I’ve been running for several years now, and one of the biggest things that keeps me engaged (especially early on, but also now) is being able to track everything about my running. To that end, I’ve had a running watch, and I overwhelmingly almost always run with it. Initially, I had a Garmin Forerunner 405, which I replaced with a Forerunner 610. I’ve recently upgraded to an Apple Watch LTE.
So far, I’m really enjoying it. It’s really nice to not carry a phone around (either when running, or just at other times), and although I never really minded a chest heart-rate strap, it’s very liberating not to be wearing one.
I have found a few things that are not quite how I would like them:
- You can’t get directions to your car on your watch. You need to “Continue on iPhone”. I’m hoping this will be fixed at some point. There are a handful of other operations that are like this too (like “What is this song?”).
- I’m yet to find a satisfactory workout app that provides structured workouts: interval repeats and the like, possibly nested, and with duration and targets of different types (ie, pace, heart rate, time, distance).
- The Strava app seems to have fairly long intervals between samples. I always set my Forerunner to sample at 1 second, and some watches I believe will do multiple samples per second.
- The iOS Bedtime feature is not available on the Apple Watch: you need to have it turned on on an iPhone; and then the alarm will trigger on there too. I’ve moved to a watch-only alarm, so as to not wake my partner when I get up early for a run.
- The “Standing Hours” feature isn’t really about standing: I have a standing desk, and stand all day at work, and if I don’t move around, it thinks I’m not standing. Also, I’ve had a few times where the standing alarm seems to not fire at all.
- Apple Pay transactions made on my Watch don’t trigger an alert on my Phone (or watch). However, my last payment on my phone did trigger an alert on my watch, so I’ll test that a bit more.
However, the things that I really like are tipping me overwhelmingly in favour:
- Being able to leave my phone on my desk and still tracking my activity is really nice. This is the key reason I bought a Misfit Shine some time ago, but that was less useful (and I ended up losing it because their wrist strap was insane).
- Unlocking my Mac just by hitting the space bar is awesome.
- Siri works really well (with the caveat above). I’m adding things to my shopping list like a madman.
- Likewise, dictating iMessages seems like it’s more reliable than on iOS10. I’m still unlikely to do it in a public space when there are other people around though.
- I’m now totally into “Mindful Minutes”, and I’ll do this whenever I get a chance. Breathe…
- Battery life has been really good: I charge it when I’m in the shower, and when I’m driving. I’ll also put it on the charge to top it up before I go to sleep (I’m using a sleep tracker) if it’s a bit low, because I’ll generally be running in the morning.
- Apple Pay on my watch really feels like the future.
- Did I mention that running without a phone and chest strap is quite liberating?
Interestingly, I don’t think I’ve made a phone call from my watch yet. I don’t make that many phone calls to begin with (and most of them are actually when I’m in my car).