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Apple Watch 3 (techcrunch.com)
224 points by salimmadjd 13 days ago | hide | past | web | 338 comments | favorite





From the bottom of the page:

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) requires an iPhone 6 or later with iOS 11 or later. Apple Watch and iPhone service provider must be the same. Not available with all service providers. Roaming is not available outside your carrier network coverage area. Wireless service plan required for cellular service. Contact your service provider for more details. Check apple.com/watch/cellular for participating wireless carriers and eligibility.

So, using it as a cellular device by itself would seem to be impossible.


The phone is how you configure, update, etc. the watch. So I'm betting you need a phone for all the initial setup, and then you can leave your phone at home and go on a marathon run and take phone calls while you are out and about.

This seems similar to the iPhone prior to iOS 5. Prior to iOS 5 you needed a computer to activate the phone. Only with the introduction of iOS 5 could you activate an iPhone without a computer.

My guess is the ability to have an Apple Watch as a standalone device is at least another year away, possible another 2 to 3.


I wonder if they would use FaceID and Siri to configure it, given the lack of a big screen.

I have an iPad. If I get this watch why do I need an iPhone too?

your ipad doesn't have a phone number :)

Mine does!

Could you use T-Mobile's DIGITS and apply that to the watch?

Yep! That's exactly what they said in the demo.

why couldn't you do that with a computer or an ipad, or an older iphone? ofc you could. Just Apple being really greedy, as we are getting used to

Based on how Apple tells us to develop the apps, you have to do anything bigger than a bread box on the phone. The obvious reason is battery life; every CPU cycle spent doing something in the watch that could be done in the phone is waste. Less waste = better battery life.

You say that like it's a bad thing. Greed is what corporations are for. Greed--and nothing else--drives businesses to provide things that their customers value.

Greed implies excess.

Who decides what's excessive?

It's a conspiracy I tell you! Or perhaps the USB plug doesn't physically fit in an iPad or older iPhone. No, it must be Apple trying to sell everyone these Windows PCs that can restore iPhones!(you never needed anything but the phone and a sim with subscription to activate it)

Mobile is the new PC. Config on the dominant platform is simplest.

Only what will android people do for their bad choices in life.

Continue to not care about apple watches, probably

It wasn't until a later version of iOS that you could setup an iPhone without iTunes. The same independence should come to the Apple Watch eventually, it just might take a few more versions.

And there initially was no Windows version of iTunes. The iPod's market was at first only people who already owned Macs.

I'm still waiting for my Zune to get macOS compatibility.

How could you log into icloud with just the watch? Does it have a virtual keyboard?

You could have it set up on the apple store, or you could use your computer, or you could (one can dream) use a phone from a different manufacturer?

watchOS has “Scribble”: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206907

Or Siri dictation.


You can also use the crown.

They could make it so that the crown is used for text entry, but I don't believe any version of watchOS ever has done so yet.

You never needed a computer to set up an iPhone. You needed it for restoring and updating the software.

Can't tell 100%, but it looks as if you will still need a companion iPhone as the "master" device. So, you won't be able to use the watch as a stand-alone phone.

They explicitly said you could leave your phone at home while running errands and not worry about being out of reach. You need a phone for the cellular plan but not to use the watch as a phone.

I think some folks were hoping they could use the Watch without owning an iPhone. In other words, as a cell phone replacement. This line dashes those hopes.

My hopes are definitely dashed!

I had visions of never buying another iPhone again and just using a watch, iPad, and laptop.

Much like the iPod and iPhone were tethered to iTunes and then later gained autonomy, I’m hoping they’ll get there with the watch in just a couple iterations.


The thing is, that would be an investment that would ultimately cost Apple business (or at least has the potential to) so I don't see it happening.

They'd effectively be expending resources to make it possible for people who want a Watch to not use an iPhone. Doesn't add up in my head why they'd do that (though I'm with you, I'd much rather just have my iPad).


Apple has never shied away from creating a product that cannibalizes another of their products market, because they know if they don't someone else will and they will be left with nothing.

The reason probably is that it wouldn't be a good product.


The current Watch offering certainly wouldn't, as I've said elsewhere all the guidelines on how we developers build things for the Watch is a strict "anything that can be done on the phone, should be done on the phone" policy, meaning without the phone the Watch becomes pretty useless.

That could change though, it would make sense if they manage to pack in enough guts while preserving the battery to make the Watch more stand-alone, no reason it couldn't happen.


Same logic could be applied to the iphone vs the ipod, people who wanted an iphone but not an ipod.

The reality of the market is that either you kill your cash cow (with a hopefully bigger cash cow) or someone else will do it for you.


I get what you're saying, but I'm not sure it applies in the same way. The market demand for a Watch that acts independently of an iPhone entirely isn't even remotely close to the one that killed the iPod. Sure, I want one, but I know I'm part of a very small minority, I think the majority of owners by a huge margin who feel that way are going to get a Cellular Series 3 and be completely satisfied.

Well, as long as you have an iPhone 6, you never do, I guess.

You can already do that to a degree for the record.

I left my phone at home accidentally the other day, it wasn't until the work day was over and I tried to remote start my car that I realized, since almost every feature I use worked over WiFi (the remote start checks for the phone's presence)


Yup, the watch piggybacks on WiFi authentication from the phone. Once you store the SSID and PSK for a network on your phone, the watch can log in independently, and you can take/make phone calls and SMS. I've done this when I left the phone at home by accident.

It's not the just the watch. All my devices will connect to a new wifi if one does.

What I mean is, you won't be able to buy an Apple Watch as your one and only mobile device. You will need to own an IPhone with an active line of service, at least to provision the Apple Watch - after that, you might be able to stuff it into a drawer and only use the watch ...

I wonder if there is a technical reason for that or if they aren't ready for possible cannibalisation yet.

I was really hoping it wouldn't require a phone at all.


I think it's technical.

Apple are fairly comfortable with their own products taking over their own products (iPod -> iphone, and pushing people from mac to iPad).

If they thought that the smart watch would cannibalise the phone market I'm fairly sure that they would make sure you didn't need to own an iPhone to use the watch.


iPhone was and is more expensive than an iPod. That's not cannibalization, it's upselling.

As to iPads, to the extent that buying a tablet instead of a computer was appealing, it was always going to overwhelmingly bring people from PCs to iPads more than from Macs to iPads. They did deal with a certain amount of cannibalization there, but their tolerance of that was far from a general comfort with any cannibalization possible.

I think that Apple would be uncomfortable with the idea of a $400 watch cannibalizing a $700+ phone. That said, I think that the idea that the watch would significantly cannibalize the phone is silly. Whenever we discuss the watch, it's like everyone suddenly forgets that people fucking love their phones and have consistently demanded larger and larger screens. The idea that suddenly people are going to be all, "No, it's cool, I don't want a screen larger than 1" diagonal" in any substantial quantity is silly.


I disagree that just because the phone is more expensive than the ipod it is not cannibalization. The phone literally destroyed the market for the standalone MP3 player, and the price point was doesn't change this.

If you listen to the Jobs official autobiography the iPhone resulted from Jobs / Apples concerns that the phone would become good enough for most people as an MP3 player, and thus would 'cannibalize' the iPod product, and that Job/Apple decided all the phones out at the time sucked and that they could do it better.

