Apple

The best and worst thing about the Apple Watch

Find out what Jordan Golson thinks about the Apple Watch after putting it to the test for one month.

Apple Watch

I'm just over a month into my Apple Watch ownership and, since everyone else seems to be writing reviews, I'll share my thoughts too.

First, the good. Since I got my Watch a little more than a month ago, I've been able to leave my phone in my pocket for most of the day. I get a ton of email, maybe even a hundred per day. Most of them, as I suspect is true for most people, are garbage—either not needed, spammy marketing emails, or just ones that don't need a quick response.

However, some of my emails do require a quick response. In the past, I've had to stop what I was doing on my computer and command-tab over to my mail application or to pull my phone out of my pocket and see what made it vibrate. Important email, like from my editor or my wife, were worth my time to write back.

Now, with the Apple Watch, I get a subtle buzz on my wrist—and with a quick glance, I can see if it's something that needs my attention or not. If it's a New York Times email (or one of a million generic PR pitches), I just let my wrist drop and ignore it. For important emails, I can pull out my phone and write back as necessary.

It's so nice to be able to glance at emails as they come in and dismiss them immediately, without needing to pull out my phone. I can do this in a meeting, at dinner, or while sitting in traffic. Sure, glancing at your watch all the time might be interpreted as a little rude if you're in a meeting, but it's much, much better than looking at your phone all the time.

So, if you get a lot of emails that you need to filter through, an Apple Watch could be the product for you. That is the biggest advantage for me—that and knowing at a glance what the temperature is outside (something I have set to display right on my watch face). That's pretty useful too.

On the flip side, the biggest annoyance of the Watch is the utter lack of interesting apps. I attribute much of this to the way the watchOS works currently. Apps must be tied to an existing iPhone app, because they're reliant on them for content, commands, and smarts. I've only found a couple of apps that I'm using regularly: Philips Hue for turning lights on and off (though it really needs a Glance so that I can access lights by swiping up on the watch face) and Fantastical 2, which is a great improvement on the stock calendar app.

I think that many of these app complaints will be solved with watchOS 2, which was demoed last week at WWDC and will allow developers to build native apps for the Watch without relying on a master app on the iPhone. It will also help that developers will actually have watches to test their apps on, something that many developers didn't have when they were first building their apps... and it showed.

What's the upshot? As with the original iPhone back in 2007, the Apple Watch is a solid first effort with tons of potential. Let's see what the developers have in store for us.

Have you found yourself using your Apple Watch to look at all your frequent notifications? What's your favorite and least favorite feature of the Apple Watch? Let us know your experiences in the comments below.

Also see

About Jordan Golson

Jordan Golson is an Apple Columnist for TechRepublic. He also writes about technology and automobiles for WIRED and MacRumors. He has worked for Apple Retail twice and has been writing about technology since 2007.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox