Norris Apple Watch

Day One with Apple Watch: An Extreme Use Case

Day One with Apple Watch

My Watch arrived late Tuesday (April 28) evening. After initial setup and adding my credit cards to Apple Pay, I set out to configure the Watch App on Phone to maximize battery life and improve the overall experience.

Items I configured on Watch App

  • muted the sound under Sounds & Haptics
  • turned screen brightness level to the lowest setting under Brightness & Text Size
  • culled my notifications on Watch; not mirrored from my Phone
  • turned on Prominent Haptic under Sounds & Haptics
  • installed Watch apps manually

Here’s a screenshot of my Watch App layout

My Apple Watch App Layout

My log of events throughout the day

  • Put on the Watch at 6:30am with 100% battery life.
  • Checked the weather to see if I needed a wear a light jacket.
  • Changed the watch face to Chronograph and modified the background color to match my shirt.
  • Read Twitter timeline and messages on Watch while eating breakfast
  • Sent/Receive a dozen or so messages to my wife to include my heartbeat and digital sketches.
  • Used Maps to navigate for an hour commute to work
  • Did a 30min walk workout during lunch using the Runtastic to see if the data is shared with the Health/Activity App.
  • While stuck in rush hour traffic on the way home, I put Siri through its paces by performing tasks such as adding reminders and (20) Internet searches delivered to my wrist. If you need to ask quickly Siri a question, press and hold the Digital Crown. Saying ”Hey Siri” takes anywhere from 2-3 seconds to load the Siri screen in my experience
  • Changed/Customized the Watch face to the Utility face around 5:30pm with roughly 37% battery.
  • Checked my Twitter feed from my wrist while outside walking the dog
  • Used the Watch to receive a phone call and talked for 5 minutes
  • Installed Babbel & IHG Translator Apps and tested English to Japanese & English to Spanish translation from on my wrist
  • Set the Watch on the charger with 10% battery life at 11:30pm as I prepared for bed.

The purpose of Day 1 was to replicate what I considered a relatively extreme use case based on previous experience with using wearables like the Moto360 and Google Glass. I’ll report back at a later date with an in-depth analysis and possible use cases such as using the Watch while traveling, taking notes and using Apple Watch to control your presentations.


My Initial Apple Watch Hands-on and First Impressions

After preordering the Apple Watch on April 10, I decided to try on the Watch to make sure my wife and I are happy with our watch & band selections. Our try on experience was roughly 15 minutes. With the exception of the (18k Gold) Edition, we tried on both Sport and Watch (stainless steel) collection with a variety of bands. On initial first blush, we were blown away on the fit and finish of the stainless steel watch collection. I ordered the 42mm steel with the Milanese Loop/Sports band and was impressed by the experience of wearing this soft comfortable form fitting sheet of metal. Since tracking activity and workouts was one of the many reasons for getting an Apple Watch, I tried on the Black Sports Band. My expectations were exceeded as I was expecting a very cheap rigid plastic. The Sports Band felt like a nice quality band yet not something I would want to wear with a suit (hence the reason for the Milanese Loop).


Apple Watch Hands on Area

Hands-on with the Apple Watch

Next, I moved to the hands on Watch area that included a stationery Watch to play with the device. My objective was to compare the Apple Watch against Android Wear. Keep in mind. I’ve worn a Moto 360 for six months/Google Glass for 2yrs and really wanted to see how the interface and features stacked up. Glances on Watch OS are very much like the timeline on Glass. Notifications on Watch OS are similar to Android Wear but better – richer & functional. There’s too much to say here about the comparison between Android Wear & Watch OS so I’ll leave that for a full blown review/comparison at a later date. All I can say here is this first generation Apple Watch product is 100x better than what I’ve experienced on Android Wear OS. It’s so feature rich. After my hour or so experience with Watch OS, I envisioned Apple making an Apple Watch with an LTE cellular connection within 3 years. I believe this will truly transform the way we will use our Phone going forward.

Breakdown of my first impressions

  • Watch face customization very accessible via Force Touch yet limiting; can’t add background images for example.
  • Adding a new a Watch face only allows you to save your customization for easy access.
  • Apple Pay seems really cool. By far paying for things via my wrist is going to be the top use case.
  • Siri was awesome on Watch. It was able to hear my voice in the noisy crowded Apple Store. For some reason Siri, seems 10x better on Watch.
  • Reading messages & email was very legible and didn’t feel like I was squinting to read.
  • I doubt I’ll use the Digital Touch feature much especially drawing on the screen. Morse code taps, Yes.
  • Watch is really smaller and more pristine in person so really glad I got the 42mm.
  • This thing is not sluggish at all. Very fluid and smooth.
  • Apple Watch is a beast in terms of functionality. A lot of time is needed to learn all the advance features.
  • The basics are really simple to learn. Digital Crown is the Home button. Tap Side Button once to get favorite contacts. Double  tap Side Button to access Apple Play. Say “Hey Siri” or Press and hold Digital Crown to speak a command such as open email, find a place or search for information on the Internet.
Apple Watch Workout Summary

