UPDATE: That's all the questions I can take for now. Thanks, this was fun, and we'll definitely do it again. Read our review for more answers!

We just put up our Apple Watch review (with some very pretty Verge video work): http://www.theverge.com/a/apple-watch-review, and I thought you might have some questions!

I’ve been using an Apple Watch for the last ten days to do everything from sending messages to tracking my fitness, buying coffee and ordering an Uber, and it’s far from perfect. I’m still wearing it right now — so let's chat about what’s good and not so good about Apple’s first new product in five years, and how it stacks up against the competition.

Note: I’ll be be able to respond to questions from 12-1:30 ET.

Proof: https://twitter.com/reckless/status/585834166610239488

Comments: 531 • Responses: 43  • Date: 

backlon118 karma

How would you feel about your fellow coworkers revealing all your darkest secrets in this AMA?

reckless128050 karma

code red

super35mm73 karma

Can we all just appreciate The Verge's design/product team for the stunning apple watch review page? Beautiful.

reckless128016 karma

They're the best! I'm trying to get them to participate in this AMA with me.

mcenter9744 karma

You said the apple watch is the best smartwatch, but why did you give it just a score of 7, even though the moto 360 got a score of 8.1?

reckless128089 karma

I think when the 360 came out at 249 it was the absolute state of the art, and it was somewhat inexpensive.

This is also the state of the art, but it's also a little bit slow, and the one I reviewed cost $700. You can be expensive or slow, but not both. That's a 7.

Also David scored the 360 and David loves everything. :)

J4B330 karma

Does the Sport have the same "quality" of display, despite the Ion-X glass? Same color accuracy and lack of air-gap? Is it a better buy?

reckless128022 karma

I didn't review the Sport, but I played with them at the events. They look the same to me, honestly. I would buy the Sport for sure.

mcenter9727 karma

Are people around you noticing the vibration of the haptic engine when you get a message?

reckless128033 karma

No, but the dings are REALLY loud. You gotta turn those off.

zorcan127 karma

Does the Apple Watch have a dialer in the phone app?

reckless128023 karma

Nope. Favorites, Recents, Contacts, Voicemail.

DerekStu25 karma

Is it fairly scratch resistant?

reckless128040 karma

I have the stainless steel Apple Watch with leather loop band, and I have to say the metal case is already getting a little scratched. It feels like it'll be like an iPod in that regard. Screen is fine, though.

tehSMOOF25 karma

Which gets more compliments, your Apple Watch or your studded bracelet?

reckless128030 karma

Bracelet. It's an icon.

Wuerthele20 karma

your first impression when you got it?

reckless128041 karma

Same as everyone else I've shown it to: "why does this seem so hard to use?" It really takes a while to understand all the interface metaphors at work.

chrisisdesen20 karma

Can you read the display in the sun outside? And does it get hot on your wrist?

reckless128023 karma

Does not get hot except when it's been on the charger for a really long time. Worked fine in sunlight.

Joedicko18 karma

Do the music controls allow you to control 3rd party apps (like Spotify) or does it only work with the stock Music app?

reckless128021 karma

It lets you control third-party music apps and works fine with Spotify. There's no Spotify app, though, so you definitely still need your phone. If you use iTunes you can sync music right to the watch and leave your phone behind.

imranuk18 karma

Does the lag affect the overall experience?

reckless128044 karma

Yes, absolutely. That first iPhone wasn't fast, for example. but it was always, always responsive. This sometimes isn't responsive, and it hurts the experience.

lapsusone16 karma

Will you actually buy one?

reckless128031 karma

I think it's like, if you are an Apple fan, and you love gadgets, this will make you happy. It's not terribly useful, but it's fun, and it looks cool. It's jewelry for nerds.

I'm not buying one though -- I feel like I'm going to have lots of different smartwatches to wear in the next few months.

SAMElawrence9 karma

Ok, so what about for those of us who DON'T get handed press devices to review.

reckless128019 karma

I don't know. How much do you spend on clothes? On sneakers? On accessories? This comes out of that budget, not your like "can't live without it" technology budget.

lapsusone16 karma

Do you think Apple will update it yearly? (Hardware wise)

reckless128037 karma

I think they'll have to. Will be interesting to see how long this first generation lasts; the first-gen iPad got unsupported REALLY fast, for example, while the second-gen is still kicking.

