IMG_5217I just got my Apple watch this afternoon.  While it’s early to give any sort of formal review, I thought I would share the first thoughts after having it on for a few hours now.

1) If you get a notice your watch is shipping, update to the latest iOS version on your phone now.  This will save you time and headaches when the watch prompts you to update your software first.

2) Many of the apps you already have on your phone can be added onto the watch.  Some of these you may or may not want on the watch, so keep this in mind- editing your iPhone apps in advance might be a good idea.  A great example of this for me is WebMD- I don’t mind having the app on my phone, but I would never use it on the watch, so having to go through the process of removing it is just one more step.

3) Think about the notifications on your phone.  The watch will nudge you when you have a notification.  I let my phone ping me about some things like Twitter updates, for example, but I don’t need to be pinged on the watch, so I had to go back and turn notifications off.  I am sure the battery life on my phone and watch will be grateful.

4) Do watch some of the set-up videos.  I watched a few, and I have been messing around a bit, getting used to things. How to change the watch face, for example, is not immediately obvious, but once I got the instructions, it was simple.

5) You are limited with the number of friends, so choose wisely.  It looks like you are initially limited to 12 friends you can contact easily through the watch interface, so choose carefully.  Obviously, my family is there first, and then close friends who I can “signal” through the watch 🙂

6) Making calls is possible, but the audio isn’t great.  While driving, I made a call from the watch.  My phone usually “hands off” to the bluetooth hands free speaker in the car, but it didn’t automatically do this from the watch, so I will have to figure out if this a setup error on my part or not.  The other party could hear me, but it was not crystal clear.

7) Apple Watch vs. Google Glass  I bought Google Glass, in part to see what the future of wearables was all about, and to experiment a bit.  The watch notifications with the taps are a much better and subtler attention getting mechanism than the changes in the Glass screen.  Both technologies depend highly on the phone as the work engine for set up and main functions.  In many ways, the phone as the main interface for the device is very reminiscent of Glass.  However, the watch is certainly less “obvious” to everyone else around you than a face full of technology, which is a plus.  There are fewer fit issues with a watch than trying to get glasses that adjust to an individual’s eyesight and facial structure.

Am I saying the Apple Watch is Google Glass on the wrist without the camera? Maybe.

The fit and finish are amazing.  The packaging is top notch and incredibly special.  I like being able to adjust the milanese loop to get a perfect fit, where I would find my Nike Fuelband would end up being too tight or too loose from time to time, making it slightly annoying.  The haptic nudges are adjustable in terms of strength, so I will have to play with that as well to get it to optimal strength to notify but not distract.

I’m looking forward to getting the know the watch, and further adjust and customize the settings until I get it optimized for me.  However, my first favorite feature is being able to leave my phone charging across the room, but still get notifications, without scrambling to go check the screen.

I’ll let you know how the experience is as we go along- I’m eager to try out Apple Pay, and eventually, the ability to use a boarding pass or hotel key with a flick on the wrist.  The first impression overall is that I’m intrigued by the possibilities, but I also know that it will take a little time to become in sync with all the features and possibilities.