I’m a big fan of my Apple Watch. I’ve had it now for 7 months and I wear it daily. Starting today I’ve stopped.
For me, the strongest feature of the Apple Watch is notifications. Everything I need conveniently shows up on my watch. Gone are the days where I have to fish my iPhone out of my pocket multiple times each hour to figure out why it’s buzzing at me. I got a text message? I can check it real quick to see if it needs an immediate response. If it’s short and simple, I can respond directly from my watch. A phone call? I can quickly check to see if it’s someone I want to talk to and then end the call when it inevitably isn’t. A weather update from Dark Sky? A reminder from Due? A mention in Slack? An alert from my bank that a card on my account has been used for a purchase? All of them pop up on my wrist so I can process them and move on with my day.
It’s great that it does all this, but at some point it becomes more of a distraction than a benefit. At times it feels like I’m a slave to my watch, constantly checking things as it buzzes, or thinking it has buzzed and checking it to find that it, in fact, did not buzz. Reminders that I haven’t stood for a minute yet this hour when I’m concentrating on important work.1 There are many little distractions that were previously confined to my phone that are now more easily distracting with my Apple Watch.
Marco Arment has a good article on this subject. A lot of his thoughts on the Apple Watch mirror my own. I particularly agree with this sentiment:
It could be so great at its three most useful functions — notifications, activity tracking, and timekeeping with robust complications — if only they were more reliable and better executed. … To be great, the Apple Watch needs to be rethought to do less, better.
I’ve decided to try a watch that does a lot less for a little while. Unlike Marco, I’ve worn watches in the past. I like being able to tell the time without having to pull my phone out of my pocket and I also like the fashion statement the right watch can make. I picked up a Line of Trade Sandford Wristwatch from Bespoke Post2 that arrived yesterday. I plan on wearing it as my main watch3 for a month just to see how I feel about things then. Maybe I’ll really miss the extra functionality of the Apple Watch. But then maybe I won’t.
Don’t even get me started on how sometimes I stand for 10 minutes and don’t get credited with stand while others I get it while I’m lying on the couch watching TV. ↩
This is a referral link. I’m a subscriber, I get a $45 box every month and sometimes I get two. Signing up is free. A subscription gets you one but $45 box each month. You can opt out of boxes if you don’t want one that month or just don’t want to pay. ↩
I still wear my Apple Watch when I work out as it is pretty good at tracking workouts and activities. ↩
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