Two weeks with the Apple Watch

Guy walks into a doctor’s office.

“Doc,” he says, “I’ve got an issue. I used to urinate two or three times a day and that was it. Now, I can’t hold my bladder for more than an hour. Can you take a look at me?”

The doctor looks him over. He gives him a physical, a blood test, and a tox screen.

“Aha!” the doctor exclaims. “I have a solution.”

“Great! What is it?”

“We’ll fit you for a catheter.”

“A catheter?! Doc, I’ll have to carry around a bag of my own piss – and I’ll still be peeing every couple minutes.”

The doc replies, “Yeah, but at least this way you won’t have to go to the bathroom!”

I am a white male too obsessed with technology, so I have purchased an Apple Watch and I am about to write about my experience with the Apple Watch.

  1. I, unlike most people, wear watches! Nothing fancy: I swapped between a Timex Weekender and some old-school Casio.
  2. My Apple Watch looks really good. I have a 38mm Sport with the black strap. It is understated and sleek. It does not have the gaudiness of a sport watch, the heft of a larger mechanical watch, or the dorkiness of most other smart watches 1.
  3. I feel like it used to be uncouth to care what your technology looks like. This is a thing I wear, and I take some level of pride in being generally presentable.
  4. It is very good at telling the time (and giving other data) – the modular view, as it’s apparently called, lets me glance at my wrist and get the time, the date, the next meeting, the temperature, and a glance at my activity level. That alone is valuable to me.
  5. It is also very good at sending me notifications. Instead of hearing a ding on my phone and having to fish it out of my pocket, I get a light buzz on my wrist and just look at my wrist. This is an improvement.
  6. I still get too many notifications.
  7. The battery life is as described: it’ll last a day, maybe more. I don’t think there’s anything objectively wrong with a device having a battery life that long – it’s just dumb.
  8. I fall asleep with my watch on all the time – I always have. So when I do that, the Watch is generally out of commission the next day. If your phone dies, you just plug it into your laptop and have it at your desk instead of in your pocket; if your watch dies, you plug it into your laptop, but it’9. s no longer a watch, it’s just this tiny screen that’s not on your wrist.
  9. Trying to do anything besides consume notifications or glance at things is a generally awful experience. Input is difficult; lag is rampant; functionality is limited.
  10. Talking into your watch makes me look like a real asshole.
  11. When you first set up your Apple Watch, you’re asked to choose how active you are: Light, Moderate, or Heavy. I chose Moderate 2. Now, every morning I walk twenty minutes to work, at which point my watch tells me I’ve accomplished my Exercise goal for the day. Nice!
  12. It also buzzes you once an hour reminding you to stand up in order to reach your “Stand Goal” of 12 hours. Last Saturday I didn’t get out of bed until noon but I had apparently already stood for five hours.
  13. They’re something deeply creepy about a device buzzing me every hour and telling me to stand up.
  14. Everything I’ve read about the Apple Watch by people who own it sound like people trying to cover up their disappointment by talking about either “well, duh, that’s what it’s designed for” or “this is only the start of a revolution”. Maybe I’m projecting.
  15. The biggest time I think about the Apple Watch is when people point it out to me that I’m wearing one, since they’re still relatively rare. I give half-hearted demos. I think people are disappointed with my lack of evangelism.
  16. It’s not bad – it’s just not great. It’s a thing that I think has made my life easier and better, which is good.
  17. It’s a device that I don’t care about very much. I’ve accidentally forgotten it at home two of the past five days. Maybe that will change.

  1. I include the regular Apple Watch in this. Not a huge fan of the look. [return]
  2. I climb twice a week, run once a week, play soccer once a week, and play kickball once a week. It may sound like a lot but I spend the rest of the time being a lazy slob. [return]
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Justin Duke is a writer and developer in Seattle.
He likes good, practical things.
(And writing in the third person, I guess.)


@justinmduke
me@jmduke.com