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Opinion: Apple Watch should double down on health sensors, battery life + waterproofing


Whenever someone asks what I think of my Apple Watch, I explain that I like but don’t love it, and wouldn’t recommend it to everyone… yet. “In two or three years,” I say, “they’re going to be common, but right now, they don’t feel necessary.” Nice, yes. Necessary, no.

Last week, my life changed. Shortly after our kids went to school, my wife stopped breathing in our home. I was able to get her breathing again, and thanks to 911 and outstanding EMTs, she survived to be diagnosed with Brugada Syndrome, a rare heart condition that typically goes undetected before a massive, fatal attack. Once Brugada was suspected, doctors looked for records of her heartbeat, but couldn’t find much on file. Between ER and ICU visits, I remembered that her iPhone’s Health app contained three months of heart rate data, because her Apple Watch had been passively recording it. But would that data actually be useful?

report earlier this year said Apple has wavered on adding irregular heart rate reporting and other health functionality to the Apple Watch, fearing additional governmental regulation and/or liability for potentially inaccurate results. Given what my wife just went through, I have a newfound appreciation for the Apple Watch’s existing heart rate sensor, and a strong request for Apple: be bold on expanding Apple Watch’s health features, as well as its ability to be continuously worn. It’s nice for a watch to estimate calories burned after a workout, but merely having advance notice of her irregular heart rate could have prevented my wife’s near-death experience, and who knows how many other lives better sensors could save…

Currently, the Apple Watch measures a wearer’s heart rate at least every 10 minutes, attempting to record a simple piece of data: number of beats per minute. While the Watch’s heart rate sensor isn’t perfect, it’s pretty close. It’s better than what most people have access to in their homes (nothing), plus it’s constantly being worn, and thus taking tons of readings that can be compared over time. I’ve personally used my Watch’s heart rate Glance more than I’d ever anticipated, looking at it when I’m under stress to see how my heart’s holding up. If I’m at my desk and start getting into the 130s or 140s, I know I need to do something to calm down.


According to the EMTs, my wife’s heart rate went into the 240s when she was in their ambulance last week, requiring two defibrillating shocks to “reset” her heart. She notably wasn’t wearing an Apple Watch at the time. Why? After three months, she wasn’t getting any obvious value out of using it, and just left it on its charger all day, so we sold it. It was great that her Health app contained some heart rate data, but since she always took the Watch off when she showered — the time when she typically began to experience symptoms doctors later associated with her heart condition — it was missing a key piece of the puzzle.

Understanding why people stop wearing Apple Watches should be critical for Apple. I can say that several things interrupted the bond that was developing between me and my Watch: a lack of Sport Band comfort (remedied by replacing it with a Milanese Loop), buggy/laggy watchOS software, and too few things to actually do with the Watch. Although those were all contributors, daily recharges and a lack of guaranteed waterproofing have been bigger issues for me. I would like to wear the Watch when I shower and sleep, but as it is, I don’t feel comfortable doing either of those things. My wife tells me that she found her Watch too redundant with her iPhone, and not feminine enough, which combined to make her stop wearing it. Adding gold and rose gold aluminum Sport models may help somewhat, but addressing the functional issues would certainly bring more Watch customers to the table.

Improving the Apple Watch’s health sensors would ultimately be the product’s killer — perhaps better put, “death-defying” — feature. Having a fashionable, versatile watch with the ability to passively look out for heartbeat irregularities would be huge for a large group of people, so long as it wouldn’t need to be removed from the wrist as often as the current model. Obviously, the Apple Watch couldn’t take the place of a pacemaker or defibrillator, bringing the heart back to normal, but it could provide advance warning that such a device, similar medication, and/or lifestyle changes were necessary.


As of right now, the first-generation Apple Watch still needs help on both the hardware and software sides. But even if few of the Watch’s features have been executed with the depth they really need, I’m increasingly comfortable with the focus Apple chose for the device. With a handful of improvements, I’m certain that Apple will win some additional purchases from my household, as well as many others. And it will probably go from assisting with exercise to quantifiably saving some lives along the way.

More From This Author

Check out more of my editorials, How-To guides, and reviews for 9to5Mac here! I’ve covered a lot of different topics of interest to Mac, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Apple TV, and Apple Watch users. I’ve recently discussed how to safely prepare and wipe your iPhone for resale or trade-in, and how to get the best iPhone trade-in price to help buy an iPhone 6s, amongst many other topics.

