Apple began shipping the Apple Watch on April 24, 2015, which means, as of yesterday, it’s officially a year old. Apple has made several updates to the wearable, adding new features like Time Travel, time-lapse wallpapers and third-party complications. It also teamed up with Hermès for new luxury bands, and released a new batch of first-party bands just a few weeks ago. But a year on the market, a year on my wrist, and I still feel very “meh” about the Apple Watch.
I bought mine right when Apple announced it – I’d been waiting for months, maybe even years, following rumors of the wearable. And it was promising at first, too – I liked that I’d be able to check tide graphs while fishing, keep track of how many steps I made in a day, receive iMessage notifications and send cute little messages to friends who also owned the Apple Watch. A year later, though, and I use the watch to check the weather, if I even wear it at all.
That’s the problem with wearables as a market, and not one Apple faces alone: folks start to find a reason to stop wearing them. You forget to charge it one night and take it off your wrist. A week later, there you are, no Apple Watch in sight. Or, if you’re like me, you might gravitate toward a classic watch, one that doesn’t need charging at all. One that has sentimental value; my wife gave me mine for my wedding, for example.
At times I even fear my Apple Watch. I look at smartwatches in contempt. They’re all still too complicated, still have terrible battery life, still have really crappy software. And the notifications, my goodness, the notifications.
Turn them off and the wearable becomes relatively useless, a standard timepiece. And while on, the notifications are enough to drive me crazy. Whether it’s something like Slack for work or a beep for a notification as harmless as an iMessage, I can’t stand the buzzing on my wrist. A feature I once thought would separate me from my phone is now a constant, driving me as mad as a heartbeat under the floorboards.
Apple may have a new Apple Watch come WWDC in June, but rumor has it the device won’t change much. If that’s the case, you can bet I’ll be back with a similar note on its second birthday.