The Apple Watch is an elegant device but its charging cable leaves something to be desired. Jordan Golson explains.
The Apple Watch is a lovely, elegant, beautiful, and imperfect device. It does many things quite well, including measuring workouts, telling the time, and discretely displaying notifications.
As a reporter, I get a lot of email. Using the Gmail app on my phone, I can receive notifications on my Watch every time I receive an email. From those notifications, I can see the email and immediately archive it right from my Watch. I don't even switch over to my Mail app on my computer when I receive new mail--I just look at my Watch, and if it's something I need to address, only then do I tab over to Mail.
Being able to filter my email just by glancing at my wrist is alone worth the price of admission for the Watch. Everything else it does is a bonus, including the lovely new Fantastical 2 app that was released earlier this week.
However, one of the most annoying parts of the Watch is how it charges. Both my wife and I have some minor, but still irritating, difficulties hooking up the charger at night. The Apple Watch charger is a flat, white disc that appears nearly identical on both sides (the charging side is slightly concave to accommodate the back of the Apple Watch). It's not uncommon to need to flip the disc over once or twice in order to magnetically attach the Watch and get it to charge (not unlike how one always seems to plug in a USB cable the wrong way a couple of times before it'll finally connect).
Sure, it's not the worst thing in the world, but it's a little annoying to deal with before going to bed every night. I should mention that neither of us have had any difficulties with the battery life of the Watch. I only had it die once, and that's because I wore it to bed!
So, I was excited when Twelve South, one of my favorite accessory makers, released a lovely and elegant stand to charge the Watch at night: The HiRise for Apple Watch, which is available for $50 (USD) from TwelveSouth's website or Amazon.
Designed to match the similar HiRise charging stand for the iPhone, the HiRise for Apple Watch is a four-inch tall stand that cleverly holds the Watch's magnetic charging disc at the perfect angle for charging--and for glancing at in the middle of the night.
You no longer have to fumble around with the charging disc, and the stand keeps the Watch (and band) safely secured. The charging cable is routed through a hidden channel and out the back of the stand, while a leather pad is effectively the only part of the stand that the Watch band can touch, providing a soft landing point to keep it protected.
My biggest complaint about the new charging stand is related to the brief assembly process. There's a tiny allen-screw that must be installed at a tricky angle. A small wrench is included, but it took me a minute or two to get it screwed in. Yes, it was annoying, but once it was done, I knew that I'd never have to touch it again.
I keep the HiRise on the edge of my nightstand, so I can easily tap the Watch face to see what time it is and to turn off (or, more likely, repeatedly snooze) my alarm in the morning. The charging stand comes in black and aluminum to nicely match most versions of the Watch. I have the Space Grey Apple Watch Sport, and the black stand looks lovely with my Watch.
Are you interested in a stand to charge your Apple Watch? Let us know in the comments below.
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