The technology for the capacitive screen etc was already in development but for the device that would eventually become the iPad!


Look, I've used the term "cannibalize" in deep in strategy sessions about how much marginal benefit we'll get from a higher-price sku given that a certain number of people will be getting it instead of our lower-priced sku. I'm not going to say it's completely ridiculous to describe that as cannibalization in the right context.

But from a high level, nobody in the entire world could be sad if their customers choose a higher-price, higher-margin product over a lower-price, lower-margin product. And suggesting that it's some kind of brave stance to say, "Yes, we'll introduce a higher-price, higher-margin product even though our customers may prefer it to our lower-price, lower-margin product" is absurd, and anyone who tries to sell that line with a straight face should be ashamed of themselves.


I'm really not sure what point you are trying to make.

My point is that the iPhone took the iPods market from it. Apple had to release a phone to do this, or someone else would have eventually done it.

They did not do it to 'up sell' people, ie the thought process was never, 'lets sell the iPod for 5 years then hit those suckers with the iPhone and up sell them' it was 'lets make the best music player' then 'soon every ones music will be on their phones, we better make a phone, actually the phones we currently use are terrible, we have this interesting touch screen tech from a tablet we're developing, oh shit we can make an awesome phone...'

I'm not saying Apple are brave, I'm saying they are logical, they will release a product that will take sales from another of their product lines, as if they don't someone else will, and any sale is better than no sale. I think they would do this even if the product that was doing the cannibalization was cheaper, eg the iPad is definitely eating some of the Macs potential sales, and I think Apple are very happy about this.


This is just not right.

Apple didn't cannibalize iPod with iPhone: it recognized that people wanted it to build a phone and did just that.

Apple didn't cannibalize Mac for iPad: it recognized that people were buying tablets in lieu of PC's and thus invested heavily in making iPad's more user friendly.

Having spoken to many Apple engineers, the company is now as corporat-ey as any other BigCo and will NOT actively cannibalize a product unless it sees an expanding/new market.


>it recognized that people were buying tablets in lieu of PC's and thus invested heavily in making iPad's more user friendly.

Who was doing that? Before the iPad came out I saw tablets used in exactly one place, and it was a university research project on construction management and coordination between building trades.

Even after the iPad came out, the people using them as PC replacements were using them mostly for the same set of tasks like email and web browsing, and (flat iOS 7 redesign aside) the experience for those is basically the same as always.

EDIT - I suppose there have been major additions to iOS since then (like multitasking), but I'd argue it's less because they're threatened by users buying a Surface (or whatever crappy HP tablet existed at the time) instead of a Mac, and more because it's the obvious direction that iOS devices have been steadily improving in regardless of the competition. Apple's perfectly happy to eat the Mac's market with it if there are Mac users who can get by on better iPads.


Maybe some selection bias? Tablets have been in use since at least early Windows XP days. I'm not sure I'd call them common, back then, but they were hardly unique. We used them in the field when collecting data.

>Tablets have been in use since at least early Windows XP days. I'm not sure I'd call them common, back then, but they were hardly unique. We used them in the field when collecting data.

People collecting "data in the field" is not the hundreds million unit market it is post iPad.

Tablets existed for 10+ years before the iPad, Microsoft especially pushed various monstrosities -- nobody really used them though.


I did mention they weren't common, but I'm not a nobody and I really used them. They had a whole Tablet Edition, for XP. They were used in quite a few industries, by real people who were doing real work.

So, no, not common - but not nobody, either.


>but I'm not a nobody and I really used them

Yeah, "nobody used them" in casual speech just means very few people. Obviously since they were made some people bought and used them. But the numbers were not worth writing home about -- and one would be hard-pressed to see random people using them in the wild (exceptions by field workers, some kinds of researchers, etc, mostly professional/factory/etc uses).


And my response only pertained to them having only seen them in one place and how that might be selection bias. While not common, they were certainly in use outside of research labs.

Motion did pretty well with them and made great hardware.


>Apple didn't cannibalize Mac for iPad: it recognized that people were buying tablets in lieu of PC's and thus invested heavily in making iPad's more user friendly.

Nobody was "buying tablets in lieu of PCs" before the iPad.

And by nobody I obviously mean "so few the market didn't matter at all".


Pretty clear in the Jobs autobiography that Apple/Jobs thought that the if people could get 5000 songs on their phone they wouldn't want to carry an iPod around.

Nobody was buying tablets before the iPad.... So I'm not sure what your getting at.

The way I see it now is that many people who now buy iPads would have bought Macs previously, and Apple are happy for this to happen.

Its not really hard to see Apples vision that iPads are the future of computing for maybe 70/80/90% of people, and the remaining 10/20/30% can buy Macs.

Your last statement perfectly represents Apple cannibalizing the iPod with the iPhone.


It probably piggy backs off the SIM information from the "Master" device (which is the phone in this case).

People who want a fully independent Watch will probably be disappointed, but for the use-case of "I want to leave my iPhone at home while I go out for a jog", the fact that the watch uses the same phone number as your iPhone is very good indeed -- having yet another number to manage for the relatively short duration of a jog/swim seems ugly.

So it has a software SIM? If so it's the first time I've heard of a device with one.

Yup. They call it an eSIM: https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/12/the-cellular-enabled-apple...

"The eSIM has to be provisioned via the device itself, which is handy if you want to switch between T-Mobile and AT&T in a hurry, but not handy if you want to switch to a carrier not supported by Apple, or sell your device to someone on a different carrier."


During the demo they described a small chip built in that worked as a SIM so I don't think it's purely software / eSIM.

Get a Samsung S3 with LTE. It doesn't sound like you need a standalone phone to use the watch as a phone.

Made me giggle that the ad for this is some surfer being totally in the middle of an amazing moment and then getting distracted by a phone call.

I really like my apple watch, but this really isn't selling it...


The same can be said about mobile phone when it was first introduced. "Look at that mobile phone ad, he was spending time with his family outside the house and then getting distracted by a phone call! This would never happen if we only have landline phone!"

Still true though.

But the photography on that was amazing wasn't it? Slow-mo from behind the tube, just the hand and the watch dipping below the surface. Great visual I thought

Edit: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jUvD80mNKBM


Haha yes. "Dave, could you send me this PDF real quick?"

yeah I'm a surfer and I have an apple watch. never once have I wanted the ability to use my phone while surfing, it's the antithesis of the entire activity. that video made me laugh

Surfer here too, I've said it before about waterproof phones, anyone start making calls in the lineup deserves what's coming to them.

Kite surfer here, we use them to control go pros (which are out of reach, say up in your lines or on the kite) also for data read outs from Woo sensor (a trick and jump height monitor)

I bet other water sports are using these watches in similar ways. E.g. GPS


Yeah but you're not sitting out on the break babbling on about work or doing selfie video calls to your partner. That's annoying enough on public transport, in the surf it would ... well it would make stand-up paddle boarders seem cool by comparison.

Surfers, windsurfers, kite surfers have gadgets on their boards (Woo, PIQ, XENSR), arms, head (gopro), kite lines, etc that we control with the watch.

