48 Hours in Atlanta with the Apple Watch

Some observations, forty-eight hours into a relationship with Apple’s Watch:

Think of the Watch as an extension of your iPhone. Your iPhone is still working away down there in your pocket, of course, because it’s handling a lot of the processing that makes the magic possible. But since so many alerts you receive — for email, for messages, for Instagram posts, etc. — can be handled from the watch, your iPhone will be popping out of your pocket a lot less.

Text messaging is addictive. Sending a hand-drawn sketch or your heartbeat is cute the first two or three times you do it. But I don’t think composing text messages by talking to the Watch will ever get old. Siri still struggles with some speech-to-text conversions, but, for the most part, sending text messages from your wrist feels magical.

Talking to your wrist is the new staring at your screen. While you won’t want to make or take long phone calls from the Watch, short, chatty calls are easy, and calling someone from the Watch makes you feel like you’re living in the future. Prepare to see lots of people walking down the street, talking to their wrists.

I like the fitness prompts. Being reminded to stand when I’ve been sitting too long feels like a good thing. I’m moving more every day. And while I tend to get my steps in, seeing how low my exercise levels were by the end of the day gave me a thoughtful pause.

Battery life isn’t an issue. My Watch arrived with a 70% charge; by the time I went to bed, it still had 45% to go. Yesterday, I started with 100%, and by bedtime, I was at 69%. Friends with Watches are going two or three days without charging them.

Apple’s Maps app doesn’t perform as well as Google’s. When I’m driving, Google Maps effortlessly steers me around accidents and snarls. When I’m walking, Google Maps gives me subtle vibratory cues when to turn right and left. They just work. By contrast, Apple’s Maps application struggles to locate me and lacks useful traffic awareness. In theory, the Watch taps me on the wrist to indicate right or left turns when walking, but, so far, all the cues just feel like random vibrations to me.

The Watch is more personal than the iPhone. I have a habit of handing my latest gadgets over to others, allowing them to poke and prod and swipe and play. I don’t want to let you try on my Watch. That’s partially because  don’t want my health and movement data merged with yours. But I do have to say I feel more possessive about the Watch than I do any other piece of tech I own.

Mark McElroy

I'm a husband, mystic, writer, media producer, creative director, tinkerer, blogger, reader, gadget lover, and pizza fiend.


  • Hey! You got yours! I *STILL* haven’t gotten mine. My Apple Pay was associated with my phone, I accidentally destroyed it last weekend, got the replacement, the Apple Pay failed on Wednesday when they tried to ship. I *IMMEDIATELY* remedied that and they’ve not tried to reprocess payment. UGH.

  • Noooo! Aw, Brian. Sorry to hear that. Maybe they’ll try again soon!

    When our watches took weeks longer to receive than expected, I almost had to start myself a support group.

Who Wrote This?

Mark McElroy

I'm a husband, mystic, writer, media producer, creative director, tinkerer, blogger, reader, gadget lover, and pizza fiend.

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