The device was intriguing, the message curious, and the launch a little suspect but in the end the 42mm Stainless Steal Apple Watch with the white sport band was what I ended up purchasing. From the prospect of what aspect in my daily reoutine would this device serve?
The excitement as a tech blerd was around the fact that Apple has a new device I get to learn use and tinker with in terms of the possibility of building apps. This initial thinking lead me down the path many wonder through blindly, it's the simply fact that expecting perfection in a V1 product is a fools errand and inherently ridiculous. Though some version 1 products are able to evolve over time certain companies aren't given such leeway (see the discussion around 9 month old Apple Music and 8 year old Spotify), perfection or let the dragging commence. Though this doesn't serve as an apology on behalf of Apple as there are things that obviously should've and could've been done better with regard to this product but I'll get to that later.
My initial reaction while going through examining the physical aspects of the watch is that I thought it was a gorgeous looking watch. The band didn't have a plastic feel or look contrary to the random thoughts from other tech sites upon them only looking at the pictures, and the heft I felt was great considering its stainless steel structure. It was the set-up process that held me back from singing its overall praises. The time in which it took for the watch to connect and become active was quite long, and somewhat cumbersome from a company that in the past routinely preached to the masses that Apple products "just work" and though this did work to an extent it took some time to learn.
After the first few weeks of adjusting to normally wearing a watch, tracking steps, standing up every 50 minutes, receiving text messages and calls, my curiosity didn't necessarily wane as it in effect grew. I wondered what else was conceivable with the watch, the simple notion to accept that this is version 1 and the iterations that Apple would take in the future in terms of giving it more power while maintaining or slightly growing battery life, the amount of things one would be capable of doing aren't fully comprehensible to many.
The speed of the watch in terms of launching apps is where my praise comes to a complete stop, to say the speed of launching apps is slow would be an understatement. But what I and many others forget is that aside from the fact that this device was version 1.0 there isn't much that a person should be able to do on a screen less than 2 inches in size. The ability to tell Siri to unlock the front door, or turn on the air conditioner is nice when it works effectively and with the new Home app and framework in iOS 10, the speed should be noticeable making the watch more convenient and a strong handsfree workhorse.
What I do enjoy is Apple Pay, the convenience of paying for items from Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Panera Bread, and other places that actually accept Apple Pay (would be nice when stores like Target and Ralphs (SoCal) finally implement it). Though I don't forget my wallet the simple act of tapping the side button twice hold the watch to the reader receive a pulse notification on my wrist and leave has become my new norm. It'll be interesting to see who decides to wake up and implement readers into their stores as watch sales increase and inquiries to the acceptance of the service rise.
I like the watch bands and have slowly developed a collection that I wasn't expecting to have, though I use the sport bands when going to the gym, I like the new "nylon" bands, as well as the leather (though classic leather a lot better than the magnetic leather). I'm curious of what other bands are released with version 2 or in the Fall, I'm of the belief that many of the bands people have today would work with the new model upon release though the strategy of releasing new bands through different seasons is an interesting one.
Throughout the year my main use of the watch comes in the form of calendar events and scheduled meetings, text messages, incoming calls, Apple Pay, the Gymaholic app (one of the best workout apps available for the watch), Fandango, and keeping time obviously. When it comes to traveling I'm usually on American Air and having the ticket available on the watch is another convenience as digital airline tickets do appear to be taking off slowly but surely.
After seeing watchOS 3 and the speed improvements made along with additional customization features I'm looking forward to my use case upon release. I'm tempted to install the beta but may wait or purchase a sport model for testing any apps I find worth building that would use the watch interface in some capacity, that's something I'm still researching as there are a lot of design considerations that are needed when building for such a small screen.
Overall my first year with the watch was interesting, I love the convenience and have gotten use to wearing a watch considering I haven't worn one in years prior to buying one. The ability to perform so many actions that are a part of regular daily life activities and habits has made me curious of what will come in the future, you can already start, stop, and unlock your car if your car's manufacturer has the available apps, the fact that there's so much you can do now the future is promising and intriguing when it comes to wearable devices.