For example the Woo device gives you real time info on jumps and tricks. Xsensr does GPS, speed, etc. So the watch is really useful for a lot of water sports.


People are so uptight now a days, just ignore the call no big deal.

I don't want an iPhone (or any phone for that matter). I want this. Being reachable, listening to music and gps is all I want from a "phone". Anyone know if carriers will charge extra for the watch. Cook said something about "great introductory rates" from carriers but I'm not if that refers to the watch or the service.

I'm with you. Before watching the keynote, I was looking forward to the new phones but the presentation made me more excited about the new Apple Watch with LTE.

I may be in a minority, but over the past few years, I've been trying to actively reduce the amount of times I pull out my phone. I feel like it will be liberating to leave home without your phone to go to dinner or go for a run, but still connected through the Apple Watch. Although it will still display notifications, I personally won't be tempted to browse Twitter or Instagram when I have a free moment.


Some days my phone feels like an LTE modem I have to carry around for the sake of my Apple watch.

Going to work, listening to music, replying to messages, going for a run and then stopping by the shops to pay for things...all using my wrist. It's a great experience. But I have to keep my phone nearby. And LTE watch sounds great.

There are a lot of UX issues with the watch that makes it frustrating at times. But it's getting better and more capable every OS update.


Hmm, the watch really has done just that for me. Most of the times, I leave it in my pocket. When I get a text, I glance at my watch to read it. Any notifications come directly to my watch.

Honestly, I really don't see the benefit of going through the additional burden of getting a new cellphone plan, SIM, paying more for ... what? One advantage is definitely that in emergency situations (i.e. on a run without the phone, hike etc) you can now call from the watch. But I just don't see any other benefit.


Hm, but it's using the same phone number so I think that the Sim will register with the Sim in your phone. Setup will all have to be done from your phone.

I don't think that you will need a new plan, I think that it will use your current plan.

Or did I get the wrong end of the stick?


The air pods were the revolution for me. This is the one thing I was looking forward to until I heard that you needed a connected iPhone as well. Now it is a non-starter. Guess I need to go test the Samsung buds.

I have AirPods and don't have an iPhone, they work with other devices with Bluetooth just fine.

I own the Samsung pair. Don't have much good to say about them except they work... for a bit. I usually can use them for an hour and then they're completely dead.

They also can't hold a charge very long. If I charge mine up overnight, by next evening when I go to use them, they're already half dead. Great product except for very poor battery life.


Gear Icon X? The new yet unreleased version has much better battery life. 4 or 5 hours

You only need the iphone for the initial setup and configuration. It doesn't need to be connected to make calls.

I would not be entirely surprised if Apple sees smartwatches has having the potential to kill smartphones down the road. Siri will need a lot of improvements, but in 3 to 5 years I think we will be at a place where people start to switch.

I looked at T-Mobile's site after the announcement, and they list $10/month for "wearables". Until more details come out, I'm going to assume that's directed at the Apple Watch (can't think of any other wearables that have a SIM. EDIT: apparently Samsung: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15229591). No word on what a standalone watch would cost, but I think it a safe assumption that it would be what a single mobile phone line would cost.

> but I think it a safe assumption that it would be what a single mobile phone line would cost

Tmobile charged me $10 for an iPad sim with it's own phone number. I can't imagine it'll be a huge new cost. It seems pretty much exactly like an iPad, except they don't even need an extra number


Yeah, but an iPad is just data. Now, arguably voice is just data these days, too. But somehow I just don’t see making calls on an Apple Watch for $10/month. Because if I can, I’m ditching the iPhone and the Garmin Felix and buying an Apple Watch.

Pretty sure the iPad could make/get phone calls? It was essentially just a charge for grouping it into my existing data/etc plan. $10 a month is definitely the price they're currently saying: https://www.macrumors.com/2017/09/12/lte-apple-watch-att-ver...

Fwiw, I am totally jumping on this. I'm not a big watch person, but the utility of leaving the phone home on date nights is going to be a huge win. This is a much bigger game changer than anything else they introduced


The LTE Apple Watch still has to be linked to an iPhone. You could leave it at home, but you still need one. I assume that means you need an active service plan for it too. So that $10/mo would be in addition to your iPhone service. Kinda steep, I think.

I'm wondering if the new apple watch works more like answering cellular calls on your Mac, but over LTE.

I have Metro PCS (which runs on T-Mobile's network) - I wonder if they'll offer service, or reserve this to T-Mobile/postpaid.

It's the same for ATT and Verizon.

Yeah I dont like a missing headphone jack on phones, but if you're using a watch suddenly BT headphones for streaming music makes sense.

Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) requires an iPhone 6 or later with iOS 11 or later. Apple Watch and iPhone service provider must be the same.

You still need a phone, you just don't have to carry it around.


And an iPhone 6 is relatively cheap these days, you don't have to buy the latest and greatest fortunately.

If it's another thing with a connection to a carrier network, it's another thing you have to pay an additional monthly fee for on all US carriers. I'd wager Apple is negotiating 'discount' 2nd/3rd/4th line rates with the carriers that will sell the Apple Watch in their retail locations, so it may be less than adding another full line on some carriers.

I was wondering if the "shares a numbers" was to circumvent the device charge some carriers have. I would prefer this watch with no phone period.

if I can do that then I am in, but at its price point what is the need of a phone? is the run time too short?


I don't think it is about circumventing charges. I think it is so a "phone" number just becomes a general contact number, irrespective of whatever device I happen to have available at the time.

I hope not. I'm paying for access to the network via a phone number. This remains unchanged when I use my watch. Anyone have a different perspective?

I feel like the core question/goal/ideal is to have two sim chips linked to the same number, so that requests (such as phone calls/texts) are cloned and sent to both devices.

I'd think that'd require some reconfiguration on their backend service though. I'm not too familiar with how telecoms work.


Linking to the same number happens at the iCloud level. Apple already has hooks in place with carriers to enable "Wi-Fi Calling on iCloud-connected devices", so an iPad/Mac can make/answer calls from the cellular number of an iCloud-linked iPhone (without going through the iPhone at all). The LTE Apple Watch is just another device like that.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203032


That was for Wi-Fi calling though

The new Apple Watch will have it's own actual cellular connection


Well, it gives them an excuse for them to charge you extra. I really don't think it's something that's too complicated to set up.

Streaming music from cloud, to your bluetooth headphones, while jogging using GPS -- what is the battery life such activity? I am guessing somewhere around 1 hour?

So, what you want is a 2014 Samsung Gear S: http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_gear_s-6620.php

* Independent GSM * GPS * Bluetooth

Basically an internet-connected computer with a 2" screen.


I still use my phone to take photos. I wonder if the LTE watch (in stainless steel, say) + a digital point-and-shoot camera is still cheaper than an iPhone?

Wonder if this watch supports tethering because it is standalone. It would be nice to connect my laptop to the watch and browse internet.

If my phone is any evidence, that would smoke the watch's battery.

I have thought about buying an Apple Watch multiple times. But, then, I see comments from a lot of Apple Watch users who say that they completely stop using it after few months. For many of them, the utility is not strong enough. Have things improved in that regard? What do you Apple Watch users think about it now?