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  1. Rich Davis (@RichDavis9) - 7 years ago

    I’ve been on the fence myself because I just simply can’t buy stuff just because Apple announces it. To me, the Apple Watch would be great to have, but I’m just not quite there to plunk down the money. I plan on connecting it with a sensor on my bicycle so I can track MPH, DISTANCE, and other things that require a sensor on my bicycle. But I’m just not there yet. I also know that the 1st gen of any Apple product is just a taste of what’s to come. If Apple came out with one that was made out of polycarb and was just an in-expensive version, I’d be more inclined to buy that knowing it’s a throwaway device. I also know that for those with money, it’s nice to have an attractive smartwatch made out of a premium metal on one’s wrist. Unfortunately, smartwatches are either for people with plenty of financial means or we have to go the El Cheapo route or we simply live without them. I think if they came out with an attractive PolyCarb version for $250, they’d probably sell the piss out of them. At least I would be more likely to buy one, knowing I might replace it a few years later.

  2. applegetridofsimandjack - 7 years ago

    To me Apple Watch is useless. I was expecting it to feature way more sensors than it actually does.
    I think Steve would not have released Apple Watch so soon… So far it just doesn’t do enough to convince people to buy one.

    No Apple hater, I love iPhone, iPad, Mac and iPod and I see the purpose off all those products and how awesome they are but Apple Watch as it is right now = useless.

    • mikhailt - 7 years ago

      You lost the value of your opinion the moment you uttered “I think Steve”, it negates the entire opinion. You don’t know what Steve would do or won’t do, nobody except Steve knows, and he’s dead.

      Now, put that aside, and I would say that Apple has a solid history track of releasing solid products after a few generations. They rarely release a first generation product with no compromises. It simply matters not when the Apple Watch is released, the important questions is when is the second and third generations are coming because they are the ones that will define the future of Apple Watch, not the first generation.

  3. Cory © (@Nardes) - 7 years ago

    I agree and think there are AMAZING possibilities that lie ahead with the watch. I agree with just about everything said in this article. Make it better, and better looking (please!!!) and it can be something great!

  4. Drew (@gettysburg11s) - 7 years ago

    Wow, that’s interesting. I’ve never heard that many negative comments about Apple Watch. I’ve personally grown to love mine. I’ve found so many uses that I did not know I would have. I have a timer complication on the modular watch face. I use this to time my kids constantly. Kids have no sense of time. I also love Apple Watch in the car. I can glance at my watch much more safely than my phone. Using the Dark Sky weather complication is also great. The health benefits are very useful too. Not specifically the heart rate monitor, but more the step and calorie counters. I could go on, but its been a great help in my life. Totally worth it.

    • 89p13 - 7 years ago

      Totally feeling the love on my Apple Watch. I originally ordered it back when it was open for pre-order but didn’t want to wait until July, so I cancelled the order. Then I bought my wife the rose gold sport and when that was delivered, I could see that I really did want one. Thankfully, the black stainless was in stock and I bought mine 2 weeks ago.

      Is it perfect? No – but I’ve really come to appreciate what it can do now and hope that it improves in the future.

      I agree with Drew – the fact that I can glance at it when I’m busy and would have to stop what I was doing to pick up my iPhone is great. Setting reminders and timers – and then getting them because I’m still wearing the watch, while my iPhone is in another room, just works for me.

      I’d really love to see more health sensors – a non-invasive glucometer would really work well for me, but these things take time (and most anything health related takes government approval) and this is the first-gen.

      All the other suggestions are good but don’t beat what we have with what it isn’t. Rockets were not invented in a day.


  5. Tom Adams - 7 years ago

    I think you are biased by your circumstance. To me, I would rather have had them drop the heart rate sensor all together and use the space they saved to either make it thinner or make the battery larger (or both). I would far rather have a built in GPS than a built in heart rate sensor or any other medical sensors

    • muzll0dr - 7 years ago

      Completely second this. Though, rather than GPS, I’d rather have them drop all the sensors and make it thin & waterproof. I turned off the heart rate stuff from day one so I could get better battery life. Just don’t want/need it.

    • benjaminmumford - 7 years ago

      I completely agree too. I still can’t see how they tried to market it as a Fitness/running watch when it doesn’t have built in GPS. When it does get GPS I am there but until then I will wait it out with my tomtom watch which does heart rate and GPS!

