“The first time I seriously tried to use the Apple Watch was to board a plane on a recent cross-country trip. The experience showed the promise of wearable devices, but it also revealed there are challenges to solve before smartwatches are worth buying for anyone other than tech enthusiasts eager to try the latest gadget,” Newt Gingrich writes for Mashable.

“I previously read that I’d be able to call up my boarding pass on the Apple Watch, so I opened the United Airlines app by tapping its logo in the app menu. But the process was a bit more complicated than I thought,” Gingrich writes. “The app instructed me to ‘please add reservations or flight statuses on your iPhone,’ which required me to register it on my iPhone’s Passbook app and then load Passbook on the Watch to load the ticket. This isn’t particularly difficult once you figure out how to do it but also not as easy as simply calling up the United app.”

“Keeping your calendar on your wrist is very helpful and surprisingly natural. You glance at a normal watch to find out what time it is, so it’s a not a big leap to glance at your wrist for your next appointment,” Gingrich writes. “In fact, the calendar feature alone might almost make the Apple Watch worth buying for extremely busy people. The soft and silent ‘taps’ that the Watch makes on your wrist 15 minutes before your next appointment could be the perfect un-intrusive reminder to start wrapping up your current meeting in anticipation of the next event. And the notifications call up the details you’re most likely to need as you look at your watch to check the time.”

“Apple can make the Watch more useful by ensuring more of its features work like the calendar: You don’t have to go hunting through a beehive of tiny app icons for the information you need (a boarding pass, for instance); it can be right there when you need it,” Gingrich writes. “Until then, the Apple Watch isn’t a necessity for anyone, but it will certainly be a lot of fun for a lot of people.”

Much more in the full review here.

Newt Gingrich was 58th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (January 4, 1995 – January 3, 1999).

MacDailyNews Take: As Apple Watch becomes less dependent on iPhone with watchOS 2 this autumn and native third-party apps arrive, some of the current convolutions that Gingrich describes will clear up.

As for necessity, nothing beyond food, water, and shelter qualifies, so don’t make that a deciding factor. If you’d like something that saves you time throughout the day and makes managing many everyday activities significantly easier, then the Apple Watch is for you.


One month with my Apple Watch: Why I’m loving it – June 17, 2015
Dalrymple reviews Apple Watch: ‘My most personal review ever’ – June 16, 2015
Apple Watch: 45 days later – June 8, 2015
Computerworld’s deep-dive Apple Watch review: ‘After a month of use: Very positive’ – June 8, 2015
Living with Apple Watch: One month in – June 3, 2015
Apple Watch: The early adopter’s take – June 1, 2015
Jean-Louis Gassée: Five weeks with Apple Watch – May 31, 2015
Ben Thompson: Apple Watch is being serially underestimated – May 20, 2015
BGR reviews Apple Watch: ‘A major technological achievement; you won’t want to take it off’ – May 7, 2015
The Telegraph reviews Apple Watch: Object of desire – May 7, 2015
Cult of Mac reviews Apple Watch: ‘Futuristic, fun and fan-flipping-tastic’ – April 28, 2015
PC Magazine reviews Apple Watch: ‘The best smartwatch available’ – April 28, 2015
Apple Watch owners shame so-called professional reviewers – April 27, 2015