Unlike its many challengers to the smartwatch throne like the Pebble Steel as described in US$249 Pebble Steel rocks James Bond Playboy joie de vivre on your Wrist the Apple Watch isn’t a standalone device but really more of an Apple iPhone accessory.
Please note that you must own an Apple iPhone 5 or higher to use the Apple Watch which is paired via Bluetooth 4.0, becoming a second screen for all your iMessages, Calls, Texts and Social Media notifications.
It can also connect via 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and allow you to make Voice Calls, a functionality that Android Wear smartwatches are capable of doing as noted in Google updates Android Wear before the Apple Watch Deliveries on April 24th 2015.
Apple Watch as a Smartphone extension – Managing your busy life while Staying Fit
The Apple Watch is a fitness tracker that tracks your steps with its built-in pedometer, sets up exercise workouts routines and logs your performance in terms of distance run and your heart beats and synchs the results to your Apple Healthkit Apps.
Used as an extension of the Apple iPhone 6 or 6 Plus or via Wi-Fi, the Apple Watch can receive and send iMessages thanks to Voice dictation thanks to the built in speaker and microphone.
You can also send your loved one an animated emoji as well as your heartbeat, the closest Apple has come to masking us all into Care Bears. You can also make speakerphone calls, albeit you’ll look a little ridiculous taking to your wrist.
Still the idea is clear; if you’re someone that has to answer a lot of calls, an Apple Watch helps you to manage them discreetly without having to pull your Apple iPhone out of your pocket for every iMessages, Call, Text and Social Media notification.
If you have a wireless headphone, like the Sennheiser Urbanite XL Wireless, you can synch it via Bluetooth and play your favourite tunes. Believe it or not, this thing runs Apps, and has over 4000 of them, albeit extensions of those already on your Apple iPhone. You can also pay for items via Apple Pay, making your wrist a perfect replacement for your wallet.
All this functionality is accessible via the new Force-sensitive display, which is based on technology similar to Force Touch on the 15” Macbook Pro launched in May 2015.
Apple Watch Design – It’s great to be Square with a Digital Crown
The Apple Watch can be seen more as pieces of technology arm candy to match your Apple iPhone 6 which just happens to be functionally elegant.
Both the 38mm and the 42mm sizes of all three (3) designs are a beauty to behold and are not so huge on the wrist like the Samsung Galaxy Gear as pointed out in Samsung’s Galaxy Gear S Smartwatch coming to Jamaicawhile reppin’ for Tizen.
Powered by an S1 Processor, it controls the Force Touch and makes navigating the 38mm and the 42mm size screens a little easier. Amazingly, packed inside that little package is an accelerometer, gyrometer, Bluetooth 4.0 for synching and 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz Wi-Fi for Internet connectivity.
It also has a heart-rate monitor for the fitness freaks but no onboard GPS, as apparently that just couldn’t fit or you’d have less than a day’s worth of useful power.
The Apple Watch comes with the Siri Voice Assistant, and the built-in speaker and microphone means you can actually talk to your wrist and it’ll answer you back. Siri is now on your wrist folks!
It’s rectangular construction is a grand departure from the circular Watch design that the Motorola Moto 360 and the LG G Watch Urban have adopted as pointed out in LG G Watch Urbane at MWC 2015 with a View to Kill Apple Watch come April 2015.
Its design looks like a slight crib of the Pebble Steel or the Martian wristwatch, with the addition of the Digital crown, which is more like a mouse scroll wheel made to look like the old mechanical winding mechanism on mechanical watches. That design accent may have been deliberately done to appeal to mechanical Watch purists who’ll find it a good option to swiping on the Force Touch enabled OLED Screen.
Just below the Digital Crown is a quick launch button that allows you to bring up favourite contacts or initiate Apple Pay whenever something catches your eye for a quick purchase.
Apple Watch as a Fitness Tracker – Surefire way to coach yourself to exercise
So how is it using the Apple Watch? Very complicated from setup to actual use as a notification tracker and fitness tracker.
First, you’ll have to set up everything on your Apple Watch, a process that’s as involved asserting up your Apple iPhone:
- Notification settings
- Individual app settings
- App layouts
- Sounds and Haptics
- Apple Pay
Hint: Set the Sounds and Haptics on “Prominent Haptic”, a way of increasing notification feedback.
