Home > NewsRelease > Don't Call it an iWatch by Dave Nelsen
Don't Call it an iWatch by Dave Nelsen
Mikki Williams. CSP, CPAE Mikki Williams. CSP, CPAE
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Chicago, IL
Friday, June 12, 2015

I ordered my Apple Watch on the first day one could: April 10, 2015. Unfortunately, I didn't rise in
the middle of the night to do so at the earliest possible hour. So I had to endure an interminable 4 - 6 week wait. The watch finally arrived on Friday, May 15. In case you're curious, I got the larger (42 mm) version with a stainless steel case and black leather magnetic closure band. It runs $699 but throw in AppleCare and taxes and you're well north of $800.
My first impression was that it was beautiful and much easier to set up than I'd expected. Maybe you read the article by the New York Times reporter who claimed that it took him four full days to start to get the hang of it. That's probably because he tried to test virtually every major function and app ASAP. That's not how the rest of us will get started. It's easy and intuitive if you go one function at a time.
The main thing I like about the watch is that it's always with me, even when my phone isn't. That first day I was doing an online registration for one of my vehicles and needed the current mileage from my car's odometer. I left my iPhone sitting on my desk and walked out to the garage. Of course, that's when an important call came in (doesn't it always). Normally, I would have missed it and a game of voicemail tag would have continued. But not this time. I was still within Bluetooth range of my iPhone (reportedly up to 300 feet) and my wrist started ringing. Magic.
Which reminds me about a few things that you need to know. First, the Apple Watch also includes WiFi which can greatly extend the range. But that emphasizes a key point. The vast majority of Apple Watch functions rely on the iPhone. You can't even set it up without first pairing. So if you own a Samsung Android smartphone, you'll have to get the Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch instead. I hear that it's pretty cool too.
Back to the Apple Watch and my favorite features so far. That's always the second question I get from someone seeing it for the first time (the first being "Can I see it?"). Mostly, it comes down to using it as an iPhone remote control.
For example, two weeks ago I was riding in a shuttle from Monte Verdi to Montezuma in Costa Rica while listening to Jimmy Buffett songs in shuffle mode (I just had to work that in). FYI, I have exactly 50 Buffett albums containing 589 songs, albeit with lots of duplicates. The iPhone was in my pocket. Whenever a repeat came on, no problem. Just use the Apple Watch to skip to the next one. What album was that song from? Just check the song name and album title on the Apple Watch. Need to change the audio volume ... You get the idea.
When I run I use the Nike+ app. In the past I had to hold the phone in my hand in order to see my stats in progress (or depend on the more limited audio readouts). Now I can put the phone in my armband and glance at the watch instead. AND I can see my heart rate too, although not in the same app. For whatever reason (likely privacy), Apple does not allow third-party apps like Nike+ to access health data.
Flying from Pittsburgh to Denver a week ago I used a boarding pass on my Apple Watch. And in Denver I paid for my venti Americano at Starbucks using it instead of the iPhone (or even the more primitive credit card which can too easily be hacked). Pretty much anything in your Passbook app can be used on your Apple Watch.
Still, the Apple Watch doesn't have all the desired apps yet. Most notably it doesn't yet track your sleep and doesn't include my favorite social GPS app, Waze. That said, I'm very optimistic about the future of Apple Watch. If you haven't tried one yet, get down to your closest Apple Store. Tell them that Dave sent you.

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