I rejected the Apple watch before but 2 years later I bought a series 3 for a single reason (and not what you think it is)

When the first series came out I bought one through the company. As we were building apps it seemed relevant to me to get familiar with the device and find out if we could use this for our business or customers. Back then, the first days it was great, but mainly because it was new and it was a nice conversation topic. However, I wasn’t convinced and after some weeks I passed it on to a colleague.

Why I don’t like the Apple Watch

The reason I didn’t like the watch was the following. It was yet another device that distracts you.  If you want to get things done it is important to do this focussed and single minded. This device was not helping me getting things done. On the contrary. I’m the type that gets distracted already too quickly anyway.

Also, I notice people wearing the watch are really watching the thing with every notification. Particularly when you are in a conversation with them, it comes across as nervous and slightly rude. They aren’t even really aware of it themselves anymore I think. Again, I don’t think it increase productivity, it just seems they’re less engaged in whatever they are doing. I’m talking here in office contexts. I think if you use if for sport it could be more useful but then again, there might be better devices for that on the market. Also, I don’t really do sport.

Now, with all that in mind I removed the watch from my list of useful items. Until recently.

Why I did buy one today

In my new job there are a lot of meetings. At least 5 a day, often many more. Meetings which are part of the job – we can’t avoid them. I’m glad most of them are about the products and decision making. Our company culture doesn’t do meetings for the sake of it. We have – thank goodness – a culture of getting things done at high pace.

But in between meetings I have to produce work. And when doing this I loose track of time (who is watching his calendar constantly?). Sure my Mac gives notifications in the top right but they come in at such high frequency that I kind of filtered them out. Besides these notification aren’t only for my meetings (yes I add reminders in there).

So, what happens, I tend to miss meetings or come late. Which is very unprofessional so I figured: Let’s see if Apple Watch can solve my problem. I’m under the assumption that I can turn off any notification (WhatsApp, messages, mail, Telegram, Slack etc.) except a little buzz just before I have to move to a meeting. Let’s assume that I am prepared already because those things I plan ahead of the meeting. It’s just in the moment that I have to drop my things.

Today walked to the App Store and bought myself a aluminium black one. I never considered them as stylish necessarily, but I must admit I could barely hold myself back buying the steel version with brown leather wrist band. It looked gorgeous. Being a sucker for all that looks nice it took me a couple of minutes to settle my internal dialog and decided not to pay 400 bucks more for it. I got the black one. After all, when it comes to wearing a watch for its looks, I’ll take out my beautiful Swiss one. The Apple Watch (for met at least) is supposed to be an office watch.

Oh, and referring to the title of this post, I think a lot of people are buying series 3 for the cellular data option. I did pick it (you can see it by the red dot on the wheel of the watch) but it won’t be functional before. – but I guess I need to buy some wireless AirPods too.

Now, for the first test

So after the initial setup – which like always is a breeze with Apple products – I started fiddling with the settings. I choose for a modular face for at the office. It seems that it offers me the best layout. Besides the date-time, it has a large middle area for my upcoming calendar event – then 3 smaller quick-links to apps.

For those last 3 I’m still trying to find out what to put there. For now it is Breath (an app which I didn’t know that came installed that helps you do 1 minute of mindful breathing. Who knows).

Then I added Remote and Maps. I might want to change them tho. Maybe UBER would be a nice one if I could get it to work.

I think I turned off all notifications except the Event ones. As my agenda was completely empty this afternoon I added a fake one that will be in about 10 minutes from now to build up tension. I added a reminder ‘at the time of the event’.

When it turned 18:00 I was excited to get a friendly subtle tap but on my wrist but… nothing… Not a tweet, ping, tap or any sign of life. Both on my iPhone and on my Mac the notifications did show up. Hmm… I must have done something wrong.

The settings seem to be correct, I have upcoming Event Alerts ticked to ‘on’ and both Sound and Haptic are as well.

Strange. A google search led to this topic in Apple support, someone complaining about missing haptic on calendar events. I got nervous.

The support guy said something about your phone being locked in order to make it work. So, I rescheduled my fake appointment and repeated the exercise. Some of my excitement was replaced with ready to be annoyed-emotion but then it turned 18:15 and there it was… A ping and a por. It works. Relieve.

If it will really solve my problem I will only now by the end of next week. Meanwhile  I’m going to find other wrist bands because the default one I find rather ugly and the rubbery silicon feels funny!

The Apple ones are expensive but here is a huge market I noticed. Monowear Design for example, which seems to offer quite cool leather bands. And this strap seems interesting – leather from the outside with some other material on the inside so it won’t get smelly native union.