      • dailycardoodle - 7 years ago

        They’d probably say having an iPhone hidden in a bog or pocket, doing the heavy lifting, is a viable method. Personally I’m keen for GPS also but a real Strava app would have more impact on how I use the Watch for running.

      • dailycardoodle - 7 years ago

        or ‘bag’ even!

    • dailycardoodle - 7 years ago

      Just to offer another opinion, for me the HR monitor is the best feature of the Watch. I imagine most people who are hoping for GPS in Watch 2 are active types who require the HR data also. As for thinner, it’s tiny! Everyone who sees it ‘in the metal’ comments how thin it is.

  6. Joao Ricardo Machado - 7 years ago

    Hey what band is that on the photos?

    • Jeremy Horwitz - 7 years ago

      It’s this Lux band from X-Doria, which I’m currently testing.

      • joshwa12 - 7 years ago

        How do you like it so far? It looks great!

      • Jeremy Horwitz - 7 years ago

        It’s one of the best leather bands I’ve tested.

      • Joao Ricardo Machado - 7 years ago

        Thanks man! It looks really good. The adapter looks different on the amazon page though.. is it aluminum or stainless steel finish?

  7. jaydenirwin - 7 years ago

    Love mine!

  8. RP - 7 years ago

    I am just sitting out the first gen, but will definitely buy the second gen. I find value in it just the way it is,…with reservations. Mostly first gen issues, limited apps and all other first gen handicaps. But I agree that these devices will be commonplace, slowly but surely. Can’t wait until the next model is in stores.

  9. confluxnz - 7 years ago

     Watch has so much potential but for now, it is far too much of an “also-ran” product for the asking price. I’m really excited to see what it will be able do by the third or fourth generation. Things on my wish list before I’ll consider buying include longer battery life and more accurate sleep tracking.

    • dailycardoodle - 7 years ago

      as an owner, battery life is actually very good. And i wear mine through sleep to track HR. It charges while I shower and make breakfast, really quick to 100%

  10. pdoobs - 7 years ago

    i’ve gone swimming in pools and lakes with my apple watch several dozens times since i purchased it on the retail launch day. the ipx7 offers protection up to 1 meter(over 3 fee) for 30 minutes, how many people are really taking it deeper than that? i don’t see the point of greater waterproofing if that will inevitably take up space that i would rather see used for a larger battery.
    second comment, i’ve seen much better battery life with watchOS 2 and can typically make it two whole days unless i am using it to track exercise.

  11. thisisasticup - 7 years ago

    The sport band is by far the most comfortable band and I have a leather loop and a classic buckle.

  12. A Dimension Of Mind - 7 years ago

    Hi Jeremy, always a fan of your posts, and glad to hear your wife made it through such a serious health scare, wish her all the best.

    Totally agree Apple should double down on health as a focus for the Watch. There’s more even the Gen 1 could do, but customer understanding has to catch up, and the viability of the device had to be proved first. It’s a long term project that can only get better, and great to see the few things it can do right now, has proved useful not just to your family, but to improving the health of a lot of people :-)

    • Jeremy Horwitz - 7 years ago

      Thank you so much. She means the world to us and we are so lucky to have her back.

      My feeling is that the Watch hasn’t had a great first half year. It seemed to lose momentum ahead of the release of watchOS 2, and the gold Sport watches struck me as a really odd decision that may or may not goose holiday sales. I’m anxiously waiting to see what Apple does next, because I think the product has a lot more potential than we’ve seen.

  13. Mark Granger - 7 years ago

    I think Apple should double down with built in GPS and a vastly improved SDK with almost all the features of iOS. Essentially the Apple Watch should be a fully capable stand alone mobile device that can work with an iPhone but is not required to (other than for setup via the watch app).

  14. o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

    I agree, I have the watch, and don’t wear it too often. It is great for notifications but that’s about it for now.

    I’ve said in the past there are 4 reasons for the product to exist:

    Biometric sensors
    Smart home communication
    Glancable information

    So far it really only does notifications and glancable information well.

    I think they should have waited until 2017.

    • o0smoothies0o - 7 years ago

      Oops forgot to mention ‘aura of security’ around the wearer. In other words, the watch should be a virtual key to anything of the user’s. You walk up to your front door and your already authorized watch unlocks it as you approach it, and you walk up to your car and it unlocks it, you walk up to the trunk and raise your wrist, and it opens the trunk. Etc.

    • rick gregory (@rickg) - 7 years ago

      The challenge is the some people complain about battery and want longer battery life. Some want GPS. Guess what, GPS costs battery life, so which way to do you go now (when things are still pushing the limits of what tech can do)?

