Watch Insider: A Week With the Apple Watch


Watching your health

It’s hard to talk about the Apple Watch without noting the company’s touching – or should that be evangelistic? – concern for our health.

If the primary concern for most watches is accurately telling the time, Apple would seem to regard this as the time to get healthy.

A glance at the Apple Watch reveals health as a major area of additional functionality, the wrist wonder being armed with numerous ways to not only measure, chart and graph what our bodies are up to, but also to encourage, stimulate, remind and prod us into action.

Even then they’re not done – on meeting our fitness goals, and bear in mind these can be self-assessed, there are few rewards to be had – well, of the electronic kind – such as badges of achievement.

So, naturally, I’m trying to configure my Apple Watch so I get a prize for vacating my bed in the morning…

Apple Watch Bani watch with phone
The Apple Watch and the iPhone 6

But let’s look at what it might do for you…

Enjoying prominent placement on the menu is an Activity app that provides a simple graphic of your daily activity via three rings. First, a Move ring shows how many active calories you’ve burned. Each week with watch will suggest a new goal for how many calories to burn each day, based on your recent history.

You can adjust this up or down by tapping the screen or using the Digital Crown, and the ring closes (complete the circle) when you meet your personal calorie burn goal for the day.

Then there’s an Exercise ring that shows how many minutes of brisk activity you’ve completed, in other words anything at the level of a brisk walk or above. Again the ring closes when you reach a globally recommended 30 minutes of exercise per day.

Apple Watch Bani multi shot 3

Finally a stand ring shows you how often you stood up to take a break from sitting, minimizing sedentary time. Yes, its sensors monitor you and if you’ve been sitting for going on an hour it reminds you to get up, only closing when you’ve stood for at least one minute in 12 different hours during the day.

The data these rings gather feeds into a Health App and HealthKit, where other apps can use the data, if you so choose.

Of course it doesn’t stop there, especially if you’re serious about your fitness rather than just health.

For you there’s the Workout App that, during say a dedicated cardio workout, can show real-time stats including elapsed time, distance, calories, and pace covering a variety of activities from running to indoor or outdoor cycling.

You simply choose the type of workout you’d like to do and the watch turns on the appropriate sensors, after which you get a detailed summary and your workout counts toward your Exercise and Move goals for the day.

Now it’s true there’s no shortage of fitness aids out there, from Fitbit to Garmin, but what’s significant about the Apple is that it’s likely to appeal to a much broader audience than the buffed-body set, younger wearers especially.

Making them more conscious of health and the benefits of activity is surely a worthy by-product of the Apple Watch, if not a brilliant idea in itself.

Read more about the Apple Watch on page 3.

16 Responses to “Watch Insider: A Week With the Apple Watch”

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  1. Nathalia will

    Some Watch owners might be surprised to learn that this isn’t normal in the wearable world. Most Fitbits last at least three to four days on a charge and higher-end Garmin watches like the Forerunner 935 can last up to two weeks.

    Reply
  2. I love gadgets, and am interested in the various Android watches. But I like to rotate my watches every day and in order for the smart watch to make sense, you have to wear it every day. Hence, I can’t say I’ll be getting one, even though they are cool little gadgets.

    I’m sure they will sell a bunch of them, but I can’t see them displacing mechanical watches. I wear a mechanical watch for the enjoyment of the old tech.

    Reply
  3. The Apple watch (or other smart watches) is not a threat to the mechanical watch at all.
    The Swiss high end brands need not worry.

    The mechanical watch of today is high-mech. They are so well-finished, often with see-through casebacks, have superb dials, etc.

    As far as I am concerned, all that this new technology does is enslave us more and more.

    A mechanical watch lives on its own. It doesn’t need a battery, it doesn’t need to be charged, it doesn’t need to connect to anything, except your eyes. And oh yeah, it tells time, often in a very mannered, refined way.

    It exudes calm and is the exact opposite of the silly rat race most of us have become caught up in.

    Do you think that the existence of an Apple watch will make people who would like to buy, let’s say an Omega or a Rolex, change their minds? I guess not.

    And oh, lest I forget, I am not into square or angular shaped watches. A circle is perfect infinity or infinite perfection.

    Reply
  4. Okay, plenty of people will buy this watch . . . but plenty of people (including young ones) are wealthy, and they will not be satisfied simply with an electronic marvel. They will have money to burn, and if they like watches, the next step will be mechanical . . . Grand Seiko (my favorite) or any number of Swiss brands. The Apple Watch will in NO WAY destroy the market for high-end mechanical watches, which I consider to be the marvels of the modern age!

