Monday, April 13, 2015

Apple Stuff

I stopped in the Apple Store to look at the watch and new MacBook. Nice stuff.

I did really like the new MacBook. The new keyboard felt good to me, I would need no time to adjust to it. I don't get people complaining about the new layout of the arrow keys. The up/down keys are the same and the left/right keys are twice as big. They just removed dead space from the old keyboard. The function key row is a bit shorter and this includes the esc key if you need to use that a lot. The new trackpad was really nice too. It does fell like you're pushing it even though you're not. I usually have Tap to Click enabled on my mac so I'm not pushing the trackpad all the time anyway. Trying things in the store took a little fiddling to get it to behave how I normally have it and being able to try to the new things. A force touch to bring up definitions and etc worked nicely. I'm not sure what else the new track pad would give me.

The MacBook is tiny. Closed it feels like an iPad. Open it feels like a laptop. It's odd trying it in the store while you're standing and it's on a table, rather than sitting with it on your lap. The screen was great. I tried it at native resolution and at the default scaling and could read text fine. Given I have an iMac it would be a nice second computer though this first generation seems a little under powered. I'd rather get a 13" Air but I think I'd rather have a retina display. I'd definitely get the MacBook over the 11" Air. I suspect the MacBook Pro and Air will merge a bit when they incorporate the new MacBook technology.

I made an appointment and tried on the watch. I liked it more than I expected to. The 42mm seemed the right size for me, though the 38mm wasn't that much smaller. My favorite of the bands was the leather loop. It felt nice and easily resized to fit. The Milanese is similar though it's a metal mesh; not quite my thing. I thought I'd really like the metal band but it didn't wow me. He didn't resize it to fit and it was really light. I might like it, but not enough for the extra cost. The classic and modern buckles on leather were nice. Oddly I liked the classic one and though the leather on the modern buckle seemed thin, but I think it's the same leather in the two models so it must have just been me. The Sport Bands felts really good. It's a normal buckle but the band tucks through a hold into the inside of the band rather than on the outside in a normal strap.

When trying them on there's a demo loop that plays. It goes through a few apps, a watch face, messages, maps, etc. You feel a few vibrations which worked very well. Each time through they change the watch face a little. Someone thought through the process of trying on several bands at once to make it more interesting. Off to the side there are some watch on display you can interact with. First the text in messages was pretty good. Even though I'm using reading glasses now I could make out the text in a message. I didn't find anyway to resize the text, though the settings have an accessibility option to make it bold (though I couldn't enable it).

Watch face customization was easy. There are several base faces and you can choose options like colors or detail or complications. I thought you could just save a default for each face, but it seems each watch you save (and can scroll through) can be any combination of face and setting. So if you want 4 of the same simple face but in different colors, you can save those. Nice.

The crown worked fine to scroll and I was surprised that I could easily click on things and hit the right thing (though I do have smallish fingers). There are a few different ways to interact with it and few visible clues so that's a little confusing. You can push the crown and the button and double press them too. You can click, force click and swipe in the various directions. I don't think there's a long press which is odd. So while looking at a watch face I think it was a tap to bring up a customize button or maybe it was a force touch. When in an app it seems you swipe right to go back. If you push the crown it goes back to apps. I suspect after a day it becomes second nature.

So for now, it was nice but I can wait. The fact that everything is on back order makes that easy. My understanding is that third party apps aren't doing anything great with it yet but that's sure to change. I think I can wait til 2.0 but we'll see. At this point my pick would be the 42mm stainless steel with black leather loop, so that's just $700.

If you go and try things on, I have one tip. Get the Sizing Guide and measure your wrist in mm. Some bands are only available for one size watch or the other and each seems to have it's own sizes. E.g., the modern buckle is only for the 38mm and comes in S, M and L. The leather loop is only for 42mm and comes in M and L. The sport band is for both sizes but come in S/M and M/L though the ones for the 42mm are slightly larger than for the 38mm. Know your wrist size and the band sizes you want to try.

Update: Here are some great picks of the watch and the trying on experience. Here's what the Apple Watch Sport looks like with a Milanese Loop


AAM said...

I ordered the stainless with the black rubber band. I thought it was cool how they had the demo setup with the screen synched to the watch giving you information on wherever you went on the watch.

Howard said...

Cool. I'm really curious to find out what you think of it.

I didn't notice that about the demo and the ipad screen. I'll have to go back. :)

I did really like how the watches in the sealed case were all sync'ed in their demo. All changing faces one after another. All the watch faces being slightly different to show the variety. Good thought went into that.

AAM said...

Funny thing was I didn't notice it either, but I had my wife with me and when I was explaining what everything was she pointed at the screen and let me know everything I was saying was written right there