It’s been just over six months since I first strapped an Apple Watch to my eager wrist. Here are 10 things I’ve experienced wearing the Watch daily since then.

  1. I’m exercising more. I used to exercise 3-4 times a week. Now, I’m exercising 5-7 times a week. Apple Watch, and my focus on completing the three activity circles each day, has been the catalyst.
  2. I’ve lost weight. About five pounds, more or less. Again, I thank the activity circles.
  3. I still wear a Fitbit. Fitbit’s leaderboard, on which I can see how many steps friends and family have accrued during the week, is as motivating as the desire to complete Apple Watch’s activity circles every day. Plus, I have years of Fitbit data I want to keep adding to. During the day, I wear a Fitbit One when not exercising and a Fitbit Charge HR when I am. I also wear the Charge HR for sleep tracking.
  4. I worry about scratching my Watch case. In fact, I already have scratched it. I first noticed tiny scratches about a month ago. The scratches happened even though I bought the stainless steel case, which I thought would be more scratch-resistant than the aluminum case of Apple Watch Sport models. I’ll try to buff out the scratches at some point, per 9to5Mac’s advice.
  5. I don’t launch many apps. I flip through Glances occasionally. And sometimes I use Wunderlist on my Watch to check off items on a grocery list while I’m in the store. But that’s about it as far as using apps on my Watch.
  6. I don’t change my Watch face. It’s the Modular face for me, all the time. On it, I can quickly glimpse the time, date, weather forecast, current Apple stock, my progress in completing Apple’s activity circles, and how much battery juice is left. Sweet.Apple Watch Modular face
  7. I change bands regularly. I now own six bands and change them 2-3 times a week. I particularly like Apple’s red and navy blue sport bands.
  8. I’m glad I bought the Watch. No buyer’s remorse here. I wear it every day.
  9. I’ll sell it as soon as the second-generation arrives, as long as the next Apple Watch models are thinner and lighter. Supposedly, they will have FaceTime cameras on them, but that doesn’t interest me.
  10. If I had it to do over again, I’d probably buy an aluminum Apple Watch Sport model instead of the mid-priced Apple Watch. Not sure the extra hundreds on the Apple Watch were worth it.


Rocking a Leopard Print Apple Watch Band

by James A. Martin on September 23, 2015

in Apple Watch Accessories

Taking inspiration from Steve Tyler, and adding an unhealthy dose from Gloria Swanson, I am now (occasionally) rocking a leopard print Apple Watch band.

Steve Tyler leopard print


Mind you, I don’t wear it to Safeway or SoulCycle (yet). It’s only for special occasions. But it’s definitely an attention-getter, and it rounds out my ever-growing collection of Apple Watch bands. Casetify sells it for $70. (Disclosure: Casetify sent me the band as a review sample.) The band pieces slip easily into place and have enough holes to keep the Watch tight on my wrist, the better for reading my heart rate accurately. Because, you know, it’s all about the beat.

Casetify leopard print Apple Watch band

Casetify also lets you create custom Apple Watch bands (also $70) using your own images. I’m working on a custom Piggly Wiggly Watch band as we speak.

Piggly Wiggly logo



It took multiple tries over a day. But I finally installed the new watchOS 2.

I’ll spare you all the horrifying details and just give you a quick taste of my pain. Yesterday, the Apple Watch app on my iPhone 6 Plus would hang on the ‘Verifying…’ stage of installing the Apple Watch OS update. Repeatedly. I was busy doing other things like, you know, making a living. So I didn’t stop Heaven and Earth to focus on the OS update.

Today, I tried again. Same thing happened. So I started Googling and found this article on 9to5Mac, which made perfect sense. The trick, for me, was to unpair my Apple Watch from my iPhone and start all over again. Unfortunately, this also deleted all my credit cards from Apple Pay on my Watch. But this is the epitome of a ‘first-world problem,’ is it not?

Screenshot 2015-09-22 17.36.37




Why You Should Order a New Apple Watch Band Now

by James A. Martin September 9, 2015

At last: Apple has released Sport Bands for Apple Watches that go beyond Lime-Green Slurpee, Salmon Tartare, and Carolina Blue. I wasted no time ordering two colors I’d been waiting for: the Midnight Blue and (PRODUCT) RED. Both are $49. If you see a new band you’d like, you might not want to waste time, […]

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Three Months and Five Pounds Later: An Updated Apple Watch Review

by James A. Martin July 28, 2015

On April 29, I started wearing an Apple Watch. In the three months since, there have been countless articles calling the Apple Watch a flop, a disappointment, a ho-hum addition to Apple’s line-up, and the most successful smartwatch to date. I’ll just say this: Apple Watch has helped me lose a stubborn 5 lbs. and boost […]

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Apple Watch Battery Life: Dwindling?

by James A. Martin July 10, 2015

I’ve written before that Apple Watch battery life is “pretty damn good, actually.” But I’m beginning to wonder. In the past week, the battery in my Apple Watch (sapphire/stainless steel version) seems to be draining more quickly than it used to. Example: Last night, when I placed the Watch on its charger, it only had 17 percent […]

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Consumer Reports Apple Watch Review: ‘Most Advanced’ Smartwatch

by James A. Martin July 3, 2015

In its August 2015 issue, Consumer Reports says the Apple Watch is “the most advanced and attractive smartwatch you can buy.” (An online subscription is required to view CR’s Apple Watch ratings.) The magazine adds that the “stainless-steel Watch’s sapphire crystal face proved to be the hardest among our test models” in terms of resisting […]

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More Evidence: Apple Watch Heart-Rate Monitoring is Reliable

by James A. Martin June 24, 2015

During my annual physical today, I asked my doctor to check my heart rate two different ways. The first time, he used a Welch Allyn machine that checks your pulse, blood pressure, and so on. The machine’s reading differed from my Apple Watch’s reading by 1 beat-per-minute (bpm). Next, I asked my doctor to check […]

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Update: Apple Watch Ship Dates

by James A. Martin June 20, 2015

Having just reviewed the current delivery dates for all Apple Watch models, I can say this: If you want a watch with a buckle, you’re going to have the longest wait. Example: The 38mm stainless steel model with black modern buckle has a current delivery date of July 7-9. The 38mm 18-Karat Rose Gold Case with Rose […]

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A Surprising Trip With Apple Watch

by James A. Martin June 14, 2015

Surprise: Apple Maps is better than I thought. At least in Richmond, VA. Last year, en route to some friends’ new home in a recent development outside Richmond, Google Maps led Nick (my spouse) and me in circles. Literally. This year, Google Maps was poised to send us back on the same Tilt-A-Whirl trajectory. I […]

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