all opinions welcome, Apple watch

I finally have funds available and am considering the Apple watch. However, as someone who has already been using a Fitbit Flex2, I just want to have an honest discussion. I will concede that the Apple Watch has the advantage of heart rate tracking, but for those who have the gadget, is it worth the price tag? I am seeming to live without always seeing texts, twittter, etc on my wrist. Why would I want all of that blowing up on my wrist all the time? Not bashing, honestly just asking. Now, if I get a series 3 I am almost sold by the fact I can have it and no phone on me at all, but I'm just trying to be sure I am really making a purchase that in a few months I won't think, why did you spend that much? So let's talk. What do you love about your Apple Watch? Or, if there is someone who bought one and you have buyer's remorse, let's hear it. The floor is open. I'm interested to hear thoughts. Pros, cons, the good, the bad, and everything in between. I'm all ears. This should be interesting... I hope.

Forum: 

#1 Apple Watch

I do not own an Apple Watch and have no plans to purchase one. I'll list my reasons below. These are just my opinions.

1. The watch is an extremely overpriced iPhone accessory! The title says it all? Paying $300 plus for what basically amounts to a wrist-mounted screen for your iPhone is ridiculous! If you don't have an iPhone or choose to use Android, the watch is a paperweight! You have to use it for setup and to communicate data back and forth. I'm not sure how much true freedom you get with the LTE watch, but it still communicates with the iPhone to a degree. Thus, it is still an iPhone accessory rather than an autonomous product.

2. Most of the features are focused on health and fitness. I personally don't care about any of these. I want a wrist computer that can do all kinds of cool things, not something that tracks my steps and mirrors notifications from my phone. If you want the watch to track these things, go for it! Everything should be fully accessible using VoiceOver.

Those are my two major gripes with the device. I don't think Apple is going to change this as the primary market for the device seems to be health/fitness and they have decided long ago that this will be an accessory rather than a new independent product. I will give Apple credit for implementing VoiceOver. They are the first company to build a screen reader into a smart watch and deserve a lot of praise for that. I also appreciate the Taptic Time feature. Is it enough of a reason for me to spent $300+? Not really, but I recognize these things are useful for other people.

#2 Hi,

Hi,

Since their introduction, I have purchased and broken two Apple Watches.

Well, I say I broke them, and though I have no memory of any particular impact or incident, the fact that they were on my wrist when the screen opened like a clam, makes me complicit.... Or so said the chap at the Genius Bar.

My case for an Apple watch boils down to two simple factors, freedom from my phone and fitness tracking.

Freedom from my phone. As an Apple Watch wearer, I was surprised by how little I was interacting with my phone. Most days my iPhone sat on, or by, it's charger. I would use it for calls and complex Apps but otherwise I handed off most of my daily use to the watch. Checking the time, weather, routes, playing music, the remote App and messages all went straight to the watch. It was weirdly liberating.
These days, sans watch, I am back to carrying my phone everywhere I go. Even from room to room around the house.

Fitness. The second major bonus for me was the fitness tracking. The easy access to my heart rate, distance and calories burned meant that I could quickly measure and compare the intensity of my training. This , invariably, lead to a better workout regime.

These days, with my wrist currently unadorned by anything Apple, I still catch myself checking for deals and scouring release notes for a new compelling reason to splurge on a nice Series 3. Though with two in the bin, I have promised myself that any future purchase will need to be the more robust Stainless Steel model...

HTH

#3 remote for your phone

I like the tactile way of checking the time, when I'm at places where a talking watch is disturbing. The tactile time checking is also very useful when walking out in the trafic where you can't hear a talking watch.
I usually have my phone on silent, where I enjoy the vibration for sms messages and phone calls on the watch.
Then I sometimes read sms messages, check my calendar and do other quick tasks on my watch.
The biggest disappointment is you can't quickly switch the voiceovers language on the watch like you can do on the phone. So therefore I don't use english apps on my watch. The development of Voiceover is really not good on the watch compared to the other products from Apple.

