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.