The Apple Watch Series 4: Many thousands of songs on your wrist

When Steve Jobs first revealed the iPod many years ago, he proclaimed, “A thousand songs in your pocket”.  Fast forward to today, and with the Apple Watch series 4, you can have many thousands of songs .. on your wrist.

I decided to refresh my contract with EE and get the Apple Watch series 4 for two reasons: 1) the speed and 2) the bigger screen.  With the cellular edition of the Apple Watch, I can leave the iPhone behind and still be contactable.  Plus I can stream music on the go too.  But as it has 16Gb of storage, it means that I can store many hours of music and audio books for offline use.

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Complications galore.  One complaint is that it is still too easy to trigger the screen and accidentally hit complications that require a touch to instigate.

Firstly, I should mention that the S4 SoC (system on a chip) is ridiculously fast on the Series 4 watch.  It’s been measured that performance comes close to that of an iPhone 6.  Boot times are cut in half.  Updates to WatchOS take far less time.  Swiping between apps is super smooth.  It is a responsive device.

One area where I wish Apple would improve on, however, is that I still find that I can trigger complications, utilities built within the watch face that tell you the weather, battery life, start a timer, etc., if I’m wearing a long sleeve shirt or jacket.  Or if I’m showering, the water can kick off a complication without warning.

With 16Gb of storage, I’ve uploaded my favourite playlists and albums from Apple Music and storing them locally on the watch’s filesystem.  With the Audible app for iOS, I’ve uploaded over 100 hours of audio books to the watch too.  Paired with Apple’s AirPods, you’ve got yourself a wonderfully portable entertainment centre.

As for the health tracking abilities – I’ve yet to put them through their paces.  I’m not convinced we’ll see the ECG function here in the UK for a good few years while Apple works with the relevant authorities here to get it classified for general use.  I know I am overweight and need to be fitter – I don’t need a watch to tell me that – but I do know that I’ll find the steps walked and calories burned to be a most useful feature at some point.

It’s a watch.  It’s a phone.  It’s a music and audiobook player.  It’s a health and fitness tracker.  It’s a personal assistant (thanks to Siri integration).  It’s a tracker.  It’s a remote control.  It can inform emergency services if you have a serious fall.  It’s all these things and so much more.  You can take it swimming (up to 50m water resistance), running (as it has a built-in GPS so you can map your route), hiking, jogging or just track your sleep (through third-party apps – it doesn’t support this natively yet).  It’s a wonderful device and Apple are the only ones who have built such a comprehensive device and have done it very well.