      I’m kind of in the like don’t yet love camp myself – I think, though, that it’s much less about finding ‘killer apps’ and more about discovering what can be done because it’s a wearable device. For example, when driving I’ll often remember I need to do something… I can just tell Siri to add it to a reminder now. That’s harder with my phone since its in a pocket when I drive.

      Also, wearables of all kinds will be more useful as more things become instrumented and connected. For purely ID purposes the recently patented Apple ring might be even better. We’re at the very early stage of wearables. This is like 2007 in smartphones. Think about what the first couple of years were like for the iPhone.

  15. h4labs - 7 years ago

    You can’t wear your Watch in the shower? Huh… I’ll try to remember that, but if I after 3 months why bother. Guess you haven’t answered the iPhone on the Watch in the shower either? It’s kind of cool.

    • Jeremy Horwitz - 7 years ago

      Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t guarantee that it’s fully waterproof, and I don’t want to be hassled over repairs if I get the Watch wet. There were early reports that the physical buttons were getting stuck after being exposed to water, and my side button is already sticking despite being kept dry…

      • scottweidig - 7 years ago

        Jeremy, Apple recommends running it under water to free up sticky buttons and crown…

        I shower in mine daily (since launch) run and sweat in it, run in the rain and shower, as well as have worn it at the pool for over an hour in the water and have taken it to depths of over 6′ numerous times and it has worked flawlessly.

        With others, glad to hear your wife is well.

        There was another commenter that talked about not having biometric and smart home, what are you looking for in biometric? It had quite a lot between the accelerometers, pressure, pulse and hopefully Apple will open the blood ox part he h the heart sensor. Additionally mine controls my home automation through HomeKit with ease…

      • dailycardoodle - 7 years ago

        I second what Scott’s saying, showering is beneficial to keep bits out of the crown. Also, after running, it really needs the sweat washing off!

  16. mikhailt - 7 years ago

    I suspect Apple Watch will kick off in its second or third generations, almost all first generation products had compromises that held it back but most products started getting better quickly in 2nd/3rd generations.

  17. vandy75 - 7 years ago

    I like this article. The author is straightforward and unbiased. I agree with all of his statements. The present Apple Watch is not for everyone. As its features develop, the market will widen. I love my Apple Watch and will likely be on board for future versions.

  18. Bruce McFadden - 7 years ago

    I saw the new round Samsung watch and immediately recognized the fact that this is the “natural” shape for a watch. I don’t think that Apple under Steve Jobs would have released the “computer on a wrist” that is the current AppleWatch. And I write all this as a life-long Apple fan and supporter who really wanted to get the AppleWatch but couldn’t quite put my finger on why it didn’t hit a home run for me. Apple needs to go the extra mile and create an innovative, mind blowing ROUND interface. Apple has always integrated hardware and software better than anyone on earth, and I feel like until Apple embraces an iconic round interface for their watch, it will always feel like a small computer and never be something as widely worn or adopted as a watch.

    • KenC - 7 years ago

      Yes, traditional watches tend to be “ROUND”, but traditional monitors and screens with information tend to be rectangular.

      • Bruce McFadden - 7 years ago

        My point obviously went right over your head. The apple watch isn’t a traditional computer or monitor — it is a screen. Remember when Apple’s motto was “think different”? Clearly nobody expects that any more.

    • dailycardoodle - 7 years ago

      Your reply to KenC is pretty offensive. I agree with him on the screen shape. Before I got the Watch I’d have probably thought round was the way to go, but it really isn’t. The watch is a result of typical Apple design, simplifying, reducing, developing etc until it has that ‘inevitable’ feel.

  19. taoprophet420 - 7 years ago

    With HealthKit you can tell Apple had bold plans for health and medical sensors in the Apple Watch. Glucose tracking, oxometer, more robust heart tracking can all be done using infrared sensors. Apple should have delayed the Prohect until they had the sensors more reliable, government apporvement and better battery life.

    As is the Apple Watch has no true purpose. A health laden Watch could been revolutionary. Instead it does silly doodles and you can send your heartbeat to a loved one. It has basic fitness tracking features and everything else can b done by your iPhone.

    With Jobs having pancreatic cancer you think Apple would took the time to have something that could track glucose and other true vital signs. HealthKit and ResearchKit have so much promise, but the hardware is lagging far behind the software.

