I put my Apple Watch aside

For a while, I was starting to get bored with Apple Watch. That combined with the fact I was never fond of it’s looks and I got a bit tired of vibrating my wrist resulted in putting it aside. I’m now wearing my old-school stainless steel watch.

Ever since I remember I always wore a watch. During school and university days it was crucial to me to know how much until the next class, or how much time I have during an exam. Now in an era of smartwatches, I was lured to make an upgrade and make this device that’s always with me more functional. Apple Watch was an obvious choice for me as an iPhone user who didn’t need any special functionality like hiking or other specific sports tracking. Apple Watch has just a good combination of both, being an extension of the phone with additional health and sports functionality. It served me well during the last five years, I got used to being notified all the time on my wrist, replying to some messages, turning lights on and off in my home and so on. But I noticed that often I was getting distracted by a notification I’d rather not have. The watch itself became boring to me, it didn’t get much additional functionality or change the UI/UX during this time. I started considering replacing this watch.

My initial direction was to find a hybrid smartwatch with a classic look and feel but with some smart features. For example, I’d still like to be notified when there’s an incoming call or a message from my important people. It’s useful to see the current weather forecast or have some control over smart devices in my home. I looked, but couldn’t find such a device. I believe there’s not much demand for this kind of watches so they simply don’t exist. To be honest, there are a few, but they are not appealing to me. So I think there’s a lot of room to improve for device makers in this market.

I looked for other smartwatches and concluded they were not what I was looking for. I don’t want a digital display, don’t need a lot of smart functionality or sports activities tracking. The Apple Watch is just what I need functionality-wise, but there are some issues I got bored with over time. From my current setup, I can see the functionality I used the most on the Apple Watch are notifications, weather, torch, seeing to-do list, calculator, alarm, controlling home devices

I’ll list here stuff I was thinking about while making this decision:

  • Looks
    • I prefer round watches.
    • I liked the possibility of changing a lot of different straps for the Apple Watch, I have more than a dozen of them.
    • Apple Watch always looked like a toy or futuristic secret agent’s device. It could never look elegant.
    • Apple Watch watch faces are very limited. The majority of them are so silly I’m surprised Apple ever released them. I always expected that with a few updates, there would be more proper watch-looking watch faces.
  • Functionality
    • The old-school watch doesn’t have much, but it may be just enough. Even if clocks are all around us I’m used to having a watch on my wrist.
    • Notifications are sometimes very useful, most often just annoying. It’s hard to filter them as you never know where can an important notification come from.
    • Weather - yes it’s nice to have it at a glance, but not that important.
    • Torch - when needed it’s quite useful. The thing is that it’s rarely needed. The other thing is that probably more often my watch would torch my kid’s face while putting them to sleep.
    • To-do list - before getting the Apple Watch I thought this would be a lifesaver while shopping as I could do the shopping hands-free while having the shopping list on my wrist. The truth is that using to-do lists on the watch requires two hands, one to hold the watch and the other to tap on the display.
    • Calculator - useful, but not that I need it that often.
    • Alarm - also, I have kids that wake me up. The alarm is needed only rarely.
    • Controlling home lights and heating/cooling devices is nice when you’re lazy on your couch, but reaching out for my phone is also not a problem.
    • Charging your watch overnight only to have it not charged in the morning is annoying, even if it happens rarely. I guess the charger sometimes doesn’t connect properly.

To conclude, all of the Apple Watch features are available on the phone. It’s just that you need to have your phone with you. The biggest advantage of the Apple Watch is that you don’t need to carry your phone around the house and still be connected and present in your digital world, be it personal or work-related. The notifications are also one of the biggest disadvantages for me as I started to notice that every time my wrist vibrates I get stressed, and the majority of times it was not worth it.

I’m now wearing my old school watch for a week and started to appreciate its simplicity more. I still need to get used to check my phone for notifications, and not displace it for the major part of the day when home like I used to before. Still, I can use my Apple Watch when needed, for alarms, activity tracking or something similar, I’m interested in how often this will happen.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

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