This is not a review of the Apple Watch. I’m not going to tell you about battery life, the newfangled interface, or which apps are worth downloading. What I’m going to tell you about are bigger things: How did it change my life? What’s it really good for? Will it kill you? Because, when it comes down to it, shouldn’t every purchase improve your life? Here are 8 things I learned after a month with the Apple Watch.
1. It Will Grant You Freedom You Haven’t Had in Years
This is the biggest takeaway I had after using Apple’s Watch: it’s liberating. For the last several years, I’ve checked my phone many, many times a day. I checked for missed calls, texts, and emails. Out to dinner? Check my phone. Movie about to start? Check my phone. You’re probably just like me. Well, it stops with the Apple Watch. I stopped obsessing over missed messages because I knew I set my Watch to vibrate if one came in. I left my phone on my coffee table untouched at night; I left it in my pocket when I was out. The urge to always take a peek went away, and it felt amazing.
2. …It Might Also Kill You
You shouldn’t look at your phone while you’re driving, and you sure as hell shouldn’t look at your Watch. While it seems like the latter would be the safer of the two options, I found it incredibly difficult not to look at my vibrating watch when behind the wheel. I mean, it’s right in front of your eyes. And when you do look, you usually have a text or email you can’t digest easily.
3. You Can’t Wear Other Watches
This seems obvious, but as someone who likes the look and style of a fine timepiece, the Apple Watch is a blessing and a curse. What are you gonna do, double watch it? That’s ridiculous. At the same time, you can’t ditch the Apple Watch because you get so used to the convenience it provides. Swap it out for a classic timepiece and you’ll feel lost; keep it on and you’ll long for the look of something less digital.
4. It’s Perfect for Directionally Challenged City Dwellers
Walking around holding out your phone like it was a selfie stick while reading directions makes you look like a Grade A tourist. Using the Watch is a sly way to navigate a city. I took it around New York and Philadelphia and felt far more savvy using it to get places as opposed to my iPhone.
5. You’ll Feel Naked Without It
You know the feeling you get when you leave your phone at home and you can’t go back to get it? Yeah, it’s like that. You get so used to having your messages and apps right on your wrist that, when you don’t, you’ll feel seriously disconnected. This can’t be understated: purchasing the Apple Watch is making the decision to wear one everyday for the foreseeable future.
6. Who Would Play Games on This Thing?
You need an iPhone to use the Apple Watch. And for a lot of its functionality, you need that iPhone nearby. That means you have a perfectly usable gaming device with you at all times. So why would you play the junky little time-wasters the Watch is capable of running? I tried out a bunch and it felt like old TI-83 days.
7. I Need to Move Around More
I work at a standing desk. I exercise 3-4 days a week. I choose stairs. Still, the Apple Watch seems hellbent on telling me I need to get up and move around. While annoying, the little reminder is beneficial, I guess. In fact, the Watch shines as a fancy fitness tracker. An expensive fancy fitness tracker, but a good one.
8. I’m Not as Cool as Dick Tracy
Ever since I saw the Warren Beatty-led Dick Tracy flick when I was younger, I’ve wanted a watch I could speak into. So I should be thrilled with the Apple Watch, right? I mean, to successfully communicate using the Apple Watch, and I’m not talking about flinging emojis back and forth, you really need to speak into it. Well, I was sadly mistaken on how cool this would be. Talking into the Watch in public is the modern version of wearing a Bluetooth earpiece into Starbucks so you can conduct a business meeting while brusquely ordering your Venti Red Eye. It’s elitist. It’s embarrassing. You do not look like you’re tracking down Flattop.