past two weeks, I never had to switch to low power mode as there has always been more than 25% of battery life left when I went to bed at night. I still have quite some notifications on but I am not one of those highly social media engaged people. What comes in is basically iMessage, WhatsApp and a few apps. Be aware that I don’t have facebook installed on my iPhone and thus do not get any notifications of likes and comments.
The feature I wanted the watch for most was health. Most of the week, I am seated down in an office and therefore do not move that much. An app that tells me to stand each hour works really well, especially as it also reminds me to do some back exercises. And indeed, you will want to complete those rings each day. It happened on several occasions that I went for a walk at night and my wife would ask me if I completed the rings or if we needed to walk another block. The workout app works well for running. I also tried it for a game of squash, which was okay, I believe. I have to admit though that the workout app crashed a few times, fifteen minutes into my game of squash.
One feature that is missing here is the ability of third party apps to write directly to the activity app. This will be solved with WatchOS 2 though.
When it comes to apps, I believe the community can do better. I put great trust in version two of the OS that will allow for native apps. In the meantime, apps at at this stage are often just extensions of an iPhone app, or another way of listing the same information on a small display. The screen is too small to work on, so don’t build your app that way. Build it for quick interactions, showing people exactly what they need. Speed is an issue for many of the third-party apps, but again, that is supposed to be solved with WatchOS 2.
In addition to the above, the watch is also just a really beautiful watch. Most of the times, I have really simple watchface, although I hope that apple will come up with some more traditional ones, as I miss that from time to time. A leather band is currently on its way to replace my white sports band as that isn’t very classy after all but great for sports.
Nowadays, we live in and age where we’re accompanied by digital voice assistants. I own an iPhone and therefore have access to one of these creatures as well. Mine is known as Siri, speaks Dutch (but in beta) and I try to talk to him (beta stuff only has a male voice) every now and then.
And I have to admit Siri is quite good. There are however two suggestions I would like to see realized here:
- Connect voice commands. If I would ask you who the current president of the US is and who he’s married to, you would know that the second question relates to the first. Siri currently doesn’t, while this shouldn’t be that hard. I mean, while I am figuring out what to ask next about Mr. Obama, Siri could take a quick look at it’s internal Wiki page, summing up all the related information.
- Select language through voice commands. I frequently communicate in both Dutch and English and would prefer to be able to send out communications in both languages through Siri. However, Siri’s language can only be changed through the settings app. Wouldn’t it be cool to tell Siri: “Please switch to Dutch now”.
So, dear Tim, if you’re reading this, let me know if you think it’s worth trying.