Apple Watch is Indeed Apple's "Most Personal Device Ever"

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

We are just a few days away from the launch of the Apple Watch, and developers are jumping on the Apple Watch train in massive numbers. I don’t have any numbers to back it up, but I feel like developers are being better about supporting Apple Watch than they were at supporting the new screen sizes of the iPhone 6 and 6 plus, which is amazing considering how many more iPhones were sold than Watches. I just scrolled through the last 30 app updates I’ve gotten on my phone, and 27 of them were updated to include Apple Watch support. Whoa! All this looks very good for Apple, and it shows that there is definitely a lot of interest in the Watch[1]. As with all things, smart watch-related, there are skeptics though. Casey Newman, for example, scoffs at the prospect of Slack being on the Watch:

I get his feeling, and yes, if you have trouble disconnecting from work, then this is just going to feed that unhealthy addiction. However, if this is something that would make your life better, it’s a good thing Slack has made that possible.

I’ve always said that the Apple Watch is a niche product. I don’t think everyone needs one, and by its very nature of being iOS-only, most people can’t even use one if they did want one. But I think that even among those who do buy an Apple Watch, everyone’s use will be unique to them. Apple is marketing their smart watch as “the most personal device we’ve ever made,” and it don’t think that’s just marketing drivel. My reasons for getting an Apple Watch is different from why you’re getting a Watch to why your friend is getting a Watch. And I think that’s great!

Over the past 8 years of living in the age of the smartphone, we’ve kind of figured out what these devices are good for. Pretty much anyone’s home screen is going to have Twitter, Facebook, Messages, a calendar, a web browser, and a music streaming app. Of course there are some deviations, but at a base level, we use our phones to do largely the same things.

I think once the excitement has died down and people get used to using their Apple Watches, they will come to rely on it for a few choice tasks that they find the most useful. Someone who does a lot of presentations may want to install the PowerPoint app so they can navigate their slideshow. Someone else may take a lot of memos during the day and want the Day One app to log their notes as they go. Another person may be training for a race and uses RunKeeper to log their workouts while leaving their phone at home. And yes, someone might even have a Slack channel that they need to be able to quickly interact with, and they’ll use the Slack app.

The point is that just because the Apple Watch has thousands of apps that you can install on it, doesn’t mean you have to install all those apps. If you just want to put 5 apps on there that will make your life a little easier, then do that. The fact that some app has been updated with Watch support may seem ridiculous to you, but it may be exactly what someone else needs.

  1. To say nothing of the fact that if you ordered your Apple Watch after the first 5 minutes they went on sale, you’re likely waiting another 3–4 weeks to get yours instead of getting it on Friday.  ↩