The MacFor­mat team’s first im­pres­sions

Mac Format - - APPLE WORLD -

My only real gripe was that it was not al­ways clear what each in­put method would ac­tu­ally do

Chris­tian, Edi­tor

I’ve al­ways worn a watch, so when Ap­ple an­nounced what is re­ally the first proper smart­watch the world will pay at­ten­tion to, I was hop­ing the re­lease would be soon. Iron­i­cally for a time­piece, it turned out to be quite a wait. That might have damp­ened my ex­pec­ta­tions, but now it’s here I’m ac­tu­ally taken aback by its qual­ity. When Ap­ple said Watch is the ‘most per­sonal de­vice we’ve ever made’, it wasn’t wrong. I can get the cru­cial no­ti­fi­ca­tions I need but al­ready feel free from the shack­les of mo­bile de­vices. That’s slightly odd be­cause you need an iPhone (5 or newer) for it, but I’m no longer con­scious of hav­ing to pocket my iPhone 6 for ev­ery­where I go, even when I’m around the house and ur­gently check­ing those Satur­day foot­ball scores!

For me, the 38mm Ap­ple Watch Sport is the right ver­sion. Yes, it’s the cheap­est, yet I don’t feel that it’s in a dif­fer­ent class to the higher end mod­els at all. That said, I covet the Stain­less Steel Case with Link Bracelet. Partly be­cause I’ve worn watches with links for years and to me this one seems like a ‘real’ watch, more than just bril­liant wear­able tech. It’s qual­ity jew­ellery.

The killer fea­ture for me, so far, has to be the Dig­i­tal Crown. Yes, it’s just a con­trol mech­a­nism but the re­spon­sive­ness is where it wins. It feels fast and har­monises the me­chan­i­cal feel­ing and dig­i­tal UI per­fectly. I love the way you can zoom into your apps with it, and it scrolls bet­ter than both touch and most mice I’ve used over the years!

Alex, Com­mis­sion­ing Edi­tor

As some­one who hasn’t worn a time­piece for over a decade, I wasn’t fall­ing over my­self to pre­order an Ap­ple Watch. But in the spirit of open-mind­ed­ness, I popped down to my lo­cal Ap­ple Store to try one on any­way – and I re­ally was pleas­antly sur­prised by it. The flu­o­roe­las­tomer strap was far more com­fort­able than I was ex­pect­ing, soft to the touch and barely no­tice­able when worn. I was also taken with the Mi­lanese Loop, which is ex­tremely easy to fit and ad­just to any tight­ness.

As for the Watch it­self, the Tap­tic En­gine is very sub­tle, ex­ert­ing enough force to at­tract my at­ten­tion with­out be­com­ing ir­ri­tat­ing. The real star for me, though, is the Dig­i­tal Crown, which is sen­si­tive yet still pre­cise, and a great way to get around the myr­iad func­tions of the Ap­ple Watch.

My only real gripe is that it isn’t al­ways clear what each in­put method – turn­ing or push­ing the Dig­i­tal Crown, tap­ping the screen or us­ing Force Touch – will ac­tu­ally do, so it oc­ca­sion­ally took me sev­eral at­tempts to get the Watch to do what I re­ally wanted it to do.

Still, this is the kind of thing that be­comes nat­u­ral with use. I’m still hold­ing out for now, but I’ve got plenty to mull over.

Seth, Dig­i­tal Art Edi­tor

I was de­cid­edly un­der­whelmed at first. I had dif­fi­culty se­lect­ing op­er­a­tions, kept try­ing to pinch to zoom and was con­fused by Force Touch. I know that us­ing Watch would even­tu­ally be­come habit and the ma­jor­ity of th­ese prob­lems would go away in time. I did par­tic­u­larly like the Maps app, though. It jumped out as a gen­uinely use­ful fea­ture. I asked it for di­rec­tions and its op­er­a­tion was smooth and pre­cise. I can see many of the stan­dard apps com­ing into their own. As for a model, it would be the 42mm Sport for me.

Alan, Pro­duc­tion Edi­tor

The iPod is dead, long live the Watch! I lis­ten to mu­sic while walk­ing yet I was sur­prised that us­ing Ap­ple Watch as a re­mote con­trol for an iPhone stands out so much. I’m cu­ri­ous to find out how the Watch’s bat­tery holds up when paired di­rectly with Blue­tooth head­phones. What con­cerns me, though it isn’t a deal-breaker for my fin­gers, is the size of app icons and some other on-screen con­trols, which I fear fat-fin­gered folk will have dif­fi­culty tap­ping with con­fi­dence even on 42mm mod­els. An­other nig­gling is­sue is how slowly the Dig­i­tal Crown moves around the cir­cle of favourite con­tacts.

Strap-wise, there’s only one that sur­passes the sur­pris­ing el­e­gance of the Link Bracelet, and that’s the beau­ti­ful Mi­lanese Loop. If only there were a ver­sion to match the Space Black Watch.

Paul, Man­ag­ing Art Edi­tor

Hav­ing large hands and wrists, I went to a fit­ting for my Ap­ple Watch with a bit of trep­i­da­tion. In the past I have had to send my watches back to the man­u­fac­turer for the strap to be ad­justed to fit. With a vast ar­ray of straps, surely there had to be one that fit­ted me. I ini­tially pinned my hopes on the black stain­less steel strap but it didn’t fit. The as­sis­tant then showed me that the links are re­mov­able and he as­sured me that a lit­tle later, af­ter launch, you’ll be able to buy ex­tra links – so I could pur­chase the strap and later buy the ex­tra links to make it fit me. Next up I tried the bright blue Leather Loop strap, which fit­ted and was ex­tremely com­fort­able for me.

Hav­ing spent 20 min­utes go­ing through straps, I fi­nally spent some time with the in­ter­face. Like the iPhone, the touch con­trol is best in class, my huge fin­gers were able to eas­ily pick the small­est icon on the screen, the UI was ex­tremely re­spon­sive, and I love the new San Fran­cisco font.

Seth’s choice Chris­tian’s

choice Alex’s choice

Alan’s choice Paul’s choice

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