Image 01 Image 03

What does Newt Gingrich think about the Apple Watch?

What does Newt Gingrich think about the Apple Watch?

“Excuse me, I have to feed my tamagotchi.”

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich moonlights as a tech reporter for Mashable. Friday, Mashable published Gingrich’s first tech review — the Apple Watch.

Gingrich has been field testing the Apple Watch this month and decided to test it’s usability at a TSA checkpoint:

Gingrich ultimately decided that the bording pass function has potential, but needs a little work to make it a practical substitution:

My time at the airport pretty much sums up how I feel about the Apple Watch overall: it’s not as seamless as you’d think but it’s a big step toward the future.

When I approached the first TSA checkpoint, I loaded the boarding pass by pressing the Watch’s crown and tapped the rainbow-colored Passbook logo. I showed the display to the TSA agent, who noted the TSA Pre-Check logo on the screen, and moved along to the next agent who was checking identification and scanning tickets. I handed him my driver’s license but had some trouble finding the barcode he needed to scan. (It required an upward swipe from the boarding pass — which, again, is simple once you know it but not obvious the first time.)

Unfortunately, the TSA’s scanners aren’t yet made for watches. They usually point upward, so you have to turn your wrist 180 degrees for the scanner to read the screen. That felt a little strange, especially when carrying luggage. Getting on the plane later the same morning required a similar maneuver. But at least once you have the barcode displayed, the Apple Watch is smart enough not turn off the screen when you flick your wrist downward (as it would in a normal app).

Gingrich found many apps like Uber and Yelp easy to use, but confessed he was having difficulty figuring out Pictures and Instagram. In his opinion, the Apple Watch is a useful tool for the frequent traveler:

The Watch does seem like it could become a great tool for people who travel frequently. In addition to the boarding passes and calendar notifications, apps like Uber, Yelp and Apple Maps make simple tasks as quick as possible. You can call an Uber in two taps as a meeting wraps up without even taking out your phone. You can find a nearby coffee shop with the Yelp app and navigate to it in another tap. You can ask Siri where the nearest McDonald’s is and receive turn-by-turn directions on your wrist. All of these things are useful to someone who’s traveling.

The watch band though? Not Newt’s favorite. “I have to confess, I know Mashable, you guys like blue, but you know for a guy my age, this is a weird band. This is clearly a sign I’m either twelve or I’m a hobbyist.”

“You know, I think the Supreme Court ought to be on Snap Chat,” the former Speaker suggested while playing around with the photo function.

Regardless of whether you’ve been considering purchasing Apple’s latest gadget, Gingrich’s brutally honest review is well worth the watch (no pun intended).

I’ve been eyeing the Apple Watch. I like the idea of not being tethered to my phone all day, every day. After Gingrich’s review, I think I’ll hold off for the next model.

Follow Kemberlee Kaye on Twitter


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Henry Hawkins | June 19, 2015 at 11:58 am

Turn on, tune in, drop out.

I’ve retired once and will end my retirement part time gig in a year or so, at whoich time I plan to ceremonially take all my work-required communication devices down to my dock and chuck them as far out into the river as I can, after which I shall never answer another phone. Ever.

Hey, entrepreneurs…. there is a growing market out here for people who want to be shielded from PIST: Pervasive Invasive Social Technology.

Down With PIST!

Luddites Unite! Backwards We Fight!

    LukeHandCool in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 19, 2015 at 12:18 pm


    I just text messaged you a tweet via Facebook to your iVoicemail SnapChat account in the Cloud.

    Took me just a fraction of a millisecond to do what would’ve taken me seconds to type out here.

    Read it. Learn it. Live it. And stop whining.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to LukeHandCool. | June 19, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      WHAT? Dude, you have to hold the can so the string stays taut while you speak. Try again.

        LukeHandCool in reply to Henry Hawkins. | June 19, 2015 at 12:51 pm

        I’m sorry, Henry.

        Just like it’s impossible to sneeze, fart, and stick your tongue out all at the same time (Myth Busters has yet to respond to my calls to test this … what are they afraid of?),

        so, too, I find it hard to hold the can so the string stays taut while simultaneously moving my ear as far away from the can as physically possible when your eardrum-rupturing rants near peak volume.

