A year with the Apple Watch: The best and worst points from the eyes of a business executive

The worst of the Apple Watch

(1) Battery Life

This is what everyone, myself included, was worried about at launch. In normal use it easily lasts the entire day. However, using the workout apps drains the battery far quicker due to operating the heart rate monitor continually.

This means that after a full 18-hour day, including a one-hour workout, it will be down to 30 per cent or so by the time I go to bed. Not a major issue, but if you do a lot of workouts or forget to charge it up, it could become a problem.

(2) Flexibility

It would be much better if there were more options to customise the watch face. Yes, they’ve added the ability to have a photo as the watch face but why can’t you then choose what information is being displayed on it?

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(3) Siri

In order to reply to an email or make a phone call you need to use Siri. This is fine in quiet areas, but given the tiny microphone it can be hard to get this to work reliably – and you look really silly shouting at your wrist! But having said that, one of my common uses of the watch is a quick reply message or adding a reminder to do something.

(4) Apple Pay

Technically not an Apple Watch issue, but the time it has taken for card issuers in the UK to adopt Apple Pay has been frustrating. My card providers include Smile.co.uk, N&P, YBS, Post Office and Barclaycard but, until April this year, none of them offered Apple Pay despite supporting contactless cards.

Now that I have it, I love it – not just on the iPhone, but on the Watch it means I can just leave my phone in my bag and still get my lunch, morning cup of tea and so on.

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(5) Apps

Despite a choice of hundreds of apps, their quality and usefulness is very hit and miss. A prime use for the Watch is around travel, and whilst the Apple Wallet works brilliantly for flight boarding cards, for example, I find the third party apps less useful.

In the case of train apps, I’ve tried all the usual providers and some less well known, but still find myself resorting to my phone to check which platform my train departs from.

Summary

The Apple Watch tells the time AND does much more besides. The fact I haven’t worn my other traditional watches since getting the Apple Watch says a lot.

But, it’s not all great and, for the money, it doesn’t really justify itself unless you love gadgets. I’d miss it if I didn’t have it, but I’d survive, which is something I couldn’t say about some of my other gadgets – my Sonos system for example.

However, if money is not an issue, and you find yourself tired of brands such as Apple and Samsung, this $15,000 smartphone could be right up your street.

Kevin Linsell is director of strategy & architecture at cloud services provider and integrator Adapt

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