Apple’s Watching

new_shiny_toys_I’ve been a Fitbit fan since the beginning. Five years of tracking steps and movement, and I’m definitely a more active person because of it.

That said, it’s time to move on. When Apple announced the new Watch with GPS support and a future Pokémon Go app…yeah. Sorry, Fitbit. It’s not you, it’s me.

I’ve been saving my pennies to buy an Apple Watch, and it arrived a couple weeks ago. I even splurged for a colorful band.

My watch and I are still in the getting-to-know you phase. I appreciate the regular nudges to move around, and Apple has incorporated mindfulness into the routine as well with the Breathe app. I like that I get notifications without having to open my phone, though there aren’t many apps I use that are supported by the watch yet. That’s OK, since I’m mostly using it as a fitness tracker.

The most useful non-fitness-related app is the integration with Todoist; being able to walk through the grocery store and check items off my shopping list without opening my phone is cool. I’m not interested in browsing Instagram or Twitter from my wrist. No big thing.

One of the primary complaints from others is the watch’s size, but I have a large frame; it doesn’t look preposterous on me, and it’s smaller and much prettier than my Fitbit Surge. The screen isn’t as hard to read and interact with as I thought it would be, and I love that I can use Siri to send messages while I’m on the go.

The biggest downside I’ve discovered is an inconsistency with Apple’s Workouts app recognizing “exercise” minutes in the Activity app.

For example, if I set up a workout for a brisk walk (30-40 minutes at 3.0 mph or greater, sustained heart rate well within my target zone) and get only 10-15 exercise minutes.

Whereas if I don’t use Workouts and do the same walk (or even a less intense pace), I’ll get 20-30 exercise minutes. I’ve calibrated the watch twice now, but this happens regardless.  I’d have to run to get Workouts to recognize my activity as “exercise-worthy”, and everyone knows I don’t run unless I’m being chased by a large, hungry animal.

Until Apple can make their own apps play nice, I’ve scrapped using Workouts in favor of just walking. It’s not as exciting as logging my walks in an app, but I get a greater sense of satisfaction from seeing exercise minutes that I sweat my fat butt off for, thank you very much!

The other thing that bugs me is the lack of support for sleep tracking; I wasn’t doing that with the Fitbit because the band irritated my wrist if I didn’t take it off at night. The Apple Watch’s band doesn’t seem to irritate, so I’d love to be able to wear it all night, but the battery wouldn’t hold up. It seems like such an obvious thing, and I wish the batteries were up to the task.

But the truly terrible thing about the Apple Watch? Niantec still hasn’t released the Pokémon Go app! I’m awaiting the announcement with baited breath, ie. obsessively checking Apps for an update. I can’t wait to be able to walk my eggs without holding my phone.

I’ve been eyeing the Watch ever since it was first announced, and I’m glad I waited. They don’t have all the kinks worked out yet, obviously, but I’m pretty happy with it.

😃+

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