Why not create an Apple Watch without a screen?

aircanman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 2, 2011
344
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UK
All the benefits of the Apple Watch, without the screen.

Benefits would include....

Real time health monitoring
Vibrator motor for notifications
All the fitness tracking
Very long battery life

I have owned two apple watches and never really got on with them, notifications show on phone, not on watch and vice versa, you pretty much need the phone to complete a lot of the tasks, so if you need the phone, why not just use the watch with everything but the power hungry screen, for those that do not use watches, Apple could make even more money!!

I want the benefits of the watch, without the screen!
 

aircanman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 2, 2011
344
21
UK
Watch is useless without its benefits. The screen and notifications are it’s weakness.
 

BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
5,425
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California
I think there would be a market for that. I am one who turns off all notifications except those from my favorites list - with long DND moments. I hate constantly being notified. I always have my phone on silent - if it is important, a VM will be left. But the watch helps when I get important calls during working hours from bosses.

That said, it is my assumption that the vast majority of Apple Watch users prefer its notifications and screens.

Those of us who would prefer a more traditional watch and longer battery life are probably in the minority.

While I see your point, I think the watch's screen and notifications are a strength.

IMG_0948.png


At a glance, I can get the date, 5 day forecast, access to my to do list, my activity, and a calculator because I cannot do math in my head. When I run, AirPods connect to my watch with a running playlist as well as a Scosche heart rate monitor.

Apple Pay would be difficult without a screen.

That said, I could see a market for a no screen Apple Watch with more traditional approach.
 

PrettyWings

macrumors 6502
Nov 3, 2016
291
293
I see your point. I also think they could get more battery life if they chose to use an LCD screen instead of OLED. I think that matters more on phones when people are actually using those as consumption devices. It seems people are mainly looking at watches for the information.
 

aircanman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 2, 2011
344
21
UK
Fitbit is the kind of thing I would use, but I want one made by Apple. They are the leaders in this market, I just think there are too many trade offs on the Apple watch, for me anyway.
 

iFone88

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2018
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Fitbit is the kind of thing I would use, but I want one made by Apple. They are the leaders in this market, I just think there are too many trade offs on the Apple watch, for me anyway.
But Fitbit literally does the things you listed and does it very well.
 
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FenC

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Oct 5, 2016
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Wellington, New Zealand
I have owned two apple watches and never really got on with them, notifications show on phone, not on watch and vice versa, you pretty much need the phone to complete a lot of the tasks...

I want the benefits of the watch, without the screen!
It sounds like you didn't have the notifications set up correctly. That’s no reflection on you as it can be a finicky thing to get right and there have been at least two occasions after OS updates where I’ve lost notifications for emails on the watch and had to change the settings on the phone to get them back, when they were working fine with the previous settings before the update. Right now I have banners on the phone (which I don’t like or want) as I stopped getting notified on the watch (which I want) and that workaround fixed it. I’ve been too lazy to look for a proper fix - maybe something to look at today. There is room for better notification handling IMO.

I don’t know what generation of watch / WatchOS you used previously, but I’ve had one from the S0 launch. I freely admit the original with the first version of OS was a painfully slow toy looking for a use (but I like toys so stuck with it). It wasn’t until WatchOS 5 and the S4 that the watch realised its potential for me. It’s still not perfect, but now it has a big enough screen and the ability to show the content of HTML email etc, and sufficient performance to feel fast enough. The AOD of the S5 moved the game on significantly further even than the S4 (WatchOS 6 also but to a lesser extent). Perhaps worth mentioning is that my sport is cycling, and for that I continue to use a dedicated Garmin cycling computer to track rides, although I run workouts on the watch also to capture effort for Activity and Health apps (Strava doesn’t have a setting to write back the HR data if I upload the workout from there - or didn’t last time I looked). If I was a runner I might use a Garmin rather than AW.

All that said it isn’t for everyone. I like the tech for the sake of the tech, and I have 49 bands and like to match those up with my mood, what I’m wearing and the social situation, and I think the AW is a far more “normal” looking watch than pretty much any other smart watch I’ve seen, which helps with that last. I also wore a regular watch from age 5 so it wasn’t weird for me to put one on like it must be for someone who never wore one.

I do agree with the above post however; perhaps all you want is already available in a FitBit?
 

