Apple Watch 2 - 12 months later

So last year, when Apple re-released the Apple Watch as Apple Watch Series 2, I decided to get one again.

Yes, again.

I got the developer-release Series 0 special version thing they did the year before, because why not, they discounted it pretty heavily[1].

That time around, I got the 42mm one. It was ok - but not great. The software was laggy and unpolished, but mostly, the size was too big. I have fairly big wrists, but I prefer a minimum of things on my hands - I don't wear my wedding band, or anything else, for example[2].

So the 42mm Series 0 lasted about a month.

However, work-at-the-time also got a 38mm for testing, and as we were not using it all the time for dev work, I tried that out a bit, and it worked a lot better - the smaller size was great.

So I waited for the Series 2 (GPS is a big plus with cycling) and got a 38mm Space Grey Series 2. (I was going to wait for the Nike+ one, but I decided not to - I just wanted the band, which they sell separately now anyway!)


To my surprise, I'm still wearing it and using it, nearly 12 months later.

So what do I use it for? The main use is still exercise and heart monitoring. I use Heartwatch on my phone to keep an eye on my heart rate, and the built in exercise app if I'm at the gym or going for a ride. I sometimes also use the native Strava app at the same time, as you can't yet export from the built in Exercise app to a 3rd party (I think iOS 11 fixes this).

But the 2 surprise apps I use the most are for work: PagerDuty and Duo. If I'm logging into our VPN, I get a Duo 2FA push, which I can accept on the watch, and if I get paged, the watch vibrates, and I can ACK it from there. I normally have PD only phone me if I've not responded for 60 seconds.

It sounds minor, but it's become a core part of my workflow. I could do without these, but being I have the watch already, they are super useful.

Being able to log into my (work) computer without using the password is great, too - it also means I can have a much longer and more complex password on my Mac. It's just a pity a few other parts of macOS do not support it (eg dialogs, sudo and the like).

So much to my surprise, I'm still using and wearing it. I've turned off most of the notifications, so it's not fairly quiet, tho I have a few I need to turn off around exercise goals (I don't need to know, mid-workout, that I've just completed the exercise rings). I have watchOS 4 beta on it at present, and while it's not a big jump, they have made it that bit nicer again - the workouts app got a revamp, as did the general flow of stuff. It's feeling very polished now.

The rumor mill is saying that the next one will have a cell connection on it, but I'm not convinced - or rather, I'm not convinced I'd want it if they did. We'll see tho - it's a big component in terms of chip space and battery use, so if Apple does it, they'll have an excellent reason for it.

Bring on Sept 12th!

  1. I ended up selling it to work (ANZ). ↩︎

  2. Long story around that one :) Ask me sometime over a beer. ↩︎

Nic Wise

Nic Wise

Auckland, NZ