We’ve taken the beautiful new Apple Watch for a test drive and here’s our report on what it can do and whether it does properly…
First up, the Home Screen. Apple Watch is primarily a watch, so naturally there’s a time dial on the home screen. But you can customize the home dial and adapt it to your tastes or add additional information. By pressing hard on the screen, then dragging your finger to the left, you can choose from several appearance “skins”. Choosing Classic View for instance, you then then select other elements that appear on the screen: date, weather, upcoming appointments, battery, time zone, etc.
Yes, thanks to a microphone and a small speaker, the Apple Watch doubles as a phone (that is, so long as you have an iPhone nearby to relay the call through). However, you might be feeling a bit Inspector Gadget or Get Smart with your arm raised, speaking right into the watch. The quality of the microphone is excellent and the speaker quite good. As your conversations can also be heard by anyone around you, you won’t be using the watch for anything more than PG rated.
Apple Watch includes Siri, who can be summoned to do everything he/she can do on the iPhone. On our test run, Siri worked just fine - providing directions, making appointments, opening apps and so on.
Once Apple Watch is paired with an iPhone, any texts received by the phone are also automatically sent to the watch. Instead of the old iPhone vibration, a gentle knock or tap by the watch signals the arrival of a text. To reply, you can choose to dictate text, send an emoticon or select one of the default answers, "Yes", "No", "I'm coming" and even different food suggestions for the evening.
Apple Watch also has a big fitness focus. There are apps that allow you to set goals walking, running, biking or using rowing machine while the app records the activity performed, allowing it to infer the distances traveled and calories burned during the day. Also, at regular intervals, if you sit at your desk for too long, a small message accompanied by an audible knock-knock reminds you that it might be a good idea to get up and move around.
To charge, simply place the watch on a magnetic charger pad connected to a power cable. A full charge is achieved in only 2 hours. According to our tests, the battery of the Apple Watch easily last two days on a full charge. During these two days, we looked at the time, received a dozen text messages and some notifications from Twitter, responded to a half dozen messages using voice dictation, consulted health statistics, tested the heart rate sensor, checked weather and even made two phone calls..
In all, the Apple Watch is a great little device that filters all the information “noise” we all receive every day and delivers the important and timely info straight to your wrists.