Apple Watch – six months in

Back in May, I gave my thoughts on where and when the Apple Watch might be used. I’ve now been using the Apple Watch for a few months and thought I’d give my opinion.

As suspected, the vast majority of the time, I’m using the Apple Watch for short sharp interactions that are quicker and simpler to perform on a watch than on a phone.

Here’s a list of the most frequent interactions I find myself performing on my watch:

  • Telling the time and date
  • Triaging notifications (iMessages, Whatsapp messages, email messages)
  • Glancing at the weather/temperature
  • Tracking my activity and workouts
  • Paying for items under £20 using Apple Pay
  • Setting timers using Siri
  • Sending quick text messages using Siri
  • Setting calendar appointments using Siri
  • Answering calls when I can’t get to my phone in time
Apple watches on display

When I wrote the original blog post back in May, I published a chart predicting that the watch would be suitable to simple, quick interactions. Looking at the list above, it feels that this fits quite well with the chart.

Even the final item in the list – answering calls – tends to be a quick interaction as I’ll typically pick up the phone once it’s nearby and transfer the call from the watch – it just feels too awkward speaking into a watch.

I’ve tried more complex interactions but more often than not I’ll end up reaching for my phone for these because it’s just easier and quicker.

I’ve also found Siri to be a great interface for interacting with the watch – Siri is surprisingly accurate, even in noisy environments, plus it’s quick to do what you need to do and just feels less ‘fiddly’ than tapping away on the watch with your finger. It’s great when cooking in the kitchen too – I just say ‘Hey Siri’ and ask away, saving my watch from getting sticky fingers all over it.

Battery life has never been an issue for me – I leave my watch on my bedside table every night to charge and it’s rarely been below 50% by the end of the day. I once forgot to charge it at night and it still lasted into the early evening of the next day.

Close up of Apple Watch

From a personal point of view, I find myself loathe to leave the home without the watch now. I’ve always worn a watch so I’ll always usually leave the house with a watch, but my analogue watch is now gathering dust as I find it’s just too useful to have the smartphone functionality. I’ve even now gotten into the habit of looking at watch when someone asks about the weather!

But it still feels that there’s one big social convention that the watch conflicts with – looking at your watch during a conversation with someone usually has a negative connotation. So when I feel that tap, tap, tap on my wrist and look down at my watch, I regularly have to explain that it’s a notification, and not that I’m bored of the conversation!

All in all though, it feels like the Apple Watch has fitted well into my routines and feels like an enhanced watch where the few minor drawbacks are easily outweighed by the additional functionality.

Principal Design Researcher

Sutherland Labs
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