I really don’t love technology. I don’t need my refrigerator to tell me when I need to buy eggs and there’s nothing I have to ask Siri. If she could build my Ikea, that’d be one thing. But for now, I’m not really so bothered. I don’t like to run with my phone and sometimes I don’t even wear a watch. Michael Doyle, pictured, great Canadian and great runner, once called me a hippie.
The point is I love the new Apple watch. It’s easy to use. And I don’t say that lightly. When these watches are hard to use, they’re pointless. I just don’t have hours to spend on watch programming. (I mean, I do, I just don’t want to spend my hours that way). This thing is so easy to use that I can do it. And it’s such a huge improvement over the last iteration. I have some experience with this watch. I used the first one at the Ottawa Marathon and couldn’t get it to function properly. I left that watch at the Ottawa Marathon—too frustrating.
Pace, heart race, speed—easy to get the watch into the screen that I want with the data I need and it’s intuitive. It’s also easy to pause at a traffic light. The instruction manual is only something like three steps. Also, the bands are simple to swap in and out. I wear the sporty florescent orange but you can dress it up with any number of slick metallic options. The thing launching in Canada today is a new feature for Apple Watch Series 3 users called the Apple GymKit and it’s this:
First announced in June 2017 at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, GymKit enables customers to pair their Apple Watch directly to their favourite cardio equipment, including treadmills, ellipticals, indoor bikes or stair steppers from global manufacturers such as Matrix, Technogym and Life Fitness (and others) with a simple tap. This technology has been rolling out since Fall of 2017 and we continue to launch in new countries. It is available starting today in Canada.
In an industry first, data not previously communicated between smartwatch and fitness machine will sync seamlessly — including calories, distance, speed, floors climbed, incline and pace — resulting in the most accurate measurements possible with less device management.
Doyle and I did this on Wednesday at Equinox in Toronto and were able to race each other on treadmills on a course simulating Monterrey, California. It was fun and we could pop up in each other’s screens on the treadmill and all of our information was transferred from the treadmill to the watch. So, in conclusion, the new Apple watch is pretty awesome. You get your emails on there, can answer the phone and talk into the watch which, if you have kids, will drop their jaws. It picks up GPS signals quickly and doesn’t need to be recharged every night like it used to. I keep recharging mine anyways, I still get Ottawa flashbacks, but it looks like a full charge will last three days.
If you’re looking for a new smart watch, a good running watch that looks good and works good—even if you’re not tech-savvy—I feel confident recommending the Apple Watch. I’m wearing mine now and will wear it, later this month, in a rematch at the Ottawa Marathon.