 100 Impressive Things You Can Do on an Apple Watch

  1. Use your voice to dictate notes using Evernote app
  2. Use voice to create reminders
  3. Get turn by turn directions from your wrist while walking
  4. Get flight status updates from airline apps
  5. Make/Receive phone calls
  6. Send/Receive text messages from your wrist
  7. Store flight boarding pass & tickets
  8. Pay for things from your wrist via Apple Pay
  9. Control music on Apple TV, iTunes Library, & iTunes Radio on Mac or PC
  10. Play music stored on iPhone or Watch and listen via Bluetooth headphones
  11. Receive weather forecasts & updates
  12. Get stock updates
  13. Set an Alarm
  14. Use as a Stopwatch
  15. Set timer for a specific event
  16. View/Change Watch face & World Clock
  17. Act as a Viewfinder/Camera Remote for iPhone
  18. Display favorite photos from Watch
  19. Get meeting reminders as well as accept/decline meeting invites
  20. Set 3 daily fitness goals
  21. Remind you to stand up for at least 1 minute every hour
  22. Assist you with hitting your personal calorie burn goal
  23. Reminds you to complete at least 30 min of exercise per day
  24. Set a Workout Goal among popular activities such as running, bicycling, or to any gym equipment
  25. Obtain guided help on yoga poses with the GAIAM app
  26. Monitor/track workout goals at a glance
  27. See an entire summary of your workout goal
  28. Earn badges when you’ve met goals or milestones
  29. Check your heart rate anytime
  30. Send/Respond/Favorite Tweets via Twitter App
  31. Pin a nearby place using Pinterest App
  32. Get current baseball scores via MLB App
  33. Use your Watch as a room key with SPG Starwood Hotels & Resorts App
  34. Chat via Wechat
  35. Keep up with your Instagram posts
  36. Use Watch to control your alarm, garage doors, and security via App
  37. Execute a ten week training plan from your wrist via Runtastic App
  38. View a calendar of upcoming astronomical events via Sky Guide
  39. Track public transit departure times
  40. Request a car from your wrist via Uber App
  41. Send/Receive heartbeats to & from a close friend
  42. Send/Receive animated emoticons
  43. Get breaking news, sports, & more from a dozen of news apps like CNN, Yahoo, NYTimes, ESPN, NPR, & more…
  44. Find all items on your Target shopping list via store-specific locations
  45. Discover nearby open houses and homes for sale from your wrist via Redfin App
  46. Get recommendations on how to cook a dish
  47. Find information on a place nearby using the TripAdvisor app
  48. Identify music and TV playing close-by via Shazam App
  49. Track/monitor project activities & time from your wrist via OfficeTime
  50. Collaborate with teams from your wrist via Hall app
  51. Get insights on customer pipeline, update a case, & more via Salesforce Wave App
  52. Get a summary of your daily activities & calories burned
  53. View & respond to notifications from your iPhone
  54. Monitor your vehicle charge status and more via BMW iRemote
  55. Check dinner reservations via OpenTable app
  56. Track and monitor auctions/bids via EBay app
  57. Pay the parking meter from your wrist using PayByPhone Parking
  58. Control the lights in your home
  59. Track how much food and water you consumed during the day
  60. Check your checking, savings, and credit card balances via CitiMobile Lite app
  61. Skip a track or two using the Pacemaker DJ App
  62. Get check-in/check-out times at Hotels from Expedia App
  63. Learn new languages from your wrist relevant to your location via the Babbel App
  64. Use Watch as a remote to control tones, tuner and levels via AMPLiFI Guitar App
  65. Monitor your monthly spending budget from your wrist with MintPersonal Finance App
  66. Play a puzzle game using BoxPop App
  67. Play a daily brain teaser game with Rules! App
  68. Manage daily commit tasks you’ve shared with teams using CommitTo3 App
  69. Get traffic updates & travel times at a Glance
  70. Switch to Airplane mode
  71. Control the volume on watch
  72. Enable Do Not Disturb
  73. Enable Bluetooth
  74. Set/Change a passcode for security on wrist
  75. Ping your iPhone, if you’ve misplaced it
  76. Put Watch in Power Reserve mode to last up to 72hrs
  77. Control Watch display brightness
  78. Search the Internet for information
  79. Start an action such as a call, and email from Watch and handoff to iPhone
  80. Get reminders to sit less and move more
  81. Get prompts on presentation topics & timing via the Prompt app.
  82. Read RSS news via Feed Wrangler App
  83. Take a screenshot of Watch by tapping the digital crown and side button
  84. Press and hold to activate Force Touch to bring up context-sensitive choice
  85. Triple tap the digital crown to launch the Accessibility Options
  86. Tap the side button to bring up Friends
  87. Tap and hold the digital crown to activate Siri
  88. Say “Hey, Siri” to activate Siri
  89. Double tap the digital crown to switch between watch face and the last app used
  90. Tap the digital crown anytime to get to the home screen
  91. Swipe up on Watch to see Glances
  92. Get real time meeting info and inside story from your wrist using the LowDown App
  93. Use Pocketbook App on Watch to get real-time health check on your personal finances
  94. Get alerted when the International Space Station is due to fly over
  95. See at-a-glance the rise and set times of the Sun, Moon and planets on your wrist
  96. Use your Watch as a color palette and remote control for painting on iPhone
  97. Speak English into Watch & get spoken translation into 13 languages or by choosing from a selection of common phrases via IHG Translator App
  98. Search for and buy products from your wrist using Amazon’s App
  99. Track current productivity goals via BetterWorks App
  100. Control your Keynote/PowerPoint presentations from your wrist



