Report: Hands-on with the Apple Watch

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Following yesterday’s Spring Forward event, we now know that you can try out the Apple Watch in select Apple Retail stores starting April 10 and, if you like it, you will be able to pre-order your very own Apple Watch. If, however, you can’t wait and want to know how the Apple Watch stacks up against all the hype, you can live vicariously through those that got to try out the Watch at the event.

Here is a quick peek at our two favorite hands-on reviews of the Apple Watch:

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Don’t expect the familiar iOS interface –not all of it anyway

In his hands-on review of the Apple Watch, Nilay Patel from The Verge found it “confusing” to have the Digital Crown and the communication button so close to each other on the same side of the Watch. “As I tried to navigate the Watch interface, I found myself pressing one or both several times,” writes Patel.

Comparing the Watch’s interface with the familiar experience Apple users have come to know and expect with each update of iOS and OS X, Patel said he found the experience “pretty disorienting for an Apple product.” While not entirely sold on the new interface, he added that the Watch was nicer to use than he expected.

“That’s sort of the defining theme of the Apple Watch so far,” said Patel. “ It’s nicer than I expected and I’m sure the confusing interface settles down into a familiar pattern after you use it for a while, but I’m still not sure why you’d want to put this thing on your wrist all the time.”

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Third-party app ecosystem will give Apple Watch and edge

Chris Davies from SlashGear also got to take the Apple Watch for a spin and noted that Apple’s designers have put a considerable amount of thought and effort into the wearable. Not mincing his words, Davies said, “some details are, frankly, inspired compared to what the competition is doing.”

The interface also irked Davies as he found some of it familiar from iOS while other features are a little more unusual.

As for the screen size and usability, Davies found that at times there was a bit too much detail there and notes that, as you install more apps, you’ll have to learn to recognize them only by their icon.

And apps, according to Davies, are what will drive interest in the Apple Watch once the initial hype wears off: “If there’s a wealth of third-party content from well-known developers, as seems likely to be the case, the Apple Watch will have an edge out of the gate.”

Image via Apple Inc.