    Now I would release it as a separate device. Apple Braclet in reference to health bracelets some people wear identifying their medical condition. Having quick glances and blood oxygen, glucose, blood pressure and other vitals in a bracelet with a curved screen is a device many people need to track there medical conditions.

    • triankar - 7 years ago

      “A health laden Watch could [have] been revolutionary. Instead it does silly doodles and you can send your heartbeat to a loved one.”

      Perfectly said!

      Unfortunately, the product development team focused more on gimmicks that they thought would make it (insert Jony Ive’s voice) “more personal”, rather than giving us real innovation.

  20. bpbatch - 7 years ago

    I’m a Type 1 diabetic and on meds for hypertension. All I ask is the ability to continually monitor blood glucose levels and record my blood pressure. With these added features, my Apple Watch would be absolutely necessary in my life. For now, as far as actual “health tracking” is concerned, the Watch is a novelty.

    • dailycardoodle - 7 years ago

      rumours suggest the sensors are capable of non-intrusive blood sugar monitoring but Apple removed that functionality for whatever reason. So far the only product capably of that has a stick on tummy module. It would be great if Apple could unlock that feature!

  21. I have no doubt that it would only take a software update to turn on the pulse oximetry feature of the watch but I suspect the regulatory hoops of the FDA have stymied this from happening anytime soon. Of course a decent pulse oximeter needs to display a waveform and not just a number; the heart rate sensor needs a similar change-a waveform to determine regularity is as important as knowing the overall rate. This would be extremely beneficial to people that have bradycardia, SVT, or atrial fibrillation. Unfortunately I believe we are still years away from being able to measure blood pressure with only a cpu/chip. I would love to see the iPhone incorporate a peak flow meter for those with respiratory problems; I have to think that the barometric pressure sensor in the iPhone will be used for more than simply measuring altitude or changing weather.

    Apple hired a big gun from Masimo, the world leader in oximetry. Masimo sells a handheld device that can measure oxygen saturation, pulse rate, perfusion index, total hemoglobin, oxygen content, carboxyhemoglobin, and methemoglobin. It would not surprise me if the watch could do all of that as well. Nest smoke detector? How about an Apple Watch carbon monoxide detector?

    So glad to hear that your wife is okay, it must have been a terrifying experience for you both. Please give each other a big hug from all of us.

  22. pudelworld - 7 years ago

    THUMB UP for this article!

    My saying. Like with the first iPhone (compered to SonyEricsson / Nokia back then), they’re holding back features they don’t believe the market is big enough for. They have to (and probably will) include additional sensors like:
    – advanced better HR
    – O2-Saturation
    – barometric altimeter
    – thermometer
    because the potential market not only by geeky customers but a really big health/med industry will demand it.

    At the moment the “luxury”-gadget strategy still seems more lucrative and reduces R&D-effort concerning the battery/energy problem but I’m quite positive this will change within 1-2 years. I guess they have to create a separate product/marketing line to keep the “luxury”-gadget market alive while separately introduce a “iTracker” device with more features but less “bling” to milk both target groups.

    Probably for the first time in my life, I reached a point where I’m willing to wait for that moment and have absolutely no need to get this latest Apple product before ;-)

  23. Amazing article, glad to see your wife is ok. I agree that Apple could improve the Apple Watch. I am on the fence of getting one myself. I want one, but not really sure how usable it is, and I also have a budget that I need to stick to, as I’m a college student, so money, is tight. I might wait until the second watch comes out to get one.

    • Jeremy Horwitz - 7 years ago

      Thank you so much. I would love to see the price go down, as well.

  24. triankar - 7 years ago

    I hope  establishes a more down-to-earth pricing model next time around. New sensors, better waterproofing and battery improvements are all very welcome (especially the latter), but pricing the Watch more reasonably will tempt far more people to make the jump.

    I don’t know what’s keeping me more from buying one… the 800€ (ok, 799) for the model I’d choose (knowing how badly it will devalue), or the suspicion that the 2nd-gen Watch will likely be worth the wait.

    I’m on the lookout for a watch with a HR sensor because I’m becoming increasingly aware of the value of monitoring your HR, and other such metrics. But with devices like the LG Watch Urbane and the Huawei Watch, which are more than decent performers and good-looking watches too, I find it even harder to justify the price difference. The only thing that saves it is the better integration with my iPhone.

