Essays on Technology and Culture

I’m Not Writing Up My Apple Watch Thoughts… Yet

So, my Apple Watch arrived last week, and it’s been on my wrist almost constantly since then. I’m liking the device a lot, and the watchOS 2 announcement has me even more excited to be in on the ground floor for the Bronze Age of wearable tech. There’s so much potential in a simple computing device that sits right on the human body, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen with it—and see it from the front row.

But, since the Apple Watch started being delivered and strapped on to techie wrists over a month ago, though, there’s been a steady stream of people writing up their thoughts on the device after a day, a week, a month. We even have an Apple Watch breakup letter already. It’s a bit much. Even after using a smartwatch for a month, I had trouble articulating what I found so valuable about the experience. Most of the writeups on Apple Watch, even by better technology writers, are similarly empty. So many words, so few of them adding anything—save for Molly Watt’s piece.

Not only have we not had enough time to see how Apple Watch fits into our lives—even you early adopters who got yours on Day One. My friend Zac Cichy has gushed about how the Watch’s fitness features are going to be a complete game changer for people, or at least himself. I felt the same way about my Jawbone and FitBit, though the research is mixed about their effectiveness. The Watch could change that, but a two months is not enough time to say with any certainty, especially since the Watch is going to change drastically in a few months with native apps.

So, I’m going to take a nice, deep soak in with this thing before writing up how I feel about Apple Watch and its role in my life. I’m thinking somewhere between six months and a year would be enough time. I want to get to know the Watch as it exists now, and then as it will come to be when it has stand-alone apps that define a new experience. I want to see if I’m going to turn off the regular reminders to stand up and move around if I’m sitting too long, or see if the activity rings help me to drop a few pounds. I want to wait until the novelty wears off, both now and when the native apps come, and look back with the perspective of time.

It’s the only fair way to evaluate something with this much potential. Not like I have page view metrics to juice up by jumping on the bandwagon here. The next year is going to be an interesting one, at least in the technology space, but we’ll only be able to see how the landscape has changed if we step back and look behind us. In the meantime, I’m going to ride it out. See you on the other side.