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 26

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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Spigen TEKA RA200 Airpods Earhooks Cover

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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Apple Watch diary Stories February 29, 2016

I said last summer in my Apple Watch Diary series that Apple Pay arriving in the UK was the tipping point for me in transforming the Watch from a useful device into something I was reluctant to be without. That was confirmed last week when a fraud attempt left me without Apple Pay for a couple of days.

I received a text from my bank asking me to call them as they suspected my card had been compromised. I call them to find that they’d blocked an attempt to use my debit card for a £1200 ($1700) online transaction. As it was for a gadget purchase, I was impressed that they caught it – though perhaps it was the surprise at a large purchase from a non-fruity company …

Having confirmed that I didn’t make the transaction, they put a stop on my card and said they’d send a new one out within a few days. Interestingly, the UK seems to lack one Apple Pay feature the US has …  expand full story

Apple Watch diary Stories December 22, 2015

Steve Jobs famously said that people don’t know what they want until they see it. To which I’d add that sometimes we don’t know what we want until we’ve used it for a while.

I’m old enough to have been around when the first Macintosh was launched. In that case, I knew I wanted one the moment I saw it. This was how computers were supposed to work. The total cost of the Macintosh plus second floppy drive plus ImageWriter printer was a frightening amount at the time, but I didn’t care – I had to have one.

The iPad was a different story. I originally bought one intending it to be nothing more than the movie equivalent of the Kindle, yet within a very short time it became my primary mobile computing device.

The Apple Watch was different again. As someone who started out as a total smartwatch skeptic and has now been fully assimilated, I thought it might be interesting to briefly look back on that journey and also think a little about what the future might hold for the device …

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