Smartwatch or Fashionable Toy? A Candid IM Conversation Lets You Be the Judge

By | 2016-11-04T16:57:10+00:00 May 20, 2015|Innovation, Technology, Viewpoints|

When it comes to being the first to get the latest high-demand tech products, Ken Woo and Steve McGinn are pros. They were ready at 3 AM (midnight PST) on April 10th, with iPads, laptops, and smartphones poised. No way were they missing out on getting the Apple Watch on launch day.

After spending a weekend with their Apple Watches, Ken and Steve IM’ed their first impressions.

Icons, Battery life, and Bugs

Ken: ok, so i figured since we
spent a weekend with the watch,
we would have much to say about
it. Of course i have much to say : )
Steve: yes it was a very interesting
weekend with it. i learned a lot
about it
Ken: did you get more comfortable
with the UI?

Steve: Yeah I’m still trying to figure
out the multitasking part of it but
I’ve figure out how to navigate and
tap the icons a lot better now.

i had some issues with launching
apps in the beginning the watch
still randomly turns off on me and
tapping the screen doesn’t always
wake it back up.

Ken: yeah, they definitely have to
work out the bugs

i would put it as 75% of the time it
works, and then 25% i’m flicking
my wrist like a moron

Steve: I find myself editing my
watch face a lot too. I feel like I’m
going to end up having a weekday,
evening and weekend versions

yeah and sometimes when i bring
the watch up it still doesn’t turn on

i wonder if that’s something that it
can “learn”

Ken: yup, agree i bet software has
a lot to do with it too so, i actually
don’t use the app portion a lot
Steve: yeah it is still 1.0 I’ve been
noticing that it’s not very useful
aside from the remote app

Ken: the app icons are way too
small, it reminds me of the itty bitty
Xs on the notification panel on the
phone

remote app = awesome

it is the best Apple TV remote that
actually remotes

Steve: i even like how the remote
app auto resumes to itself and not
the watch face
Ken: no lag which is weird

Steve: you also don’t jump 5
elections on the screen when you
swipe

always did that on the iPhone
remote

Ken: how’s your battery life?
Steve: it’s a little hard for me to
say. I charged my watch mid day
Saturday and had to share my
charger Saturday night I was using
it a lot on Sat and killed the battery
no problem also on my phone
Ken: yeah, using the watch def
affects the battery life on the phone
Steve: but emma (my girlfriend)
had a really high battery and had
no problem getting through the day
Ken: and we have 6 +’s I read that
the apple watch app is the cause
Steve: I think she had like 40% by
the end of the long night at the bar
Ken: and knowing us, we probably
went back and forth to charge
everything under the sun
Steve: yeah I mean I could have
made it though the day but I was
going out to the bar that night and
wanted to be sure nothing would
die
Ken: yeah did anyone notice the
watch?

Steve: yes but they aren’t noticing
mine, they are all noticing emma’s

I have the black sport and she has
a white sport and it stands out way
more

Ken: so back to the battery we did
receive the watch at like 50%
capacity though on friday, I used it
till it went to power reserve mode
Steve: oh do you know what %
that happens at?
Ken: 10% and it gives you a choice
if you would like to put it in reserve
Steve: very cool
Ken: yeah till I actually tried it and
it never came back up so a bug

Apple Pay, Map and Exercise functions

Ken: so yesterday, I went to
woodbury commons and used the
map function
Steve: yeah I used that to get to
my bar
Ken: it is pretty cool that the watch
syncs with the phone on giving you
directions
Steve: it works really well! did you
do driving directions tho?

Ken: it uses the taptic feedback to
let you know when to turn

yup
however, it’s supposed to do
different taps for left and right

I couldn’t tell the difference
I also turned on the prominent
taptic option, that also did not work

Steve: I only had a few turns and
couldn’t tell as well the prominent
taptic option only works for
notifications I think

it does an intense vibration a the
normal notification one

I like that option on a lot

Ken: so as for the beyonce factor
no one noticed it except when I
used apple pay

I swear, apple pay is going to go
down as the best
service/marketing ploy ever
created

Steve: apple pay is sweet and it’s
wild how it’s actually easier on the
apple watch
Ken: yeah
Steve: emma used it for the first
time with her 5s and was blown
away
Ken: yeah, it really feels like you
are in the future

