Screenshot from Strava showing my GPS track for David Douglas CCX, with the heart rate failing to start for two mi and then jumping to 203bpm

Apple Watch review, update

Published 2018-09-02

Jenny kind of badgered me into unpackaging my Apple Watch. (It is my birthday present after all.) I decided to wear it to my first cyclocross race of the season. I first rigged up a protective sleeve for it from an old inner tube, so it wouldn’t get scratched if I crashed.

I’ve worn it now nonstop for the last 24 hours including while I slept. So I want to amend my review from yesterday a little.

For the purpose I intend to use it (Strava), this watch is fine. It’s better than any dedicated GPS watch I’ve ever used. It starts, stops & pauses more intelligently than those things, and tracks my heart rate as expected, without having to tie a strap around my tits. (Sidenote: the actual tit-strap isn’t a problem for me so much as maintaining batteries for the tit-strap. Those things burn through batteries so damn fast & you can’t get rechargeable gadget batteries.)

I will probably not return it. I might even buy a better strap for it.

Other observations:

I accidentally nuked my phone after the race (I mis-typed my password 10 times) & discovered that to re-pair (not repair) my watch requires resetting it. This was after finally managing to get the notifications down to basically zero. So I have to do all that again. Ditto setting up Strava again which, despite having already done it a day or two earlier I still managed to scrub & it took half an hour and some Google searching to get it right.

I drove to the race with Siri providing directions via CarPlay and the damn watch kept vibrating every time I had to make a turn or something.

I hate the way it vibrates.

I never wore a watch to bed & I will never do that again. HOWEVER! The alarm clock is just right for a light sleeper like myself so this gets me 1 inch closer to my goal of not taking my iPhone to bed ever.

I couldn’t read most of the complications or other small onscreen text with my astigmatism. Not a problem usually because I have reading glasses or can peer under my usual glasses at it, but I didn’t bring my reading glasses to the cyclocross race.

I’m still miffed at the paucity of digital faces. There are a zillion nearly-identical faux-analog varieties (kaleidescope, color, numbers, chronograph, simple, Activity, Micky Mouse etc.). This seems like such a gimme & it’s amazing Apple just whiffed this. I want three digital faces:

  1. Something like “Modular” but with the ability to rearrange the elements, or put the time in the middle.
  2. Something like "X-Large” but not quite that large, and maybe with the ability to customize the typeface
  3. Something retro that looks like a digital watch from 1982, or maybe from 1982’s vision of 2018.