Ben Lovejoy’s diary series are an attempt to provide a real-life review of Apple devices. Not just first impressions of them as gadgets, but the role they perform in everyday use, and an evolving view over time. 

Read the diary entries from the bottom up to read them in date order.

Apple Watch diary Stories September 24

The Apple Watch succeeded in converting me from a smartwatch skeptic to an Apple Watch convert, but I held out on upgrading until the Series 3 came along. There were two reasons that persuaded me to upgrade – improved Siri performance and the automatic monitoring of heart-rate, my Series 0 being the only model in the line-up not to support the latter.

I wrote before the launch of the Series 4 that there were likewise two reasons that would persuade me to upgrade again – and we turned out to get both of them …

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Apple Watch diary Stories August 20

We today saw a not-unexpected sign that we’re getting closer to some new Apple Watch models: new model numbers have been registered in a Eurasian database. In all likelihood, the new Watches will be announced in September, alongside this year’s iPhones.

Although I went from being a smart watch skeptic to not wanting to be without my Apple Watch, I would still say it’s not a product I get excited about. A new Mac or a iPad, yes. A new iPhone, somewhat less – though the iPhone X was a definite exception. But the Watch, not so much.

The Apple Watch is very much a utilitarian product for me. I’m really glad it’s there, but I don’t do anything more than glance at it as I use it …

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

Apple Watch diary Stories September 26, 2017

Despite having made the journey from a smartwatch skeptic to an Apple Watch convert, I was – until very recently – still using my original model, aka the Series 0. It had become something I wear every day, and now wouldn’t want to be without, and Apple hadn’t shown me any reason to upgrade.

When the Series 2 was launched, I concluded that despite the improvements it offered in some areas, there would be no benefit to me given the four things for which I use it.

The Series 3 is, of course, a much bigger upgrade, but I was fairly sure that wasn’t going to persuade me either …

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Apple Watch diary Stories September 9, 2016

I’ve never been one to shy away from admitting when my first impression of a technology turns out to be wrong. I initially saw smartwatches as a solution in search of a problem, and didn’t think I would keep mine. It took just four days of use to make me think that maybe I’d hang onto it after all, one week in I was tentatively sold – and by the three-month point, I had to call myself a convert.

The only question this time around, then, was whether I was going to upgrade to the Series 2. The new fitness features sold it (and the Nike+ version) to Zac, but after almost 18 months of ownership, my usage patterns mean that I can’t see any benefit in upgrading myself …

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Apple Watch diary Stories June 20, 2016

Going out without your wallet or purse is something most of us have done at some time or another. When I did it four or five years ago, it was a complete pain as it was on a Saturday afternoon and no banks were open.

Picture the scene: I’m on my own in the car, call into a gas station to refuel, get to the till and … no wallet. Not the most convenient of times to discover one’s absent-mindedness. Fortunately I have a great bank. I called them, and they gave me an authorization number to give to the gas station attendant, who was able to put the transaction through.

But when I managed to leave my wallet at home on Friday evening, Apple Pay made it a non-event …

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Apple Watch diary Stories June 2, 2016

It’s been a while since my last Apple Watch diary piece, prompted by the experience of losing access to Apple Pay for a couple of days. Unless you get excited by straps, we haven’t seen much in the way of new developments of late, but one thing did change yesterday: that was the date from which only apps using the native SDK would be accepted into the App Store.

The sluggish performance of the Watch was our most immediate complaint when a few of us here looked back at our experience of the wearable over the year. All too often, you open an app or select a Glance and then spend several seconds – and sometimes much longer – staring at those spinning dots. Less a Glance and more an Impatient Stare.

I’d hoped that the switch to native apps might improve things notably, but so far I can see no evidence of this – which means that, of the eight different ways in which you can use the Apple Watch, I’m only using a subset of them …

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