I also love the answering the phone with my watch. I can
speak for tech geeks everywhere when I say that this is a capability that we expected to have in the 21st Century. It took a
decade-and-a-half longer than expected, but it’s here now.
The watch is also great for navigation, guiding the way so I
don’t have to take out my phone every few minutes to check
the course. The once-berated Maps app is a pleasure to use
on the wrist, as haptics remind me of upcoming turns.
I also love that my MacBook Pro unlocks when I extend my
watch-wearing arm toward the keyboard.
Finally, I like that you can add complications for all native apps
(and some third-party apps), offering a contextual portal from
your watch face into the activity you are currently involved in.
Time Out: What Could Be Better
Although I don’t exercise regularly, I do like to hike occasionally, and having the watch offer up a GPS app would great.
I’d like to know where I am, and at what elevation. Apple has
never done a good job of exposing GPS data. An app like Al-timeter+ adds visibility, but requires the iPhone be nearby.
I swapped out my Fitbit Blaze ($199.95) for the Apple
Watch and miss the Fitbit’s sleep analysis. And even if I used
a third-party sleep tracking app with my Apple Watch, the battery wouldn’t last through the night.
Carousel style scrolling would also be a good addition to
watch faces. At the end of scrolling, you are forced to stop
and scroll in reverse, instead of cycling through a continuous
loop of watch faces.
The Final Verdict
The Apple Watch Series 2 is a worthy successor that should
motivate hesitant prospective buyers to jump into the fray and
extend the Apple ecosystem to their wrist. The hardware is
solid and attractive, if not as overtly cool as you might expect
from Apple. The real joy of Series 2 is the release of watchOS
3 that not only powers the Series 2 but creates a good ex-
perience on all Apple Watch models. Keep in mind that any
remaining constraints or awkwardness derives from software,
not hardware, so Apple can address them (not that it neces-
sarily will). Apple remains a software company first; its hard-
ware is a platform for that software. The Apple Watch is a very
good extension of Apple’s platform that will assist and enter-
tain most who choose to don the now iconic device.
• Waterproofing extends activity reach to water sports
• GPS supports exercise scenarios that don’t include a phone
• Improved notifications
• Improved processor
• Software tweaks make Siri useful
• No GPS visibility outside of exercise, no elevation
• Battery life could be better
• No sleep tracking
• Still pricey
Charging Stand: The
Twelve South Forté for
Apple Watch ($59.99) is an
elegant charging accessory
that tilts to invoke the nightstand feature during charging. It completely hides
Apple’s charger (which is not included) in a bright chrome
arm. Genuine leather accents add class.
Travel Case: The Incase Travel
Kit for Apple Watch ($39.95) is
designed to protect the original
charging cable and Apple Watch
during travel. A dedicated mesh
area holds the charger while the
watch sits snuggly in a faux-fur
Travel Charger: Belkin’s Valet
Charger™ Power Pack 6700
mAh for Apple Watch + iPhone
($99.99) is one of the few prod-
ucts that offers a built-in charging
disk for the Apple Watch. This
gem tops off the Apple Watch
while leaving plenty of juice to
keep your iPhone or iPad running as well. It’s not the light-
est external battery, but is perhaps the most versatile.
Watch Bands: If you want Apple’s
Milanese Loop band but aren’t willing to pay the premium, this Penom
knockoff ($32.98) looks great and
works well. No one will ever know if
you don’t tell them.
Daniel W. Rasmus is the Founder and Principal Analyst at Serious Insights. Rasmus is
the author of Listening to the Future and Management by Design. He is also a member
of the Pinchot University faculty academy in Seattle, WA, where he teaches influence
MUST-HAVE APPLE WATCH ACCESSORIES