I always thought the apple watch was frivolous. Then I got one as a gift and cant imagine not having one. The ability to see whether or not a text/call is important without having to pull my phone out of my pocket is a killer feature for me. I always felt that it was rude to do that and this prevents me from having to. The fitness tracker is also really fun to use, and imo more accurate than the fit bit I had.

Second this. It seems much less rude to discretely glance at your wrist briefly.

You think that, but it's super noticeable. Muliple times I've been in a situation where I'm in a conversation with someone who is constantly glancing at their watch. Depending on how well I know them, I either say, "You you like to just look at your phone?" or "Is time moving faster on your side of the table, because you seem to be very concerned with your watch."

Or I say nothing and just think about how rude that person is.


Agreed. The gesture of glancing at one's watch or wrist during a conversation carries a very particular connotation, probably going back generations.

Not everyone is in a position to ignore their notifications. Would you rather they pull out their phone?

As someone who was on call for 20 years straight, I'm well aware of that. :)

And yes, I would rather they pull out their phone than stare at their wrist every 10 seconds. I don't have a problem with someone looking at their notifications, I'm just pointing out that people think they're being sneaky with the watch when they really aren't.


I get your point and I am well aware of the rudeness of looking at your clock during a conversation and how rude that is. However, I am not someone who is constantly getting notifications, and my phone is kept in my front pocket and is generally a pain to stand up and pull out of said pocket. Knowing I dont have to do that and can at least see who is contacting me from my wrist is a minor, yet still net benefit to my life. I am a big fan of everyone taking stock of how their phone habits are affecting their social and professional lives. I personally hate the phone pose where everyone is on autopilot while staring at their phone. I think this is a way to kind of back away from that and maybe avoid the temptation to be stimulated 100% of the time.

I agree about the utility of being able to see notifications, but there are many much much cheaper ways of doing this. The Martian Notifier, Pebbles being sold on clearance etc.

How do you know if it is important? I presume you are looking at the caller id? But can't you program your important contacts in your phone to use a different ringtone/vibration pattern?

Having the watch, if you don't mind wearing a watch, might be nice, but I can't justify the extra expense.


I miss the one-minute averages, API, and battery life of the Fitbit but since they have appalling build quality, terrible firmwares, and refuse to integrate with Health, I swapped to a(n?) Watch.

Now my life is dominated by closing those damned circles.


"One-minute averages": I thought Fitbits provide a data point/recording for every second?

The Web API only gives you (when using intraday HR) the option of per-second or per-minute buckets. Since the Charge HR I was using only does 5s samples in normal mode (1s in workout mode), there was no point using the per-second buckets since 80% of it was useless data.

I had a Series 0 and Series 2. The first 8 months with Series 0 was more about having the new tech than the watch really being all that useful. Then at the start of last year I made changes to lifestyle and have lost 90 lbs of weight over 16 months. The watch's functionality is not a daily motivator to keep things up and improve fitness, but it is certainly helpful. I can decide based on activity levels and food consumption to do some more exercise or watch some Netflix.

The addition of GPS in Series 2 improved accuracy of walking and running distance when I go without a phone. Strangely, the calorie counts of walking multiple miles are generally 20% higher when I just have the watch vs watch and phone, even though the distance, time, bpm are the same with or without the phone. So while I expected to ditch the phone more this has me keeping the phone with me. There isn't as much variety in music or podcasts with just the watch. Finally, if I need to make a call for emergency having the phone present is security.

So, the Series 3 provides another set of features that makes sense for my situation. More music, can make/receive calls if required, maybe more accurate tracking with faster CPU. And with faster, more reliable data connection, maybe some 3rd party apps will become useful as well.

I have rarely had battery issues during the day. Usually, I just take it off and charge it when I sleep and put it on again in the morning. Don't think it something i would want to sleep with it on anyway, so multi day battery life isn't a concern.


I have the position that I've had no interest in it, up to this point, for the simple fact that it hasn't functioned as a stand-alone device, general-computing'ish.. until now.

For me, the tethering angle has always been the major, #1, reason not to get involved. I've been in computers since the beginning; having such arbitrary dependencies has been a significant detractor.

However, as an observer of this segment, I have to say - isn't it about time we just had full-blown computers on our wrists, kind of, .. "anyway"? I mean, yeah .. these artificial boundaries make the machines more marketable - totally get that - but .. don't you think you'd adopt the whole platform a little more willingly - in your postulated time-scale - if it weren't for all the dependencies?


The biggest thing folks I know like about watches on both the Apple and Android side of thing are notifications. I recently got a fitbit and found I wear it in place of my Android watch now. It's purpose-built for fitness monitoring and does a better job at that than Apple/Android have ever done. And it handles notifications. It lasts days on a battery charge and is lighter weight on my wrist. And it's much much cheaper. Plus, if you ever decide to switch to Android, you can keep using your fitbit.

Yes, things turn by turn walking directions on a smartwatch are kinda neat the first time you try them, but the novelty wears off and glancing at your phone twice on a long walk is no bother. But I stopped using pretty much any watch functionality except notifications within a month.

Side note: I'm not sure how well iOS notifications work on fitbit. Apple is notorious for locking out competitors (even going so far as to prohibit mentions of fitbit hardware integration in app descriptions on the app store) and it wouldn't surprise me if this affects fitbit functionality with iOS phones.


>"The biggest thing folks I know like about watches on both the Apple and Android side of thing are notifications."

I think this is exactly right. Notifications are annoying and the watch reduces the effort required to see and dismiss them. However, I recently solved this problem another way; I turned off notifications (excluding messages and a few other very context-specific apps).

This turns out to be the best way to deal with annoying notifications. Just turn them off.


It also makes me look like I'm bored of the people I'm talking to when I keep looking at my watch while they're telling me something.

Since getting my Fitbit I've taken a middle ground - turn them off on my phone, and let only priority apps to my watch. Things I care about I get on my watch, things I don't can wait.

I highly doubt that. I've had several FitBit devices and the Apple Watch essentially killed all of them. The number of fitness-related things the Apple Watch can track is significantly higher than the FitBit and I can also make calls and do other things on it that I can't do on the FitBit. On top of that, every single one of the 10+ FitBits I had was destroyed within 14 months (2 in as little as 3 months) and, although a few of them were covered and replaced under warranty, none of them, even cumulatively, have lasted as long as my Apple Watch. I bought the Series 0 and got the Series 2 as a gift. I'm definitely buying the Series 3 and have vowed never to buy a FitBit again. I'm actually surprised to hear that your FitBit experience is more positive than either the Apple/Android devices and especially so since every person I personally know with a FitBit has had the same poor quality experience. I know that's anecdotal, but I literally don't know a single person that has had a positive long-term experience with FitBit products.

I have had the same experience with my Fitbits. I've owned many different models and they've been replaced many times while still in the warranty period. I have to give it to Fitbit for their excellent customer service but seriously, if I never have to send in my kaputt Fitbit during an RMA process, it's pretty obvious that they must cost peanuts to manufacture.

I have 5 friends within a 1 mile radius of me that all have a fitbit and love it. Only one of them had one fail and have to be replaced (earlier model that had issues with heavy sweat and the waterproofing).