#4 Some positives and negatives

I bought my Apple watch after Christmas and my impressions are very positive. Of course, one can live without it but an Apple watch is a nice complementation with your iPhone. Previously, I searched for any Android watch but sellers adviced me to buy one from Apple as it will be compatible with my device.
Here you have my reasons why:
1. It is a watch that sighted peers may wear, not a special watch for the blind
2. I like its shape and I find it very nice.
3. Its software is accessible for the blind.
4. It is a nice complementation with your iPhone e.g. take up your call when a phone is not with you, etc.
5. You get some fitness information although I don’t think they are very accurate but just to have an idea whether you are ok. I am not crazy about the rings you collect each day for your workouts and activities.
6. I wanted to have a watch to use it in water e.g. while swimming and with a watch from Apple you can do it. Now when I am in the water I don’t have to ask anyone about time.
7. You can check time discretely by feeling watch’s vibrations, an ideal solution in the Church, at the cinema, etc.
8. When you have a recording app, you can record anything and you don’t have to hold your phone or any recording device. It is just on your wrist and works fine.
9. You can have maps on your wrist, gentle vibrations will tell you whether to turn left or right.
10. It’s not a watch for one day only, I charge mine every third day.
11. If you use Apple pay, you can pay with your watch.

Below I’ll try to add some negatives:
1. This watch is very expensive but its price is comparable to the Tissot watch or tactile Bradley watch
2. Straps, bracelets are also very expensive, but you may purchase these not produced or sold by Apple
3. Its battery won’t last for a couple of months, you need to charge it at least every third day.
4. Its screen is too small to look at it all the time but remember it is not a device that you use all the time.
5. In most cases, you need an iPhone to benefit from apps on your watch.
6. Even if you buy one with LTE you need to pay extra monthly fee to use it as a standard phone. We don’t have this possibility in Poland.
7. Although every year an apple watch matures, it needs some improvements.
8. Not every app works on Apple Watch, I miss google maps that can’t be used with a watch from Apple. Instead, I have to use Apple maps which don’t provide relevant information in Poland.
9. Carrying a watch you need to be careful not to break it. If you break the screen the watch will be useless. I have a protective case and a protective glass on screen.

Hope this helps you to decide whether to buy it or not. Remember, you can live without it but if you have it you may have problems to imagine your life without this watch. On Applevis you will find detailed articles about an Applewatch which should help you decide.
Cheers.

#5 My thoughts

I have been using a Series 3 watch for about 2 weeks now and there are good and bad things about it. It's not cheep, but like Rafal said special watches for the blind that vibrate the time aren't that much cheaper so if you want it for discretely checking the time it's a no brainer. Like SLJ said, there is no fast way to switch the VOiceOver language so if you deal with multiple the experience could be better. That being said the Messages app seems to detect the language of whoever you're talking to and adjust the dictation language used, so you can still have multilingual conversations. I also think that many app developers aren't taking advantage of the watch for companion apps. Some, like Shazam, do. But for example WhatsApp doesn't have a dedicated Watch App. What this means is that you can still see WhatsApp messages and reply to them, because the notifications support quick reply, but if someone sends you a voice message or you want to send one you can't. Thankfully 3rd party developers have stepped up here and in the case of WhatsApp you have an app which can fill the gap and in many cases being able to reply from notifications will be more than enough. Also if you mainly use Apple services for messaging, you'll find the experience very good as you have access to just about every feature of iMessage and FaceTime on the rist.

The watch is really good at giving you the information you want quickly if you configure your watchfaces as you can have as many as you want. So I have the utility face set up to auto speak the time and weather as well as the alarm status, and the modular face with quick access to Email, Messaging and the Phone.
Apart from this I do a lot of exercising on a treadmill and I love the workout feature which gives me an idea of how the exercise is going as wel as a quick way to control the music I'm playing from my phone. I love the recording quality of the watch if using an app like Just Press record. I love that I can answer phone calls without having to take out my phone, the watch makes for a great speakerphone experience as it folows you around. The taptic time feature is also incredibly handy and completely quiet. watch OS 5 will make the experience even better as the watch will now be able to display web pages from Emails or Messages.