KevinMCombes14 karma

Do you think circular screens are worth the engineering efforts? Apple apparently didn't.

reckless128038 karma

I do! I think smartwatches should come in all shapes and sizes, just like regular watches.

ryan488813 karma

Why does The Verge have a reputation for being favorable towards Apple products? It seems your opinion is completely dismissed in some circles due to the apparent bias.

reckless128023 karma

iVerge tho

puralien1213 karma

Is the walkie talkie feature shown in earlier marketing materials still there?

reckless128025 karma

You know, it's not. Guess it didn't make the cut for this release.

Olao9912 karma

When you glance at the watch and the screen turns on, how fast do you have to move your arm for it to activate? Does it turn on with a natural motion?

reckless128024 karma

So, I suck at getting the screen to activate. It should turn with a natural motion — other people get it just fine — but I'm out here waving my arms like a clown trying to get it to turn on.

lgladdy12 karma

Would the watch without Apple Pay affect your opinions/review of it, as that's essentially what is being sold here in the UK?

reckless128028 karma

Apple Pay is definitely my favorite feature because it's so cool, but it's still pretty niche. Here in NYC, I use it in cabs and at the grocery store, and that's about it.

So, shruggie? Let your heart guide you. Your exploding heart emoji.

namk211 karma

How does the "tap" from the taptic engine feel like? Is it similar to a person tapping you with a finger?

reckless128018 karma

It's kind of like that -- I think of it like the entire watch is pushing down on you sharply. It's really cool. If Apple builds it out more it could really be a thing.

gallerdude11 karma

Is the digital crown smooth to operate?

reckless128025 karma

Yep. It's one of those cool Apple hardware / software things where it works surprisingly well.

adithyarmsh10 karma

How the battery life on the Apple Watch ?

reckless128031 karma

Fine. That's it, just fine. It feels like it aggressively manages the CPU to make sure it lasts a full day, but you definitely have to charge it every night.

puralien129 karma

Can the music player in Glances control the Podcast app on iPhone as well?

reckless12808 karma

Yep, works fine.

netgem219 karma

Is the lack of a laminated screen as jarring as it is on the original iPad Air? I was disappointed to hear that it wasn't laminated in your review and I'm a little concerned now!

reckless12808 karma

It's not "jarring," but it's there. You can see it when the light hits it at certain angles.

trimeta8 karma

You say that the Apple Watch is "easily the nicest smartwatch available." Is this just in terms of the materials (e.g., fit and finish) and the screen? Because I read your review, and I can't find any way in which the Apple Watch is nicer than existing Android Wear devices, other than those two categories.

reckless12808 karma

Yes, it's the nicest smartwatch hardware I've seen. It might be the nicest piece of tech hardware available, period. It is a tiny little miracle of engineering.

Agree on the software front, though. It's all pretty similar, with some mild differences.

Mestaripastori8 karma

Can I hug you?

reckless128055 karma

I only accept heartbeats from smartwatches.

gamesart7 karma

Did you get any adverts on the watch?

reckless128016 karma

Oh god no. But I'm sure someone will find a way to make that nightmare reality.

abitbolgeorges6 karma

Why didn't you do this for the smartwatch from other brands ?

reckless128012 karma

We did a big feature with Pebble Time; we are taking the Wear stuff as it comes, but it's all kind of boring right now.

That said, we do big longform every week; we do big features with video and design about other new platforms all the time.

It's not every day that Apple launches an entirely new product and platform, so we thought it deserved some additional production to stand out from the crowd.

turnobli6 karma

Provided that Apple updates the software to address most of the popular complaints, would you wear one everyday?

reckless128021 karma

If Apple fixes the performance and manages to keep the battery life steady, I would wear one. It's a fun toy. But I don't deal with slow computers. Not anymore.


haribopeaches6 karma

What are Vox Media's plans going forward on cross-coverage by Racked/Verge on products like this? You said in the review that you want to do more (and I've seen some crossover pieces on The Verge and Polygon) and I'd like to know what you think would be cool. I thought the Racked video discussion was the best part of the review.

reckless12802 karma

The Racked staff is great! Shooting that video was so much fun.

The Verge and Racked staffs talk a lot, and we're definitely going to do more stuff together. There's so much overlap in tech and fashion right now, and in the end it all comes down to trendy things to buy. It's fun to get a different perspective on that.

