Series 2 to Series 3: How to approach the Apple Watch

Last year, around this time, after all the hype I bought an Apple Watch Series 2. Maybe I’ve believed the hype, and around that time the watch was still viewed as a complement to iPhone, that you could extend the whole iOS experience into your pulse. I had a friend that was trying to unload his new watch and decided to bought it to try it out.

After using it two weeks, I’ve found it underwhelming. It wasn’t anything like a new computational platform, all the apps felt underwhelmed, I couldn’t reply to some notifications. Everything felt, at the time, half baked. The experience was so bad that after two weeks I ended up reselling the watch to another friend of mime. I haven’t spend much time thinking about it, and seriously, there haven’t been a moment since then that I miss having the watch in my wrist.

Some weeks ago I started looking to buy a fitness tracker. I need to loose some weight and I thought having something tracking my activity would be interesting. I looked around and decided to buy again an Apple Watch Series 3. You might think: “That doesn’t make sense. Its the same device.1“.

Well, changing the approach I’ve taken to the Watch completely changed my experience with it. Approaching as a fitness tracker that is capable of doing some small other stuff, really changes your interaction with it. First of, I ignored the watch faces. Since they have such a predominant gesture (swipe left and right), I assume that Apple thinks that people change their watch face regularly. I don’t. I don’t like change. I want to create a single face that works. Last year I tried to build a face that suited my needs. I failed at it. I couldn’t put a counter of unread emails (which is essential to me since I try to follow a Inbox Zero approach to my email), and there wasn’t a set of complications that made sense to me. Most faces kinda suck, they look like cool demos that you wouldn’t want to wear the entire day. Fuck that. This time I choose the fitness face, changing it only to add the day of the month on the top left corner. I don’t even look at other faces, all I need to know is do I have notifications, and am I closing circles. The only thing I need to extract from this device is fitness data, so I’m more interested on the stuff on the Activity app on the iPhone, the KCal count on the face, and the Workout app on the Watch. Fuck everything else. Apps? Don’t waste your time with that crap. Wanna call an Uber? Use the phone, makes more sense. Want to answer someone. Unless its “OK”, use the phone. You wanna be the glasshole dictating to your wrist in the middle of the subway were you and your group are gonna meet up next? Screw that, use the phone. It’s not this that is going to stop you from looking at the phone the whole day.

That small change in thinking completely change this device for me. Now I’m way more satisfied with it than I was last year. But it leaves me wonder: Since this switch is exactly what Apple is doing with their marketing, didn’t Apple screwed the pooch by selling this as a watch? The whole 10k Edition watch, the nonsense with faces, the apps and so on? Now everyone sees this device as a Watch first and a Fitness tracker second. Had they called it, for instance, Apple Bracelet, I think much more people would have bought into the whole health and fitness space and bought it, than trying to sell it as Smart Watch.

  1. How much it changed from Series 2 to Series 3? Its almost all equal except two things. First Siri answers you back, which is kinda nice when you are making your cup of tea and need a timer. Second I think (feel) the battery lasts longer, but I have no data to support this.  ↩