Early Apple Watch sales indicate the company has brought a new, not to mention exciting, reality to the wearables market.
I'm an addict. I admit it.
I'm addicted to CharityBuzz, an auction website to bid on one-of-a-kind experiences to benefit charity. I can claim over a dozen luxuries ranging from a laser-tailored business suit to an appearance on Broadway all to benefit charity.
About a month ago, I was about to lose some tickets and other perks to the 2015 opening night concert of the New York Pops when my Apple Watch alerted me to the fact that I had been outbid. Thanks to Apple's newest product, and an increased bid, I'm headed to a Pops concert later this year.
For that and other reasons, I'm also addicted to my Apple Watch. And this is an addiction for which I plan to get no help.
When the watch was first announced, I had thought about waiting a year for the release of version two. I'm glad I didn't. The Apple Watch (that's the model I bought for its rock-hard, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal) has exceeded all of my expectations which, frankly, were high.
From the watch case to the Digital Crown to the 42mm or 38mm (your choice) touch screen to the technological guts of the watch to its fashionable design to its overall creativity in function, the Apple Watch is distinctive from any other wearable out there. To my eye, it's Apple's best-designed product ever.
I can honestly say it has already been a life-altering product. To my doctor's chagrin, I don't exercise as I should and certainly don't eat what would be considered healthy. Courtesy of my Apple Watch, I am now conscious of the steps I take, the calories I burn and my heart rate throughout the day.
Also habit-changing is a marked decrease in your need to pull out, or constantly clutch, your iPhone. It's surprising how many tasks can be performed on the Watch much more easily. While I wouldn't read a newspaper (or a website) on my phone, I have thoroughly enjoyed how the Apple Watch functions as a mapping/routing/directions assist as I travel from here to there. A simple poke on my wrist tells me a turn is a few hundred feet in my future.
The integration of SIRI so you can speak to send a text, activate an app on your Apple Watch or retrieve a snippet of information (weather conditions or a hockey score, for example) makes everything as easy as pie. When lounging at home or working at my desk, I have many times engaged in a phone conversation using only the Watch. In one recent case, I found an Indian restaurant on my phone, called in a carryout order, then got driving directions to the restaurant to pick up my meal.
What has been most enjoyable on the watch? Controlling my Apple TV. Also fun is almost anything travel-related: American Airlines, App In the Air, Uber, Open Table and Citymapper are all great apps on the watch. Weather apps are tailor-made for an Apple Watch with Living Earth being a favorite. News alerts from the New York Times, ESPN, Chicago Tribune and the BBC are now part of my daily routine.
And if you like Apple Pay on your iPhone, you'll absolutely love the service on your Apple Watch.
Admittedly, not everything works well on the watch. Photos and Reminders are a waste. Anything shopping oriented is not very useful in a watch context. I have tried to use my watch as a DirecTV remote, but am disappointed with the results.
Hidden gems on the watch are the button on the side that gives you social app access to your favorite friends or colleagues, the remote control for your iPhone camera and, of course, my CharityBuzz app.
The iPod revolutionized how almost all of us listen to music. The iPhone evolved to become the best smartphone on the market. The iPad created a market for tablet computers. Early Apple Watch sales indicate the company has brought a new, not to mention exciting, reality to the wearables market.
Phil Pikelny is vice president of Dispatch Digital and chief marketing officer of The Dispatch Printing Company.