Maybe you use the additional features, and that's great. None of us want to make or take calls on a watch (and not-so-secretly loath anyone who does so on the subway).

I like the way I interact with the fitbit. One quick pulse when I get a notification I want to come through. And the screen stays off unless I press the button to see what it is. No constant stream of useless stuff on the screen on my wrist distracting me and those around me.


So... within a 1 mile radius, you have a 20% failure rate. Assume you're the average and that's still an incredible amount of failure. If you pair it with my statistic, that's an unbelievable failure rate.

On the other hand, I have at least 10 friends, family, and/or coworkers that all have an Apple Watch and exactly 0 of them have had an issue where it completely failed and they had to have it replaced. That doesn't count the 1 person that shattered the screen on theirs but was able to take it to Apple and get a replacement the same day.

I realize anecdotes don't constitute evidence of anything but even by your own statistics, the FitBit line doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

Edit: I can't say that I'm surprised that other responses here are echoing my sentiments about the FitBit devices. It might be confirmation bias, but I hear and read the same all the time.


A failure with a version that had a known issue years ago that was replaced without issue by the company. None of them have any issues with the current model. Plus, if you're spending $400 to $10,000 on an iWatch, it better work without issue and be replaced immediately if it fails.

Anecdotally, I have lots of friends with failed iPhones and Macbooks. My girlfriend swore Macbooks off after owning the awful white Macbook that had constant motherboard and screen issues and that Apple end-of-lifed way too soon after release because they never were able to release 64-bit drivers for it (seriously... even though it's their own hardware with their own OS). Doesn't mean all Macbooks have that same failure rate or awful product support outside that model.

One thing I have noticed of my friends with fitbits vs smartwatches, they treat fitbits like beater Casio watches and they treat smartwatches like Rolexes. I'm not sure if it's perception of materials or the fact that smartwatches cost 3 to 10 times as much as fitbits. I know I don't worry too much about my Fitbit Surge 2 HR because it only cost me $75.


imo the only thing Fitbit does better than apple watch is the sleep tracking.

I'm finding that Autosleep does a pretty good job of that - gets my sleep patterns right about 95% of the time without any help. Pretty much matches what I get from SleepCycle on the phone.

http://autosleep.tantsissa.com/


Do you have to turn it on and off? I tried one apple watch sleep app and you had to set it before you fell asleep and turn it off when you woke up- I never remembered.

Nope, it's just perfectly automatic.

There is an entirely optional "going to sleep now" toggle you can flick which will give a "time to sleep" measure and marker on the graph.


Cool- thank you! Will check it out.

I was a skeptic. I bought one because I want to experience and understand technology. I wear it every day. I find notifications to be the reason to put it on and then a collection of other reasons (e.g. when cooking I use the timer).

Why do you want notifications? I got one (also just to experience it) and found myself frantically trying to turn off the incessant notifications like a sick game of whack-a-mole until I realized it didn't offer the intrinsic value that my notification-less phone does.

You disable the notifications that you don't want to see on the watch.

So for me personally I only have phone calls, SMS/iMessages, and one or two other communication apps enabled to send notifications to my watch, plus score updates from baseball since I follow the sport.

Once you get it configured in a way that fits what you care about it works really well.


I have a Pebble Time Round, basically just for notifications. Most of the Apps are disabled for notifying on the watch. Text messages, BBC News Alerts, Find My Friend geofencing alerts and Podcast available are the only ones I have on.

Not having to pull out my phone while cooking, or cycling (my daughter alway seems to text me when cycling home from work) is very handy.


Opposite experience that I had. I was an early first buyer and wore it and talked positively about it. I thought it had utility (being able to take phone calls in the restroom and not having to carry my phone around the office) but in the end I just didn't like wearing it (given the utility). Lately I was not even taking it to work. Just today I did because the cleaning people are at the house and the easiest thing was to put it on my wrist.

I had never considered an Apple Watch. I believed it to be too costly for what it offered. The selling point today was their heart study with Stanford and that the watch will detect irregular heartbeats. I'm genetically predisposed to atrial fibrillation [1] (TL;DR Abnormal heart rhythm), and having a watch that can alert me that my heart rhythm is deviating from a normal rhythm is cheap insurance against a poor cardiac outcome.

For me, its medical telemetry first, and a phone second.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atrial_fibrillation


Hmm or just go to a doctor and ask for a long term EKG maybe. That's what I did. I had to wear some measuring equipment for a day and then I had the result (broken heart). I don't think this changes from day to day so you might want to get a check every few year.

No, atrial fibrillation occurs in distinct episodes (imagine your heart occasionally having an epileptic seizure that lasts a few hours) and it can be difficult to get an EKG when you suspect something is wrong.

I ended up getting an apple watch, then returning it for Gear S3.

Major improvements with the gear:

- Looks like a watch - Always tells the time - Works with my normal leather watch band - Has a spotify app

I use mostly just as a watch that can do fitness tracking and recieve notifications from my phone.


> Looks like a watch

I hear this constantly and I don't get this. There's a very long tradition of non-circular watches in horology. See the Reverso, the Tank, and the Monaco.


I've had both generations of Apple Watch and Series 2, to me, is a big improvement over Series 1. Not sure about 0 since I had no reason to get one. I definitely don't think I could stop using it after a few months on the fitness tracking alone.

Being able to track my runs and listen to my music without needing my phone is awesome. The notifications are great once you filter out the noise and turn off the ones you don't care about but that may also inspire you to uninstall some apps. I also use the timers all the time for cooking and working out and the actual Workout app is great as a diary for me. I can look at the Health app and see everything I did and I use that in conjunction with MyFitnessPal. I also like the general motivation I get from the activity rings. They're so stupid and simple but there's no feeling quite like closing all 3 of those damn things out or getting the occasional ring to loop back around itself.

I dunno... I feel like it's definitely changed my life for the better and I really don't see much technology advances making similar changes. I mean, it's great and all to have a Retina display on my phone to see all the pictures on Instagram as clearly as possible but that's just not as big of a deal as having a device that actually motivates me. I've had Fitbit and heart monitors and even pouches and clips for the iPhone and none of them keep it dangling in front of me like the Apple Watch does.

But that's just, like, my opinion, man...


> But that's just, like, my opinion, man...

"... and anyone who is influenced by it is a dummy."

(Speaker's final remark at a meeting, many moons ago.)


umm... what?

The "just my opinion" phrase often reminds me of this more forceful version.

Should I be more or less inclined to agree with his opinion? Not being a dummy (of course ;-) I'm not being influenced, just rational, right?

(Thanks for the watch info, it was interesting. But I'm not being influenced ;-)


I've had mine for a while now. I totally love it. It's a lot of small quality-of-life improvements for me. Things like controlling my phone's music playback from the Watch, the turn-by-turn directions, the Siri integration, the activity monitoring... all those things. Plus it helps me not be on my phone all the time, which is a problem I tend to have. (Since the notifications get routed through the Watch, I don't open my phone to dismiss them and get distracted.)

I adore mine. I'd be lost without it. Weirdly, as a total Apple nerd, I wasn't interested at first. My boss had one for ages before I was convinced by the waterproofing on the Series 2. He kept going on about it and couldn't believe that I didn't want one. (I was wearing a vintage '70s Omega.)

