2 Weeks With The Apple Watch

Being a dedicated Apple Fan Boy I'd been drooling over an Apple Watch since the day it was announced last fall. I've poured over reviews, watched videos and imagined all the ways it would improve my life.

Unfortunately I also have bills, a mortgage and other responsibilities that make dropping $400+ on a watch less than practical.

When I started this training program 3 months ago I set goals with a plan to reward myself for each one reached. When I hit the 20 pound loss mark I enjoyed a huge piece of pizza and a Barq's root beer. The next goal was 50 pounds, which seemed so far in the future and practically unobtainable I decided if I ever hit it I'd buy the watch I'd been wanting for almost a year.

Fast forward to 2 weekends ago, I'd lost 46 pounds and the goal was getting closer and closer. As if it was a sign from the Apple Gods, that same morning my Fitbit quit working. It wouldn't charge, wouldn't turn on. It was completely dead. Do I spend another $100 on a piece of tech that didn't last 3 months? Do I try and get a replacement and go however many days without something that had become an integral part of my routine? Or do I go ahead and get what's become inevitable? 50 pounds was sooooo close.

After a quick in-store setup process and tutorial I was on my way.

The "iPhone on Your Wrist" aspect of it is nice, but my main desire was using it as a fitness tracker. In that regard the Apple Watch shines unlike anything I've ever used.

The ability to track different types of exercise along with a step counter and running total of calories burned has been nothing short of a godsend.

When tracking exercise you pick what you're about to do then choose a goal; either caloric burn, time, distance or "free" - which sets no goal and simply tracks what you're doing.

In the Activity app you're shown a series of 3 rings. The rings fill in gradually as you get closer to reaching your daily goals: movement, exercise and standing. Standing doesn't seem like much of a goal at first, but for those of us stuck at desk jobs a gentle reminder once an hour to get up is welcome motivation.

I've turned off almost all notifications other than Activity progress, calendar alerts, texts and Facebook messages. The volume of email I get isn't conducive to wrist vibrations.

I also went gung ho at first and added everything that had a companion watch app. After the first 24 hours I'd deleted all but a handful: Omnifocus, Evernote, Drafts, Uber, Dark Sky, and Apple Remote. All of which are apps that made sense having quick access to without pulling out a phone. Omnifocus in particular is especially nice. Seeing what's left for the day and checking off tasks on your watch is the ideal use case for the Apple Watch. The ability to easily control music is another thing that makes fumbling around with a phone or iPod seem archaic.

It'd be a lie to say everything works perfectly every time. The dependence on an iPhone (and the less than 100% reliability of bluetooth) makes it not as seamless as it should be. Some apps are slow to load and even slower to update once open, but those problems should be mostly taken care of with the release of WatchOS 2.0 this fall.

For those that already have an Apple Watch and are curious, I'm using the Simple face with Activity, Weather, Battery and Calendar as my 4 complications, and Omnifocus, Music, and Calendar as Glances.

I'm not ready to declare the Apple Watch as a "must have" just yet. All I can attest to how it's made my life better. In the end that's what we most want out of our technology - to make things easier and enrich our lives in way we didn't even realize we needed. In those cases the Apple Watch should be considered a 100% success.