Month One: Apple Watch and Amazon Echo

One month, and a few bands later, I have come to love my Apple Watch. I’ve ordered the sports band in both white and black. They are uber comfortable, and don’t catch on my long hair. I’ve tried a “case” for the watch, and removed it because it makes the watch look dorky.

One of the more pleasant surprises is its waterproof-ness. We all read the specs, both official, and the one based on the measuring standard (Apple Watch is IPX7). But how does it fair in a reality-filled day? Excellent. Simon and I live on the water, and are water/outdoor people. I’ve done the typical (washing hands, washing the dog, etc), the slightly more crazy (changing the pool vacuum hose, fishing branches out of the pool), and the crazy (boating), to find my only issue is having to wipe water marks off the face. Nice. The boating wasn’t on purpose, and I wouldn’t recommend you take any expensive watch near salt-water… but I find the Apple Watch more waterproof than expected.

Accuracy is also an undervalued feature. Simon loves watches and owns far too many to count. But few of them keep time as well as my Apple Watch. There is no updating the date either. Instant accuracy. Love it.

Although I haven’t used the apps as much as some, my use of “Hey Siri” is hourly. I set reminders, timers, calendar events, and add items to a shopping list throughout the day. This is more useful than you might imagine, and like auto windows, it’s quite addictive. “Hey Siri” is difficult to use in noisy locations, but not impossible. Because the watch isn’t an internet device of its own, there are some Siri features that won’t work (like looking up a location). Siri then directs you to the phone.

The other highly used feature: knowing who’s calling before I find my phone… or fish it out of my purse. Seeing calls and texts at a glance let’s me decide whether to divert my attention (and take action) or not. I can reply with quick, predetermined responses, send to voicemail, dictate a response, or set a reminder to follow up. Again… very valuable throughout a busy day.

I’ve changed my watch-face several times, trying out all the options. Micky reminded me of my grandmother’s watch of years ago. Fun memory, but got tired of it quickly. Maybe if I was still seven years old I’d appreciate it. The Jellyfish is a favorite. I’d really like one with roman numerals though (hint hint Apple). Maybe an Owl? I’d guess this type of customization is coming though.

Simon’s watch comes this week, so I can stop touching myself… and beating myself, and drawing myself crazy. Poor Simon… he’s in for some crazy days!

The Echo has turned out to be great… and bad. Simon ordered one too and we had hoped to put this second Echo upstairs. Didn’t work. The second Echo wouldn’t hold a wifi connection, and would cause the other Echo to do the same. Updates didn’t help. This was madly disappointing. However, as a whole, I love the Echo. We use it for adding items to our shopping list all the time… timers, weather, playing Amazon Prime Music, all everyday events that Echo manages for us. The iOS app is great, and useful even when I’m away from the Echo. For the $99 (Prime Members limited-time pricing) it’s a worthy addition to your tech-geek home. I wouldn’t pay more for it until it can manage more than one device on the same network. This is a big deal when you want to integrate full home automation (like we do). I’d also like to see it compatible with z-ware and/or Insteon so that it’s integrated within our system.

This is the final Apple Watch and Echo review, unless Apple releases a major update. I love both products and use them daily. Are they must-have items? Life-Altering items? No… but really, what is? If you love tech-geek things, automation, integrated lifestyle items, then they fit right in.

Feel free to ask questions… and share your own Apple Watch or Amazon Echo experiences!

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