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About Apple Watch

In: Business and Management

Submitted By tivon
Words 1392
Pages 6
Apple Watch: Is It Good for Business?

The Apple Watch can make you more productive, and it pairs nicely with business-casual dress — but so can other, less expensive smartwatches. That puts Apple's first wearable device in a bit of an awkward spot. It's an excellent product, but competing devices offer similar functionality at a fraction of the cost.

Fortunately, the Apple Watch does a lot to help justify its premium price. It offers a more polished interface than other smartwatches, as well as a bigger app library at launch than any other wearable operating system. You also get features you won't find on many other watches, like the ability to take phone calls. And like any good smartwatch, it ensures you'll never miss an important alert. Only iPhone owners need apply, though — the Apple Watch must be linked to one in order to function.

The Apple Watch is probably the best overall smartwatch on the market, and the best one for business users, too. But with such a high asking price — $349 for the smallest model with a plastic band, or $549 for a metal band — is the Apple Watch worth it?
The watch comes in two sizes, including a 42-mm version and a smaller 38-mm version, which are identical except for their physical dimensions. I tested out the larger of the two; the smaller version's screen just feels too cramped to me. On the other hand, the 38-mm model is one of the few smartwatches that's small enough to look decent on people with small hands and wrists.
As you would expect from Apple, the design of the Apple Watch shows great attention to detail. The transition between my review unit's sapphire crystal display and aluminum casing is seamless, making the whole device feel solid and well made. The Digital Crown that sticks out of one side of the watch spins smoothly, and offers a satisfying click when pressed. Even with the white plastic band on our review unit, the Apple Watch feels luxurious.

It's also one of the lightest smartwatches around, weighing just about 1.8 ounces. That's lighter than the Moto 360 and LG G Watch R, both of which weigh 2.2 ounces. A lightweight design is a good feature in a device you'll be wearing around your wrist all day.

I also like how easy it is to remove the band to swap in a different one. That could come in handy if you wear the metal band to work, but want to swap it out for a plastic band when you hit the gym. The bands don't come cheap when purchased separately, though; the Sport band costs $50, while the metal and leather bands cost $150 each.

Alerts and notifications

Instead of buzzing loudly and with every email, text message and calendar alert you receive, the watch uses Apple's Taptic Engine to deliver subtle, discreet vibrations that won't be a distraction in the middle of a meeting. You can tweak the intensity of the vibrations, and also add an alert chime if you want, though I preferred silent alerts.

I also like that the screen doesn't light up every time an alert arrives. Instead, the display only turns on when the watch uses a built-in motion sensor to detect that you're moving it up toward your face. This saves battery life and also keeps distracting flashing to a minimum.

The lifting action required to turn on the display is generally responsive, though I occasionally found myself shaking my wrist around as I tried to get the screen to turn on. Of course, you always have the option to press the Digital Crown button to turn on the screen manually.

Considering how crowded my inbox can get, I quickly realized that I didn't need to see every single email I received flashing by on my wrist. Thankfully, it's pretty easy to set up filters so that your watch only alerts you to prioritized messages using the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

Evernote for Apple Watch lets you dictate quick notes with one tap. You can also scroll down to review your old notes, or search for keywords.
App in the Air can keep you updated on your next business flight, including real-time flight status, gate information and delays.
Invoice2go can automatically prompt you to start logging your work time as soon as you arrive at a job site. It also lets you send basic invoices and receive alerts when they're paid.
PowerPoint Remote is a nifty app that lets you use your Apple Watch to flip back and forth between slides in Microsoft's presentation software.
Voice commands

Get used to saying, "Hey, Siri." That's the command that calls up the voice command prompt on the Apple Watch, which is the only way to input text on the device. Dictating a text message reply is easy, but if you're in a quiet office, you might want to pull out your smartphone to fire off a reply.

You can do a lot by talking to your Apple Watch. I liked using it to set quick reminders, responding to messages and looking up answers to simple questions. I was really frustrated to find that it's not possible to send an email response using the Apple Watch, though. My guess is that Apple didn't want users to get frustrated by the watch's imperfect voice recognition software. Personally, I could do with a little less hand holding; dictating email replies on an Android Wear watch works just fine.

Still, it's hard for me to overstate the convenience of voice commands on the Apple Watch. Note-taking apps on your iPhone are handy, for example, but pulling out your phone to manually key in a note is often more trouble than it's worth. The Apple Watch isn't better at this task, per se, but it makes digital note taking so easy that you'll actually want to do it.

Personally, I find that setting up digital notes and reminders can free my short-term memory to focus on more important tasks, reducing stress and making me more productive overall.
Battery life

The Apple Watch can't make you more productive if it's out of juice. And every evening around bedtime, it will run out of juice.

On the bright side, the Apple Watch has no trouble lasting through the end of the workday and beyond. Apple claims the device should get around 18 hours of battery life on a charge, and that claim was true to my experience. During my testing time, I never worried about it dying before bed, even with heavy to mixed use including notifications, email, voice commands and app use from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

When I used a run-tracking app during an outdoor workout, it seemed to drain the battery faster. That's something to keep in mind if you hit the company gym in the middle of your workday.

As a battery-saving measure, the Apple Watch's screen turns itself off relatively quickly when not in use. To view the time, you'll need to raise the watch toward your face to activate the screen or click the Digital Crown button. It's not a big deal, but many other smartwatches manage to keep the current time on-screen without killing the battery.

Apple advertises the Apple Watch as starting at $349, but you might pay a lot more, depending on what kinds of materials you want. The cheapest model is the Apple Watch Sport, which comes with an aluminum body and a rubbery plastic band in a range of colors. It starts at $349 for the smaller 38-mm model, or $399 for the 42-mm unit.

The Apple Watch Sport probably won't be a top pick for many business users, since the plastic band might not pair very well with your office's dress code. On the other hand, the white and black Sport bands are understated enough for most work settings.

The standard Apple Watch model comes with a more durable stainless steel case and many premium band options, including a classic leather buckle, Milanese loop or metal link bracelet. You'll pay a big premium for this model, though; it starts at $549 for the 38-mm version, and $599 for the 42-mm version.

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