2 weeks with Watch OS5

Apple released Watch OS5, along with iOS12, to the public on 17th September. I have written about my experience with iOS12 in a separate article. Now that I have been using the Watch OS 5 in Series 3 Apple Watch for 2 weeks,  I think I can share my experience here.

Update

Update went smooth without any issues. But it took 2 hours for the update to complete. In contrast, iOS12 was updated on the same day in less than an hour, even though the size of the iOS12 was considerably larger than the Watch OS 5 size.

Weather App

When we tap the weather app in Watch OS 4, we get detailed weather information for next week or so. But in Watch OS 5, we get to see UV Index & wind speed in addition to the forecast.  I wonder what will one gain by knowing UV index value. I looked up UV index in Wikipedia, only while writing this article. I am worried that people knowing a lot about previously unknown factors, would end up making people hypochondriac. I agree that knowing more about something is always good, but as Feynman used to say “There is a big difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something” . Unless people are made aware of what UV index really mean and when one should take steps to prevent longer UV exposure, this value in Apple watch will just be like Feynman said, “knowing the name of something”.

Activity Rings

Activity rings look thinner in new OS compared to the previous OS. This new design is not something I agree with. I understand Apple had to redesign the rings to fit the larger screen in Series 4.  But, I believe, they could have done this in a better way, so the rings don’t look so different from the previous version.

Some people noticed that their Exercise ring was closing faster than the previous version. Apple said to have fixed it with the 5.0.1 update. I didn’t notice it myself.

Work Out

Apple touted the Auto Workout deduction during the keynote.However, this feature is not consistent. I do walking workout every work day at specified time. The app deduces work out only on 6 out of 10 occasions. The good thing is that when this feature works, it was like magic the first time. The watch had been tracking my work out in the background and when I am prompted to record the work out (which normally is 5-10 minutes after I started my work out), I don’t miss my work out details for that 5-10 minutes.

Walkie Talkie

Yet another feature that Apple boasted about during the key-note. I think it will work when you have lots of people in your circle have Apple Watch. That not being the case with me, I couldn’t extensively experiment with this feature. When I tried with the lone person, who has Apple watch, the feature worked fine. 🙂

Watch faces

Apple introduced few watch faces for Series 4 (Fire, Air & water), which are available for previous generations as well. However, these will look better on larger displays.

Achievements tab

Achievements have been renamed as Awards in Activity App. I strongly believe that Achievements/Awards challenge really motivates me to earn it. I have become a bit more active after I started wearing the watch.

Pod Casts

With Watch OS5, Apple has made podcasts app available in Apple watch. This is a handy feature, especially when one travels a lot. This neat addition gives one more reason not to take out Iphone every once a while and there by reducing the screen time & number of pick ups. However, I wish apple also calculates the time spend on Apple watch apps in screen time & pick ups reports

Notifications

As with iOS12, the notifications are grouped in Watch OS as well. So notifications look clean in watch. I think group notifications make much more sense in Watch than in phone, owing to the smaller screen real estate. The cancel icon looks larger in this version. We also get the option to manage notifications in Watch, just as we get in the phone.

Siri

I don’t use Siri in either the phone or the watch. It is fun to play with it a couple of times, other than that, it is as good as a non-existent feature for me. Apple says Siri has improved, unless Siri can answer follow-up questions & understand my accent 100% all the time, I don’t see myself using Siri any time soon.

Battery

I feel that my watch is not charging at the same rate as it used to be before the upgrade. I don’t have any objective facts to back up my claim, but I still feel this to be the case. And battery gives me good two days of juice.

Overall, Watch OS 5 is a good enough upgrade. But, if one doesn’t upgrade to this version, one will not miss out on any significant feature. If Apple can iron out the issues with Auto-Deduction, then I think the upgrade is worthy.

 

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