Obligatory Apple Watch post

I got my 38-mm Apple Watch Sport with the blue band yesterday. WHAT? I know. I was at work all day Friday, until too late to even pick it up at the UPS store, so I was at said store Saturday morning as soon as it opened.

Side note: a coworker showed up halfway through dayshift sporting a Sport model with a white band, and he was getting pretty thoroughly mocked. I had geek envy. "I don't have my Apple Watch because I've been at work." The charge nurse dourly said, "He LEFT work to get it." Why didn't I think of that?

Anyway, I feared a cluster-feck because the helpful UPS guy rooted through packages for a good while as my anxiety racheted up. "It's a watch," I said, "so look for a smallish package."

My bad. NORMAL watches come in small square boxes, but not Apple Watches. It's a pretty long, thick box; this is so the watch can lie out flat inside a nice Apple-y case. I feel like if they can ship phones in little boxes...? But what do I know about marketing.

I rushed home with the watch and breakfast and immediately put it on the charger so it could get a leg up while I ate. The cord on the charger is so long that I could safely charge it from a state over. I'm not a person who gets worked up over chargers. I've never bought a dock, and I feel fine about charging my Kindle with a white cord. Still, initially I don't like the hockey-puck-on-a-string concept. It feels fragile. Still, it charged, and it didn't take that long to get the watch from the 67% it had out of the box up to 90%: maybe 40 minutes. That was long enough for me to eat breakfast and start setting it up.

Setting up the watch took a while, but I'm sufficiently brain-damaged that fiddling with stuff like this is my favorite thing ever. In sharp contradistinction to the Pebble, pairing both worked immediately and has stayed working at least so far today. I immediately opened the Watch app on my phone and dinked with every imaginable setting, which I expected would choke the watch, and it did. I did know enough not to load every available watch app, but still, the thing had a lot of data to pull. No points lost there.

With great self-control, I left it alone to churn and sync while I prowled Feedly for the latest news. Then I set about messing with it. First up: the watchface. Obviously. I figured that Mickey and the solar faces would look cool but ultimately be distracting, so I oohed and aahed and moved on. I picked my complications and started tapping on stuff.

The interface, as others have said, is a little frustrating, but my experience also mirrored others' in that I figured it out after an hour or so to the point that I wasn't having to really think about what this button or that tap would do.

I started by turning just about everything OFF. If I want immersive distraction, after all, I have my giant phone to look at. Then I added back notifications and glances, and I started texting people to test everything out.

So far? I like it just fine. All signs point to my liking it better than the Pebble, but I'll need more time. Whether I'll like it twice as much, for twice the money, I definitely don't know yet; however, a main selling point for me is the heart rate tracking, which is awesome and accurate and which the Pebble does not offer.

I haven't messed too much with the other Fitness capabilities, partly because I've been too busy messing with setting up the watch and partly because to me, I'm wearing A Thing on my wrist that Tracks Stuff, and as long as it Tracks Stuff as well as other Things, that's fine.

Stuff I really like: the notifications look nice. The Pebble ones look like a Telnet session. These have pretty bubbles and icons. I'm an Apple fan; I want pretty. Also, the complications are useful things that I think most people would actually want instant access to. The ability to have my next calendar event right there and tappable is very very nice. The tappy-taps on the wrist are perfect for letting you know something you want to know about is occurring without also letting everyone else know it. You can set the thing to ping rather loudly, but why? I have alarm fatigue with my gadgets as well as at work. The little circle cloud of apps is a surprisingly easy interface to navigate, even on the smaller size of watchface.

Stuff I really don't like: the band. It's a pain to put on, the holes are spaced so it's either too tight or too loose, and I think it looks flimsy and cheap. It FEELS flimsy and cheap. I fear that the place in the band where the strap tucks back in is vulnerable to snapping. Apple is brilliant for offering the Milanese loop that fits the Sport watch body.

Inability to easily get podcasts sans phone: this is the biggest sadness for me. I thought I could at least get all tricky and create a "Watch" playlist in iTunes and manually drag the podcasts to it (as I used to do with my clippy Nano), but you can't even do that because the syncable playlists evidently have to be iCloud ones. At least, those are the only ones that show up as options to sync for me. Why is this such a Big Damn Deal? Because I still have to carry my phone with me when I walk. Granted, I have a handy wrist sleeve for it, so I can now just zip it in there and not have to futz with it, but...sure would be nice.

Stuff I'm lukewarm about: the battery. The Pebble lasts and lasts and lasts. This battery is draining pretty fast, although I realize the first day of (constant) gadget use is not indicative of normal battery life. Inability to customize taps seems like an obvious oversight; one for text, two for VIP e-mails, maybe? Also, weird lack of Reminders integration. That's it so far.