The Apple Watch

by Henry S. Harrison

On April 10th, the first day the Apple Watch was available for preorder, my son H Alex (REV’s Editor) ordered one for me. It arrived about a month later and I have worn it daily since then. I believe that it has features that will be especially useful for appraisers.

Text Messaging: What makes this feature unique is that you never have to turn this feature off, even when you are at a symphony, movie, lecture, etc. It will notify you with a vibration when you have received a text from selected family members, your office, friends, etc. (limit 12). You can do the same with email.

Monitoring your health: This is the feature that Apple plugs the most. The watch has sensors on its back that monitor your motion and heart rate. It is very sophisticated. Its GPS system will keep track of how far you walk or run, and as you exercise you can glance at you heart rate.

Locating your iPhone (if you forget where you’ve left it!) The Apple Watch is right out of Dick Tracy. It has a microphone and a speaker. You can make or answer calls while driving without taking your hands off the steering wheel or glancing down.

Siri is more amazing than ever. You can say “call my wife”, “call the office”, “turn on the alarm system”, or TV., etc. — and she does your bidding.

Watch Faces: Of the nine available, highly customizable watch faces, my favorites are "Mickey Mouse" (who moves his arms and taps his feet) and "Extra Large," which just shows the time in very large bright digital numbers. Other watch faces include a chronograph, stopwatch, alarm, Astronomy, motion butterflies. This is just the beginning — because you can add more features to each face “called complications.”

Complications include a world clock, solar system, calendar, weather, stock prices, alarms, timer, battery charge %, activity summary, and so much more.

Does all this sound complicated? Yes. it is — and isn’t. For example, you can take the watch out of an attractive box, charge it up, and go through a simple procedure that gets you started. It will do a lot of things without any more fussing. But you do have to learn how to use the digital crown by turning it, pushing it down, double clicking it and holding it down. Using a finger, you can swipe the face up, down, and to either side. You can also tap it or hold it down.

The watch comes with printed instructions and a lot of tutorials you can watch on your iPhone. The internet is also full of instructions, including complete videos. What they don’t tell you is that there is a very good Apple Watch User Guide, which I found very helpful and I still refer to it regularly.

As if all this were not enough, there are already over 3,500 Apple Watch Apps that you can download from the Apple Watch App store. Many of them are free.

When you Google Apple Watch, there are many sites with app information. This is one of the best I have found so far: