In addition to a bunch of high-profile reviews of the Apple Watch and first unboxing videos of the device’s packaging, major outlets have also produced videos which highlight specific features of the wrist-worn device, such as health and fitness tracking, notifications, design and more.
Reading detailed reviews takes time so you may want to check out these videos first and save longform write-ups for weekend reading.
The Verge likes the device a lot, but slams Apple for not including options to customize the notification sounds and Taptics on the Watch.
I couldn’t set a different alert for messages than for mail or calendar invites; they all just sort of felt the same. Without this ability, the Taptic Engine is just a small improvement over existing smartwatches. Let me create and set my own notifications, and it’s a revolution.
Luckily, this is easily fixed in software.
Getting notifications to work best for you means really buying into a single ecosystem for everything to work well out of the box, meaning non-Apple users may want to wait a while until developers build more support for the device.
For example, it’s easy to send iMessages from the Watch, but there’s no way to use WhatsApp or Hangouts. I spend a huge part of my day in Slack; it’s somewhat useful to know people are mentioning you in a chat room because of taps on your wrist, but it would be much better if you could actually do something about it.
Thankfully, Apple’s really good at iterating products and I have no doubt in my mind that a second or third-generation Apple Watch will fix the vast majority of teething issues.
After spending a week with the device, Bloomberg Business’ Joshua Topolsky was fascinated by its speedy software and motion tracking, controlled by the Apple’s new S1 processor, which packs in multiple components on a single chip.
The Telegraph says the Apple Watch interface is a mixture of using the Digital Crown dial to zoom in and out on a screen that is too small to pinch and zoom, and using it as a back button.
An excerpt from the review:
This sounds complicated, and it does feel complicated initially. I’ve got used to it, but I still occasionally feel there is one button press too many. If the display isn’t on, for instance, it takes two clicks of the crown to get the device to turn on then move from watchface to apps. It’s hard to see how to do it better, but its imperfect nonetheless.
Again, battery life doesn’t seem to be a major concern.
Even using the Watch intensively, it never struggled to last a whole day, and once made two full days, just.
That’s certainly reassuring!
CNET takes us on a tour of the many-nested worlds of the Apple Watch interface and watchfaces.
Swapping bands out:
What’s in the box:
And their general feelings about the product:
Mashable finds the S1 chip powering the Watch impressive, but notes the occasional lag and other issues and teething issues.
Mashable’s review notes:
Like any 1.0 product, the Apple Watch isn’t perfect. The S1 chip has pep, but the watch could lag. The hyped Taptic response is useful, but not a game-changer. And I can’t make myself care about the ability to send heartbeats (though I do like to occasionally check my heart rate, especially after vigorous activity).
For the most part, the lag is caused by the fact that third-party Watch apps actually run on your iPhone. Only a storyboard and user interface assets and animations are beamed back from your iPhone to the Watch via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, hence the lag.
After Apple allows truly native apps to execute on the Watch itself later this year, the lag should go away.