Jean-Louis Gassée: Five weeks with Apple Watch

“I’ve learned not to trust my first impressions, I recall my first mistaken views of the iPod (not a chance in a commoditized MP3 player market), Windows Vista (great UI, much better than Windows XP), or the iPad (disappointing, can’t do what a Mac does…),” Jean-Louis Gassée writes for Monday Note. “As a result, I now prefer taking the time to let a Third Impression sink in; with a little luck, it will be close enough to real people’s Word of Mouth, the irreplaceable success/failure factor, more powerful than any marketing campaign.”

“After 5 weeks, I find my new Sport Apple Watch well-made, useful and pleasant. I think it’ll be very successful and place Apple in an enviable position in the emerging Smartwatch category,” Gassée writes. “These bugs and shortcomings don’t manage to detract from my overall Third Impression: The Apple Watch is a useful and pleasant device, one that uses the iPhone in my pocket to provide on my wrist a customized and well-structured set of data and functions – including a nice Apple Pay implementation.”

“And I can’t help remember the first iPhone eight years ago: No native apps, no cut-and-paste, no accented characters, so-so call quality, short battery life,” Gassée writes. “Compared to the 2007 device, the Apple Watch, with its array of models and bands, shows deep thought and quality execution.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Native third-party apps are coming, as are new Watch apps from Apple, and they will be game-changers for Apple Watch.

SEE ALSO:

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
The 2:26 Apple Watch review (with video) – April 9, 2015
Tech.pinions’ Ben Bajarin reviews Apple Watch: ‘Powerful’ and ‘completely new’ – April 8, 2015
WSJ’s Stern reviews Apple Watch: ‘Good looks and coolness’ – April 8, 2015
The Verge’s Patel reviews Apple Watch: ‘A masterpiece of engineering’ – April 8, 2015
WSJ’s Fowler reviews Apple Watch: ‘The first smartwatch worth buying’ – April 8, 2015
Yahoo Tech’s Pogue reviews Apple Watch: ‘Magical’
New York Times’ Manjoo reviews Apple Watch: ‘A power you can’t live without’ – April 8, 2015
Bloomberg’s Topolsky reviews Apple Watch: ‘The world’s best smartwatch’ – April 8, 2015
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple Watch: ‘Second to none; I want one’ – April 8, 2015
Tech.pinions’ Ben Bajarin reviews Apple Watch: ‘Powerful’ and ‘completely new’ – April 8, 2015
WSJ’s Stern reviews Apple Watch: ‘Good looks and coolness’ – April 8, 2015
The Verge’s Patel reviews Apple Watch: ‘A masterpiece of engineering’ – April 8, 2015
WSJ’s Fowler reviews Apple Watch: ‘The first smartwatch worth buying’ – April 8, 2015
Yahoo Tech’s Pogue reviews Apple Watch: ‘Magical’
New York Times’ Manjoo reviews Apple Watch: ‘A power you can’t live without’ – April 8, 2015
Bloomberg’s Topolsky reviews Apple Watch: ‘The world’s best smartwatch’ – April 8, 2015
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple Watch: ‘Second to none; I want one’ – April 8, 2015

18 Comments

  1. Lovin’ mine so far. Was at a screening of TOMORROWLAND in BevH yesterday and the Watch was on silent mode but I could do simple things like glance down at the time and messages incoming, etc.. quickly and not let it impugn my movie going experience, such as it was. I still whip out and use my iPhone6 Plus but less than before and the Watch adds convenience when you want to leave the iPhone in your pocket or just want to do simple things like looking at the time, etc..

  2. Smart. So many online opinions are the result of knee-jerk gut reactions that I’ve learned that published first impressions are virtually useless.

    This applies equally to 5-star reviews of things that people have used for a minute or a day, which tell you nothing about how well it holds up; and to angry judgemental opinions about people and situations that come up in the news.

  3. Terrific article. I’ve worn my Space Gray for one week now, and like it better every day. I wore a Pebble, and appreciated notifications. This device is so much more. That said, it is a 1.0 product. Next year’s edition will be strikingly better.

  4. I don’t have a problem with his articles, but he still rankles with a vestigial Gallic aloofness—I guess l’homme can’t help it—when he slides in phrases like “real people’s Word of Mouth.” Yeah, because Marketing speaks to the herd, of which he is hardly a member; we get it.

  5. I’d really love to be able to get an Apple Watch. I already wear a smart-looking digital watch of about the same size. I have a real need to gather accurate heart rate data during fencing bouts. So the size is perfect, the fact that it’s a watch is perfect and a ver accurate heart rate monitor that I can wear during fencing is also perfect.

    However I don’t have an iPhone. I have an iPad with cellular I carry around, but no need for a cells phone. The iPad fits my communication needs perfectly.

    Why can’t it come to pass that the Apple Watch can be paired to an iPad with cellular? I don’t see why that should not be an option.

      1. What a “great” way to run a business. Fortunately for me your genius is not at Apple.

        When the iPhone came out I really wanted one, but without the phone part. I only had to wait a few months till Apple delivered. I bought my third iPod touch a few months ago.

        When the iPad came out I saw its potential but really wanted a smaller size I could easily take everywhere. I didn’t have to wait too long for the mini. I now have the mini 3. (As well as the Air )

        To allow the Apple Watch to pair with an iPad with cellular is just a matter of making the Apple Watch software that is now on the iPhone fit the iPad, it’s not that far of a stretch to consider. Maybe in the fall or next spring when supplies are not so constrained.

    1. I agree that it seems an odd omission that you can’t pair a Watch with the latest cellular iPad as it appears to contain all the elements necessary to make it technically possible.

      My wife always used to use iPhones, but once she got her cellular iPad, she realised that it did a much better job of all the non-voice or text things that she used the iPad for. Unfortunately iPhones are significantly larger than she finds convenient to carry about her person and as her iPad is always nearby, it was an obvious decision to abandon the iPhone and instead get a cheap, dumb phone for calls and texts. That Nokia is very compact and only needs recharging once a week. There’s also very little risk that somebody would try to snatch it while she’s holding it to her ear in the street.

      If Watch could be paired with her iPad, she’d certainly be in the market for one, or if Apple produced a smaller 4″ iPhone, she’d buy that immediately, but as things are at the moment, she isn’t able to use either an Apple Watch, or an iPhone.

  6. Fundamentally, what JLG is saying is that he knows that he’s not astute enough to immediately understand how good Apple products are when he first looks at them, but on the other hand, he’s smart enough to know that he’s usually been wrong in the past, so he takes a little longer before saying anything in public. That makes him a hell of a lot smarter than most, who simply publish their instant verdict, or pre-conceived ideas.

    It’s a shame that other pundits are still unable to learn from their past mistakes. Nearly every commentator has been jumping to the wrong conclusion about every newly released Apple product, but they still insist on carrying on in the same way that they always have done.

  7. @alanaudio, that is an entire topic by itself, and one that MDN has dwelled upon numerous times. Side Comment: there are a large number of posters/writers/analysts who have a vested interest, usually something financial, that is typically not disclosed, in Not liking Apple. The reasons for this are numerous and is, from my point of view, tantamount to persecution. JLG at least, whatever his motivations, is confident enough regarding his opinions of technology to ponder and wait before making them.

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