Our CEO indulges in a fair amount of tech novelty. Drone, electric skateboard, desktop milling machine… One thing he has refused to adopt is the Apple Watch (or iWatch as he calls it.)
…Because it’s really dorky. I wear a watch because I appreciate time pieces. The engineering, the craftsmanship, the evolution… Everything about it. It happens to tell time, but for me it’s all about the achievement and what goes into it.
When Apple Watch 3 added the ability to make calls and respond to texts without your phone nearby, he decided to give it a shot.
I have an iPhone SE; the smallest iPhone you can get. It’s not as cool or powerful as the other iPhones, but I like the idea of flying light. If they had a mini SE I’d have that instead, but they don’t so my best avenue is an iWatch.
It’s physical and psychological. There’s something that ties you to your cell phone. A need to constantly have your phone with you in case something happens. This is a way to psychologically shed that a little bit, but still be connected because I have kids. I have responsibilities.
It also keeps you from having a deep conversation. You’re going to use your iWatch for a “Yeah everything’s okay,” or a yes/no to reply to a text. You’re not going to have a 20 minute conversation. It’s kind of a halfway step to being disconnected.
I hate everything else about it. I hate that it buzzes you and notifies you when its time to stand up and take a breath. I know how to breathe. Every time I do something else on the watch it’s just trying to turn something else off. There are tons of notifications and they’re on by default, which is pretty silly… But I guess that’s how you get people to adopt them.
I do like the audio features on it. I do a lot of projects with my hands and having access to all of your music, being able to play or pause a podcast or adjust volume without reaching into your pocket, is amazing.
Battery life is always a big question but it isn’t really relevant for me. I’m only grabbing it for specific instances where I don’t want to carry a phone, so I don’t need it to last an entire day of heavy use.
With a lot of early adopters of the Apple Watch in our office we asked whether they actually use the much-hyped smartwatch:
Ronnie: I’m happy I bought it. I use it every day. I don’t use the sleep tracker though. I don’t use it to make calls. I use it for notifications as a quick way to save me from going for my phone when I don’t have to attend to something right away. It helps me stay more focused on the task as hand. I thought I would communicate through it more often, but the small screen size and the lack of “snappiness” of control makes it quicker for me to just pull out my phone. I don’t regret it but I’m a little biased. You could put an Apple logo on a brick and I’d probably buy it.
Chris: Directions were a cool feature. Your watch can buzz once for right and twice for left so you don’t need to keep glancing down at your phone. Answering a call seemed to work well but nobody wants to look like Dick Tracy. Battery life is not great. You have to charge it every day. I did like the calendar. It would pulse in a specific way to let you know it was time to leave for a meeting. Ultimately though it didn’t work well enough for me to justify wearing it. Once you put a nice band on it the cost is over $1,000. Wouldn’t you rather just have a nice watch?
Greg: I love it. I’m very happy I bought it. I just hope my first gen model doesn’t become obsolete. I use it to work out. I use ‘Strong Lifts’, which sets timers for your next set based on how hard the last one was. Then I go up to the treadmill and it automatically updates me with BPM, calories burned, and my weekly tally. I also use it for checking my upcoming meetings. It’s very easy to see when your next event is at a glance, and is not as disruptive as looking at your phone.