John and Tom: An Apple Watch update

So last week the watches were finally released and Tom and I got to play with them at the Apple store.


John’s Impression:

The watch was surprisingly responsive. I wasn’t sure it would be very responsive given the size of the device. I was also pleasantly surprised that with my big giant fingers I was able to easily navigate the screens.

I was unable to try one on. You have to schedule a “fitting” for that privilege which I can only imagine is as embarrassing as it sounds.

I was super impressed with the iPad mini or whatever screen the watch was connected to in the display. It followed the apps you chose on the watch and changed it’s screen as you played with the watch. Very cool and I could see a use for that.

I thought the exercise part of the watch was very well done. I can see how it would help someone like me that sits for a majority of the day.

Finally I poked around the payments, which is what I was really there to see. I was impressed with the passbook interface and I could see how they plan to use it.

Tom’s Impression:

As far as a smart watch goes the Apple watch seems like a nice implementation. I would like to have tried the camera viewfinder functionality, but I couldn’t since none of the demo watches were paired with another device. That seems like it could be a compelling use case for the watch. Seems like it should be advertised more.

I wasn’t super impressed with the built-in fitness app. I’d be interested to see what Polar or some of the other serious fitness oriented companies could do with the features built into the watch. I’ve used a lot of fitness trackers over the years and I’d like to see how the Apple watch stacks up compared to a dedicated fitness watch with a heart rate monitor strap for tracking a workout.

Grumpy-old-guy/smartwatch-contrarion comment! Apparently the years are really catching up to me. In general, the watch was too small to see well without having to put on my reading glasses. Also, I repeatedly had trouble selecting the correct app on the main screen. I’m sure this won’t bother the target demographic of eagle-eyed-stick-figured 20-somethings with $300 to burn. To be fair, this isn’t just an issue with the Apple watch. I noticed the same issues with the Samsung watch.

Other Thoughts: Just for fun we stopped by a Verizon KIOS to play with the latest Samsung watch.


It really paled in comparison. In terms of the features and especially the user interface.

Finally, I thought I would share this. A company is developing a bracelet that displays your phone on your skin. I think this would be the ultimate addition to the Apple watch. No more phone!!!! Check it out at


Incase you missed it; check out our Podcast on the Apple watch!

John Best

John Best

Financial technology service expert John Best crushes the reiterated maxim “thinking outside the box” to tiny particles, leveraging his lofty, yet proven, financial technology “innovativeness” for credit unions nationwide. Recently ... Web: Details