So long Apple Watch
We had a good run and a few bad ones. I should be excited about the Apple Watch. It is a well thought out fitness tracker. Leaving the house without carrying an oversized pocket computer sounds pretty nice, all while still being connected and receiving notifications and being reachable. Remote controlling my home at any point in time, knowing when someone rings the bell or a motion in the garden is detected can be pretty useful. Working out with only AirPods and the Watch instead of having a phone with me is really pleasant. And yet the Apple Watch is the least interesting product in Apples line-up to me. Which feels like a devastating statement to make considering the new Apple Silicon Mac Pro exists.
When the Apple Watch was released I was excited. All the possibilities! But I was also a bit skeptical as it competes with my regular watch. Over the past 8ish years I tried to make it work. I wore it during countless workouts. I upgraded to an LTE version and tried leaving my iPhone behind. I went on runs, integrated the Watch with Home Assistant and all the fun stuff. Yet whenever I went on a trip I picked up one of my regular watches.
From a technical perspective it works fairly well. But it might be the device built by Apple I had the most problems with. I had AirPods not being able to connect randomly. I had music stopping to play for some minutes while on a run. I reset my current Watch three times because it stopped sharing workout data with my phone. For eight years this is still not many problems, but these were all problems that go completely against what it is supposed to be. A reliable companion.
Meanwhile the worst that can happen to one of my watches is an empty battery. Which happens every three years or so. Otherwise it just works. It cannot do all the things an Apple Watch can. Factually even more fancy watches only display the current time. Can you imagine? A watch that only displays the current time?! Yet when I look at one of my watches I see traditional engineering. Perfected over centuries. How can you not admire a masterpiece of engineering you can wear on your wrist? While the fact that a device like the Apple Watch exists is also an incredible achievement, something about the manual, mechanical assembly of a watch just is different.
But this is not a good enough reason to pretend to still be in the 16th century. What I really learned about myself over the past eight years is that I do not care and do not want to care about the Apple Watch advantages.
There is no reason for me to be always available. I want to be able to walk our dog without receiving a phone call or random Slack notifications. This is not always possible, but I won’t crumble under the weight of my phone. I want to have dinner with my wife without something buzzing on my wrist because I received a Mastodon notification.
The fitness and health benefits undoubtably exist. But working out and practicing martial arts for over two decades I know my body. I know how active I am and how to dial in my nutrition. I do not need to triple check numbers after every meal to either gain or loose weight.
If the Watch would exist as small fitness oriented wristband I would absolutely wear it on my right wrist. I would even place a pre-order the day it is available. Especially the health features beyond step and calorie tracking are interesting to me considering my family’s health history. But dual wearing watches does not only feel wrong, I cannot stand it on my right wrist. I tried. But this is absolutely not the direction Apple wants to take the watch, if the past eight years are any indicator. They want the prime real estate on my left wrist. And they simply do not have a convincing enough argument.
I know many people who did not wear a watch at all but are extremely happy with an Apple Watch for all the features it offers. Apple converted these people to watch wearers. This is in my opinion a respectable achievement. But for me, for foreseeable future, the Apple Watch journey ended. I will absolutely keep one around for the days I am not feeling well to monitor vitals during a workout. Or if I want to quickly walk Triss around the block but not carry a phone with me. Meanwhile I will enjoy a master piece of engineering ever time I look at the time.