  25. bellevueboy - 7 years ago

    May I add awareness and marketing/ads(at least of using watch to pay) and accelerated third party native apps? I don’t see very many useful native apps or complications. I was hoping makers of garage door openers, security systems and doorbells would jump on it…alas….

  26. The Clean Dad - 7 years ago

    This is certainly one of the better and most thought out (not just because of the personal aspect) opinion pieces on 9to5.

    My reason for not buying the Apple Watch is simply (we own 3 iPhones, 5 iPads, 3 Macs, Apple Airport wireless throughout the house, and 3 AppleTVs) that Apple is historically conservative with Gen 1. It wasn’t until the 4th gen iPhone that they had it down. Anyone remember the design progress from the gen 1 iPad to gen 2? I’ll buy an Apple Watch when gen 2 is released.

    Gen 2 will be a block buster!

  27. Russell Fogg (@iFoggy) - 7 years ago

    As someone with a heart condition that has been ‘fortunately’ diagnosed my Apple watch gives me a great deal of comfort and the ability to manage my day, tried multiple Fitbit’s but they never have enough of the ‘other’ functionalities to keep the interest in wearing them too long. Jeremy is spot on about Apple addressing a couple of issues to keep it on my wrist @ all times like charging and water proofing….it will get there.

  28. KenC - 7 years ago

    I have an AliveCor ECG device ($75) attached to the back of my iPhone. I hold it for 30secs in the morning and it shows a real single-trace ECG. It’ll then tell you if the trace is normal or abnormal, and whether it needs to be sent in for further analysis to be read by a tech or a cardiologist. Sending it in can cost as little as $2 and as much as $12, depending on how fast you need it read.

    Still, the Brugada trace would have been obviously abnormal looking to any layman.

  29. charismatron - 7 years ago

    When the Apple Watch saves a life or drastically improves even one, it’s worth it.

    It’s not yet for me, but I’m glad it’s worked out well for so many.

    I *want* to climb on board, but just haven’t found the justification to do so. The fact Apple produced it simply isn’t enough; and I suspect they’re going to drop a bomb (in a good way!) when V.2.0 is unleashed.

  30. parajoe - 7 years ago

    Anything that could only monitored and alerted somebody to a lack of heartbeat after a few minutes or low pulse ox readings , would make a big difference if it was at least learned night but would be far better if it was always on and never taken off . It was a fireman and flight paramedic nine missed my wife by 17 minutes the brain dies at seven and you have a vegetable skilled as I was three years ago my two young girls and I worked diligently , 20 years together best damn team there ever was over one unfortunate morning she just didn’t wake up, I would tell you a device that could do that as priceless right behind the Time Machine that I need to purchase it and apply so that I never publish this message

    • Jeremy Horwitz - 7 years ago

      This post has been haunting me since I read it. I’m so sorry for your loss, particularly as the scenario you described hit so close to home.

  31. Bought the watch uncertain of how much I would use/enjoy it. Well, the answers are all the time/ a great deal. Why?

    1. Unlike my over priced Rolex or Omega watches, it keeps accurate time and automatically date adjusts versus having to manually adjust the high priced fare on 30 day months. And, with the chromo complication, I have easy and simple access to discrete timekeeping tasks. Like hang time for punts.

    2. Love love love the ability to glance at my wrist to see who is calling/messaging/texting? That gives me infinitely more control over trying to pull my now oversized iPhone out of my pocket with the more than average risk that it will fall to Earth. Plus, one can’t always pull out the phone, whether one is driving, sitting in the dentist’s chair getting drilled or talking to someone in person.

    3. I use the HR monitor when I am running, lifting or down just about anything. The monitor has led me to play a game where I work to lower my HR just like I do with my body fat percentage.

    4. Apps like stock prices, Twitter trending, NYT breaking, WSJ breaking and the like are all closer with the watch than my phone.

    5. Love the sport model with the standard band as it is low key and unfussy.

    The watch will only get more useful.

    As for this author, he brings high value to everything he writes. Especially for this article. Hope AAPL execs read the column.

  32. As someone with a-fib I’m curious to know the answer to your question, “I remembered that her iPhone’s Health app contained three months of heart rate data, because her Apple Watch had been passively recording it. But would that data actually be useful?”.

    • Jeremy Horwitz - 7 years ago

      Honest answer: a little. It showed peak rates, which were useful in seeing evidence (or more accurately, no evidence) of other ventricular fibrillations. Her episodes were almost exclusively during times when she was not wearing the watch due to charging or showering. In its current form, it would have only limited assistive ability to a person with Brugada, which strikes most often in sleep. But with an irregularity monitor, fast heart rate alarm, and ability to be worn 24×7 for a few days, it would make a great deal of difference.

