The Apple Watch is officially available for pre-order and as more people go to their “fitting” appointments, more and more Apple fans are learning what the device really can and cannot do.
The interesting thing is that unlike some other smartwatches, the Apple Watch has quite a daunting feature list, which is a bit surprising for a company like Apple. While that makes for a flexible device with a lot of potential, it also means that it can sometimes lack focus, not unlike a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing however, as long as you know what you are getting into. To help we’ve put together a list of 14 things you may not about the Apple Watch—some good and some bad.
You can use your Apple Watch as a remote to control your Apple TV (play, pause, fast forward, rewind), but can’t power it on or off. You would still need the actual Apple TV remote to do that, which seems a little counter intuitive.
You can dictate text messages, tweets, and notes but you cannot reply to emails for some reason. Not sure if that’s something you’d want to do anyways, but it is a little weird that you can’t.
While most of the Apple Watch’s features require being connected to your iPhone, there are a few things you can do without needing to pair up with your smartphone such as tracking fitness activities (workouts and runs), listening to music you’ve loaded, and looking at photos. Also, if you are on a Wi-Fi hotspot you’ve previously connected to, then you can still use Siri, get iMessages, and emails.
A lot of reviewers have mentioned that 3rd party apps are loading pretty slow on the Apple Watch. I know developers are still tweaking the final version, but early signs point to the Apple Watch hardware being a little slow since it is a first generation product. We’ll have to wait to see if updates from both developers and Apple can fix this.
In a meeting or somewhere quiet and your watch is going off? You can silence your Apple Watch’s ringer and/or sounds by just covering the watch face with your hands.
The Apple Watch will adjust your daily fitness goals according to your movements. For example, if you’ve set a 15,000 steps/day goal but only walk about 8,000. the Apple Watch will lower your goal so you can meet your expectations while still motivating you to go for more.
Left your iPhone somewhere in your house and can’t find it? You can use your Apple Watch to ping your iPhone to find it. This feature actually would be incredibly useful since the thing is strapped to your wrist.
The Apple Watch is only “splash-proof” and not waterproof. You can wear it in light rain and when you wash your dishes but you shouldn’t wear it in the shower as the steam and pressure might affect it. According to Apple, it has a water resistance rating of IPX7 under IEC standard 60529.
The Apple Watch comes with 2GB of storage space so you can transfer music to it to listen to. While it doesn’t have a headphone jack, you can connect Bluetooth wireless headphones, which is pretty cool.
You can take screenshots but pressing the crown and side button simultaneously, not unlike the feature on the iPhone.
The time that is displayed on the Apple Watch is based on the global time standard known as Coordinated Universal Time. According to a piece by Bloomberg, it is so in sync that “if you’re in a room full of Mickey Mouse faces, Mickey will tap his foot in perfect sync on every watch.” Pretty impressive.
Don’t expect to use the same gestures you do on your iPhone and iPad on the Apple Watch, it won’t work. Apple has stated that the screen is “too small” for gestures like pinching to zoom so you would need to use the crown on the side to do that.
This one might be obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that the Apple Watch has no way of displaying the time when the screen is off. If you are used to glancing at your watch for the time/date, you will need to raise your wrist or tap the screen to activate the watch and the screen will turn off again when your lower your wrist.
If you are running out of juice, you can activate the power reserve mode option to display the time and nothing else. You won’t be able to use Siri, apps, or get any notifications while using this feature, but it will get you by if you’re just looking for something that gives you the time.