As we head into the holiday season, many of you are writing to ask whether the Apple Watch should be on your gift list (for yourself or others).
My answer… probably not. I would wait until the next version comes out unless you fall under one of these scenarios:
- You travel a lot and would appreciate having your tech attached to your wrist.
- You’re in a lot of meetings or environments where it’s not appropriate to take out your phone but you need to stay connected.
- You’re a super-gadget lover who just NEEDS one.
Bottom line: The Apple Watch is a wonderful luxury but not an essential need… yet. In 2016, I expect Apple to bring something new to the next version that might make it more of a need than a want, but I’m not sure it’s worth buying right now.
Random Thoughts on the Apple Watch:
- The subtle message alerts are very handy. You get a little tap when a text or other notification comes in, and it’s easy to sneak a glance rather than pick up your phone and start digging.
- The fitness features are pretty cool as well. The Watch monitors your movements all day and gives you badges when you hit your goals. You can also set it to monitor any of a number of workouts, such as a walk (indoor or outdoor ), a run, elliptical machine work and more. One huge drawback is that the thing pretty much socks if you don’t have your phone with you. It says it calibrates after a while, but it keeps saying that I run 8-minute miles. These days I wouldn’t hit that pace if I was falling from a bridge.
I also like the reminders to stand up and move at least once an hour. It’s sad that I sometimes miss that goal.
- A weird characteristic of the watch is that since you wear it all day every day, you never truly unplug. I can leave my phone alone on the table for hours at a time, but the watch leaves me feeling on all the time.
- I never really have a problem with the battery life. Yes, you have to charge it every night, but it’s no big deal.
- One of the features I was most excited about was the ability to talk on the phone with the watch. It was cool for about two minutes until I realized that I looked like a total pretentious, 007-wannabe dork.
- As for the apps, the Uber app is most helpful. It comes in very handy when I am lugging my three suitcases through the airport and don’t have an extra hand to hold my giant phone. I can summon a ride from my watch, as well as track the progress and respond to texts and calls.
- I like the MailChimp app as well to see the stats from my latest newsletters.
- The Apple Map app is kinda cool. When I set a destination on my phone, the watch will show my path and tap me for turns. The challenge is that if I’m in a big city with skyscrapers, it doesn’t work very well. Another negative about the navigation is that you have to use Apple Maps, and I prefer Waze.
- The updates are a pain. I was happy with the first big one because I swear it made it easier to meet my move goals. (At first I would be walking my little heart out and the damn thing wouldn’t give me any workout credit!)
The problem comes with the app updates. An app will be there one day and disappear the next. IFTTT’s Do Button app is the worst. I use it to demo a feature during my presentations, and it will work 15 minutes before a session and crash when I’m on stage. In front of 250 people. Yeah. Awkward.