The Apple Watch is designed for a division of labor. It provides information on your wrist, with a glance, that's not as easy to access when the iPhone is on its charger in another room. This is the fundamental feature of the Apple Watch for me. I have always wondered how others missed that idea in the months before shipments to users.
I've had my steel/sapphire Apple Watch with the leather loop since May 14. My experience with the Apple Watch has been one of pleasant amazement. That's because it keeps doing things for me that please me. The Apple Watch was clearly designed not as a geeky toy to amuse people but with a conscious effort to do things well on the wrist that need to be done.
It's somewhat like the days before the iPad shipped in 2010. Before that, the mantra was, in many circles, "I already have a MacBook Pro/Air, so why do I need another portable display device?" In time the answer became clear. It was the immediacy of the information. One could pick up an iPad, almost always powered up, tap an app, and have information much more quickly and focused than ever before on a MacBook of any kind.
That's a useful thing to have.
My Apple Watch Experience
Several times now, my iPhone has been in another room when it rang. Most recently, I was expecting an important service call confirmation. Instead of racing to the office and swiping to answer, I was able to just tap my Apple Watch and talk.
A similar thing happened when I had a network outage with my AT&T Microcell. When it came back online, I was out of my office. But the text message from AT&T confirmed that it was working again. It was a great experience.
Recently, my wife tried to call me when I was out on an errand. It would have been foolish to try to dig out my iPhone in heavy traffic. At the time, I had the wrong watch on for no good reason, and I thought, gee, if only I had been wearing the Apple Watch, I could at least tapped a quick acknowledgement and called back later.
I felt dumb wearing a dumbwatch.
When I visit stores that support Apple Pay, there's no need to extract my iPhone from the belt holster and touch the home button to authenticate the purchase with a fingerprint. That usually takes the first time nowadays (but may not). I just double tap the Apple Watch side button, lean my hand into the POS terminal, and I'm done. Several times now, different clerks have said, "You've just blown my mind." I suspect this better Apple Pay experience will migrate back to the iPhone.
When I'm in my office writing, my iPhone sits on my desk, not tracking my movements. However, the Apple Watch keeps track of my calories, standing hours and steps in and around my office. I get a complete reading of my activity, not just when I take a walk with the iPhone in my pocket.
Several times now, I have been on my way out for an errand, and I needed to know which coat to grab. A tap on my Watch tells me the outdoor temperature. This is not just an idle, lazy time saver. It's all about being smarter, more aware and more efficient.
The same goes for calendar events. On my default and favorite face, the Utility watch face, I have the calendar complication. It always tells me with a tap what my next event is and the time of the event. Again, this isn't just laziness. It's better situational awareness.
With the Apple Watch, the dog never eats your homework.
Before I ordered the Apple Watch, my hope was that Apple engineers would understand what functions are proper on the wrist, accessible with a tap, and what should properly be left to the iPhone. I also hoped that the Apple Watch would make me smarter in the sense that I'd be more aware, better informed, and make better decisions about time and my environment. It has done all those things and more.
Like the iPad before it, the device fills an important niche in my life and is useful to me. It's not a toy to be amused by, and it's not a luxury that's optional. I consider it money well spent, and it's become part of my life.