    Reply
  5. This a excellent writeup on the features of the watch. I’ve a number of nice watches, then a couple of years ago, I went crazy and collected a number of pocket watches, especially vintage railroad pocket watches. So I didn’t think adding the Apple Watch wouldn’t be a problem.

    I love the extension of my phone features on my wrist. I could leave my iPhone charging and having it stored where I can get a phone signal at my desk; but still can get my important text or phone calls on my wrist. I also like the fitness features. I can’t wait for the next OS for the watch, without running apps natively, the third party apps are almost useless.

    Now I’m missing my nice wrist watches, especially coming back from Switzerland; I was window shopping there. Unfortunately, i won’t wear two watches. The fitness is easily solved by getting a Fitbit, but the messaging/phone calls can not. The past weeks, I’m missing days of fitness data; and such, I started paying less attention to the fitness and my health.

    (BTW, I was traveling internationally with the Apple Watch without the iPhone; I was not able to change the time zone on the watch. I had to use the multiple time zones I set up prior to leaving. Without changing the timezone, I have to be careful to set the time for the alarm clock carefully.)

    Reply
  6. At the end of the day, this is not a timepiece. Rather, it’s a disposable gadget that accompanies an iPhone. There’s no beauty of craftsmanship to be found in a boring, smooth case. There’s no fine detail derived from a rose engine delicately engraving a dial. There’s no satisfying ticking from a precision movement beating at 21,600 vibrations/hour. No, this is an electronic toy pretending to be a serious timepiece. The adults will continue to wear real timepieces, the Apple fanboyz will wear the pale imitation….

    Reply
      • Olda Batt

        Most children lust for new toys which they soon abandon once the novelty wears off. Meanwhile look around you and see what the adults have on their wrist. Now, your sandbox beckons.

        Reply
  7. The Apple-watch- like watches will win. The arguments against it are similar to the arguments against the digital cameras in the dying days of the 35mm film cameras. Large industries will either adapt or die.

    Reply
    • Steve

      The arguments are not similar at all. Mechanical watches are works of art. The least expensive Apple watches are ugly. The price needs to come down by well more than 50% before I put such an ugly thing on my wrist. When the prices on the less ugly ones comes down by at least 50%, I will think about getting one.

      Reply
  8. Robert Follis

    Hi all

    As the owner of various Pateks, Vintage Rolexes, far too many other watches and now an Apple Watch Stainless Steel on a Milanese bracelet, I can definitely say that apart from the odd special occasion, my old Swiss companions will be up for auction, apart from maybe two or three old friends.

    The Apple ‘Watch’ is just far too useful on daily basis to leave at home and remember this is only Gen 1! There are already 3000 apps to choose from and almost every key app on my iPhone now has a Watch companion. The Apple will get more indispensable not less!

    I have also ordered a Space Black Sport and a brown leather ‘Modern Buckle’ strap as well. This will give me a ‘Watch’ wardrobe just as stylish as any I currently possess.

    I think the Swiss houses are being far too complacent in the face of the paradigm shift!

    Cheers Robert

    Reply
    • I don’t know your watch collection, but I wouldn’t get ride of the Pateks. I think quartz watches are going to be dead once smart watches becomes a commodity like Android smartphones. Look at how cheap and crappy quartz movement are and how cost effective and accurate they are. Still luxury mechanical watches sales has been growing. My problem is wanting the functional features of the Apple Watch and still wear the nice watch (like jewelry.)

      Reply
  9. Pedro Maiz

    Is this the end of mechanical pieces? Probably and more so if it would measure my blood/sugar levels one day. The watch will keep evolving its apps., mechanical pieces can’t beyond what they do now.

    Reply
  10. ” first thing I can tell you is that it’s quite an addictive little device.”

    Yes, this my experience, too. Any of these smartwatches are addictive in use. I had the SonyEricsson MBW-150 back in 2009. A very similar experience, although more limited.

    “I found I was able to respond to three messages during one meeting without anyone in the room noticing. Brilliant.”

    This effect probably will become less pronounced the more popular the watch becomes. When it’s well known a lot of people will notice this type of usage, and hence the stealth function will lose its power.

    Reply
  11. ” first thing I can tell you is that it’s quite an addictive little device.”

    Yes, this my experience, too. Any of these smartwatches are addictive in use. I had the SonyEricsson MBW-150 back in 2009. A very similar experience.

    “I found I was able to respond to three messages during one meeting without anyone in the room noticing. Brilliant.”

    This effect probably will become less pronounced the more popular the watch becomes. When it’s well known a lot of people will notice this type of usage, and hence the stealth function will lose its power.

    Reply
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