What would you like to see? Columns? A podcast? Videos? Possibilities are wide open.

saycreative5 karma

Were you wearing the 38mm or 42mm in the Periscope video?

reckless12809 karma

  1. I have big wrists. The 38 seems REALLY small to me in general though.

thebigbobowski5 karma

How sensitive is the accelerometer that wakes the screen? Does a slight movement as you make a quick glance down at your wrist activate the screen, or do you have to pull the watch up with a full arm movement?

reckless12805 karma

I seem to be terrible at waking the screen. It's supposed to be a quick glance, but I have to like, overact to make it work. It looks like I'm dramatically indicating boredom.

Other people can just get it, though.

jistark5 karma

Nilay, what were the first things that others asked you about the watch when they saw you actually wearing it?

reckless128013 karma

  1. "Oh, does this mean I can leave my phone at home?"
  2. "Why would I use this instead of my phone?"
  3. "How do I use this?"

I feel like there's a lot of Big Ideas to unpack in that set of questions and expectations.

green-tank4 karma

What features do you find useful in everyday usage that are not possible with android wear or pebble?

reckless12809 karma

Apple Pay. I keep saying it, but it really is Apple at its best.

Jabingla4 karma

How did you find the magnets in the leather loop? Doe it loosen during the day?

reckless12809 karma

Love the leather loop. Doesn't loosen, but I mess with it a lot.

Lots of other people tell me it's ugly, though.

possessive_its4 karma

After the first Pebble and Pebble Steel, my major complaint about smartwatches (and this is more general about watches) is how much I have to take them off. I'm on a computer most of the day, and especially with laptops, I have to take watches off for comfort and to not scratch things. Is the Apple Watch comfortable enough that this doesn't feel like you need to take it off using a computer?

And more of an issue with the Apple Watch than other smart watches so far: You take it off to charge it. The Pebbles charge from the side, and you can technically wear it while charging, but it's awkward. With the Apple Watch, you have to take it off to charge it. My experience with trying to commit to smart watches has been that every time I have to take it off, I'm less likely to put it back on. Does the charging process and frequency feel like it hinders committing to putting it back on?

Rock on, Nilay!

reckless12803 karma

I take off my watch like, everywhere. I can't stand to use it at my laptop, and I take off everything the second I get home. Watch, wedding ring, cuff, all of it.

There were a few times when I'd take off the Watch to use my laptop at work and realize I hadn't put it back on like two hours later. Whoops.

NGU-Ben4 karma

Hi Nilay! I'm a big fan of The Verge and all of your work, I was wondering since I'm just about to enter college... where do you start when you want to write about tech? I think I could answer this question myself by saying I should start my own blog to express my views but I was wondering if there are any other tips you could give?

reckless12805 karma

You have exactly the right advice: start writing! The only way to get good at writing is to write a lot. I wrote 14 posts a day, 8 days a week at Engadget. Do half of that, collect your best stuff, and start sending links to people. Get in the conversation on Twitter. We hire out of our forums a lot -- get in there and participate. It's easier than ever now.

CatboyMac4 karma

Did you try it with the Dark Sky app? I'd consider it a killer app if it worked well.

reckless12806 karma

Love Dark Sky. Like all third-party apps, it takes a second to load, but the notifications come through.

I think we'll have to wait for native apps before anything is really a killer.

kylesethgray3 karma

And is there any comparison you could give to your Nixon Newton, or any regular watch you where?

reckless12807 karma

The Nixon is super light in comparison. My Akteo is bigger in terms of area, but also lighter. It's lighter than my Baume and Mercier. I would say it's like: the Apple Watch is heavier than inexpensive watches, but lighter than expensive watches.

The other thing -- and I couldn't figure out where to work this in the review -- is that when you wear a regular watch, other people can see the watchface all the time. The design matters; it communicates for you. With the Apple Watch, all other people see is a black square. All that watch face customization only shows up for you. It's very different.

kolovsam3 karma

Do you think it is worth getting the Apple Watch in its first version, or are there enough bugs / design problems to make it worth waiting for a second version?

reckless12803 karma

If you want one because you're a gadget person, I'd get the Sport. You'll get to follow along as Apple updates it, it'll be fun, all that.

But I personally would wait for the next round.

StJimmy802 karma

in the time you have used it, have you changed your mind about it since your first impressions?

reckless12806 karma

It's less messy on the interface front than I thought, but I never, ever expected it to be slow. So both good and bad changes.