Apple Watch

This past Thursday, during Target’s Black Friday sale, I had the opportunity to pick up the Apple Watch Sport for $350 plus a $100 Target gift card. In this post, I am going to give you my first impressions of the product, and what I have done on it, and what potential it has.

*As mentioned in previous posts, I am not affiliated with Apple, but I have an absolute fondness of their products.

When I got to the car, I began to unbox the watch, and was right away impressed with the build quality, and the design. Right out of the box, the watch has the small band already connected to it, but due to me having a thicker wrist, I had to use the large band which was included. I powered it on and began the setup process. It took about 30 minutes for all of my app data to transfer from my phone to the watch (this may differ depending on how much data you are loading onto the watch), but once that was finished, I was up and running.   

One of the first applications I played around with was the actual clock. I began to customize my watch faces, adding all of the utilities I would want present. Next, I headed to the camera app that allows me to click the shutter on my iPhone remotely. When viewing the image from the phone onto the watch, there was quite a bit of a lag, but that’s expected out of a Bluetooth connection. As I continued shopping, I started feeling my watch vibrating and discovered that I was receiving texts and Facebook messages from my phone onto my watch. I found the dictation to be pretty accurate when responding, but there were some cases where I would have to really enunciate a word or name. I also received notifications of my current activity which I thought was pretty accurate. Because the watch is connected to your phone, all of the data that it reads is transferred to the iPhone’s Health App.  Steps, Calorie burn, and heart rate are examples of some of the data that is transferred. The heart rate sensor worked as I expected, and I was very pleased with the results.

The watch is, however, not one that can be a user’s primary device. The watch is more of an accessory than an actual standalone product. It relies heavily on a user’s iPhone 5 and up to obtain data, and when it is not connected to your phone, you are very limited in what you can do, but it will continue to track activity data as well as keeping time. Though this is a great product, can Apple improve? I believe that they could. Apple has a habit of focusing heavily on the exterior design, trying to make the smallest device possible. This however can be a hindrance to the overall capabilities of a device 

The current workout app consists of workouts such as running, walking, and cycling, but it would be more useful if it were to include a larger array of workouts. Some might include push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, and any other workout that could take advantage of the sensors in the watch, and maybe work in conjunction of the sensors in the phone as well.

Another application that I use all of the time would have to be the music app. Currently, you have to use the digital crown, and scroll down long lists to find the track you want. A tool that should be included should be a search for the music app. I know there is Siri, but sometimes, one doesn’t want to end a track abruptly to locate the next song that one wants to play. The current dictation service is great, and could surly be intergraded with many of Apple’s other applications.

Basically to sum things up, I believe that Apple should focus more heavily on the actual software of the watch before they attempt to shrink the size of the product. A huge downside to the Apple Watch is its battery life. It’s estimated to last up to one day. During actual use, I would get 10 – 14 hours depending on how much I use it. This product has so much potential, especially to the blind community. The default maps app will notify the user of turns by giving a haptic feedback (basically a vibration) when it is time to turn. The accessibility features that are integrated with the phone, such as VoiceOver and zoom, are available on the watch, and are easy to use.

What are your thoughts on the Apple Watch? Do you think it is a useful tool? Would you consider getting one? If you have one, what is your favorite aspect of the watch? I would love to hear any opinions on the product positive or negative. 

Read more about: Assistive Technology