Hands (and Wrist) on the New Apple Watch (Video)

| Dave Hamilton's Blog

Page 2 - The Feel

 

The Apple Watch they strapped on me was a 42mm version with a leather bracelet and classic buckle. It went on easily enough, and was much lighter than I expected. Given the way the demo was setup I spent more time paying attention to the watch on the other guy's wrist, and very quickly forgot I was wearing the Apple Watch (sadly, Apple didn't forget I was wearing it and insisted on taking it back when the demo was over). Still, it was quite comfortable and not at all chunky or heavy. Apple has done very well here.

Hands On

Hands On

Speaking of feel, the haptic feedback was something that surprised me. During the looping 4-minute demo there were moments where the watch would pulse or tap my wrist to notify me of something. At first I didn't notice, but that's because I was already in a crowded room with lots of bumping and bustling, and also because the feedback wasn't at all what I was expecting.

I had it in my head that the taps would feel like iPhone-style vibrations against my wrist. They are not. Instead it truly feels like someone was tapping me on the wrist. As soon as I acclimated myself to it, it was a very natural notification that wasn't at all intrusive, but was always noticeable. Apple has achieved something quite special with this, and I'm really curious to see how much more it develops.

The Function

Given how early Apple is in the development process, the Apple Watch is surprisingly functional already. My demo included Messages (with replies), a tour through the health and fitness UI, as well as the Watch-to-Watch communication.

This last bit was pretty interesting, because you can use your Watch to communicate (draw pictures, send taps, and even send your actual heartbeat) with companions anywhere, not just in the same room. This is because the Apple Watch is paired with your iPhone and uses iMessage to beam that data over. And since iMessage works anywhere you have a data connection (Wi-Fi or cellular), you can do Watch-to-Watch communications around the world.

The Digital Crown does, in fact, actually turn, and will spin to infinity, leaving the scrolling and other limits up to the OS to decide. It turns smoothly and I believe will work quite well, as shown in Apple's demo. There's another button on the side, but we weren't given any guidance as to what its planned use is. Time will tell (no pun intended!).

Turning the Crown

Turning the Digital Crown

The screen is very smooth and clear, and I was able to read it at any angle, even under bright lights. Apple's clearly done something here to mitigate glare but, again, we weren't given any details as to how.

Next:  Battery Life, Price, Bracelets, and the Verdict

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Comments

FCompton

Can’t help but wonder if the copiers in Korea have started overheating. They should have their facsimiles in the market just a couple of weeks before the AppleWatch is available for sale. And since the courts seem to make sure that they drag things out long enough so that the design concepts lose all their validity, intellectual property protection is non-existent.

Cynical?…Yeah.

Lee Dronick

From I remember from the demo, the button on the side brings up “favorites”

ctopher

I believe that the Apple Watch video states the button below the crown (or above the crown if you wear it left-handed) brings up your contact list of friends with Apple Watches. This was how you entered the watch-to-watch communications mode. What they didn’t show was how the person on the receiving end was notified that someone wanted to watch-chat with them.

Can I have a group watch-chat? What if I want to send my heartbeat to both my wife and my girlfriend?

Lee Dronick

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