Port Washington native Dan Kenger was up at 3 a.m. to pre-order his Apple Watch on the first day, back in April, when the new smartwatch became available to consumers. Dix Hills attorney and author Ron Leshnower got his earlier this month. And Sands Point resident Julie Kramer and her siblings just gave one to their dad, Burt Gold, this past weekend, a combination birthday and Father's Day gift rolled into one.
Kramer's dad, who lived for decades in Plainview and now splits his time between New York and Florida, just turned 76. "I thought, you know what? He's the most incredible person I've ever met -- we need to get this for him," says Kramer.
June is a big month for gift-giving, what with Father's Day on Sunday and all those graduation parties to attend. And the Apple Watch is arguably at the top of many a hopeful dad or grad's wish list.
So what are the reviews? We checked with some early adopters.
Kenger, digital creative director of Gin Lane Media, a creative agency named for a street in Southampton, is in the business of making cellphone apps, and sees a huge future for the watch.
In addition to some simple-to-use apps (Uber, Starbucks) and the easy way you can pay for things with the watch (just hold your wrist up to a payment terminal), Kenger says its real strength is in its "micro-interaction," or the subtle, laid-back way it communicates. When your phone vibrates in your pocket, he explains, "It's like 'Ohmygod, ohmygod! What's on my phone?' On your wrist, it's more a soft 'Hey, you've got a message.' It's whispering vs. screaming."
Then there's the added convenience of not having to extricate your phone from the bottom of your purse or pants pocket anytime it vibrates. "If you're in a meeting but expecting an important message, you can just glance at your wrist," says Leshnower. "It's the polite way of doing it."
Leshnower also appreciates the way it educates you about your health. Like other popular wearables -- from Fitbit, Garmin, Samsung -- it gives you a sense of your resting and active heart rate, calories burned, and whether you've been more sedentary than normal.
Bear in mind the watch is "very first-generation," Kenger says, noting it's not the speediest of devices, and perhaps best suited for people who like to be pioneers - those who don't mind a few bumps in the road.
Kramer says she knows just such a guy. "My father loves gadgets, technology, social media -- he's more with it than I am."
The watch's current applications may seem limited to some. Kenger likens it to the first iPhone, which "couldn't do much more than check email and the weather, and my friends said they could do that on a BlackBerry and type much faster," he recalls. "But look what happened."
The Apple Watch, he feels, is similar.
"It's not gonna change your life . . . right now. But in years to come, anything's possible."