8 Surprises About the Apple Watch
June 5, 2015

8 Surprises About the Apple Watch

“We’ve never sold anything as a company that people could try on before.”

– Tim Cook, to sales staff at a London Apple Store, reported by The Telegraph.

The Apple Watch was one of the century’s most anticipated technology products. When the company that could form its own country and compete with other mid-sized (actual) countries, decided to design and produce a wearable, the world watched (pun intended, please laugh).

But did the Apple Watch live up to the hype?

Officially released April 24, 2015, the Apple Watch is starting to show up on the wrists of early adopters, sporting the thing running or cycling.

There are mixed opinions of the Apple Watch all over the Internet. This post is going to take a curated look at what individuals are saying, not what the major tech review sites, like IGN, TNW, TechRadar, etc., are saying.

What the Apple Watch Does, That Your Phone Doesn’t Do Already

In the next 200 words, I’m going to lump together what the Apple Watch does that your iPhone doesn’t do.

A review from CNET compares the Apple Watch to the iPhone, but its comparison doesn’t show anything new about the timepiece…. It only shows what the Watch doesn’t do compared to the iPhone.

Three things only on the Apple Watch (not on the iPhone)

  1. Fitness – the Watch tracks your heartbeat, step counts, stairs climbed, and stand-sit ratio, without needing to be close to the iPhone. Once the Watch re-enters bluetooth range of the iPhone it syncs and dumps the data into the iPhone database.
  2. Music – with built in speakers, the Watch can play up to 2GB of locally-stored music.
  3. Wearable – unlike the phone, the Watch is slack-lining (yes, I just said slack-lining) between the tech industry and fashion industry. While the iPhone rests in the pocket, the Watch is more visible than even a wedding band – a fashion statement and identity statement.

Three things the Apple Watch can’t do

  1. FaceTime – no video chatting with friends, but, paired with an iPhone, the watch can make and send phone calls.
  2. Take Photos – there’s no camera, :: no photos.
  3. GPS – because of the data-suck and battery-drain of GPS capability, the Watch does not carry its own GPS function.

These features and limitations were foreseen before the release of the Apple Watch, but now that the mega-clock is out and about, there were some unexpected appearances of neat and nuanced interactions.

8 Surprises of the Apple Watch

 

Send a doodle

That’s right, draw with your finger, and send to your friends.

Doodle on the Apple Watch

 

Absolutely no typing

Bite-sized Siri is much more convenient and powerful for menu navigation and dictation. Select pre-composed responses or dictate; those are your only two options. No keyboard.

Apple Watch messaging

 

Shutter-release remote

Use the Apple Watch in tandem with your iPhone camera to see the actual image from the iPhone camera right on your wrist. Tap to take picture remotely.

Apple Watch Taking Photo

Cover to Mute

Don’t want to take a phone call right now? Music needs to stop? Put your hand over the watch face… silence.

Apple Watch Cover to Mute

Handoff

Apple calls the transition from Watch to iPhone “Handoff.” The Watch functions as the ultimate notification center, whereas the phone is now the workstation.

apple watch handoff

Directions via vibrations

This article describes it best:

For a left turn, you’ll get a series of two taps, played three times: tap-tap — tap-tap — tap-tap.

For a right turn, you’ll get a steady beat of 12 taps: tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap.

You’ll also get a long vibration when you’re on your last leg of the journey, and when you arrive at your destination.

apple watch directions via vibrations

Set clock 5 minutes fast

For those of us who are chronically late.

set apple watch five minutes fast

Interchangeable bands

For the fashionably restless. Match your band to your outfit in a few seconds and snaps. There are many options to choose from with third-party designs coming.

apple watch bands