        Would you mind replacing the can with a thimble on your end?

          redc1c4 in reply to LukeHandCool. | June 19, 2015 at 12:55 pm

          you have to use a #10 can, or larger, if you want broadband on your string…

          Henry Hawkins in reply to LukeHandCool. | June 19, 2015 at 1:08 pm

          F**k broadband. Thimble it is.

          LukeHandCool in reply to LukeHandCool. | June 19, 2015 at 2:50 pm


          I took the liberty of developing (patent pending) a wireless thimble especially for you.

          Go outside in your front yard and speak into the thimble for a few hours.

          You’ll be receiving my reply shortly.

          Keep one thimble in your right hand near your mouth and another thimble in your left hand next to your left ear.

          You might look like Sam Drucker on the phone in his General Store on Green Acres, but that’s the point, isn’t it?

          Sigh. Have I mentioned lately how much I love you guys? 🙂

          Henry Hawkins in reply to LukeHandCool. | June 19, 2015 at 7:24 pm


That is an ugly watch.

American Human | June 19, 2015 at 2:11 pm

What will be the next item that no one will be able to live without? Cars that open their doors for you. Vans that will lower the back seats with a push of a button. Lift gates that we merely need to stare at for a few seconds. Watches that tell us to look to the left. Computers that weigh less and less, and then are thinner and thinner. How in the name of Mike did we ever live without a phone thingy in our ears for 18 hours a day? How were we able to drive on the highways with out a little beeper telling us when we were too close to another car or one of those little back-up cameras? No need to worry about parallel parking either, our cars will do that for us.
What’s next?

    Ragspierre in reply to American Human. | June 19, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Really wonderful things, that’s what!

    The future…if we can just manage to get there…will be WONDERFUL!

    I now have essentially the entire Smithsonian in my shirt pocket. My “phone” does not control my life in any respect, but I do use the tools it offers, along with the one that records calls I decline to answer, or at least shows me who called.

      LukeHandCool in reply to Ragspierre. | June 19, 2015 at 2:44 pm

      “I now have essentially the entire Smithsonian in my shirt pocket.”

      And one day, when Rags’ old favorite shirt is reduced through endless wear to rags, “the shirt with the largest pocket in the world” will be housed (stuffed) where else? … the Smithsonian.

      This is true or my name is not Christo.

      American Human in reply to Ragspierre. | June 19, 2015 at 4:00 pm

      Rags, I’m thrilled about the future too but I can be thrilled without the Apple IPhone 15 in my hand (or embedded in my right hand or forehead).

        Ragspierre in reply to American Human. | June 19, 2015 at 4:38 pm

        Perhaps unsurprisingly, that was my point. I (typically) am an Android guy, and my phone is old enough to win me the ridicule of my adult children.

        For most of my life, a “blue tooth” was one that got hit too hard and died. I never have had one of the “in my ear” kind that I used.

        I still have a “not wide-screen” TV of the LOW definition variety. It’s the only one I have, outside of my computer monitor and my semi-intelligent phone.

          Valerie in reply to Ragspierre. | June 19, 2015 at 5:20 pm

          You NEED a high-def TV. It lets you see the pores on people’s noses.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | June 19, 2015 at 5:53 pm

          I have sampled the pleasures with friends who possess such miracles of modern technology.

          One day. Perhaps even soon, Ol’ Paint will go the way of all circuits and I will have to buy a new TV.

        Voyager in reply to American Human. | June 21, 2015 at 12:58 am

        On the other hand, it is very convenient when I get those odd hours questions, such as, “What was the comparative armour thickness on the Colorado, North Carolina, and Iowa Class battleships?”

        I don’t have to remember the question until I can get to a library with US ships specs in their collection; I can just pop up Google, on my phone and find out that, they all have about the same.

    Sanddog in reply to American Human. | June 19, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    Oh, I don’t know… I kind of like the rear sonar on my Armada. It sure makes it easier to back into a parking space.

ugottabekiddinme | June 19, 2015 at 2:28 pm

Sanddog, you are right, it is ugly, and Newt correctly called them out on the blue pastel watchband. Hideous.

When I was a kid, I felt for my pulse and looked at my WATCH for fifteen seconds and multiplied by 4. It was fun and interactive and I felt “in-tune” with my body. How does this thing do that? It’s just another useless data point now.