I don't know what my opinion about the watch will be in a few months, but so far I'm finding some cool uses for it. At the same time I feel that app developers aren't taking advantage of it to the fullest, but time will tell if this situation will improve

#6 thanks to everyone who has commented so far

The subject says it all. I appreciate everyone's honest opinions on this. A couple of things of note, as I've read through the comments.

1. I only use English on my phone. So the language switching thing is not at all a deal breaker for me. But, definitely good information, as someone else could stumble across this thread who might need that capability.

2. If I do purchase, I do plan to get the series 3. I figure if I'm going to do it, I'm going to go all in, and I know my mobile carrier supports it.

Feel free to keep comments coming. I will more than likely make a decision come Thursday, when I have said funds and can make this happen. So I've got plenty of time to keep looking at information to make my informed decision.

#7 Series 3 Watch

I held off on getting an Apple Watch until the series 3. I saw earlier versions of the watch, and wasn't impressed with its features and performance. The series 3 seemed like a good time to try the watch, so I bought the LTE version. While I generally really like the watch, I do have mixed feelings.

One thing I didn't understand right away, was that, even if you don't buy the LTE version of the watch, you can use it as a phone, as long as your iPhone is nearby. Had I realized this, I may have thought twice about buying the LTE version. That being said, I have gone out for walks, out for lunch, or other short trips where I've left my phone at home or at the office, and it's been nice to be able to respond to a quick call, text, or E-mail. I don't know if this will improve in IOS 12, but for now, dictation seems much more reliable on the watch than on the iPhone too. Dictation accuracy on the phone has gotten worse in IOS 11.

I like the design overall. I have the 42 mm version, and bought a cheap Milinese loop off Amazon. If you're looking for different bands, I'd check places like Amazon first, because Apple branded ones are ridiculously expensive. The Apple branded loop is $150 for example, and I paid $10 for mine on Amazon. it works fine.

I like having a VoiceOver accessible smart watch, and like others said, similar blindness specific watches are comperably priced, so the Apple Watch isn't too bad. I use my watch for notifications, timers, as a voice recorder, for reading and responding to text messages, and the occasional phone call. I have to admit it is pretty cool too, to be able to just hit a button, and hold the watch up to a NFC reader at a store that supports Apple Pay.

I don't specifically use the watch for major fitness tracking, but will casually monitor my rings throughout the day, and if I'm close to filling a ring, I'll try to get in a little more activity to fill it, as a little extra motivation.

Here are a few disappointments I have though, especially with the LTE version. Like others said, it's an iPhone accessory, so Android users need not apply. There are also some settings missing from the watch, that are controlled from the app on your phone. There doesn't seem to be a reason why these settings aren't also on the watch, but whatever. It would be nice to have more settings and features manageable via the watch itself.

There seem to also be a fair bit of restrictions to what third party apps can do using LTE on the watch. I use Twitter a lot. However, you can kinda look at your feed using an app like Tweetings, if the feed loads, but you can't do much else. The official Twitter app lets you see notifications, but you can't do anything with them. Just like text messaging, I'd like to be able to like, retweet, or respond to a tweet I'm mentioned in, but devs have informed me that Apple doesn't allow that functionality right now. it's something they'd like to add.

Same thing with non-Apple services. If you like and use Apple Music, which I don't, you're fine. However, if you want to stream or download some music from another service like Amazon Music, Google Play Music, etc., you're out of luck. What I'd really love, is to be able to send over a podcast from Overcast, an audio book from Audible, or a few tunes from Amazon or Google Music, and listen to something while I go for a walk, or do something else away from my phone. You can't though. There was some talk/rumor about some new kit, WatchKit or something like that, that was supposed to enable more of that, but I don't remember hearing anything about it from WWDC.

