After using the Apple Watch for a few weeks now, and having reviewed it myself, I wanted to see what other people thought about the watch. I had the opportunity to talk to a few early adopters with different age ranges and backgrounds, to hear a variety of thoughts and experiences. Here’s the gist of what I found out from my discussion with them:
Overall, most people did not find the watch to be revolutionary, or life-changing. Although I did find out that people found the watch convenient in some cases, as well as helpful in others. “It kind of sucks that the watch doesn’t work under water since I go surfing often and swim a lot.” Said 13 year old Isabella. “I always have to take the watch off when I’m about to go swimming or surfing, and that can get annoying. I’d like to be able to track my activity and fitness under water.”
Most people really like the fact that you can reply to text messages right on your wrist, but they were really upset with the fact that they were not able to reply to emails. “It just doesn’t make any sense, I am stumped as to why they did not include email replies. It just feels strange not to include this feature.” Said 65 year old John.
The “replying” feature was prevalent in my conversations. Others said they felt the same way about Twitter and how you can favorite somebody’s post, but you can’t reply to them. “I guess it’s just because the watch is so new, and the apps are so new. All of this will come with time I guess. It’s just it’s frustrating to not have it now.” Said 38 year old Michael Anthony.
Personally, one of the main reasons I love the Apple Watch is because of the text messaging feature. I’m now able to walk my dog without having to pull my phone out. It’s convenient in business meetings big time. Also, I can just quickly respond to texts from my wrist when I’m at a restaurant or busy doing something like at the gym. It just saves a lot of time. “The dictation is rather impressive, I was pretty shocked as to how well it worked. It especially comes in handy when I’m outside, and my phone is in the house, and I can still respond to text messages without having to run back inside to grab my phone.” Said 48 year old Laura.
Everyone agreed that getting the alerts for your text messages on your wrist helps you miss less messages. Whereas if you have your phone in your pocket and you don’t feel the text or hear it, sometimes you’ll miss a text message until much later, and it may be something important or business related or an emergency. “Having the notifications come up on my wrist is one of the biggest added bonuses of having the watch.” Said 42 year old Sidney.
It was agreed that nobody really enjoyed making phone calls or receiving phone calls from the watch, partly because it’s strange to have your wrist up in the air and talk to your phone through your wrist, when people are around and potentially staring at you awkwardly. Personally, I find the watch speaker volume to be way too low, which makes it hard to hear, and it is kind of weird to hold your wrist up while you’re talking. While it does come in handy if you have to say just a few things really quick for a minute, for long conversations I can’t imagine this is going to be worth it.
Isabella does like using the pulse reader and the fitness app on the watch. “It’s helpful to know what my pulse is while I’m working out because I like to know that I’m hitting my numbers.” There isn’t much customization for working out or exercising, hopefully that’ll be something that happens in future updates.
“I was in the playground with my daughter and she was climbing up one of the structures, and I wanted to take a picture of her, but I had to help her at the same time.” Said 45 year old Ben. “So I set my phone down on a bench facing us, and was able to take a picture from my watch to get both of us in the shot. I found that to be pretty awesome.” When I asked Ben if he thought the watch should have a camera, he responded with the fact that he’s not sure if that technologywill be capable in such a small device. But everyone agreed, FaceTime would be perfect to have on the watch. The watch would need to have a small camera on the watch in order to have the technology available.
Lastly I asked about battery life, and everyone voiced their opinions that their phone battery and watch battery were definitely diminishing faster than normal. I proposed Apple integrating a solar panel on the watch and phone to get free battery power from the sun, and everyone thought that was a great idea, although we are far away from the technology.
My final impression was that everyone was satisfied with the watch, they found it convenient, and helpful. Everyone agreed there are missing certain features and functionality that they would like to see in the future. Overall I feel as though the watch is useful, but if needed you can get away with just using your phone. In a world where we have instant gratification and most things are within the realm of technology, the Apple Watch is just another step in the direction of wearable technology, augmented reality, virtual reality, and eventually the Singularity. I look forward to seeing what the next few decades have in store for us.