Gadgets Technology

Six Months using the Apple Watch

Should you buy an Apple Watch?

I’ve been using my Apple Watch for six months. I did an initial review, but I wanted to do a follow-up review to highlight what I’ve learned and to show how I’ve been using my Apple Watch after six months.

I use my Apple Watch daily for personal and work life. Since launch day, when my pre-order arrived, it rarely, if ever, has left my wrist and because of that, has completely replaced my first wearable device, the Fitbit Flex.

My watch is an Apple Watch Sport (42mm, Silver watch, Black band). The watch itself is covered by the Spigen Apple Watch Case (Thin Fit, Black).  It’s a very thin and light-weight poly-carbonate cover.

Messaging couldn’t be easier on the Apple Watch

As expected my Apple Watch has changed the way I send text messages and even read them. While before, I would pull out my phone, open the message app and click on the message I would like to reply too. Now I just raise my wrist and the message is displayed. Most often, I will reply to the message with one of the quick option features or use message dictation.

Apple also gives you the option to send voice messages to a user with an iPhone. However, I disabled this feature for convenience when quickly replying to a message.

It was very weird at first, using this feature in public, because I would stand there and talk to my watch. Some people would look at me weird and some would ask me if my device was an Apple Watch (it was). I showed it off to many people, and some were interested or impressed, while others asked me why I would spend so much money on a peace of crap. I usually explained that for me, the Apple Watch has enabled only positive change in my life.

Managing your schedule on the fly is easy with the Apple Watch

I use my calendar a million times a day, and while it hasn’t completely replaced my calendar, it’s very often used.  I use Fantastical 2 which has an amazing user interface. It’s clear that developers have been working on this idea for a while. Fantastical is an excellent replacement for the stock calendar that integrates seamless with the Apple Watch.

I always hated calendar reminders when using my iPhone, but now I have been using calendar reminders on my Apple Watch.

I absolutely love working out daily with my Apple Watch

Apple Watch is a great fitness tool which can help you work towards your fitness goal. The Apple Watch works seamless with your iPhone. When you sync your Apple Watch to your iPhone, you will be greeted with a new app called Activity, which helps you manage all your fitness data. When I switched from the Fitbit to the Apple Watch, one thing that was different was the ability to set a goal for how many steps I take in a day. On the Apple Watch it tracks my Active Calories as my primary goal. It also sets a goal for Active Exercise Minutes and Standing Goal but only the Active Calories can be changed.

It’s a first run product and it didn’t come without bugs. When I first got the watch it often told me that I should stand up for a minute when I was standing and walking. Apple released an update shortly after the release and I haven’t encouraged this bug again.

I haven’t worked out as much as I would have liked this summer but I do plan on taking avenge of this feature more this winter.

While you can’t look at your previous days activity on the watch you can check out your entire history and with build in app on your iPhone.

Making phone calls on the Apple Watch is what it’s all about

As I mention in my first review of the Apple Watch making phone calls on my Apple Watch has been something I’ve wanted to do since I was a little kid. I’m surprised that it’s taken this long for this fantasy to become reality. Some people look at me like I’m a crazy freak talking on my Apple Watch but the more I use the watch the more it has become easy in public.  Making phone calls on the watch is clear and easy to use but it again comes with a few bugs. There have been times I answer the phone and the caller wasn’t able to hear me or I wasn’t able to hear them. But this could easily be a product with my carries network. One thing that I would change is the ability to make the caller voice louder. If it set to the highest volume it can be hard to hear the caller in some places.

But overall making phone calls on the Apple Watch has been super easy and great when you don’t want to pull out your phone.

Glances give you quick access to Apps installed on your Apple Watch

Swipe up on the watch face to see glances, then swipe left or right to see different glances. Of course, not every App has Glances, but most of the important ones do, and help make my life easier. Watch OS also includes support for third party apps to use Glances.

If you swipe up, the first glance is the settings which allows to put your Apple Watch in Airport Mode, Do Not Disturb mode, Silent mode and a mode to Ping your iPhone. Ping iPhone is one of the coolest features which allows you to locate your iPhone if lost. This, however, only works if your iPhone is in range and connected to your Apple Watch. It works whether your phone is in Silent Mode or not.

One of my favorite Glances is from Fantastical 2, which allows me to quickly look at the next six hours of my schedule. If nothing is scheduled for today, it will show me the Glance for the next day.

I can also easily access glances for Apple Music, Battery, and Fitness tracker. One that is missing is a Mail Glance, which I hope Apple will include in the future.

Complications: The best feature in Watch OS2

One thing that was missing from Watch OS was Complications, which are basically widgets on your watch face. Complications display data from within an app.

While Watch OS 2 was just released, I only played around with a few and one of my favorite is Dark Sky. Dark Sky is by far one of the best weather apps for the iPhone and iPad, and they offer an iWatch app. Now I can display the Dark Sky Complication on my watch face and it will display the current temp. When I click on the temp, it will launch the Dark Sky app. Before, I had the Apple Weather Complication on the Watch Face, but it required extra steps for me as I had to launch the app manually.

Apple bringing Complications to the Apple Watch is a huge win for developers and users. Apple allows you to control what Complications are available under the setting tabs, giving you complete control of your Apple Watch.

New Watch Faces: Coolest new feature in WatchOS 2

WatchOS 2 also includes new watch faces including a custom picture face. WatchOS 2 also includes some pretty cool watch faces which show several different cities in a time lap format. While WatchOS 2 doesn’t offer third party watch faces this is a great edition to the Apple Watch.

I look forward to the day when I can download third party watch faces but it might be awhile before Apple allows this feature. After all we just recently got third party keyboards to iOS.

Apple Pay makes it easy and convenient to pay for purchases on the fly

I will admit this is one of the features I haven’t used very often, since I tend to feel more comfortable using my iPhone 6 Plus to make payments with Apple Pay. But this feature is a great edition to users who don’t have an iPhone 6 or later.

One of the first times I used Apple Pay on my watch, it was rejected and I had to complete the payment using my iPhone. I’m not sure if it was a problem with the system or my watch. But I did try again at another retailer and the payment went through just fine. There is no finger print scanner on the watch and you must use a pin number to authorize payments.

Either way using Apple Pay on my watch is convenient and simple. Using Apple Pay on my watch also ensures that I have better security of my cards and information.

However, I did receive some dirty looks when I first used it. I believe they were Android users.

Apple Watch is taking off and is going to be a strong player in the wearables market

While the price is pretty high for a watch, it does follow with Apple’s pricing model. Apple will continue to develop the watch and release updated models. Watch OS continues to grow and update, the next one likely being in June at WWDC. Here are a couple of features I would like to see in the future:

Custom Watch Faces would be a great feature to the Apple Watch, but it might be a while before we see this feature.

Step Goal Tracker would be a great feature added to the Fitness Tracker. Apple Watch already tracks calories, exercise and the amount of time you stand. It also tracks the amount of steps you take in a day, but doesn’t offer a goal tracker. I hope in the next version of Watch OS we might see this feature.

Apple did it right by offering and making it available on the iPhone 5 and up. Even allowing users to have the same features across the board. This is no doubt one of the reasons it was so hard to get your hands on an Apple Watch at launch.

Please share in the comments below some of the features you would like to see on the Apple Watch. You can also reach out to be on twitter @iammatthew.

About the author

Matthew Evans

Matthew co-founded Goopply in 2013 and is the Executive Editor. Matthew handles all day to day operations and writes about technology such as Apple, Mobile Devices and Apps. Matthew is a blogger, developer and a former Radio Broadcaster. In his spare time Matthew enjoys hiking, baseball and taking pictures.

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