In an article in Fast Company, writer Mark Sullivan presents an excellent analysis of what a new Apple Watch might look like:
“Apple Watch 2: How The World’s Best Smartwatch Might Make Its Great Leap Forward.”
He discusses many exciting possible new features, such as a faster processor, untethered network connections (without a paired iPhone), its own GPS, a better battery, encryption for all kinds of key data, a thinner case, etc.
All of these improvements are about Apple trying to reach its design goal for a smart watch, the holy grail: to replace “the three things you don’t leave home without—your phone, your wallet, and your keys.”
Terrific. I use and like many of the features on my Apple Watch. But most of them fall in the category of just saving me the trouble of pulling my phone out of my pocket. Reading text messages, checking my schedule, getting directions, even answering the phone in a pinch.
However, for me, the Apple Watch fails at the most important function it is supposed to provide, the eponymous one—telling me the time.
As a watch, it sucks. Because it has to put the screen to sleep whenever possible to conserve battery life, I can’t simply glance at my wrist to see what time it is.
I have to adopt all kinds of exaggerated wrist motions in order to wake it up so I can check the time. Surely this is now a recognizably ridiculous gesture in the wild, the lifting, twisting wrist that looks like the beginning of a mangled Klingon salute.
If this watch were really smart, it should know when I’m looking at it and wake up without me having to move my wrist!
So, until they make it work better as a basic watch, I’m ready to throw it in the back of my sock drawer and go back to my reliable, always on, dumb old wrist watch. At least with that one, I can tell what time it is at a glance.