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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

First day with Apple Watch Series 3 (audio)

Recorded on September 22, 2017.

I’ve been writing a lot about the Apple Watch Series 3. So, of course, you want to hear me yack about it. Enjoy.

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Marco Arment on needed watchOS updates

Marco Arment:

But limitations in watchOS 4 make it impossible to deliver standalone podcast playback with the basic functionality and quality that people expect.

His post focused on updates that are needed for podcast apps to make sense on watchOS.

After using the Apple Watch Series 3 while traveling for the weekend I expect to see a massive OS update from Apple in watchOS 4.1 and 4.2 to enable much more capabilities for developers through APIs. The Series 3 is not being fully tasked by the third-party apps currently. Not by a long shot.

How to save battery life on the Apple Watch Series 3

The following tips are very likely no-brainer battery saving tips for most of you and I’ve only used my Apple Watch Series 3 for a single day so feel free to completely ignore me. However! Here is my current strategy for saving battery power:

  • Only turn on Cellular when needed – If I have my phone with me or I’m home, I’m turning off cellular. If I go for a hike or a walk or a paddle, and I do not bring my phone along, I’ll flip up from the bottom of the watchface and turn on cellular in Control Center. Simple. I gain tons of battery power and I lose nothing.
  • Turn off Raise to Wake – This will be a controversial choice. I know we all want Apple to figure out how to leave the watchface on in some way, but for me the sheer number of “wakes” that the watch does compared to the actual number of times I look at it is staggering. A very, very gentle tap turns the watchface on.

By doing these two things I seem to be getting far, far better battery life than all of the reviewers thus far. And, I haven’t really lost anything in the meantime.

I’m seeing some reviews for the Apple Watch Series 3 that complain about the watch apps, such as Uber or Lyft, still relying on the iPhone app. Remember, no developers have had this watch yet. Give them 90 days and they’ll all use cellular.

Pre-Apple Watch chat (audio)

Listen to me ramble on about the Apple Watch for a few minutes.

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WatchDots

WatchDots:

Personalize the look of your Apple Watch™ Sport with WatchDots™. Available in a variety of colors, WatchDots™ are precision cut, durable and thin. This is how the Apple Watch™ Sport should look.

Personally, I have no issue with the red dot on the Series 3. We’ll see what I think once I have one in my hands.

Serenity Caldwell on Apple Watch Series 3 “LTE issues”

Serenity Caldwell:

In any case, no, this isn’t a problem with the watch’s Cellular service. It’s an existing issue that’s just suddenly become extremely relevant.

Glad to see that it is very likely going to be solved in short order. My bet is that there are a few people at Apple that are going to pull a few all-nighters to get an update to us by next week. We’ll see if I’m right.

That being said, my iPhones have all had a similar problem. If Wifi signal is weak, or is fully connected but there is no connection to the Internet through that network, then it does a terrible job switching to LTE. Perhaps this is more a bug in how Apple handles this on all of their devices. Maybe now it will get some attention.

John Gruber on Apple Watch Series 3

John Gruber:

Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular networking completely alleviates this anxiety. It is not a replacement for a phone, and is not supposed to be. But it lets you leave your phone at home when you go for a run, or in your locker while you’re at the gym, or in your hotel while you go to the beach, and not worry in the least that you’re out of touch.

I can’t remember a time I’ve been so excited to not have my phone.

Reviews are beginning to trickle in – both in text and on YouTube – and I’ve been paying close attention. The Apple Watch clearly isn’t for everyone. And cellular is for even less people. But overall, people love the watch.

Eliza has had a Series 0* since they day they came out. She wears it nearly every day, it is her only watch at this point, and she’s using it more and more as the software gets better. So Apple is definitely iterating in the proper direction. It reminds me so much of the original iPhone (even the way it is aging) I can’t even describe it.

I’ve never used an Apple Watch** but I’m excited to try one. I’ll be sure to let you know how necessary the device is once I’ve had it for a month or two.

John also mentions that he’d like to see a camera and an always-on display in an upcoming version of the Apple Watch. If there was one more feature that I could request of the Apple Watch it would be the always-on display. Perhaps a forward-facing camera for Facetime makes a lot of sense but I do not think I’d ever expect the Apple Watch to have a camera you’d take vacation photos with. Unless, of course, you’re a spy – then obviously you need the camera in the watch to take photos of Top Secret documents.

* Believe it or not, the Series 3 is actually Apple’s fourth iteration of the Apple Watch hardware. It is likely very confusing to people that don’t pay close attention to these things. The current offerings are Apple Watch Series 1, Series 3, and Series 3 with cellular. It sounds as if Series 1 is very old compared to the 3 but in reality it is only about a year old. Apple hasn’t been doing very well with names lately.

** Obviously I’ve toyed with Eliza’s. In fact, recently I’ve been putting it through its paces in the evenings learning the menus and options in preparation for when I get my Series 3. They’ve made the watch very customizable.

_DavidSmith on the Apple Watch Series 3

_DavidSmith:

While I’ll have to live with it for a few weeks to see if it really pans out, imagining a future where my iPhone is no longer a ‘must carry’ device is remarkable.

This is why I’m ordering one. As I said I would.