Smart watches, what's the point?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Lankyman, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. Lankyman macrumors 68000

    Joined:
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    #1
    Short and sweet - is the so called 'smart watch' the most boring and pointless bit of tech ever invented (whoever makes them)?

    I would say a resounding 'yes' to that question. Whilst some will work without your smartphone being nearby they are essentially 'companion devices'.

    If ever a device was invented which was then looking for a market it is this 'trinket'. I genuinely wouldn't wear one even if they were 'free'. The battery in my current 'analogue' watch is now pushing 4 years and tells perfect time, what else do you need?

    I would prefer a 'root canal' procedure each and every week in preference to owning a 'smart watch'.
     
  2. tromboneaholic, Dec 7, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018

    tromboneaholic Suspended

    tromboneaholic

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    #2
    I find my watch makes notifications less annoying. When I get a phone call, I don't have to dig into my pocket and dig out my phone or go across the house to find my phone on the charger to see who is calling (and can be ignored). The other day, I was loading my car and my hands were full when I got a call. Normally I would have ignored it, but I looked at my wrist and noticed it was an important call, so I answered it from the watch.

    It also encourages me to be more active throughout the day, and helps me monitor my activity from day to day and week to week.

    Health is a huge area where these will benefit people in a way a traditional watch can't. There are already numerous stories about Apple Watch alerting people to heart conditions and potentially saving their lives. The new irregular heart rate alert in watchOS along with the ECG function of Series 4 are only going to add to the number of people who say the Apple Watch saved their lives.

    I also think there is a certain amount of peace of mind that comes from features like Fall Detection and 911 calling. My 80-year-old mother bought Apple Watch Series 4 specifically for Fall Detection because, as with many older people, it's a fear of hers to be alone and fall without anyone there to help.

    For me, it's also little things like when listening to music I can skip the song from my wrist or adjust the volume by turning the crown. I don't have to dig my phone out of my pocket or go across the house to where the phone is connected to my stereo.

    Shopping in the grocery store, I used to have my grocery list on the phone (which was annoying to hold and push the cart as it got full). Now I look at my wrist and can check off items as I buy them. When I'm in the kitchen, I can just use "hey siri" to add things to the list while my hands are full and the phone is on my night table.
     
  3. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #3
    Spoken like somebody who has no desire to try an Apple Watch, so lambasts the idea.

    I was skeptical too, but within a month it's greatly helped me with encouraging me to exercise, tracking calories, tracking food, tracking sleep, resting/exercise/peak heart rate, viewing notifications, voice recognition, and even Apple Maps is a joy.

    Plus it can tell the time too. :eek:

    Your mileage may vary, but I'll take the watch over the weekly root canal procedure. Pleased you're happy with your current watch, though quite honestly your post reads like you've got a chip on your shoulder.
     
  4. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #4
    Is this post venting or a thoughtfully constructed argument?

    Personally, I find the history of how we learned to measure and "tell" the time - or frame a context in which time could be measured - fascinating, and I am intrigued by proper chronographs and old fashioned analogue watches.

    While I have a number of Apple products, the Apple watch is not - and will not be - among them.

    However, it is popular and profitable, and, from a commercial perspective, that justifies its manufacture.

    However, while there are arguments to be put forward against the Apple watch, your post does not advance any because it reads as though it is an intemperate account of your dislike of the device.
     
  5. tromboneaholic Suspended

    tromboneaholic

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    #5
    As a smart watch owner and user, I have started to appreciate the history of watches more than when I wore a traditional watch. I've seen parallels in how people use their phones today as pocket watches they pull out to look at the time, and the first wristwatches that were actual pocket watches on a bracelet or strap. I've come to admire the inner-mechanisms and craftsmanship required to create timepieces, and the beauty of some watches and their bracelets as items of jewelry on their own.

    I don't think it has to be an either/or situation, or that one diminishes the other. For me personally, a smartwatch offers more utility than a wristwatch, but I can understand the perspective of someone who doesn't place value in that utility and prefers to wear a traditional wristwatch. I also think there are a number of people who wear one or the other depending on the situation.
     
  6. eyoungren, Dec 7, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018

    eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #6
    In Apple's case, Apple Watch (or smart watch) is their answer to an LED notification light.

    It's a classic Apple solution, make the customer pay more for yet another device rather than honoring the original request. Add in just enough features that no one asked for but will appreciate and thus justify the creation of the device. Over time expand on those features and make people dependent on them just like with their other devices.

    And the kicker? Well, the watch ALSO tells the time.
     
  7. mrex macrumors 68030

    mrex

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    Jul 16, 2014
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    europe
    #7
    I don't know if there really is a point when the phone is small enough to carry with you all the time... for me the watch is just another tech toy and just recording my exercises. However, im not sure do I like the Apple Watch as much as I like my Sony smartwatch years ago - I was able to customise the watch face and it lasted days before needing to charge. It had a transflective screen (didn't need a backlight on to see the watch face).

