Reasons are complicated, involving Apple Pay and credit cards. Nobody needs
an Apple Watch, and at this stage of the game it's really not much more than an expensive toy. But, oh what an intriguing and stylish toy it is. I've kind of wanted one for a while, but could not justify the $350 cost. But I have convinced myself that the astonishing new promo offer on my Discover card will easily pay for the watch with surprisingly little effort. We'll see how that goes.
If anyone was wondering, Apple has not lost its design edge. Opening the packaging (so often a tedious and frustrating part of modern life) was 10 minutes of pure pleasure. You slit the shrink wrap and lift the lid off the first elegant white cardboard box, and inside (like a Russian nesting doll) is an even more elegant white box made of heavy plastic. Inside that are various mysterious objects and oblong packages lightly sealed with little plastic protective strips stenciled with instructional icons that even I could understand. Those peel off easily, leaving small gleaming white and black and silver objects in various geometric forms. You pick up the watch and it turns itself on, silently pleading for an electric charge. The USB charging cable ends in a heavy white disk about the size of a quarter. When you bring the disk close to the similar-sized circle on the back of the watch they clamp together magnetically and the happy green charging symbol appears on the watch face. In just a few minutes the watch charges up enough to move on to the next step. Syncing watch with iPhone is no more complicated than scanning a QR code. It was the easiest electronic setup I have ever experienced.
I got the smaller watch with the Sport trim and a white sport band, which is made of a silky, rubbery material. The package came with 2 bands of different lengths. I suspect they think that the shorter band is for women and the longer one for men, but with my dinosaur bones I had to use the longer one. I see a slight miscalculation here. The long band fits me perfectly on the 3rd-to-last hole, so I'm happy. But surely there are burly men with much larger wrists than mine - I think this band would not fit all of them.
I've spent the last 2 days figuring out how this thing works. There are several levels of functionality, and some of them have a definite learning curve. But the first level takes no setup at all. If all you want is a smart watch, it's done. You don't even have to tap it to turn it on. Once it's on your wrist, it knows when you are looking at it and comes on by itself. The default watch face shows time, date, temperature, the next item on your calendar, and a couple of other items that weren't immediately obvious. One is the cryptic "Activity" icon that lets you access the built in step counter. The other is the World Clock - an odd choice, since by default it redundantly shows the local time. I think the idea is that you can customize it to show the time in one other locale. Having no need for that, I changed that widget to show battery life instead. So, okay, it wasn't a perfect display out of the box, but a perfectly usable one. I just made it a little better. There are a few other watch faces available, but none of the others display as much information, so I'll stick with this one. The one with the animated butterfly is cool, but it just shows the time. And the butterfly. Which gets old after a while.
There's a whole cluster of functionality that I can't explore because I don't know think I know anybody else who has an Apple Watch. If you DO have an Apple Watch and want to experiment with any of these odd features, let me know.