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One Week with the Apple Watch…and I’m Diggin’ It

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I’ve had my Apple Watch for a week now. It arrived just before my trip to the Kentucky Derby, and I was able to test it out on Uber rides and during my treks through airports over the past few days. Is it the life-changing device people have been talking about? Probably not. Could it potentially improve my experience as a frequent traveler? I think so. In general, it’s convenient in a bunch of ways and I can see myself getting used to it more and more—especially as more companies make unique apps geared towards the watch.

Apple watch

6 Things I Dig About My Apple Watch

1. Apple Watch is great at the airport. It works both to get through TSA (but you need to take it off to go through the metal detector) and at the gate as a boarding pass, and in theory you should be able to use it to get into the lounge as well. (This last one I couldn’t test because there was no lounge at SDF- Louisville International Airport.)

I was able to use my mobile boarding pass on my Apple Watch through TSA Precheck
I was able to use my mobile boarding pass on my Apple Watch through TSA Precheck

2. It’s re-acquainted me with my long-lost friend, Siri. I used Siri when she first came out, but I quickly got tired of her version 1.0 quirks. Turns out she’s much more helpful these days and it’s easier to use on your wrist, especially when you’re in the middle of things or walking down a street. It’s easier to simply speak into the watch and ask questions, although you do look a bit awkward doing it.

3. Makes it easier to text and walk at the same time. When I’m walking down the street in New York City and texting via voice on my watch, I may look like a lunatic, but it drastically decreases my chance of meeting an early death by MTA bus while staring at my phone. Voice to text is accurate as long as I speak in complete sentences. I was happy to find that even on a loud city street, it picks my voice up well even when holding the watch at chest height. I feel a bit like a Secret Service agent…but that’s actually kind of cool.

That little tap you felt on your wrist? Your ride is here.
That little tap you felt on your wrist? Your ride is here.

4. Lets me know when my ride has arrived. I like using it with Uber—the watch taps you on the wrist with a nudge when your car is arriving. I find the real-time GPS location is awful with Uber in the city, so it’s helpful to get the tap since you don’t really know where your Uber is until it arrives. Half the time my phone is on a counter or on vibrate, so without the watch I might miss a notification.

I used it all day at the Kentucky Derby and even had some power left over at the end of the day
I used it all day at the Kentucky Derby and even had some power left over at the end of the day

5. The battery lasts all day. I was worried about the watch having even less power than advertised, though I haven’t had any issues using it all day long or running out of power. Of course I haven’t been power-using it, but it seems like it will last from morning through a late evening out without missing a beat. Of course I’d still like to see more battery life, but it isn’t as bad as I anticipated.

6. I haven’t received public shame for wearing it… yet. After reading articles like this one, I was worried there could be some public shaming a la Google Glass-holes, but that hasn’t been the case. I actually think most people don’t even realize it is the Apple Watch, especially when it isn’t lit up. So overall, design-wise I’m pretty happy—though I’d like it to be waterproof so I don’t have to switch straps when I work out.

One Thing I Don’t Dig About My Apple Watch

The screen is small and my fingers are big! Every time I try to go to Passbook, my Hotel Tonight app pops up. But I remember that when I got my first iPhone, I couldn’t type well on it, either—so over time, I think I’ll get used to it, just like I did when I first starting using an iPhone.

I’m looking forward to testing my new watch out for keyless hotel check-ins with SPG and for payments. Stay tuned!

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