OG Apple Watch – Battery Draining :(

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I was one of the few, the proud, the crazy that purchased the original Apple Watch when it came out on launch day.  The picture above shows what it looks like now (I actually use the photo album watch face and not the one pictured) and I’ve upgraded the sport band to the link band (my wife is so awesome for getting it for me) and I use it every day at home and at work.  I’ve gone through all the different OS upgrades for the watch and its currently running on WatchOS 4.0.  The watch is starting to show its age since its kind of slow compared to just using my iPhone 7 but its still the best for notifications and maybe the quick text to someone.

Where I’m really starting to see some wear and tear is in battery life.  I’ve been using it for 2 years straight?  I can’t remember when I bought it but these days there seems to be a lot of battery drain and I have started to see “Power Save” mode pop up as soon as 7PM.    That means the watch is barely getting through a 12 hour day on its current charge.  Thats not really acceptable.  I keep a charger with me while on the road to charge it up but I don’t keep it with me in my bag, I leave it at the hotel so I can charge up then.  I’m not really lost without the watch, I always have my iPhone handy with me but its just a minor annoyance.  Doing work outs with the watch drains the battery further and frankly I only work out when I’m actually at home but still, it reduces battery life considerably when in use.

I don’t know what my solution will be if the battery starts to really stink.  My wife and I paid a decent chunk of change for the watch and I like the notifications and everything but I might be going back to a regular watch if it dies.  While I love having the ability to get those notifications or send a quick text, its not enough to buy another one at the price I paid.  I can technically use the same watch bands as any other Apple Watch as long as its a 42mm so there is some savings but I don’t think anyone will buy the watch from me.  I have scratched it up a lot over the years but it still works pretty well for a 1st gen device.  I haven’t explored replacing the battery but at that point I want to get a newer watch because the new ones are water proof, faster, and ummm…. I think thats it really.

Anyway, I’m going to continue to use it till it dies.  I’m hoping that they keep the watch humming along with software updates and start to get rid of more of the bloatware that seems to be creeping into Apple OS’s of late.  It’s only noon and I’m down to 70%, hopefully it will last the rest of the day and my work out tonight.

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WatchOS 2 looks cool but….

Like a lot of people I watched most of the Apple World Wide Developer Conference on live stream and I was pleased to see that they are Already kmoving forward with WatchOS 2 and that’s after only having the Apple Watch out for a relatively short time.  Since I’m a non-developer the only cool things I saw that interested me a lot was that there would be native apps for the Watch, more functions could be performed on the Watch rather than the phone, and the ability to use my pictures as a watch face (that one is going to get liberal use and probably be the cause of a lot of power drain once it comes out).

The feature that I would still love would be the ability to pair 2 iPhones to the Watch or at least some selective apps for the second iPhone.  The only apps that I would care bout pushing info to the Watch would be my calendar new email information.  In this fun digital age it’s necessary to carry two devices since you don’t want your job looking into everything a that you’re doing on your phone if you choose to connect to corporate email and what not.  It’s also a “disconnect from work” thing that I’ve started to appreciate more.  My last vacation was awesome since I left the work phone at home as well as any technology related to my job.  I definitely would have been tempted to check it if it was handy or close by but since it wasn’t around I didn’t have the urge.

I won’t see an update to the software for my Apple Watch until the fall which seems like a long time from now but in reality isn’t that bad considering I just got the Watch in May.  One other observation I have is that I’m not using the watch all that much on the weekends when I have to do stuff like clean up my messes or do work on the cars or motorcycle for fear of scratching it or breaking it so I’m missing days of movement data. Not really a big deal overall but just an observation I had in how I use my Watch.  Maybe in WatchOS 3 they’ll let us pair multiple iPhones, that would be killer!

Two Weeks with Apple Watch

i’ve had the Apple Watch for approximately three weeks now and I’ve learned how to use it pretty well. I’ve been able to to test it under vacation conditions and work conditions and so far it’s been pretty helpful in both areas.  I don’t regret buying the watch and it has freed me a tad bit from my iPhone but I’m also probably not using it to its full potential since its tethered to my personal phone and not my work phone.

During vacation I found Navigation to be the most helpful app on the Apple Watch.  I was able to use my phone to find out where I needed to go and then transferred the directions to the maps app on the watch.  The directions and taps were spot on in directing me and it was also good that it made me look a lot less like a tourist since I could keep my phone in my pocket.  I tried using some of the other apps like Yelp but it was still easier to use my phone.  Siri has also become more helpful since the release of Apple Watch, this is definitely one of the cornerstones of using the Watch and I use it for texting on the go.

I tried using the Watch for boarding passes but a lot of the readers at the airports aren’t positioned well to make it practical yet.  I still send my boarding passes to passbook but I still use my phone for the most part.  Apple Pay is the other awesome app and I use that whenever possible so I don’t have to fiddle around for my wallet.  I would say the only other two apps that I use continually is Sigfig and Weather.  The movement app is also helpful to make sure I get my butt up off my office chair.

I used to fitness app just once this last week and it was fairly accurate for all intents and purposes.  I won’t lie that I used it only for a long walk.  I’m not into running really and there was no exercise bike.  I’ll try it out a little more this week if I have the time in the morning.  Overall a good purchase, it will be interesting to see what Watch OS updates will breathe new life to this thing over the next couple of years.

First Day with the Apple Watch

Yesterday evening I opened the box of my new Apple Watch. I did the basic setup last night and didn’t get to really put the Watch through its paces until today.  I’ll be pretty brief tonight though regarding my personal observations.

  • Force Touch is pretty cool but it’s not obvious to use it when in a particular app
  • Notifications are generally useful depending on the app being used, the most helpful is for Messages
  • The Digital Crown is intuitive to use and helps a lot with using the watch for scrolling through different screens
  • I was surprised that the Reminders app isn’t present on the Watch, I think that would have been one of the more useful apps for the Watch
  • Siri is really useful and I used it for a lot of what I did with the Watch today.  I’ve always been an avid Siri user on the iPhone anyway but I am noticing I’m using Siri more
  • 3rd party apps are hit and miss, I’ve uninstalled apps like TripIt since it offered no value being on the Watch.  Since I travel so much I loaded a ton of travel apps that I plan to test in the next few weeks

Overall I have no real gripes about the Watch except I can’t connect to wifi with the watch but I’ve heard of that problem cropping up a lot with Netgear routers,other than that it’s about what I expected from a first generation device but I suspect that software updates will make it better.  The battery life has been pretty spot on.  It was down to 16% by 9pm but I think I’ve been using it a little more than would be expected since I was tweaking it all day.  The watch faces are pretty nice and I’ve chosen a classic face although I used pretty much all of them throughout the day.  Maybe I’ll write another update after using it for about a month.