The watch has a lot of potential, but like the HomePod, Apple needs to realize that people want to use more than just their stuff, and allow more third party capability to their devices. I like my watch for what it is, and use it every day, but once it slows down too much to be usable, will I get another one? I guess that depends on what a new model's capabilities are at the time. If I can do more with LTE, I'd consider it. If functionality is about the same, I would consider the non-LTE version, or none at all, since I usually have my phone nearby anyway.

#8 Re: offline downloads

In regards to downloading music or podcasts from other apps, this is apparently going to be available in Watch OS 5, at least to some extent. We also know that background audio playback will be coming as well.

As far as Twitter goes, there is a fully featured client for watch OS called chirp that gives you access to every feature which doesn't require a companion iPhone app. Right now, it has a lot of unlabelled buttons for VO, but i'm in contact with the developer who has told me they were already fixed and that I will be receiving a beta soon to help him polish up the accessibility enhancements.

#9 Almost bought the Fitbit Charge

Just as Apple Watch Series 1 was being released, I was about to purchase the Fitbit Charge, which, according to my research, I would at least be able to start/stop a workout on the device and then get all stats from the iPhone companion app. I am so very glad that I got the Apple watch, instead, despite the fact that it was a first generation device.

I use the watch primarily for fitness but find it very useful in other ways, as well. I like having a timer on my wrist. I like the haptic time, being able to respond to messages, seeing my steps throughout the day via the Pedometer Plus Plus, (downloadable via the App store), seeing the weather, and so much more. Yes, the watch is an extension of the iPhone, but for me, it's become a very important enhancement to my iPhone, too. The fitness aspects have really encouraged my healthy lifestyle. Today, for example, with the use of the Clicker app on my watch, (another download from the app store), I just logged in workout 692, since I first started using the watch. The clicker app is nothing more than a counting app but it's also very inspirational to see those number racking up.

I think the one gripe that I have is not being able to have my personalized ringtones transfer to the watch. I don't think this has been solved with the latest Series 3 model, but I am hopeful that this will be resolved at some point.

Others have mentioned the lack of third party app useabe on the watch. I think that, like most other things, it's just a matter of time before your favorite app becomes available on the watch.

Bottom line, I wholeheartedly recommend the Apple watch.

#10 Style

I do not own an Apple Watch and do not want to. I do not believe it gives much more value than the iPhone I already have. I am a powerlifter not a cardio bunny so heart rate monitoring is not as important. When I lift heavy weights, I know my blood pressure is going to rise. When I do volume work, I know my heart rate increases. I do not need to spend hundreds of dollars to know this precisely. Also consider the impression transmitted to sighted people. I avoid the blind nerd look, which the Apple Watch accentuates. We have all seen them. Blind guys with talking watches, talking phones in their back pocket, rectangular items attached to their belt and with headphones in their ears. Of course, the latest accessory is video glasses with sighted support staff whispering into the dude’s ear. Each of these are helpful technologies. The combination of them all on a single person at once turns the blind dude into a wired creature that is beyond human. Instead of all of this, I wear vintage mid-20th century Braille watches on my wrist. Most people have never seen these and they enable me to have the look of a previous era. I avoid the impression of people believing I am highly independent because of my technology rather than my unique skills and talents. Maintenance costs are about the same for vintage watches. The spring and wind-up mechanism in one broke and some of the numbers have worn off from checking the time. The bill for the parts, repair, cleaning, and number painting will be $215. My watch repairmen is charging $25 just to paint the numbers back on the watch face. I love these watches though.

#11 I don't have an apple watch, I don't know if I want one.