  33. Paula Blacher - 7 years ago

    Very much agree: Apple should double down on Health and battery. Health is what could make Apple Watch a real game changer. I’ve read there’s a pulse oximeter inside the watch, but it isn’t activated; it would be great to use during sleep but unfortunately there’s not enough battery life to wear the watch both day and night. Sleep apnea is a growth industry — and a pulse oximeter provides vital information.

  34. PhilBoogie - 7 years ago

    Very sorry to read this! I certainly hope your wife is ok now. Health is the most important thing I think. My thoughts are with you and your family Jeremy.

    • Jeremy Horwitz - 7 years ago

      Thank you very much. Losing her would have devastated our entire family.

  35. jaydee917 - 7 years ago

    I wear my Apple Watch in the shower every morning. I can control my Bluetooth speaker in there. No reason to take it off.

  36. granttom (@granttom) - 7 years ago

    I’ve been wearing an Apple Watch Sports edition since June 1 and have been averaging over 10K lap swimming ever week since then. When I swim my wrist with the watch is in the water no more than a second or two, and my arm length is less than a meter, Therefore I believe I am adhering to Apple’s water resistant specifications by not keeping the watch submerged for more than 30 minutes in 1 meter of water. Bottom line is there has been no water damage.

    However for the Heart Rate monitoring it is not terribly reliable. First I wore it on the 3rd hole on the strap with and without a strapped on Polar H7 Heart Rate Monitor. Then I strapped it on my wrist to the fourth hole. And a time or two I additionally wore a Polar RS 100 watch that I can mark at each lap.. Sometimes when I looked at the Apple Watch during a lap turn I saw more than once readings of 200+; for a 78 year old male that ain’t right!! My maximum heart rate should be about 142.

    After my workout I download data from the Activity app on the iPhone to a 3rd party app call Motifil which displays the maximum heart rate during the workout. Wearing the Polar H7 is apparently the most reliable data but that means strapping it on etc.; something I was looking forward to not doing after the Apple Watch launch. For the moment I can live with what I got as it is just one of many ways of knowing how intense a workout was. I also recognize that this is the first iteration of another wonderful product from Apple. I still have a MacPlus on my den and boy has that change in 30 years.

  37. R Daneel (@rdaneel13) - 7 years ago

    Why would one take their watch off before showing? Does she also power her phone down because she isn’t calling someone on it? Weird.

  38. Smigit - 7 years ago

    I agree on having more sensors, better battery and waterproofing. I’d also like to see a price drop, particularly around how bands are priced. I don’t mind there being a 10K Gold model for those with money to burn, but for the rest I think they need to work on the affordability, particularly for the steel non-sports models. I don’t think the pricing issues are really with the watch itself but how Apple has chosen to tier the bands. Right now in Australia the steel link bracelet alone is over $600, which is well above what you could get an iPad for. $200 for a leather straps a bit crazy too and costs more than competitors devices in some cases. I think you can target a fashion market without the costs being prohibitive, and right now $600 on a band seems nuts when there’s a decent chance they’ll have smart bands in the future that make use of the service ports. I guess the longer time goes by the more third party options there will be for replacement bands.

    I don’t expect Apple to be cheap, but they way they staggered the watch bands for the Apple Watch well and truely exceeds the pricing step ups of many of their other products and seems to be aimed at keeping certain styles limited due to price.

    If the watch was a stand alone unit it’d be more acceptable, but right now it’s inherently tied to a smart phone which means a lot of the functionality is doubled up on, even if the watch in some cases is a better form factor for the information.

    • lin2logger - 7 years ago

      Wow. What ridiculous logic and reasoning. The classic “It sucks because *I* can’t afford it!! Meh!” drivel. Bravo.

      “$200 for a leather straps a bit crazy too and costs more than competitors devices in some cases.”

      Gee, really? Guess what? You can simply get the standard sports band with ANY watch and simply get whatever super-duper 3rd party band for $2 that you want after the fact! Wow, what a concept, eh? *facepalm*

      And no, asking a measly US $349 for a friggen WATCH, especially of THAT calibre can hardly be considered expensive. That’s just ludicrous. Just get a better paying job, adopt reduced (i.e. vaguely realistic for your situation) demands and stop whining. Thanks.