Now the standard joke is that I "wish he'd told me how good it was earlier".

Top tip: get yourself another band as soon as you buy a Watch. I splashed out and got the steel with steel link bracelet. I know, it's way more expensive than the standard aluminium/black sports, but it makes me feel like I'm actually wearing a watch and not a generic fitness device.

Of course you don't have to go that crazy, just get a nylon band or one of the leather options. Anything. Just get that black sports thing off immediately.


I own an Android wear watch, and I use it for three things: GPS and music while running without my phone, shopping list while buying groceries, and checking notifications when I have my phone in my pocket.

When I first got it I thought it was really cool with a small computer on my wrist and tried to think of all sorts of things to do with it, but the truth is that your phone is better at almost everything. The only reason to prefer your watch is if you leave the phone at home or if it's quicker to not take it up from the pocket. If you try do make it do too much you'll probably get tired of it, since it won't be a good choice.


Which watch? And what app are you using to sync music to it?

Sony Smartwatch 3, and I use Google music to save a playlist offline. Subscription based streaming music is practical until it's not, and for some reason Spotify doesn't allow you to save music offline on Android wear. MP3 was so much easier when it came to portability.

I wouldn't recommend the Smartwatch 3 though. It's a pretty good watch, one of the first with GPS, WiFi and NFC (still unused), but it won't get Wear 2.0 and the GPS ranges from pretty bad to unusable. The GPS antenna can't handle when your arm gets wet, like when you sweat, so after about 20 minutes of running the GPS connection deteriorates significantly unless you have a sweatband under it.

Hopefully Garmin will launch a watch with Spotify support in the future.


I love it, especially the vibrate function for reminders and alarms, and while you're driving for navigation.. Battery for series 2 lasts me 1.5 days at least. I can live without it, but it's a nice add on.

I wear mine through most of the day and night, and have done so since it launched. It's a lot more useful having Siri on my wrist for those types of needs, plus the health and sleep tracking is good information to have. I find that I don't use my phone as much as I used to, since I can read messages on it and just respond with voice. And it's great for doing small tasks like changing songs when I'm on the train and using a phone isn't convenient.

It can't replace a phone just yet, but the convenience for many tasks has made it a worthwhile purchase for me.


I've had mine for 6 months. I like it for automatic sleep tracking (using the sleep watch app). The battery on the series 2 is good enough that it only needs about 30-60 minutes of charging a day (depending on usage). I also use the silent alarm it has to wake up.

When I go for a bike ride, it's nice to track that and be able to check heart rate, distance, etc while riding without pulling out my phone.

The cellular isn't enough for me to upgrade, I don't run so there's never really a time I'd be without my phone.

I've ended up wearing it about 23 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Just out of curiosity, have you changed any sleep behaviors after using the sleep tracking app?

I used to use sleep cycle on my phone. But I had the problem of wasting time in the morning just playing with my phone without getting out of bed.

Now I have to at least get out of bed before doing that :)


Sleep tracking would be one of my primary use cases, how accurate is it? is it useful?

It depends on the app. It's not a first party feature, so you won't get sleep data in HealthKit like you would for exercise.

I'm using Sleep Watch, the times it reports for sleep and wake seem to be pretty accurate for me.


I've been using my Series 1 (not Series 0) since last November and thoroughly enjoy everything about it except the battery life (I can usually get two days of life on it).

It's great for what it is; personally I use it as a watch (checking date/time/setting timers/alarms) and as a device for filtering notifications. I don't need to keep pulling my phone out of my pocket just to check if the latest buzz was a spam email from work or a text from family/friends. It's just so much more convenient.


Being water proof and having a cellular connection are great features. I like swimming and nothing else on the market does swim tracking as well.

I can go for a run, a swim, buy lunch, and take an Uber home all without my phone.

I bought the Series 1 and stopped using it because it drained the battery on my phone, especially if I was using something like Uber that needed to continuously communicate to the watch. Would love to read reviews on the battery life of the watch.


Better than the Garmin triathlon watch series? (920XT, 735, 935, etc)

It's a nice to have for me. But with cellular that completely changes. Now my phone will be the optional unit, and my watch a must.

I bought a series 0 the day it came out, and I've worn it literally every day since then. I don't really use apps on the watch, but notifications and complications are extremely useful, as is being able to ask Siri to do things (especially to turn lights on/off).

I'm in the same boat.

I want one... but I just can't bring myself to get one because of what people I know have said.


I want one but I also suspect I would stop using it quickly. I'm not sure what to actually use it for...

Fitness tracking and notifications on your wrist. If that sounds like something you'd want I'd recommend you get one.

I have one. I haven't worn it in almost a year. I guess I just don't get it. (Note: I also find watches uncomfortable. It's possible that I have a higher bar for usefulness than you because of this.)

I like being able to glance at my wrist when a text or an email comes in. But what I LOVE is the way it does driving directions.

This is a life saver for those who spend time outdoors and can't or don't like to carry phones. I run for example for hours in the Canadian winter and the idea of having an emergency phone is attractive, in case I fall, or maybe there's a big issue at home.

Another alternative would be an iPhone SE but sadly we are in the era of oversized phones.

I would also love it to have more Bluetooth integration (continuous glucose monitoring is a good first step), and continuously monitor more health data in general: hydration, temperature. Omron is working on a watch that measures blood pressure. The last step is food intake monitoring but I guess we will need a couple more iterations and more sensors (onboard camera?) to get the Watch record that


I spend hours running outside in the winter, too, and find that electronics of any form are mostly unreliable when it gets cold enough. I run with a Garmin GPS watch, and after several hours of single digit temperatures (F), the watch will often die. Phones don't even last that long. I doubt these will be any better in the same situation.

Yep, cold destroys battery capacity. You need to keep the device next to your skin.

I was relieved to see they are still selling the SE. It's really a fantastic little device and I much prefer the form factor. I don't see a compelling reason to upgrade.

I can't upvote this enough. I mean, if Apple would license their previous incarnations of iPhone to a 3rd party to manufacture and to sell, these "iPhone"s would still sell like hotcakes, especially in non 1st world countries.

They knocked another $50 off it as well, now starts at $350 - Damn good deal.

Just got it for $140 on ATT. Bought the subsidized pre-paid version (same phone), but it works for postpaid ATT.

No Rogers yet, so this may get people switching to Bell (ugh) or Telus...

This is also phenomenal for when you're battery-limited. You can turn off one of the two devices and save its battery for if you really, absolutely, must need to make a phone call at some later point in the day.

Not just runs, you can also use it to have quality time on date mights without worrying about checking your phone all the time.

The new watchOS 4 allows you to connect to (up to 2) Bluetooth LE sensors. That covers your use case.

Making messaging on the watch with a separate cellular connection work seamless with messaging on the phone is an amazing symphony of cloud services. Apple is currently, IMHO, the only company with the cloud service ability to pull this off. Google Voice is a close second, but that hasn't been moved forward in quite awhile.

It is amazing how hard multi-homing has ended up being. Facebook Messenger has it working correctly, and the new chat apps that store all state in the cloud, e.g. Slack or Microsoft Teams, also pull it off.

