Apple Watch thoughts after two months

For a recap, I have a 42MM stainless steel Watch with Milanese Loop and an extra white Sport Band. I’ve worn it every day since it arrived in early May, and I’ve installed and genuinely tried around 25 apps.

I use the crown less than I thought I would

The digital crown isn’t really sticking as a habit. I certainly use it in situations where it’s all but required, like zooming a map or clicking to get to apps. But in general I find myself flicking long lists of content up and down with my finger just off to the side. It doesn’t obstruct too much of the content, so I can still easily see where to stop and I feel like I have more control.

Native apps cannot arrive soon enough

In my day-to-day practice, Watch “apps” in their current barely-an-app state take way, way too long to grab data from their parents on iPhone. This is probably my biggest gripe. I’ll open an app to check some nugget of data, but far too often it turns out to be faster for me to grab my iPhone and open the parent app, even if it’s in another room.

A couple developers have told me they blame low-power Bluetooth being prohibitively slow. A restart always seems to speed things up again, but that doesn’t last for more than half a day or so. Whatever the problem, it’s a problem that I hope is wiped away by native apps.

As for the apps I use most often, I’d say: Transit, Spark, Fantastical, RunKeeper, Carrot Weather, Passbook, Hue (for controlling lights), and Apple Pay.

The band has ruined me for all other watches

Supply constraints aside, the Watch seems like a respectable early hit. But even if it’s a complete and total flop and Apple scuttles the entire product next week, the Milanese Loop has ruined all other watches for me.

The infinitely adjustable Milanese band is just a dream, and I’ve wanted something like this for years. I’ve always wondered why watch bands have never evolved much beyond constraining notches or link bracelets, as I’ve never been too fond of either. I always believed there had to be a better way, and as far as normal day-to-day wear goes for me, Apple found it.

Of course, the Milanese Loop’s fastening magnet is strong, but not strong enough for all activities or people. I’ve heard some folks say it doesn’t hold up while running and Brianna Wu says, unsurprisingly, it doesn’t stay while boxing. Lex Friedman, who professes to… not be all that active, says his loop still slips during the day. Your loopage may vary.

I did buy a Sports Band for when I run or go skating on the Chicago lakefront trail. But outside of those activities, I’m not interested. Speaking of swapping, though, I’ve wanted swappable bands since my born-again analog watch days started a few years ago, and I’m surprised it took Apple waltzing into the watch market to make this happen. Now I want more bands, infinite adjustability and magnets required.

Activity is a Trojan horse

Marco is right, the Activity features are a Trojan horse. It didn’t take long for me to want to wear my watch all day, every day to ensure any physical activity gets logged in my Apple and RunKeeper apps. Those three little circles are inspiring me to get competitive with myself, get healthier, and get my bikini body back.

I really, really like having a platform-agnostic activity tracker. Some of my friends are on RunKeeper, others are on Nike+, and I can try them all or bounce between them when it’s useful. I’m just happy I don’t have to wear 30 activity trackers around my wrists, neck, and belt.

While stand alerts got better after 1.0.1, they still aren’t very good yet at watching for context. Some still fire when I know I stood just 15 minutes ago, and sometimes I get them while in a car.

Paying for things with my watch is the best

So is not putting my real credit card number practically out in the open. I’ve had credit cards stolen before, and two of them were used for fraudulent purchases—my first was to the tune of $1,500. It’s no fun, and I think this is one of the true, unsung innovations and value of Apple Pay.

Non-nerds certainly seem to be aware of it

I’ve been stopped and asked a handful of times. Feels like the first iPhone all over again. They also seem plenty impressed with the built in features like Siri, Maps, and especially customizable watch faces, never mind all the third-party apps.

That’s about it for now. I’m still a happy Watch owner and I recommend one if you’re interested. Occasionally I take it off when reading or relaxing, otherwise I wear it every day. Now that they can go native, I’m eager to see the second generation of Watch apps.