A Month with the Apple Watch

Note: This post was originally written at the end of August therefore by the time you are reading this, it has almost been two months.

Every so often there comes a point where I will say I don’t want something and then a few months later I’ll go back on it and buy it.┬áThe last time happened was in 2010 when the first generation iPad was revealed. I could see the benefits of having one but I said I wasn’t going to get one much to many of my university friends disbelief. Along came preorder day and the next thing I knew, by 11AM I had preordered an iPad. Yet only one or two people at University knew I had one until 7 months later. The iPad changed the way I worked and used my MacBook.

This time it was with the next new product line for Apple, the Apple Watch. In two previous posts on here (Contrasts and Thoughts on the Apple Watch) I said I wasn’t wanting one. Yet come the 31st of July I found myself jumping on the Tram to head into Edinburgh and buy one.

I opted for a 42mm Apple Watch Sport with the blue band. The smaller size didn’t appeal to me and went for the Sport because there is actually a noticeable difference between it and the standard Stainless Steel version.

First off, the packaging is excellent. As a bit of a self confessed packaging nut, it is always nice to see that the entire user experience has been thought of. The packaging is certainly a step up from what the iPhone 6 is albeit following a similar aesthetic with an all white box with embossed details. Upon opening the box, unlike almost all other Apple products, you are not presented with the product straight away. It is hidden away inside a relatively high quality plastic case. A nice touch that gives you somewhere safe to store your watch when you aren’t using it. The literature that comes with it is also well thought out, it reminds me of the Mu plug literature (post here). Simple, yet providing all the necessary information with some very well considered graphics.

The design of the watch is lovely. I would have preferred a round watch face as per my Braun and Mr Jones watches but the curve round the edge of the glass makes using the watch a very… nice experience. I only say nice there because I am struggling to think of a better way to describe it in a way that doesn’t sound strange. It makes the experience much more tactile and pleasant. Sublime. Enjoyable. Delectable. Interesting. Wonderful. Marvellous. Pick one of those and you’ll maybe get the gist of what I am trying to say. Overall I like the design. If you want to read more on my thoughts about the design, see my previous post (Thoughts on the Apple Watch).

Unlike my previous post where I didn’t really talk about the interface, I can this time because, obviously, I have been using it for the last four weeks. Yes there is an initial learning curve, more so than other Apple products, but within a day, you stop pressing the button on the side to try and get to the application screen and you start to press the digital crown instead. Everything looks very lickable. Yes that says lickable not likeable. It has been clear that a lot of thought has been put into all the graphical elements of the user interface. Small animations make the various features come to life without making it seem cheesy. The notifications on screen are easy to read and the haptic feedback is excellent. In fact I don’t have sounds turned on at all. One person I know who has an Apple Watch agrees with this, they said it isn’t the typical case of notifications on your phone which scream ‘look at me now’, instead it is a gentle ‘hey, if you have a minute, I have something for you to look at’.

There are some features that I am yet to use, in part this is because I only know of two other people who have an Apple Watch. It is also because there are some features I don’t necessarily agree with either. The main function of the watch should be being able to tell the time. This watch does it well (albeit it could do with more watch faces or at least more customisation available for the watch faces). All the rest of the features are then a bonus. In fact the only other features I use are the notifications (where I can quickly read texts and emails) is the health tracking features. The rest of the applications I haven’t really used apart from to try them. This is especially true with third party applications. I draw the line at wanting to view Instagram or Twitter on my watch. I don’t need to be connected to that extent that I need to go around staring at my watch.

Due to this ‘lack’ of use for a smartwatch you might think why did I go out and buy it in the first place? Similarly to when I preordered an iPad in 2010, I can see the purpose of it. With the iPad it was to take a big chunk of strain off my MacBook which it did brilliantly. In fact I still had my iPad up until only last month. It served its purpose for 5 years with me before being sold onto someone else who will get more use out of it. With the watch, the benefits are clearly different. In the last month, health tracking has shown how little I move when sitting behind a desk, and it has helped me set goals for me to try and beat. Hopefully it will last me at least as long as the iPad did if not longer. Even once the watch has effectively been phased out with planned obsolescence, its main function of telling the time should still work.

This has been a bit of a mashup of thoughts quickly typed out, but the gist of my thoughts are there. It is a good product if you can see the use for it. If you can’t, then you can give it a miss. In the grand scheme of things it is a watch that can do other things.

Note II: I have just noticed I haven’t mentioned anything about battery life. In short, I can end the day with about 50% battery still remaining. To begin with it is a little strange to need to charge you watch up every night, but I charge my phone up at night the habit is already there.

Note III: I have actually seen someone with a gold Apple Watch. They were sitting a few seats along from me when seeing Fred MacAuley at the Fringe in Edinburgh.


Two Kinds of People

There are two kinds of people.

I came across a Tumblr blog last week that illustrates the two kinds of people. It illustrates in a very nice manner the small, yet profound differences in people ranging from how you mark a page in a book to how you cut a sandwich.

Looking through them, I have found that I can very easily pick a side and how some of the clearly wrong ones annoy me. If you have a spare few minutes, take a look through the blog and see what ones you pick a side with.


Image from 2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com
Image from 2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com
Image from 2kindsofpeople.tumblr.com

An Alfa

2009. I was still in university and it was my first year blogging. It was also the year that I did my first screen recording of me doing something in Photoshop. This video became quite popular and it ended up with me doing various other things. A few years ago I took it down but now after a bit of a rethink and trying to get some continuity between videos I upload, I have put it back up.

The screen recording in question is turning an Alfa Romeo Giulietta into a touring car for a photoshop competition. I don’t think I won but I was definitely in the top 3.

Anyways, here is the video.


Enjoying a Craft Part XI: More Woodworking

I am aware this is the second Enjoying a Craft video that is to do with woodworking. However I thought it was worth a watch. This one is not about the building of a house, but instead it is the hand crafting of a bench out of oak.

The person narrating the video, Jimmy DiResta, has his own youtube channel that shows him making various objects out of wood. Every so often I will find myself getting lost many of his uploads.

Anyway, I will let the video do the talking.


Space Penguin

Once again I find myself creating a bit of work based on doodling I have been doing. This time, I have been doodling penguins and the result, amusingly, is Space Penguin. I like penguins and I like space, so the two surely go hand in hand nicely?

I have tried to keep things very simple with it as you can see. The font is actually one that I made of my handwriting, albeit I could not make a font with it properly cursive.

This is something I may be taking further. Maybe.