Maintaining reasonable battery life with an always on LTE is also to be commended. Wireless is a huge power drain, providing low latency, low power, messaging is hard. FWIW, just having an LTE chip that never needs to turn on is easy, a fresh install of any mobile OS with no messaging apps installed will last for days. Put a single app that needs real time(ish) messaging delivery on board and watch the battery life drop in half.


I think this product has the potential to reduce the distracting habits that we have with our phones while we're out and about while still keeping us connected.

You can finally leave your phone at home in more scenarios.


I tried an Apple Watch for a few weeks thinking that it would be less of a distraction than the phone in my pocket. Found that

(1) it's much more of a distraction because it's so much more accessible and is more likely to be buzzing regularly. There's a mental and physical barrier to pulling my phone out of my pocket that makes it easier to disconnect; there's almost no barrier with the Apple Watch, it takes much more mental effort to limit its disruptiveness.

(2) someone looking at their watch frequently (more than about every 15 minutes) is often interpreted socially as a sign that the conversation is boring or going too long or they are otherwise anxious about the time. I generally found that looking at the Apple Watch was more disruptive socially than pulling out my phone (partly due to #1)


(1) I've turned off all notifications except the ones that absolutely need to come through (SMS, Calls, Calendar Events etc). You need to have a different notification strategy for your Watch vs. your Phone.

(2) You can't look at your Watch for that long comfortably. It's good for glances and that's what I end up doing most - glancing. I think this is far better than getting sucked into your phone. You get the information you need quickly and get out quickly. That's not the case with my phone.


2 - I agree. That's why it's so damn infuriating that Apple won't let you remove the Photos app from the Watch without also removing it from your iPhone (where it's actually useful)!

Obligatory Robert Tinney Byte cover: https://archive.org/details/byte-magazine-1981-04

Honestly, it's worth thinking about if I could happily live my life with just this watch and ditching the phone all together.

My dream is to have the watch, and then a cell-enabled iPad in my backpack for when I need more space. It would be perfect!

Agreed! I use an SE because I already want my phone to be as small and basically incapable as possible (with decent UX), and then a laptop when I want to do something a bit more distracting. Text + maps + music is all I really want on me at all times.

This is exactly my plan. I'll let you know how it goes.

the iPad Pro has let me sunset my laptop.

The Watch / iPad Pro / Desktop combo would be ideal for me.


That would be so great, but they need to figure out camera (taking photos is still a big part of what phone in my pocket is used for)

Can anyone recommend a standalone camera that's as easy to use and takes photos as good as an iPhone 7 plus? Camera is now the only reason for me to have a phone rather than a watch. Difficulty: I really like live photos and expect future-me to be super happy with present-me for taking so many live photos of my kids.

If you're going to be taking a camera with you, you might as well as carry a phone instead, since every camera I know is a lot bigger/thicker/have worse battery life than any cell phone. Alternative would be a Snapchat glasses or the discontinued Google Glasses, which have lower-quality image and the added bonus of looking dorky in appearance.

EDIT: Forgot about GoPro Session or those miniaturized action cameras (such as Mobius and Polaroid Cube)


This is my problem too. There is basically no camera with the processing power and size combination of the iPhones. Some of the things they’re doing with the dual-lens thing are pretty impressive.

That said, they're still working around a microscopically tiny sensor and lenses. So if you can compromise on size a bit you can get a RX100 V which shoots great pictures.

Sadly, still no Live Photos, but you could shoot video and grab stills from it. I agree that these are a way more impressive feature than camera makers give credit for.


These are small, with bigger sensors than iPhone:

  Sony RX100 $1000
  Canon G9X Mark II $500
These are bigger but provide 10X-30X optical zoom:

  Panasonic Lumix ZS100 $600
  Panasonic Lumix ZS50 $300

Sony RX100 is very popular among ultra light backpackers. Compact point-and-shoot, with great videos and photos.

iPhone 6/6s/7 with data only SIM, no apps installed might work for your use case.

EDIT: From your comment, I wasn't sure if it was to get rid of the physical phone, or to have a simpler life without all of the distractions a smartphone brings. Sorry about that. It was too late to delete my comment after you replied.


that's not exactly ditching phone all together..

EDIT: All good :) Actually right now my phone already has minimum number of apps installed exactly in attempt to avoid unnecesary use/distractions, with watch only it may be even better (plus one less thing to carry (pocket or not))


For the phone call, you would still need an actual phone, right?

The only thing I'm interested in with this new Watch, is the heart study. I'm VERY interested if they have this monitoring mastered without the chest strap. Super useful for me.

They're trying to to detect heart issues in people who don't otherwise have any reason to suspect they have them. Given that the heart rate monitor isn't even accurate enough to be useful for exercising[1], it seems unlikely you'd want to rely on this if you already know you have an issue.

http://www.mdpi.com/2075-4426/7/2/3/htm


Curious why you come to that conclusion? That study itself says the watches were within acceptable error for their purposes. Why would you need more accuracy than the roughly 2% error on the Apple Watch?

The error-rate for walking was up to 3.8%, which is roughly 8bpm for someone with a 200bpm max HR. And that error rate is averaged over a minute, so presumably the instantaneous error rate is even greater. If I'm trying to keep my HR at a constant 150 or whatever, I don't want to be speeding up or slowing down on the basis of getting garbage data from my HR monitor. This is an issue even with the Polar chest straps, and those are significantly more accurate than the Apple Watch.

Also, if you look at the protocol the vast majority of participants wouldn't have even broken a sweat, let alone have been sweating significantly.


In what health scenario do you need your HR to stay at a constant 150 so stringently?

If you're trying to do UT1 (70%-80% of max HR) training and instead you're doing UT2 (55%-70%) or AT (80%-85%), then you're not going to get the benefits you were going for.

Further, the only way you can accurately measure your rate of improvement is by comparing average watts across time at a fixed HR. So if your HR isn't at your target level then not only are you not going to be making progress at an acceptable rate, but you're not even going to know that you're not on track until it's already too late.


Agree with everything you said. But if you're running for 90 minutes let's say, checking in on the last 1 minute average heart rate should be quite sufficient to set your pace.

And I certainly expect the app would easily be able to show you average watts vs heart rate over time. Given weight, height, pace via GPS, and heart rate for every run you could definitely do the necessary analytics.


The watch isn't showing you the one-minute average though, it's showing the instantaneous value but the researchers averaged it for the purpose of the study.

Sounds like a pretty easy software fix for a running app. Which means it must already exist, right?

Your assuming that your other measurement devices don't have any significant error rates.

And that the gobblygook of UT1, UT2, etc, is actually meaningful.


It's not gobblygook, it's training at a serious level. Those levels correspond well with lactic acid levels in the blood, for various types of training. I've both rowed at a high level and done tech research work with an Olympic cycling team, and this (or variants) are used frequently. HR for power (not pace etc) is a good measure of personal fitness and wellbeing (e.g. high resting heart rate means you're possibly falling ill or not well rested). However, all this doesn't matter for anyone who just wants to be healthy. That said, I defer to Garmin For proper HR smart watches and accessories, which are tailored for specific sports.