      • Smigit - 7 years ago

        It’s not the $349 model that I think is massively over priced, it’s the AU$1000+ ones thats price is based in the band it comes with. My job pays just fine, it doesn’t however mean I think all the watch options are priced at particularly consumer friendly levels, and it’s an opinion I’m entitled to.

  39. scumbolt2014 - 7 years ago

    Sorry to hear about your wife, hope she’s feeling better.

  40. mytawalbeh - 7 years ago

    I have many watches all of them circle design but my thinking of using a smartwatch landed on Apple watch with a square design.
    so I picked the “Sport” model just to give it a try, and I was amazed especially by its design, this is the first device looks more beautiful than the pictures on the internet. After 3 weeks, I liked it more than all what I have of classic watches making the going back very difficult, so I’ve decided to move forward and I ordered a stainless steel with Milanese and leather bands.

    • dailycardoodle - 7 years ago

      I’ve made that point several times, the first Apple device that looks better ‘in the metal’ than in the photos! People expect it to be thick and it really isn’t. You’ll love the milanese, it’s the comfiest strap IMO. Worth getting a sport strap too if you plan any exercise – also very comfy

  41. It’s like the first gen ipad right? It was great at its time but people were missing a few things. Once the second gen came out, it filled a lot of pieces and remained in the line up for several years still keeping up with people’s needs.

  42. thethirstsecretattack - 7 years ago

    Please get you and your wife tested for chronic lyme disease thru igenex lab. Test kits are free delivered to your door. Your wife is having whats know as herx reaction during and after shower. The water pressure, the chemicals in the water and the heat all combined releases Lyme toxins hidden deep within her tissues (like her heart) causing a reaction(herx). Lyme spirochete has enter her heart which is known as Lyme carditis it can also enter any part of the body. Brain(alzheimers, dementia, mental/mood disorders like depression/anxiety),nervous system(ra,fibro,parkinsons,lou gehrig,etc), bone(ms)

    Please make an appointment with a Lyme Literate Doctor(LLMD) as standard doctors will use standard cdc secerly outdated guidelines that will not detect the disease which is the main problem as to why people are being misdiagnosed and mistreated. is a great resource to learn more and find an LLMD

  43. charismatron - 7 years ago

    I wasn’t impressed by the Apple Watch, but I do appreciate it. I’ll be waiting for when it’s something I can actually justify buying.

    My try-on experience also largely consisted of the sales rep telling me they had no interest in it themselves, and that it was–in their opinion–a frivolous expense. I appreciated her communicating her actual thoughts on it well after I’d communicated mine. But, it was still pretty funny to be hearing that from the person demonstrating the watch. :)

  44. dailycardoodle - 7 years ago

    Firstly, I’m glad she’s on the mend – sounds incredibly scary.

    Onto some of the points. I have all my night HR data; I’m typically at 40-50% at night so I leave it on, snoozing alarms is nice on the watch and I charge it at 7am, have breaky, stick it on before 9am and it’s fully charged. I also ALWAYS shower with it, we’ve seen people at the bottom of a pool with it and Tim Cook said he showers with his, there’s really no issue there.

    Love the watch but I totally agree, you don’t need it. I can’t replace a Garmin with it which is my main gripe. When they stick GPS in it, it will be more compelling for fitness stuff.

    I think those ads sum it up well, it does LOTS of stuff pretty well, many iPhone users would find things they like about it.

  45. Terry Mann - 7 years ago

    Will purchase Apple Watch only when it well monitors heart rate and other heart functions and diabetes sugar levels. No purchase until that time. Really like the watch however.

  46. Eric Geimer - 7 years ago

    Completely agree, and great story, nice writing. Was looking for a watch for both surfing and fitness tracking and was blown away to discover that it’s not waterproof enough nor, supposedly, can it even tell me that I’ve been running for a mile. Had a Fitbit back in 2012, enjoyed the sleep tracking, and would like to get that from Apple’s device, too. Hoping the second iteration will be able to do these things you mention, as I’d snap one right up. Also hoping that the next iPhone’s exterior matches the mid-tear Apple Watch, as that shiny steel exterior is wonderful!

  47. Gerald Hammond - 7 years ago

    Excellent article. I have had my blood pressure start creeping upward. I bought a Withings Bluetooth Blood Pressure Monitor. I did so because of the convenience of capturing the information, having it in one place, reminders, able to forward to my Dr., etc….

    Apple – Keep up with what you are doing, it is amazing!