To each their own how they would like to tell the time. Here's why I would enjoy the apple watch. First, the conveniience of requesting the Lyft without digging my phone out of my purse. Second, I'd use Google Maps again, if they ever redesign the watch app, as i don't like Apple maps at all. I think they took what Google had, slapped "apple", on it and went with that. It would be nice to respond to texts easier as dictation on the phone isn't the best. However here are a few reasons why I don't want the watch. For one thing, Samantha is absolutely the bitchiest voice around, and I do not believe Alex being larger, will ever come to the watch, not without sacrificing battery life or some other characteristic. I'd want the smaller scren, as that's what my smaller wrist could handle. I'm also wating because I am pretty sure they might come out with Series four, I'd like to see what that is before i put down such a large amount of money. I had a chance to use the airpods, and while they are nice, I don't see them as being 200 bucks. Again, when Apple comes out with more news, Imight see what's so great about them.

#12 Extra Thing to Charge

I don't own an Apple watch and don't plan on purchasing one. I think the main reason for this has to do with charging. Tbh I don't understand why one would have to plug their watch in every so often. But to each their own. Ironically I'm kinda basing my reasoning for not getting one on one of my life-skills tutors, but at the same time we've gone our separate ways on this if you know what I mean. He doesn't own an iPhone and I do. In addition, I have briefly checked out the Health app on my iPhone and it seems to be very good. It has kept track of my steps on occasion and done a nice job. More power to those of you who own an Apple watch. They are probably very good, and the fact that VoiceOver and all other access features are built in is a big plus. But I'm not getting one. I already have a talking watch from another manufacturer, which works extremely well. All settings speak, which was not the case with my previous talking watch.

#13 Wireless charging possiblity?

I don't know if this is possible, but i've heard soon Apple will come out with something to charge both watch and phone. For me, this would be somewhat of a gamechanger since unless I want a ton of powerstrips, I don't have enough outlets.

#14 RE: Wireless charging possibility?

The item you are thinking about is this AirPower mat that, based off of what I've read, will allow you to place your iPhone (8, 8+ & X), Apple Watch (Series 3 and all future Apple Watches)) and AirPods using the rumored wireless charging case.

The mat hasn't been released yet, but it may be announced at this Fall's Apple event when they announce the new iPhones.

Another bonus, the rumored new charging case for AirPods, which based off of what Apple has said, will be able to be placed, I'm guessing on a Qi charger and wirelessly charge should be coming out this fall too. We'll just have to wait and see.

#15 charging devices

I also hear there are some accessories currently that will allow you to charge your phone and watch at the same time. One is rather pricey, but I think the other is an inexpensive cable that has both a lightning and a magnet charger and can go to the same place. I can't remember. At some point of researching, your brain overloads with all the options. LOL

#16 cellular capability

Now I know Apple are emphasising the cellular capability of the Series 3 but I don't quite get what all the fuss is about. Given that the watch is a companion to the iPhone, how often are you going to go somewhere wearing the watch but without your phone? This is what I asked myself when buying my watch, and I concluded that it was not worth spending the £150 more to get the cellular version. Folk have talked on here about short trips without their phone, but for myself I can honestly say that when I make a short trip without my phone it's usually by design—I want a bit of peace during my lunch break at work, for instance, where it is not possible to contact and disturb me. I would think carefully before being too impressed by the cellular feature. That aside, I enjoy everything about my watch. Text notifications on the wrist are great actually, far less intrusive than notifications on your phone. I've also found that if I receive a work email the wrist notifications are more obvious to me than the iPhone making a sound in my jacket pocket or bag, and it's very much easier to glance at such communications and tell whether or not they are important.

#17 and the conclusion is...

Well, just as soon as I figure out where it is, (it's been delivered to my place of employment but I haven't seen it yet), I bit the bullet and bought the watch. I did go with the cellular option, mostly because I kind of felt like, if I'm going to do it, I'm going to just bite the bullet and go for it. And, if I find the cell part isn't something I use often, I figure I can always turn that plan off. Otherwise, looking forward to setting it up and playing with it this weekend and/or obviously into the future. Should I run into anything, I might be back with questions. I'm grateful there is a forum where I can come for such things.