About a year after I got an iPhone 11 Pro, I got myself an Apple Watch Series 6. And now it's been a bit more than a year with the Apple Watch, let me share a bit of what I like and not like so far.
Firstly, same disclaimer as the previous post: this is not a spec review, counting features, or what a typical review-for-a-recently-release-product. There are so so so many good reviews in those aspects. What I want to do is just to share from my personal opinion, what I care about.
Why I decided to get an Apple Watch in the first place?
Apart from susceptible to advertisement, and just a general "I need to buy something to give myself a small dose of dopamine", one of the biggest reasons is that I want something to help monitor my health. I have used Fitbit back in 2015 I think, and overall I am quite satisfy with it, since it did drive me to be more active in general. However, once I start working professionally (i.e. 8 hours in front of the computer), I just can't get used to having the metal clasp constantly pressing against my wrist, so I let it go. And with Apple's more and more aggressive marketing on their watches' health tracking ability in the mist of a pandamic, I finally decided that it's about time.
What did I like?
Unlock my iPhone when I am wearing a mask
If my iPhone has TouchID instead of FaceID, this wouldn't have been a problem. #FirstWorldProblem
But on a slightly more serious note: this has been a great addition to make using my phone in the pandamic way less annoying, and probably slightly more secure as well, since it's so easy for anyone to just read my passcode from my shoulder 🤷
The fit and finish
One thing that Apple almost always got right is how their product physically feel in your hands. It's extremely well-made, and everything feels really secure. And even after a year of abuse, all it has are a bunch of scratches, but apart from that everything still feels perfectly fine.
No, I am not using it to do any heavy calculation or something. The main reason why I apperciate it is because I have seen how bad can it be. Back in 2018, I did have a mid-range Wear OS watch Misfit Vapor, and it is just so ridiclously slow. Opening any app tooks seconds and seconds of waiting, and as someone who is more self concious that I'd like to be, I definitely don't want to be standing in the middle of the street, staring at my watch like an idiot. And Apple Watch easily passed that bar.
Since there were several viable smartwatch platform for Android, what ended up happening is that app makers rarely got enough reasons to justify adding support to any of the platforms. But on iOS, with the magic of ecosystem lock-in, it's a lot more likely for apps to have iOS companion apps, and that definitely makes the watch itself a lot more practical.
How it motivates me to get up and move
There has been a lot of different ways different smartwatch platform uses to motivate people to move: usually they start with steps per day, and then some added exercise time, and slowly and slowly there are more huristic and some "magic number" that tells you if you are doing great or not. And the way WatchOS does it happens to be the right way that keeps me slighly motivated to get moving. It's ring system is easy enough to see at a glance, but it also has an insane amount of data available to you from the Health app and the Fitness app. And in fact, I have been closing my rings for the for the entirty of 2022 so far (with a little bit of cheating involved 😅)
What I didn't like about it
It's more of a software things for all Apple products, but the running joke of "iOS notification sucks" is still definitely a thing, especially from someone who use Android for 10-ish years before. Either the notification just don't stick around in a visible enough way, or the notification itself is just a dumb one and I need to pick up my phone to even see the content.
While there are quite a lot more apps, but a lot of the apps are so simple (probably by design) or buggy that just force you to just pick up your phone anyway. Not shaming or anything, but here are some examples:
- Todoist can't switch to see other list (e.g. I just want to see the grocery list)
- Spotify does not have a easy way to search. And the fact that it forces itself to show up means I accidentally trigger volumn change with my jacket sleeve constantly
- Toggl app is just buggy AF, about once a week I have to uninstall and reinstall it to get it to sync again
Siri is still very far behind
Oh don't even get me started on Siri. Pretty much the only thing it can do consistently is
- Set timer
- Turn off my bedroom light via HomeKit
Meanwhile, Google Assistant can give you pretty good result, and not just display the content as a list, but actually pick up the answer from the webpage and read it out loud. And unfortunately that is the most important use case of voice assistant that I want from it
So far this watch has been a surprisingly good investment (for my health and convenience), but I think I might get a less expensive model since it will probably get the same job done anyway