If you don't want to wait, we launched a study with UCSF Cardiology which showed 97% accuracy at detecting atrial fibrillation in May:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cardiogram/id1000017994?ls=1... cnbc.com/2017/05/11/apple-watch-uses-cardiogram-to-screen-for-heart-rhythm-abnormalities.html


So the Apple Watch is in an accurate heart rate monitor? Or is high precision not needed for testing for this abnormality? I want highly accurate rate monitoring throughout the day, especially on long hikes.

I've found mine is accurate as long as it is snug. But if it's not snug, it can be way off.

Also, when I first tried it I had wrist pain, and learned that I actually was "wearing it wrong". Moving it further up my arm fixed it, and now it's literally my favourite device.


Hrmm. I'll await the in depth reviews. For now, my chest strap will keep monitoring for me.

I'm talking about Series 2. Series 3 isn't available yet. But Series 3 is supposedly same size as Series 2, except the thing that sticks out of the back is "2 sheets of paper thicker", to use Apple's new contribution to the imperial system :)

So my guess is it will be the same: just as good as my Polar chest strap when snug, and off when, well, off.


> Q: Can I use my Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) internationally?

> A: Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular) does not support international roaming.

From the FAQ section of the Apple Watch page in the Store. I'm wondering why the device has to support roaming, isn't that just a feature of the cellular provider?


It might be a technological issue: standards (GSM, CDMA) and allowed frequencies vary a lot from country to country. The chip in this Apple Watch might be too specific? If it's a purely contractual issue, it should be gone soon (for a fee): too much money to be made from international roaming.

> allowed frequencies vary a lot from country to country

They do, but a few "roaming" bands are well-supported worlwide, mostly aside from the Americas and especially the US

* LTE bands 1 and 3 will cover Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania, but North and Latin america use LTE bands 2 and 4 instead.

* band 7 is well supported in latin america, europe, asia, oceania and canada but not africa or the US

* band 28 is well supported in latin america, asia and oceania but not NA, europe or africa

7 and 28 are considered the best "global roaming" bands right now, and 1 and 3 ideal for ITU 1 and 3 (basically anywhere outside the americas)


Per https://www.apple.com/watch/cellular/ it's either 2 and 4, or 1 and 3 (and 7). The iPhone 8 supports all [1]. That would confirm that the Apple Watch uses more specialized cellular chips.

[1] https://www.apple.com/iphone-8/specs/


Unlikely, the chips in iPhones have been carrier neutral for at least a couple of generations now.

That's not quite true, Japan has special 7 models (A1779 and A1785) with support for LTE bands 11 and 21 as well as FeliCa. And the iPhone 6 had the A1633 and A1634 only sold by and for AT&T which supported the LTE band 30 where models A1687 and A1688 did not.

The chips maybe, but the antennas still need to provide the right bands:

https://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

There is some additionally complexity in that many of these can speak GSM, so have some ability to work in degraded modes. And then another round of complexity in that the CDMA versions usually can be unlocked into GSM mode, losing the CDMA functionality but allowing for more general use (but not generally 4G).


iPhones are bigger and have more power: the chip in the Apple Watch might be different. It's just an hypothesis.

They don't seem to list regional models for the bands:

https://www.apple.com/watch/cellular/


This is a blind guess but I wonder if the shared phone number between devices has trouble with roaming.

I suspect it has to do with the 'magic' of the watch not having it's own phone number and piggybacking off the iPhone's.

Underwater + cellular is pretty impressive. The extra sensors + medical algos are what is really going to win in the long run though. Once doctors start prescribing Apple Watches things will really start to takeoff.

>Once doctors start prescribing Apple Watches

I wouldn't hold my breath on that, for a few reasons:

- The sensors likely aren't good enough yet

- To be prescribed and paid for by insurance cos and medicare, it would need to be an FDA approved device, an onerous and years(maybe decade) long process that I doubt apple would want to go through. You can't have an FDA approved device that you constantly update for example

- There is no evidence that this kind constant vital stats recording is medically useful. You'd think it would be, but the literature suggests otherwise

So, there are a ton of hurdles for medical use. They would need to establish the utility with a years long peer reviewed study, get FDA approval, convince payers to cover it, convince doctors to prescribe it, and brand it as a health device. I'm not convinced that this is feasible.


Doctors can recommend things without prescribing them. No need for approvals in that case.

Sure, they can... but they generally will not if the evidence doesn't back it up, and it isn't covered, and it wasn't taught in med school when they went through.

I interned at a company that did some prosthetics and other medical devices. They were designed expressly for medical applications and they still were a pain to get approved. Sensors have to be really accurate if a doctor is going to use them clinically and most smartwatches aren't close yet in my experience

So accurate data from a handful of people is better for studies than a crapton of data from less accurate sources?

Cellular coming to Apple Watch finally makes it a usable product for me, Apple Music being the killer app.

Question is then, will Spotify and Google Music ever come to Apple Watch?


I'm not buying one until Spotify has an app for it. I'm not switching to Apple Music just to get a watch.

Seriously. Lack of syncing Spotify & podcasts for offline playback is a deal breaker.

My understanding is that the audio/music playing APIs are extremely limited and would be problematic for implementing a music player, let alone a streaming app.

<ThatGuy> Samsung introduced 3G connectivity in the Samsung Gear S2 already two years ago, and added 4G LTE in the Gear S3 last year. </ThatGuy>

Nobody here is saying that Apple was the first to add cellular capability to their watches. They're just glad to see it as a new feature.

The Apple keynote made a pretty big deal about innovations that enabled the LTE features. They didn't explicitly say that those were Apple innovations, though.

Compare the size of either Apple Watch to a Samsung LTE watch - even the larger 42mm Apple Watch is comfortably smaller than the Gear, and the 38 makes the Gear look like you're wearing a yo-yo on your wrist.

That size/battery life stuff is what took all the work, and why Apple waited until it was able to ship without the compromises.


The 3G model of the Gear S2 is roughly the same size as the Apple Watch Series 2/3 42mm model.

The size increase in Gear S3 was more dictated by fashion than necessity -- after the Gear S2, Samsung had market data that their primary buyer group favors larger watches in general, so they decided to bulk it up and increase battery life. (A lot of men actually like that "yo-yo on the wrist" look, for reasons I don't entirely fathom. I guess it's sporty.)


Yes. Apple is excited about the features they added to their products.

Isn't it incredible how Apple invented this and then went back in time so Samsung could steal it two years ago? They always do this. If only they'd learn not to go back in time and have people steal their ideas.

Who claimed Apple invented this?

just wait til the Apple 3 comes out.

Apple Watch is one of the very few v1 products I just never felt the need to upgrade. I tend to always be on the latest generation of everything, but the watch just works fine in it's launch-day v1 state. v2 was underwhelming, and as someone who always has his phone on him, v3 doesn't do much for me.

This isn't a complaint in the least, good to see Apple making products that don't feel old 2.5 years later.


The jump from the v1 watch to the Series 2 isn't a huge win until you use it - Siri is faster, more reliable, and more responsive, other apps are much more useable, battery life is improved, etc etc.

Much of the improvement on series 2 was invisible, but it helps.


Batterylife and responsiveness are way better on v2. And it adds waterresistance. love my v2.
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