    When comparing Apple Watch to the watch I bought already 6 years ago and I was able to do more with the watch than the current one, I think it is sad that apple restricts everything so that the products are just cute toys but that's all - and most of the time quite expensive excersise tracking device. if I didnt have money to buy Apple Watch, I wouldn't buy it. It just a smartwatch which has quite restricted functions.
     
  8. Ntombi macrumors 68040

    Ntombi

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    Jul 1, 2008
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    #8
    I wasn’t interested in getting an Apple Watch until the series 4 was announced, and fall detection and the heart rate/EKG/a-fib stuff were anounced. I have some health issues that make these attractive. I honestly don’t like wearing a watch again; I have joint pain, and stopped wearing bracelets and anything on my wrists years ago. The potential health and safety benefits are worth it, so I got the series 4 shortly after release day.

    But, even when I had no interest in it myself, I never saw the appeal of posting about how ridiculous it was as a gadget. Maybe that’s just me, though.
     
  9. Plett macrumors regular

    Plett

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    Feb 16, 2016
    #9
    OMG thanks for sharing..ahhh
     
  10. millerj123 macrumors 65816

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    Mar 6, 2008
    #10
    I am 11 days without mine which completely disrupted my personal schedule.

    If it’s not for you, cool. I love mine.
     
  11. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #11
    Agreed.

    It is not for me, either, but I cannot begin to comprehend the excess of emotion that the OP's initial post seemed to call for when discussing this topic.

    Excellent and thoughtful post.
     
  12. kapolani macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    Notifications alone are worth it for me.

    Love not having to dig out my phone from my pack when I'm riding my motorcycle. I can now glance at my wrist to see if my wife/daughters are calling or texting.

    All the rest are just added fluff to me.
     
  13. vertical smile macrumors 68030

    vertical smile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    #13
    I don't own a smart watch, or any watch. I don't really like watches and have not worn one since I was in the military.

    When the Apple Watch first came out, it was advertised as a fashion accessory, something else I am not into, so I had no plans to get one.

    After the fashion accessory model has failed, Apple then promoting the Apple Watch as a health accessory, which I could get on board with.

    I probably won't get one any time soon, but I see the appeal now.
     
  14. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

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    Mar 12, 2014
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    Jacksonville, Florida
    #14

    We will put you down as a strong "maybe" for the AW5! No one is making you buy it so why all the hate.
     
  15. Azathoth123 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2018
    Location:
    Fountain City
    #15
    I like mine a lot (Series 4). Most of the reasons that I like it fall into 2 categories, convenience, and health and fitness. The phone cannot do any of the health and fitness functions.

    Convenience from not having to dig the phone out every time to: (in no particular order)
    Check messages and notifications
    Answer and make phone calls without the phone (LTE of course) such as at the track
    Grocery and other lists on my wrist
    Check the temperature/weather conditions
    Check the next upcoming event/reminders

    Health and Fitness:
    Monitor heart rate during workouts for best results
    Monitor distance and other parameters at the track/gym
    Ensure that my exercise is consistent and at least the minimum that I want to achieve
    Monitor resting heart rate (a relative got an alert that was confirmed)
    Fall detection

    Also the ability to call emergency services/contacts under accident conditions when you may not be able to reach your phone is an under appreciated feature.

    So thumbs up for me.
     
  16. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

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    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #17
    As a watch fan and a collector for many years, I was of course slightly interested when the Apple watch was released, and have followed and read about the updated models. My wife has offered me one several times as a gift, but have declined as I'd never wear or use it, despite being a keep-fit fanatic. My main gripe being the battery life, which when I first read about it was convinced it was a gross misprint. In fact the current hype that "Apple Watch is so capable you’ll want to wear it all day long, so we made sure we gave it a battery that lasts all day," is a truly remarkable marketing slogan. Imho any watch manufacturer unable to provide at least a 48hr power reserve is nothing more than an insult to the buyer. Programmed obsolescence is another issue. I wager nobody will be wearing or caring about early models in a few years time, and repairing them will be difficult in the extreme.
    But perhaps the most amazing thing about the Apple watch itself, despite their appalling battery life and built-in obsolescence, is that they sell, and owners in general enjoy them - which is fine.
    It's so sad to see most Apple products today with the same built-in obsolescence, again a good reason why I am a lover of pre 2012 Apple products in general which are used daily and totally repairable. And my favourite vintage daily-wear watches are ok for at least 48hrs on one-wind, or permanently with the autos, in fact very smart watches in the real sense.
     
  17. tromboneaholic Suspended

    tromboneaholic

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    Location:
    Clearwater, FL
    #18
    Just curious, how many of your pre 2012 Apple products get 48 hours use without charging?

    Seriously, Apple Watch power reserve > 2 days. I get 2 days of usage and sometimes 3 days between charges. My wife wears hers all day and night (to track sleep) and charges it once a day for 30 minutes.
     
  18. Azathoth123 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2018
    Location:
    Fountain City
    #19
    I’d maybe disagree about the ‘planned obsolescence’. Wrist ‘computers’ are fairly new phenomena so the features being added every generation are significant, no argument there, we’re still in the ‘Moore’s Law’ period of watch features - growing rapidly if not exponentially. But reading MR posts, a lot of folks are keeping their older S0 or S1 watches and using them for sleep monitoring for example, while the newer one is on charge.