Steve: But it needs to get
accepted everywhere, I wasn’t able
to use it in my cab, it just rejected
the payment

and that’s not the first time I’ve had
that happen to me

Ken: have you been exercising
more?

cause I am

instead of my exercise bike being a
place to hang some old clothes I
have been using it every night
since I got the watch

Steve: yeah I used the fitness
feature to record my bike ride this
weekend and I like the little get up
and move reminders
Ken: it’s crazy to think, but the
game-y metals and the
notifications to get your butt out of
the chair is really cool

Steve: the fuelband had that kind
of stuff and it really motivated me
to do more

I like the way apple breaks it down
in calories, 5 minutes of exercise,
12 hrs of standing

Ken: yeah
Steve: just doing that small amount
each day will make you more
healthy and when you have the
watch tapping you and reminding
you it’s kinda hard to ignore
Ken: current clock face

Ken’s chosen watch face

Ken’s chosen watch face

Ken: what’s yours?

Steve’s chosen watch face

Steve’s chosen watch face

Ken: hahaha, it couldn’t be more
different
Steve: yeah I like having a digital
time and they only have one or 2
options for that

Camera, New emojis, and the Drawing feature

Steve: have you used the remote
shutter at all?
Ken: nope

Steve: it’s great cause you can
setup your phone against
something and get a group shot
using the back facing camera on
the phone

you can do a 3 sec timer photo that
takes a burst of 10 photos
so out at the bar the other night I
was able to get a shot of everyone
with ease

you can even remotely wake up
and open the camera app on your
phone so, in theory you could have
the phone ready to shoot before
you even take it out of your pocket

Ken: very cool I will say, answering
quick phone calls from the watch is
a pretty cool feature.

thought it would be a gimmick but
it’s actually really useful

Steve: yeah I tried to do that but
there’s still some bugs with that
feature it would send the audio to
the wrong device sometimes
Ken: yikes
Steve: but the microphone on the
watch is amazing it can hear you
so well in loud environments, I had
no problem using siri in any
location
Ken: that’s all I got to say so far,
want to add anything else?
Steve: I’ve also been using the
drawing/taping features with my
girlfriend a lot
Ken: oh really? interesting
Steve: but that’s something that
you really only use if you know
someone else like last night when
she got home she sent me a
drawing of a house
Ken: very cool!

Steve: the crazy part about it is
that because you are actually
creating the image it feels a lot
more personal than just a text

speaking of which, have you used
the new emojis at all?

Ken: oh yeah, I use them a lot it’s
fun
Steve: I’ve been deliberately
responding to people with them
just so I can show off
Ken: hahaha
Steve: very happy I can send this
one now

Smartwatch or Fashionable Toy? A Candid IM Conversation Lets You Be the Judge

Steve: until now they never had
fingers crossed!
Ken: i’m still waiting for the middle
finger one

Steve: lol you know someone will
make an app that can do that

I notice that force touch is hardly
used on the device I think only 3
built-in apps use it

Ken: I don’t think so cause apple is
really controlling what goes on the
watch
for instance, all the fart apps
got rejected
Steve: haha but that’s such a good
feature

Ken: no custom watch faces…yet…

like you said, 1.0

Steve: yeah it’s like iPhone 1 they
have it all locked down I’m happy
they let developers make apps but
you can tell they are very limited

oh and I wish I had a digital crown
on my phone scrolling with that
thing is sweet

Ken: agreed

Steve: do you think you are going
to look into getting any of the other
bands?

I’m happy with the sport band and
think it’s very comfortable to wear
all day long

Ken: yeah, the default one is
comfortable

yeah, I want the leather one

Steve: I want to go to a try-on
session at apple to see what the
other ones are like but the sport
band and watch are already 100
times more comfortable than my
fuelband

I can’t wait to see what updates
they bring to the watch in the
coming year, I’m sure it’s going to
be a lot different come the next
watch.

Ken: you can count on that


For Part 2 of A Candid IM Conversation, the first month with Apple Watch, come back soon.

About the Author:

Kenneth Woo

VP, Information Technology & Facilities

One Comment

  1. Stephen G. May 20, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Good stuff. Best hands on review I’ve read so far. Sounds like Steve lives at the bar.

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