Talking tech since 2003

I wrote my original review of the Apple Watch on April 27, 2015 and for the most part I feel the review is spot on. My feelings about the Apple Watch today are essentially the same as my feelings towards the Apple Watch a year ago: I love it.

But while some have been dismissive and/or overly critical of the first product shipped completely under Tim Cook’s reign (Steve Jobs was not involved in any development), I think the Apple Watch is a success. The Apple Watch does an excellent job at what it’s designed to do. I’m not sure what people expected from Apple when it came to their first wearable device, did you think you would have little holograms pop out of the watch when you talked to people?

I just think the overall expectations were way too high. There’s only so much you can do on a 38mm or 42mm screen.

watch-workout-activity-screens-heroWhere the Apple Watch excels and makes sense is if you look at it as a companion device for your iPhone, a companion device that does three key things: Notifications, Fitness, and Health.

When I bought my Apple Watch that’s how I always envisioned myself using it. I didn’t deceive myself into believing I’d be doing real work/tasks on it. And I think keeping my expectations in check has helped me truly appreciate the Watch over the past year. I wear it pretty much every day. Sometimes I don’t wear it if I’m just hanging around my apartment, but if I’m going out you can bet I put on my Apple Watch.

For me, the ability to check notifications from my iPhone without even taking it out is super helpful. I live in NYC and while walking down the street with your face down, glued to your phone is normal and accepted, it can be dangerous and quite frankly, it slows you down. The ability to glance at my wrist quickly and keep powering along is amazing. Plus, like most New Yorker’s I listen to music while walking around/on the subway, the Apple Watch let’s me control what I’m listening to with a few taps. No need to take my phone out.

I also really love how you can use it for navigation. I visited Boston a few months ago, when I got out of the Amtrak train station and got to the street level, I had to figure out how to get to my hotel (which was within walking distance). I had only been to Boston once before as a kid, so needless to say, I had no idea where I was going. I took out my iPhone, put in the hotel address, pulled up the directions, and then sent them over to my Apple Watch which guided me the entire way there. It was so easy and I didn’t need to take out my phone once.

When it comes to the fitness and health aspects of the Watch, it’s been an incredible companion for me. I’ve written about how I’m on a weight loss journey (I’m currently down 85 lbs and still going!) and how beneficial the Watch has been to me, namely it’s ability to let me visualize things like how active I’m being and how many calories I’ve burned in a day. These things have been truly helpful. On top of that, I love how it lets me track my weight loss and exercise, it’s always nice to see how far you’ve come and get that positive reinforcement. Speaking of positive reinforcement, those achievement awards may seem silly but they really can be motivational.

So to all the Apple Watch naysayers out there, readjust your expectations and look at what the Apple Watch really does well, you’ll soon realize it does everything it’s designed to.

PS: In it’s latest earnings report, Apple announced it sold twice as many Apple Watches as it sold iPhones in the year after that device was introduced in 2007.

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