The Apple Watch, aside from being a smartwatch, is also a fitness tracker. It displays your daily activity in a three (3) concentric ring display that acts as a kind of reward systems to the dedicated exercise buff. You can peruse all these results via three (3) Apps on your Apple iPhone:
- Activity App
- Workout App
- Health App
The rings are color coded for the following functions as follows:
- Red Ring is Daily Calorie Burn
- Green Ring is Active Exercise
- Blue Ring is Standing Up
The Fitness tracker isn’t magical in any way. Remember, you’re working against gravity and once you’ve set up all the setting in the Apple Healthkit app, it can calculate Calories burned and encourage you to exercise.
Triple the rewards for achieving these very hard-to-attain metrics makes this on par with many dedicated fitness smartwatches on the market such as the Nike FuelBand, Jawbone Up, Fitbit.
The Caloric Burn tracks how often you walk or do running exercise and calculates the amount of calories you burn on a daily basis. The Stand Up ring rewards you for every minute spent standing every hour and actually goads you to stand if you’ve been sitting down for awhile.
Active exercise tracks and rewards meeting daily exercise goal’s, be it hiking, jogging, running and other high-intensity exercise activity. This one appears to be the hardest to achieve, as it’s really to encourage you to exercise more, which many fail to do due to their busy work schedules.
All of this, including ECG (Electro Cardiograph) readings are trackable on your Apple Activity App. There is no social element, making goal-setting a solitary experience, but you do get some nifty badges each time you achieve a goal, an obvious crib from the Nike Fuelband as described in Caribbean rides the Fitness Craze as Nike Fuelband SE making Apple iPhone users healthier.
Apple Watch Heart Rate Sensor – Get a chest-strap heart-rate monitor for improved accuracy
The Apple Watch heart rate sensor uses the same LED pulse counting technology as found in the Microsoft Band, the Basis Peak and the Fitbit Charge HR.
However, unlike those fitness trackers, Apple doesn’t track your heartbeat twenty four (24) hours a day, possibly because the battery doesn’t last longer than eighteen (18) hours per day. So no tracking your sexual performance as a part of your Active exercise or Daily Calorie Burn!
Interestingly, the Apple Watch allows you to pair with a chest strap based heart rate monitor, like the Polar or Garmin chest-strap heart-rate monitor, if you looking for more accurate readings.
The Apple Watch uses heart rate data to calculate Daily Calorie Burn in the Workout. It also uses the GPS on your Smartphone to work out distances and slowly calibrate pedometer over time.
All that data is collected by the Health App, which can pass it to third-party health Apps that you can get from the Apple Watch App Store.
Apple Watch does Apple Music – Lacklustre Battery life but Apple Pay gives it extra sparkle
Apple has now launched their Streaming Music Service, Apple Music on Tuesday June 30th 2015 and includes a splash of BBC Style Radio streaming as explained in Apple WWDC 2015 debuts OS X 10.11, Watch OS 2.0 and Apple Music.
The Apple Watch itself can store up to 2 GB of music in the form of a synched playlist, with the music being streamed from your Apple iPhone to your Apple Watch. The music is played via iTunes on your Apple Watch and you’ll need a pair of Bluetooth headphones, as there is no headphone jack.
As you’d expect, the Bluetooth streaming wasn’t very good, despite being Bluetooth 4.0. You can always opt for Bluetooth speakers or even stream via Apple Airplay over Wi-Fi, but your battery life will suffer.
Apple really gives you 6.5 hours for exercise or for music, so listening to your favourite albums on day-long hike will drain the battery. Recharging said battery will also take several hours and it can only occur with the proprietary magnetic Inductive charger. That proprietary magnetic Inductive charger seems coded to the Apple Watch as it won’t charge with any other inductive charger.
A power reserve mode merely turns the Apple Watch into a basic wristwatch; you can exit this mode to get back to being a full-fledged smartwatch. Something tells me that this frequent recharging will gradually shorten the battery life of the Apple Watch, necessitating a frequent change of the battery at the Apple Store.
Apple Watch needs some serious work – Only True Apple fans will adore this product
So with all these bells and whistles is the Apple Watch a good buy?
If you use your Apple iPhone 6 very frequently and you can tolerate daily recharging, this is the Watch for you. In fact, it’ll match all of your other Apple products!
If not, then you’ll need to wait awhile, as to me, the Apple Watch’s Battery life is a huge disappointment, despite the personal touch of appointments used involved in selling the Apple Watch.
Still its integration of Apple Pay and the fact that it can work without the Apple iPhone will guarantee its novelty will last until Apple launched the second iteration of the Apple Watch in 2016.
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