    It isn’t so much the battery life as it is ‘When do you charge it?’. Traditional watches won’t monitor sleep for example, so if you wish to use your Apple watch for that and also during the day you’ll have to decide when you want to charge it.

    All of this will get better over time, watches are really a young technology. I look at how fast watches are progressing and have to remember and laugh at the American cartoon character Fred Flintstone who was a very ‘normal’ cave man. When he looked at his watch, it was a sundial strapped to his wrist. Sometime in the future maybe we’ll look back at this era of watches and smile the same way?
     
  19. nepalisherpa macrumors 68020

    nepalisherpa

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    Aug 15, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #20
    So, if Apple had added a notification light you'd be able to see this light while the phone is in your pocket or see the light while you are in another room with phone out of sight, right?

    I had a Note 8 (which comes with notification LED) for a year (13 months to be exact). You could customize it to where say a text message would be green LED and an email would be red LED. Guess what, if you get a text message and then get an email afterward, all you'd see is red LED. What's the point of customization then? Sure, you would know you have an email but you wouldn't know that you have a text message until you look at your notifications.
     
  20. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

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    Location:
    East Coast
    #21
    It's not that Apple adds features that nobody wants, it's that everyone wants a different combination of features. By having a bunch of features, it ensures that most folks will be able to find a use case for the AW.

    For me, it's a fitness device above all. I want to track my daily movement and also be able to track my runs via GPS. The notifications are the second most important feature for me.

    I expect others would have different needs and use features that I never use. That's great. It's what makes general purpose computing devices so useful.

    'They' said the same thing when smartphones first came out. Who needs all that other stuff? Does it make a good phone call?

    The point being, make something flexible and powerful and users will find ways to use it.
     
  21. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #22
    With a ridiculous statement like that, I'd say there's no point in even responding to you. But for the benefit of other readers who might be on the fence, I'll respond anyway for them.

    I don't know what I'd do with a concrete jackhammer, so a concrete jackhammer is useless, right? That's basically what you're saying. The smartphone has no use case for you, therefore it has no use case at all? That's incredibly arrogant.

    Don't come on to the Apple Watch forum try to tell everyone else that it's a pointless bit of tech--that's the definition of trolling. Like swaggering into a Ford forum and telling everyone that Ford sucks. Hey, if something has no use to you, fine, don't buy it and move on.

    I don't know what other people's use cases are, but for me it has made my jogging so much better. The data and metrics are inspiring me to work out more, to be healthier, and to be confident that there are genuine positive results. The interface is handy and way easier to use then trying to use a phone that's in a waist pouch--not to mention I've broken my phone by trying to use it while jogging, and that's not going to happen with the AW. I could go on and on about how much better it is to run with just AW and no phone. AW has been an incredible purchase for me and I'm never going back.

    By the way, this pointless bit of tech has literally saved lives:

    upload_2018-12-7_11-13-8.png
     
  22. eyoungren, Dec 7, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018

    eyoungren macrumors Core

    eyoungren

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    #23
    This is an ongoing point of contention on this forum. My opinion is expressed rather adequately I think in several of the following threads so I will let this lie here.

    iPhone with LED Indicator?
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/notification-led.2039922/
    https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...om-schedule-for-missed-text-messages.2034042/
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/who-thinks-apple-will-add-notification-light.2028503/
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/iphone-7-notification-light.1991693/
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/how-would-iphone-be-impacted-by-adding-led-light.1975911/
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/iphone-6-flashing-home-button-mod.1952457/
    https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...ront-facing-multicolor-led-indicator.1401519/
    https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...use-for-notification-of-urgent-items.1454507/
    https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/no-front-facing-led-notification-light.1789896/

    In short however…my iPhone is not often in my pocket. It's either on a desk, a couch or chair arm, a table or in a cup holder. But if it is in my pocket then I will hear a notification come in. I don't walk around with DND or the mute switch on. And if I do, then the notification can wait until I'm done with whatever I'm doing.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 7, 2018 ---
    But which came first? Your desire for a missing feature or function, or the Apple watch?
    --- Post Merged, Dec 7, 2018 ---
    Good point. Here's my problem with that being used as a justification.

    No one was saying before the Apple Watch "Oh someone needs to develop a watch that does X medical functions because there are plenty of people who have died because it doesn't exist." No, after the watch came out was the only time this became evident.

    No one had a jones for a watch that did this before it was introduced. So justifying it's value by using examples after the fact isn't really an argument.
     
  23. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #24
    before getting the Apple watch, I used a Misfit to track my activity. It was ok but very limited. I used the Nike + iPod system to track my running and Endomondo on the iPhone for GPS.

    I wanted a device that could do all that in an elegant manner. That was the S2 AW.

    The notifications was really just a bonus.

    So to answer your question, is say that my desire for a missing function came first.
     
  24. ActionableMango, Dec 7, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018

    ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #25
    I disagree. "Prior jonesing" isn't required for a invention to be useful and valuable after the fact.

    In any case, for anyone making a purchase today, health related functions are now an established feature with value.
     

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