Wait. What? Isn’t that just two kinds? Yes, but of those who do, there are two kinds; the certified members of the technorati elite who criticize everything Apple does (before and after Apple does it), and the rest of us who simply enjoy using Apple’s products. See? Three kinds of humans.
I Hate To Say It…
Apple announced Watch in 2014 and began shipping the device in early-ish 2015; right on, or nearly when expected (that’s how Apple rolls). The problem that critics have is– not the Watch itself– but expectations. Instead of recognizing Watch for what it is– an accessory to the iPhone– they presumed it would be a killer product, ala iPhone (which wasn’t exactly a killer product for a few years after it launched in 2007) and iPad.
Watch is an accessory. It’s also a product which needs to be tried and tinkered with to be appreciated. It’s a stylish, attractive watch, yes, but it’s a utility, too; with built-in applications and capabilities that make using an iPhone even more convenient.
Watch critic Michael Hyatt summarizes his experience and it mirrors mine, but just a few months later. Here’s the summary of the summary.
- Watch is beautifully crafted – it looks good, it feels better, it performs like a mature product, and since it’s really just months old, the future bodes well.
- Not intrusive – it doesn’t take long to figure out there are times– plenty of times– when Watch is utterly more convenient than fishing around in pocket, backpack, or purse than what’s attached to your wrist; exercise details, notifications and alerts, Siri, text messages, email, and the all important Dick Tracy effect relegate the iPhone to the pocket; when it’s convenient.
- Being conscious – Watch lets you focus on what’s important; whether it’s a quick Siri-based phone call, a text message, weather updates, a reminder (I love those; “Hey Siri, set an alarm for thirty minutes“), but especially the exercise tracking.
- Watch is fun – who would have thought that? You won’t browse the web on Watch; and you won’t compose long emails or anything else, but Watch is an elegantly functional device with many thousands of app extensions (and more apps on the way; real apps) available now. It’s fun to explore how app developers use the device and come up with more ways to add functionality.
Finally, I agree with David Pogue who came up with a few navigation suggestions for Watch. He calls it complicated, though, and he’s wrong. It’s new, and it doesn’t have anywhere near the complexity of an iPhone. The difference is that most of us already know how to use an iPhone, and Watch– as an accessory to iPhone– is different, therefore there’s a learning curve on usage. Some of Pogue’s suggestions and recommendations are spot on, but remember, Watch is months old and anything but a mature set-in-stone product.
Now, back to those three kinds of human beings.
Those who don’t have an Apple Watch, and those who do. Of those who do, the technorati elite are the ones most critical of every little function or design, and often are at odds with one another on how Apple should have designed Watch. But as my grandmother used to say, “It is what it is, so get over it.” The other group, those who actually use Apple Watch love it in percentages actually higher than those who love their iPhones (so says Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, also a Watch user).
Our friends at MacDailyNews put it this way:
Already, we feel naked without our Apple Watches on our wrists. Already we notice people staring at their iPhones (real and pretend) everywhere and understand that Apple is going to change the world again. It’s like driving a car while everyone else is being pulled in buggies by horses. We hardly look at our iPhones compared to our pre-Apple Watch days, plus we’re saving so much time…
Our iPhone usage is way, way down and, consequently, our iPhone battery life is way, way up (from about 40% left at the end of a typical day to over 65%). We put our Apple Watches to bed every night with about 30-35% battery remaining.
MDN’s perspective and experience mirrors my own. Apple has created the ultimate accessory to the world’s most popular mobile technology product (don’t count the wheel or glasses, please). Just as the Mac, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, and iPad before it, criticizing Watch is easy, but the analysis often is wrong or mean-spirited and seldom takes into account the benefits.