On the Apple Watch launch day many of us went to the try-on session right away after our pre-orders. It was indeed an impressive experience there, not only that I could have a first-person hands-on on this new amazing product from Apple, but also spoke with and learnt from the Specialist that took care of me.
Apple Retail Store has rolled out a couple of Workshops for Apple Watch owners to learn and explore more on the functions and what they can do with their new gadget. I registered for a session – Stay in Touch with Apple Watch – which has been scheduled in the morning today, despite the fact that I have already finished reading the Apple Watch User Guide a few days ago. This was the first time that I register for a workshop there. Eventually, it turned out to be an interesting, quite fruitful information and experience sharing session with the Apple Retail Store Specialists, because, I was the only one (out of the five registered) showed up.
During the 1-hour “workshop”, we touched base on various aspects as follows:
The reason to buy an Apple Watch, and why it is better
We did not mention a lot, including appearance, functionality, etc. We also have a few conversation on how it works better than a Pebble and Android Wears like the Samsung Gear. We also shared on why we picked a specific size of the Apple Watch.
One of the major reasons that drives us getting an Apple Watch is third-party app support. Tim Cook announced in their earning call that they have boosted to over 3,500 apps available at launch for the Apple Watch. On the other side, Pebble has just passed 5,000 apps by the end of 2014. We all see a bright future of the Apple Watch App Store that developers could most likely inclined to develop Apple Watch Apps, and so that we will only see more and more surprises to come. Of course, what we did not mention the possible jailbreak tweaks for the Apple Watch, if any.
We all agreed the screen of the Apple Watch, as a first-generation product, is impressive so far. It is impressive and responsive. One of the most interesting points is Force Touch. We agreed that there is a learning curve for that and some of the customers
We are all impressed by the quality that the stock Apple Watch apps can deliver, such as the phone call quality and Siri dictation accuracy. We shared how and how frequent we use the stock apps. We also talked about the Workout and Activity which is something new for both Apple and Apple Watch users, and which we agreed that it is a big trial step on this particular area. We talked about our thoughts on accuracy of the calories measurement, why it is a bit slow when measuring the heartbeat, and One of the specialists asked me how useful the Stand as their job requires them to move around at most times. It is indeed a habit-changer for those who have office work and sit in front of the computer all the time. There may not be an immediate effect on a person’s health but definitely raised the awareness with a simple notification.
Favorite and most-anticipated third-party apps
There are quite a few favorite apps that I use, like Calcbot – the most frequent app that I use. But that’s not the main point for the discussion. We mostly talked about the apps that we anticipate. We found that it is interesting that Instagram moved ahead of Facebook to land on the Apple Watch. Additionally, WhatsApp is also under the big umbrella of Facebook now and yet we see any update, news or leaks on an Apple Watch App. In Hong Kong, the most popular messaging app is WhatsApp and the Specialist did receive question on whether the WhatsApp Apple Watch App will come with a voice message function. And this could be one of the deal-breakers for some to hold back their purchase at the moment.
Apple Watch accessories
I shared with them some of my opinions and choices over the Apple Watch accessories that I previous wrote about. The charging watchbands are the accessories that they are most interested in but at the same time, most skeptical on. So do I.
They shared on their wish list on watchstand, bumpers, screen protectors. I was quite surprised that some of them will pick the waterproof case, plus a screen protector for completely careless, rough usage.
We also discussed on the design, pricing, functionality, all sorts of aspects as we browse through the Google Search result in real-time. We do agree some of them are overpriced, or, simply hard to judge whether or not they worth the price by looking at nicely taken promotional pictures.
Additionally, the Specialist also don’t think that there will be any third-party accessories soon available in the Apple Retail Store. There are three major reasons: first, yet most of them are still in pre-order or even funding stage that they won’t arrive any time soon, say mid-May or even July/August; Second, they need a proven sales record and usability for those accessories for such a new product; Third, I learnt from them that Apple seems to be more focusing on getting more apps on the shelf as priority instead of accessories. But they do hope there will be accessories on sale in the retail store as soon as possible.
There have been quite a few reports in the recent days regarding faulty units with malfunctioning Taptic Engine, “Sticky” Digital Crown, Force Touch responsiveness, etc. Fortunately, the Apple folks in the Retail Store and myself have not encountered any issue with the unit we received. But they did mention that a few customer came with a faulty Apple Watch. The only solution for non-repairable faulty unit at manufacturing is the return it to the Apple Store, have the refund right away and place an order again, because there is no replacement unit in the retail store at the moment. The customers have to wait for it to come again, for an even longer time until June or even July, which is kinda sad.
At the end of the session, we thanked everyone for having a good chat and learnt a lot from each other. It is also a very interesting experience for me for joining the Apple Workshop for the first time. Do you have any good experience with the Apple Store folks? Let me know your story down below in the comments.