My Apple Watch App Wishlist

Apple Watch Apps

Beyond the apps that come with Apple the Watch and 3rd party apps already mentioned by Apple during the September event, here’s my list of must have apps for the Apple Watch. Read CNET’s articles for a comprehensive list of apps coming with the Apple Watch.

Social Networking
Foursquare/Swarm – Besides the obvious reasons of check-in functionality at places, this will be my go-to app for finding the best places nearby.

Evernote – A quick way to capture notes via dictation and recall later via Evernote.

OneNote – Like Evernote (yes I use both), I want the ability to dictate a note quickly using voice.

OfficeTime – I use this app daily to track time working on projects. Having an app on my Apple Watch to start/stop time worked on tasks or in meetings will be a huge plus in my book. Win an Apple Watch! OfficeTime is giving away the base $350 Apple Watch and $100 towards the watch strap. Go here to enter to win –

TripIt – Ability to get real-time flight alerts for delays, cancellations as well as provide my travel itinerary.

OpenTable – Quickly make a reservation by searching by restaurant name or say nearby to book it.

Best Parking – Easily locate parking lots and garages nearby.

Shazam – Recognize the music playing around me.

The list of Watch apps listed above are ones I believe will serve as a best use cases for the Watch.

WatchAware has provides a WatchApps that enables visitors to see an interactive demo of 3rd party WatchApps slated to come to Apple Watch.

Apple Watch on Young Girl

Apple Watch will ultimately bring an end to the iPhone as we know it


According to TechCrunch, people that have worn the Apple Watch have reported using their iPhones less during day-to-day activities. One person indicated that they nearly stopped using their iPhone during the day where prior to the Watch they checked their iPhone regularly.

Divergence from the iPhone

My experience has been very similar to what TechCrunch reported. I currently use a Moto 360 smartwatch. I spend less time using my phone to view emails, text messages, and notifications. As a result, the micro-interactions I experience on my smartwatch gives me more time allowing me to focus on one particular action at a time.

If the Watch kills the iPhone, then the iPhone transforms into the iPad

With the recent increase in size of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, most users don’t have a need for a tablet anymore especially if you have an iPhone 6 Plus. Over the next couple of generations, the Apple Watch will gain improved battery life, and a chance it will have cellular connectivity. The iPad currently is the main and only computer for lots of individuals. I know many people who don’t use a PC and own tablets only (some with a Bluetooth keyboard) to check social media, browse the Internet, send/receive emails. We’re soon going to see people with laptops  in niche markets/trades such as engineers, developers, designers, and other professions only requiring devices with more horsepower.

In the end, smartwatches like the Apple Watch will return us to a day before the smartphone ever became famous. A period, where we spent less our day buried into a smartphone and more time enjoying life. Personally, I’ve been using a smartphone since 2000 and after 15 years I’m ready to ditch my phone altogether especially after two years of using a wearable device. The day the Apple Watch gets cellular connectivity, without sacrificing battery life, is the day I dump my iPhone and just use my iPad for heavy lifting.



Back to the Future 2

The Future is Now: Going Back to the Future with My Tech Predictions for 2015

It’s been nearly 25 years since I last watched the 1989 film “Back to the Future 2”. The “Back to the Future 2” movie was set on October 21, 2015. Marty McFly, Jennifer (Marty’s girlfriend) and Doc Brown travel 30 years into the future to save Marty’s future kids from a life of prison.

