I’ve never spent more than $200 on a watch, Over the course of my life, most of my timepieces have been made by Timex, with an emphasis on function over form. And yet here I am, getting ready to plunk down $700 on an Apple Watch when it becomes available for pre-order on April 10.
I’m not made of money (unlike some people who could end up spending $17,000 on an Apple Watch Edition), and that means I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about whether I want one of these things for my own. My decision to buy one puts me in the minority: More than 60 percent of GeekWire readers in our poll last week said they didn’t plan to buy an Apple Watch.
So what’s driving my decision? Without further ado, here are the 5 reasons I’m buying the Apple Watch.
1. My current smartwatch
As someone who gets to write about breaking news stories for a living, phone notifications can be a bit…anxiety-inducing. Every email or Slack message could be a story that I have to jump on at a moment’s notice, no matter the time and no matter where I am. Owning a Pebble has made my life better in that regard – rather than worrying about every little buzz or beep, I can glance at the screen on my wrist and see what’s going on, without having to fish my phone out of my pocket.
While it may sound silly for me to say that having yet another gadget on my body throughout the day helps me better engage with people in front of me, it’s the truth. My Pebble helps keep my fear of missing out in check, keeping my phone in my pocket, and letting me discreetly check notifications when the opportunity presents itself without having to light up my iPhone 6’s massive screen.
So why not just stick with my Pebble? Keep reading.
2. Siri on my wrist
I use Siri just about every day to manage small tasks like setting kitchen timers while I’m cooking, or reminding myself of things that I need to do. One of the reasons I don’t use the function more often is that my iOS devices are often in a pocket or laying halfway across the room. I’m excited to have those capabilities brought to my wrist where I can access them on a regular basis.
Siri has come a long way since the iPhone 4S days, when Apple’s virtual assistant was arguably closer to a novelty than an actually useful assistant. These days, I find the system to be remarkably accurate and very responsive, especially with the addition of real-time dictation feedback in iOS 8. Having all of that literally on hand throughout the day will be a boon to my productivity.
3. Fitness coaching
Over my past two years of using some form of fitness tracker, I have always yearned for more personalized coaching. After all, I’m handing these platforms oodles of data about what I do all day, and it makes sense to me to expect substantial insights about how I can be more active in return. None of the platforms I’ve tried so far has offered me that in a way I like.
The Apple Watch is supposed to provide a summary of the past week’s activities every Monday, along with personalized recommendations about how to do more. That sort of encouragement will hopefully help keep me and other people out of a fitness rut, and provide an important reminder to stay active, even during busy weeks.
4. Third-party apps
As a current Pebble owner, I know how powerful it is to view content from third-party apps on my wrist. I can check in to nearby locations using Swarm, and avoid awkwardly carrying my grocery list around on my phone or a scrap of paper thanks to the Evernote app. With the Apple Watch and WatchKit, I’m looking forward to getting even more of that, since it should be easier for developers to monetize their experiences for the Apple Watch.
I don’t own a car, and count on San Francisco’s Muni system to get me around the city. Whenever I need to get somewhere, I always check an app on my phone to see when the next bus or train is headed to a nearby stop. Having that data on my wrist would be invaluable as I’m heading out the door of my apartment. There are a bunch of other apps like OmniFocus and Overcast that I would love to have access to on my wrist as well, and I’m hoping they’ll show up either at launch or in the weeks and months thereafter.
5. It looks freakin’ cool
While most of my reasons for being interested in the Apple Watch have to do with its functionality, I’d be remiss to leave out the device’s design. To my eye, it’s the best-looking of the current crop of smartwatches. That’s not a high bar to clear, but it looks like the sort of device I’ll be happy to have on my wrist.
Obviously, the Apple Watch isn’t for everyone. People who don’t own iPhones, those who hate watches in general or those who detest smartwatches in particular don’t have a good reason to shell out the money it will cost to pick one of these up.
What do you think? Anything else you’re looking forward to about the Watch? Want to yell at me for my gadget choice? Head for the comment section below.