Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Farewell to the Apple Watch

Matt Gemmell:

My usage pattern was ludicrous, given what the thing can do. To me, it was a wristwatch with some notifications, and I was charging it every night. The notional benefit of long-term heart-rate monitoring (I have a heart condition) is nullified by it only taking readings every ten minutes unless you’re actively in a workout, which of course consumes a lot of power and can’t possibly be left on all day. And because of Apple Pay, I had to unlock the thing every time I put it back on.

What I actually need is something much simpler as a health tracker, and a basic timepiece. If Apple happens to make a future model with truly multi-day battery life (when tracking 2-3 workouts per day, and constant heart-rate monitoring at least every five seconds), plus an always-on time display, I might be interested again. For now, no.

I’m a different person than I was, and this kind of gadgetry needs to fade into the background. It was too demanding, in terms of the overly-clever interface of swipes and taps and wheel-spinning and button-pressing[…]

Update (2016-12-27): Kirk McElhearn:

But I’ve never been truly convinced that the Apple Watch made my life any better. So it’s time to give the Apple Watch a rest. In the next couple of days, I will remove it from my wrist and place it in a drawer. I want to ignore it entirely; I still write about this stuff, so I will test it from time to time as Apple updates the device’s software. But I don’t see any reason to keep using the Apple Watch.


Using third-party apps was a horrible experience early on, but, even now that they launch faster, I don’t find any to be useful. It’s too much of a hassle to use the tiny display of the Apple Watch when I have my iPhone handy. As such, I have only used Apple’s stock apps, with the exception of one or two apps that added complications.


One more thing, and I’ve thought this from the beginning: the Apple Watch is ugly. In ten years, when Apple has figured out how to make an attractive wearable, we’ll look back on this device the way we now look at those watch/calculators from the 1970s. It’s just unattractive design. I don’t blame Jony Ive; he had to work with the limitation of a rectangular display, and I predict that Apple will make a round one at some point, which will be a lot better looking.

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