The Apple Watch is one of the coolest devices ever made. Period.
The Apple Watch is one of the coolest devices ever made. Period. Mark Furler

Apple Watch: What you will love and hate about it

STANDING on a busy Sydney street, talking into my watch, I felt a little conspicuous.

I was looking over my shoulder waiting for the police to come and put me in a paddy wagon as either a terror threat or a candidate for the psychiatric ward.

It was also something of a Dick Tracy moment.

Yes I really was talking to someone. And yes they were talking back to me through my Apple Watch.

Welcome to 2015, where your watch is not only a phone but also tells you to stand up, reminds you to exercise, alerts you when your boss has sent you an email, and gives you a tap on the wrist when your wife has messaged you.

When I first started reading about the Apple Watch, even the gadget geek in me was asking whether I really needed one.

But after a week using it, I'm sold. This is one of the coolest devices ever made. Period.

And its utility value goes way beyond just staying connected with the rest of the world.

At the moment, I'm on a health kick, and the watch is certainly helping me in that.

After punching in some goals in the watch, I am being reminded to stand up, be more active and even congratulated when I reach milestones.

Yesterday, I set myself a goal of burning so many calories. I started on my home gym and was able to monitor my heart rate, calories burnt, and exercise duration.

Later going for a walk, I set a goal of 30 minutes. After that, seeing I had walked about four kilometres, I decided to make it five, adding to the impressive circles on my activity monitor.

Along the way, I am listening to my favourite songs, controlled via my watch, through a pair of Beats wireless headphones.

My boss emails as I am on my walk. I get a tap on my wrist to alert me to a high priority email. A quick glance at the screen and I am able to quickly scan the message header and realise it can wait.

Back at home, I loved the fact that I could take a call on the watch, or quickly respond to a text message without having to find the phone. As long as you are in Bluetooth range or connected to Wi-Fi, you have full access.

While there are plenty of smart watches and fitness devices on the market for less money, few of them do everything the Apple Watch does in such a smooth, integrated way.

But just a note of caution. Make sure your phone isn't next to your wife when you start playing workout music at 5am in the morning via your watch with your wireless headphones turned off.

It's not good for your relationship.

THINGS I LOVE ABOUT THE WATCH

It is super easy to customise. You change watch faces, colours, including details displayed very easily. The possible combinations are endless.

The controls are easy to use. The digital crown is used to access the apps with controls including zoom and scrolling through.

You can set up glance screens for the information you access the most

You can also set up 12 contacts which you access through another button to call or message

Messages can be sent by scrolling through quick reply options - or by sending a digital recording of your voice - or a text translation

Siri is only a wrist flick and a 'Hey Siri' away (though don't do this in the middle of your office as people will think you're crazy).

You can send drawings, pulses, emoticons and even your heartbeat to someone else with a watch. 

THE CONS OF THE WATCH

The Apple Watch doesn't have its own GPS. It uses the one in your iPhone.

Its battery life is limited, especially if you talk too much or play music a lot. Talk time is limited to 3hours while audio playback is 6.5 hours. Just using it as a timepiece will last up to 48 hours.

It's not cheap. Prices start at $499 and go through to $24,000 to the super special edition. The different wrist bands range from $79 to $679.

Disclosure: The writer was a guest of Apple in Sydney to be briefed on the Apple Watch.

 


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