My Thoughts on Traveling w/ the Apple Watch and its Travel Apps

So…I got an Apple Watch. Many airlines and hotel chains have developed apps for the Apple Watch and I was excited to see how those apps actually work in real life.

This is just a brief take on what it’s like to travel with the Apple Watch. I didn’t stay at a Starwood hotel, so I wasn’t able to wave my watch in front of a door to unlock my room, though I did check out the American Airlines app and the Uber app. I am sure apps will get better and the customer experience will further improve as time goes on. Travel is certainly only a very small subset of the Apple Watch’s capability, and this is an early look at what it’s like to travel with the new device.

The display of the Apple Watch turns on automatically when I raise my arm to check the time and it shows the watch face I have customized. There is a variety of watch faces to choose from and there are different “Complications” available as add-ons to each watch face, like a world clock or the moon phase.

For me, I included my next event, the temperature (yes…it’s in Celsius), and my “Activity rings,” which shows how active you have been during the day.

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From the watch face, one can do a few things. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and different “Glances” will show up. This is just a fancy term to describe quick information that different apps can show you. For me, the American Airlines app shows my next flight, including the gate number and time until boarding.

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From there, one can tap on the screen to navigate to the American Airlines app. Alternatively, one can press the digital crown on the watch at anytime to return to the home screen (the crown is the knob found on traditional watches).

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For those unfamiliar, the home screen of the Apple Watch shows all installed apps, just like the iPhone home screen. I tapped on the American Airlines app (bottom right) to check out more details about my flight.

Because the watch draws all information from your phone, it takes a few seconds to load up.

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Tapping on a trip will show you more details.

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Apple introduced a feature with the Apple Watch called “Force Touch.” The display can distinguish between a normal touch and a deep press. When you press firmly on the screen, the display distinguishes that it’s a press and will (if applicable), show you more options. With the American Airlines app, a Force Touch will bring up the option to refresh the flight details.

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To get the airport, I requested an Uber using my Apple Watch. The Uber app identifies your location using the iPhone’s GPS and with one click, I requested an Uber!

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I wasn’t able to check-in for my flight on my Apple Watch, but I did it on my iPhone and added my boarding pass to Apple’s Passbook app. The Passbook app syncs with the Apple Watch, so my boarding pass displayed on my watch without issue.

This also allows the watch to act as the boarding pass, I just waved it over the scanner at the security check point and went through security without a hitch.

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That said, the watch (or rather, the American app) isn’t perfect. If I try to pull up a reservation on a US Airways flight, it displays an error message.

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I know this is a very brief look, but I wanted to share my experience traveling with the Apple Watch so far.

Did you get one? What are you thoughts so far?

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