After struggling to find a watch that was inexpensive and interesting, I asked the Twitterverse for suggestions. One idea jumped out: wear the new multi-touch iPod nano as a watch.
Doing a little search reveals that this idea isn’t exactly original, but since I have never met anyone else wearing an Apple watch, it met the interesting part of my criteria. And at $149, it would be cheaper than many watches. So I picked up a silver 8gb model, paired it with a $10 watch replacement strap and voilà! I now wear the painfully geekiest watch of all time.
I have now worn the watch for about a week, and here are my observations from experience.
– It actually looks pretty good. Several strangers commented that my watch was beautiful, without even realizing that It was a nano. It’s about the size of an oversized men’s watch, so it does look awkward on women’s wrists.
– No need to plug your headphone into the iPhone in your pocket. Having the iPod attached to the wrist, where it is far more accessible makes using the iPod features that much easier. Also, I’ve broken at least one iPhone headphone jack by sitting awkwardly on the phone.
– I was afraid that the nano would not hold securely enough to the wrist strap. But so far, no problems.
– The nano contains a pedometer, a stopwatch, photo album, and a radio (with time-shifting functionality). Pretty cool for a watch.
– The multi-touch navigation is very intuitive and makes one-handed use efficient. If you are a lefty, wearing it on the right wrist will help.
– There are two choices of watch faces: the white dial and the black dial.
– Its not waterproof, or scratch resistant. In fact, we probably take the waterproofedness of our watches for granted when we wash our hands or walk in the rain. I don’t know how much moisture or splashing the nano can take. I’m not in a hurry to find out.
– Since it’s clipped on, the nano sticks out about 1/2 an inch above the wrist. Which makes it highly prone to scraping against something. It also gets snagged often when I’m trying to put on a jacket or a shirt.
– In order to see the time, you have to press a button to wake the display. It’s a necessary throwback to old school digital watches, circa 1960s. But when the display is off, the all-black face does look nice.
– While the battery life has been exceptional, it’s not going to last 2 years without a recharge. I now have yet another device I have to plug in at night. If I don’t use the iPod features, the nano will last 3 to 5 days without a charge. I have yet to need to recharge in less than 24 hours despite all the demos I have given.
– A wire that runs from your wrist to your ears feels quite strange. Give it enough slack or you could yank the earphones out while making some hand gestures.
– While the nano is using the iPod features, the nano will automatically show you the iPod screen when awaken (even when the iPod is paused). It takes at least two swipes to see the time on the home screen. It’s not intuitive to know how to make the nano display the clock app on wake. PRO-TIP: To “close” the iPod app, the playlist must end. In other words, pick a single song to play and skip to the end.
– I’d love to be able to buy apps made for the nano. Digital watch face? Voice recorder? Tamagochi?
– Bluetooth. Less wires sticking out of my wrist, the better. I am not Spiderman. Also, how about an app that allows me to see who is calling on my iPhone on my nano watch? Bluetooth would be a requirement for that.
– Search by gesture. Instead of scrolling through hugh lists of song names, I’d like to be able to write the letter on the surface to input words into a search field.
– I’d gladly pay for a wristwatch case for the nano that would remove the clip and make it a little less likely to scratch.
I may still be more interested in the nano watch’s novelty than it’s practicality, but I would absolutely recommend this idea. And I’ll be counting the minutes until Apple adds nano apps to the app store.
From an iPad (Sry 4 teh typoz)
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