Hands on with the Apple Watch

Everything about the Apple Watch in :90
Everything about the Apple Watch in :90

An Apple employee and I exchanged doodles on Apple Watches Monday. He outlined what I believe was a piece of broccoli, I drew a melting bunny.

While watching the pictures appear on our screens as animations, I wondered what exactly you could communicate with tiny drawings. The medium doesn't really seem meant for casual acquaintances. The potential for confusion and awkward misunderstandings is too great.

He then sent over his heartbeat, which was both really cool and a little too intimate for a nice man whose name I did not catch.

The demo was part of Apple's latest press event. It was my second time trying on an Apple Watch, the first time actually testing out the features of the heavily hyped new device. Like the messaging feature, the watch gives me conflicted feelings. The technology feels fresh and exciting but it can also seem confused and unnecessary.

Related: Cook on Apple Watch: 'I've been wanting to do this since I was 5'

It is, of course, still too early to really know if the watch is a winner. I would need to wear it for at least a week while going about my regular routine to know how it actually improves my life. It's difficult to get a sense of how a new device works when you're being rushed through a demo in a crowded room and there's an impatient stranger breathing heavily in your ear.

There are two size options for the watch, small (38mm) and large (42mm). As a slight-wristed female, the most exciting part about the Apple Watch's physical design is that it actually fits. The watch I ended up testing was a dull pink band and small stainless steel face that did not go with my outfit. However there are plenty of other options I would happily wear.

Between the touchscreen, two physical buttons and the scrolling option on the Digital Crown, there are a lot of tools for navigating the watch. For the touchscreen, there are two tapping options, light and hard, which serve different functions depending on what app you're in, much like a double click.

It's a confusing collection of options, and using the watch isn't as immediately intuitive as the iPhone. But it does take time for an entirely new interface to become second nature, and I'm sure anyone could learn its ways eventually.

Related: Apple Watch is the first new gadget since Steve Jobs

The apps are designed to be familiar, bare-bones versions of their iPhone counterparts, so they're simple to figure out. I changed the watch face, found the nearest Starbucks, mapped a route there, and opened the other pre-loaded apps without incident. My favorite was the camera, which acts like a remote preview and trigger for your iPhone's camera. I looked down at my wrist to take a photo of other people staring at their wrists.

I even ordered an Uber. It did not arrive.

The communications tools are oddly fragmented and use different apps. The main messaging app can send texts and emojis to anyone, but the app for messages that only go to other Apple Watches -- drawings, vibrations and your heartbeat -- is separate. It seems silly to not lump them together.

About those vibrations. You can tap to send custom vibrations, but to make this useful you'd probably have to sit down and come up with meanings for different taps with your contacts (one tap means I'm late, three fast taps means we need to buy milk).

I did not get to try on a $10,000 18-karat gold watch, but would assume it feels and acts just like the other Apple Watches but with an added layer of smugness and fear of being robbed.

Out time together was brief, but I look forward to using the Apple Watch more in the near future to find out what it's really capable of. Maybe I'll find some other Apple Watch users and barrage them confusing doodles.

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