Is the Apple Watch for You?

It has been an interesting time recently, speculating about the Apple Watch. And now it’s time to decide: is the Apple Watch for you?

Tim Cook’s presentation yesterday gave us a better idea of exactly what the Apple Watch can do. But as many people have pointed out, most of what the Apple Watch does you can already do with your iPhone. For many users, spending $350 or more on another device which is essentially a satellite for an iPhone may be out of the question.

I’m quite attracted to the idea of having a device that frees me from my iPhone. In the initial presentation six months ago, I had assumed that the Apple Watch needed to be within Bluetooth distance of an iPhone: about ten meters.

I had wondered what would happen if, for example, I left my iPhone in my office, and then went downstairs with the Apple Watch on my wrist. I thought I would need to carry the iPhone around, But Tim Cook explained yesterday that the Apple watch will work with your iPhone as long as it is on the same network; the same Wi-Fi.

However, if you want the Apple Watch to record your runs or walks, you will need to take your iPhone with you; I seem to recall that this was not specified in the initial presentation.

Like many people, I find myself looking at my iPhone too often. Sometimes it is because I got a notification, and want to see what it is for. But often, I end up flipping through a few other apps after that. With an Apple Watch, I would only see what’s important, and I could ignore the rest. I could leave my iPhone on my desk all day, and, unless I need to make or answer a phone call, the Apple Watch could be my communication interface.

But, again, you can do all this with your iPhone. If you simply don’t want to spend the money for the Apple Watch, this is understandable. If you don’t want to wear a watch — which is the case for many people — than the Apple Watch is not for you.

I’m not yet convinced that we need smart watches. While I do think fitness trackers are a very good idea, I’m not sure that all the other features of the Apple Watch are essential. However, I’m looking forward to trying it out to see if it does become an essential device. Time will tell. This is a new, polished product in a market of rushed prototypes trying to get an early foothold. I’m curious to seeing what people think about the Apple Watch after they’ve been able to use it for a few months.