BasicGreatGuy

macrumors G5
Sep 21, 2012
13,094
12,511
In the middle of several books.
During work hours and running, I keep notifications turned off on my watch, except for messages and emergency calls. Doing that gives me great battery life for my watch. I can run 10+ hours before the watch gets low on battery.

I don’t allow my run time to be interrupted unless it is a true emergency. As Big Mac said, people can always leave a voicemail.

OP, you either haven’t used a AW in a long time, or you set it up incorrectly, if you had consistently bad battery life.
 
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iFone88

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2018
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During work hours and running, I keep notifications turned off on my watch, except for messages and emergency calls. Doing that gives me great battery life for my watch. I can run 10+ hours before the watch gets low on battery.

I don’t allow my run time to be interrupted unless it is a true emergency. As Big Mac said, people can always leave a voicemail.

OP, you either haven’t used a AW in a long time, or you set it up incorrectly, if you had consistently bad battery life.
10+ hours battery, with notifications off? That’s pretty poor, unless you have a really old watch?

I get two days and some with all notifications always on.
 
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mk313

macrumors 6502a
Feb 6, 2012
984
401
It’s unlikely that Apple will ever make a watch with no screen but if you really want that, and don’t want a Fitbit, why not just leave it In theater mode all the time?
 
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QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
10,961
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Bay Area
This thread is basically “I want a headless prosumer xMac” for a different product line - and it’s about as likely to happen.

Apple does not try to cater to every possible user. Not with the watch, phone, ipad, or mac. They try to make a product that meets the needs of the big group of people in the middle of the curve. And if you’re not in that group, they’ll willingly lose your business to Samsung/dell/Fitbit/[insert company that offers a million models in every product line]. It’s a trade-off they gladly make in order to have streamlined production lines and easy-to-explain choices for customers.
 
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matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
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Basically you want Apple Band (Just like Microsoft Band but with - maybe - a more primitive monotone screen). I’ll say there is a market for that. A big market even.
Says they will release this kind of band that would give you the benefit of all health monitoring, but not the sophistication’s of Apple Watch like Complications, I’ll say I’ll buy one even though I already have Apple Watch because it will be perfect for sleep tracking at least.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
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Between the coasts
It wouldn't be a watch anymore, but that's OK. The thing about wearables is that they can be worn in different ways. How about a badge? A Star Trek comm badge... oh, I see it's already been done. Well then, a nice, shiny Apple logo comm badge. Apple Locket, Apple Bracelet, Apple Subcutaneous Implant, Apple Molar.... And considering how long some life-long Apple fans have been around, Apple Artificial Hip, Apple Pacemaker... It's time all these single-function devices could do some multitasking!
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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This Will never be a reality, this is merely a fictional thought. The future of the Apple Watch moving forward will be micro LED displays at some point.
 
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aircanman

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 2, 2011
344
21
UK
It wouldn’t.
So how would a watch without a face tell time?
It wouldn’t. It would do everything but tell time, 9 times out of 10 you have your phone on you which tells the time. I don’t see the point of a device which mirrors what a phone can do. The only benefits it brings to a non watch wearer work without the screen.
 
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Rainshadow

macrumors regular
Feb 16, 2017
187
459
I don’t know... I had a Fitbit - 3 actually. They all disintegrated within 6 months each. Quality sucked - so I can see your desire for a quality product with similar function.

However, I think you miss what I consider to be the whole point of the Apple Watch - to NOT use your phone and decrease the amount of time distracted by the digital world. You keep saying “well the phone is always right there.” True, but the moment you pick it up, it’s in your hand and often that presents an opportunity to use a billion apps. The watch brings you back to simply checking the time or triaging you’re notifications. As others have said, if it’s notifying you too much, then your settings are wrong.
 
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ManicMarc

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2012
454
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I've been thinking this for a while and the idea has some merit as a way to get the health benefits of the Apple Watch out to a larger audience. Instead of a screen, I can see LEDs being used to represent the three rings, and pending notifications. Notifications, noise exposure, fall detection, HR monitoring, and step tracking for £99 or so would be brilliant. Even if there was no explicit "workout" app, that would be OK (and no GPS either). The iPod shuffle for the Apple Watch.
 
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maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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