Why an Apple Watch?

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Tatjana asked a very reasonable question the other day when Bernhard helped sort out my Apple Watch misery:

Tatjana: Sag mal, wieso kaufst Du Dir so ein Ding?
Leo: (…) Willst Du auch eins?
Tatjana: Nein – wieso will ich eine Armbanduhr die einen Tage Batterie hat, ein Computer mit Miniscreen und voll teuer ist?

Yep. Why do I want an Apple Watch when it has some obvious flaws and limitations, ridiculous battery life for a watch and a high price point.

You know what: that’s a very good question. It’s even better, given that Apple’s Marketing has been not only “somewhat” off for the Watch. Nope – in fact I consider the communication and presentation of the Apple Watch maybe not a disaster but clearly unprofessional and bumpy. Especially for Apple, who is normally second to none to explain why a new device has a right to exist.

There are several elements that play into me wanting an Apple Watch:

  1. I really think it looks very nice and given my wrist is “free” right now, I believe I will like to wear it and make it part of my personality.
  2. I do think that I will be able to reduce many of those few second long interactions I have with my iPhone. Yes, the phone shows the time as well, but you need to get it out of the pocket. Is this a big deal? No. Would it be nice to not having to do it? Yes. But it’s not only the time. Messages. Meeting notifications and phone calls which I both tend not to notice on my phone. My ring tone is normally not very loud and I seem to have developed a resistance to noticing the phone vibration (or the nerves in my thigh have died away, I have no idea).
  3. I do think the Watch will be a great fitness device. I don’t care much for the design of (most) other fitness devices and bands that you can get today which are often not that much cheaper than an Apple Watch Sport. And they do less. I am working out three times a week and if can come to a point where I do not need to have my iPhone with me to count steps (which I love doing) and gain the ability to check my heart rate while working out, this will be a great step forward.
  4. There are other miscellaneous things: being able to use the Watch as remote for our Apple TV (yes, the phone works as well, but even with TouchID it becomes a hassle to pause – and nobody in their right mind wants to use the physical remote of the Apple TV). Use it with camera app on the phone. Use it to read tweets and news headlines… and so on.

All of this seals the deal for me.
Now, I have read a good deal of the reviews about the Apple Watch. Especially notable are the ones from Nilay Patel, Joanna Stern, Farhad Manjoo and of course John Gruber. And even the most die hard Apple proponents are in fact rather critical on some parts of the experience (always led by the “what is is really for” narrative).

I still want one and I am looking forward to it, but given that most reviews are less excited that I would have expected, I decided to dial down how much money I will throw into the face of technology. I did not order the black steel version with link bracelet option as I had planned to, but the silver steel version “just” with a sports wrist band (which reduces the price significantly).

And I hope that the kinks some of the reviews called out will be ironed out in 2 months from now…
You’ll here about it.

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