I knew as soon as it was announced that I was going to have an Apple Watch. Not just because it was a flashy new gadget and I’m rather drawn to them but because I was very optimistic it would be useful to me. Why? Because I find it tiresome to get my massive iPhone 6 Plus out of my pocket every time I need a quick update or to respond to a new message. And I like to be on top of things, particularly appointments and jobs that need doing.
To wear an Apple Watch I first had to decide not to wear my Tag (not a particularly expensive one but an old, very reliable friend). To compete, the Apple Watch had to look good (it does, although a little strange at first sight, because the display is all black until it is activated) and to match the Tag for functionality (not difficult, because the only thing the Tag can do is tell the time).
I know that most people don’t get the idea of wearable technology and, to be honest, I haven’t seen anyone else wearing an Apple Watch in my first week of ownership, even the ones that were relatively cheap and available from stock. Presumably people are holding back because (1) they don’t get it, (2) they think this version will soon be obsolete, (3) they’re afraid of looking like an Apple tart, or (4) they can’t afford one anyway.
So, with all these competing social pressures, I am a little relieved to report that I like the Apple Watch. In this week so far I have:
- made and received phone calls (not sure I’d do that in public – it really would look weird)
- responded to texts with standard messages picked from a list
- kept up to date with sports scores (although I’ve not yet found the right app for that)
- monitored my levels of activity (it can be a bit galling to be reminded so often to stand up, but it does make me think about whether I’ve been sat down too long)
- monitored my heart rate, which is unusually low for some reason (around 60 bpm)
- checked the weather forecast
- been reminded of appointments and tasks, from my calendar, OmniFocus (my to-do app) and Podio (the More Than Blended Learning project management tool)
- checked where I am on a map (particularly useful when coming out of underground stations and not knowing which direction you’re facing)
- played music from my iPhone
- dictated brief notes to Evernote
- told the time (not quite so simple because the screen does have to be switched on, which requires you to raise your arm or press a button)
I’m sure someone will ask me whether the Apple Watch has implications for learning and it’s too early to give an informed opinion. However, I can think of one. It can remind you to do things. it reminds me to practise every day on the piano and the guitar. That’s a start.