Last night, I couldn’t resist the urge to watch Back to the Future 2 once again. As I watched I found the film tech predictions appeared close to many technologies, I use now and perceive coming to fruition this year. Therefore, I prognosticate many of these technologies listed becoming widely utilized by the end 2015.


I predict the advent of smartwatches will be an enormous success especially with the launch of the Apple Watch early this year. I’ve been using the Moto 360 Android Wear for months now. Like Doc Brown in Back to the Future 2, I regularly use my smartwatch to get timely notifications such as weather forecast, health/sports stats, as well as traffic, and social media alerts. I can attest to the usefulness of smartwatches and how less I use my smartphone for micro-interactions.


Marty McFly’s kids in Back to the Future 2 use augmented reality/smart glasses. Google Glass has been in beta for almost two years with an expected consumer launch in 2015. Lately, Google has been quiet on Glass updates. Many Glass Explorers haven’t seen an update in months. I predict at Google IO 2015 we’ll see a major announcement around Google Glass and other more companies will announce their own version of Google Glass.

Technology-enabled apparel

Technology-enabled fashion as seen in Back to the Future 2 is predicted to come a reality for us in 2015. In a blog post, Tinker Hatfield, Lead Designer at Nike, confirmed Nike is already planning on launching self-tying, power lace shoes later this year. Adidias and New Balance just to name a few are also working on technology-enabled clothing.

Biometric Payments

Paying with your thumb in the Back to the Future 2 film is a standard method for transactions. In September 2014, Apple announced Apple Pay with the release of iPhone 6/iPhone 6 Plus. With millions of Android smartphones, iPhone 6 users, plus as more merchants integrate NFC technology into brick and mortar stores/restaurants, biometric payment is going to be huge in 2015.

Autonomous driving

In Back to the Future 2 we didn’t see any evidence of a self-driving vehicle but in our version of 2015, I believe we’ll see automakers such as Ford and Audio make strides in this area not to mention Google’s self-driving car project that might reveal actual use cases later this year.

Home Automation/Smart Home

Lastly, home automation was kinda of a thing in Back to the Future 2. The ability to use voice to turn on your lights, control the TV and operate electronics from connected devices is in the not too distant future. With Apple’s HomeKit and Google’s home automation technology like the Nest, 2015 will mark the year home automation takes off.

The Future is Now!

Without a doubt 2015 is going to be a big year in terms of wearables (smartwatches, smartglasses), home automation, self-driving vehicles and tech-enabled clothing.  Back to the Future 2 wasn’t exactly dead-on the predictions however it was close enough. For instance, the idea of flying vehicles is not something I anticipate coming this year or in the near future. While, on the other hand, there’s a possibility hover boards is possible in 2015 but I highly doubt they’ll be at a price point the majority of consumers will be able to afford.

Google Glass is best suited as a Push Device

Google Wearable Devices

Google Wearable Devices

Why I think Google Glass is best suited as a push device & smart watches for retrieving data

The Google I/O 2014 broadcasted a number of wearable sessions to include both Android Wear & Google Glass. After I watched several IO sessions, it has me thinking Google Glass is better suited as a wearable to push content (pictures, videos, messages, & notes) from the device to the cloud and Android Wear as device to retrieve content (notifications) from your smartphone.

Since getting prescription frames for Glass, I’ve been using Glass full-time with the exception of whilst tethered to my PC. However, while on the go I’m usually inundated with notifications especially in certain areas of downtown Atlanta where the Field Trip app keeps feeding me information on places and attractions in the vicinity. This usually drains my battery life down considerably to where I can’t get a full day of battery life. In my experience, Glass is for short micro transactions but when those micro-transactions become overwhelming or an enormous distraction its time to change the way you use it. The exception to the rule of course is when I request information to Glass. For instance, when asking Glass for directions, or finding a place using the Foursquare app.

The majority of the time I prefer to push content from Glass to the cloud. My favorite use cases are posting a picture to social media, posting a quick note to Evernote or Google Drive, creating a grocery list via voice using Shop X, check-in to Foursquare, or even upload a video to Youtube directly from Glass. These use cases represent the best examples of how Glass works best for me – pushing content handsfree to the cloud or paired devices.

Android Wear (smart watches), on the other hand, was produced to pull content from your smartphone. For the reasons I noted above, I can see myself wearing both Google Glass and a smart watch (like the Moto360) albeit not 100% all the time. The smart watch is the all the time device to use even while tethered to my computer and is the perfect companion to the smartphone to receive notifications from Google Now and apps. Again, I hope there’s some control over the frequency of notifications especially during certain times of the day.

In any case, I’m excited about the advent of wearables and curious to see how I will use both and observe how others are using them in the wild.