People are eyeing the Apple Watch for a variety of reasons. Its luxury appeal, its newness, and its utility as a smartwatch and fitness tracker are among the selling points of the device. My interest in the Watch does include its usefulness as a smartwatch and fitness tracker, but there are three other reasons that compel me to pick one up on day one.
The first reason is social in nature. I spend a fair amount of time in the company of other people where it is awkward to pull out my phone. I volunteer at a nature preserve where I help with summer running events and provide gear in the winter to individuals and families who wish to ski on the premises. I hate missing an important email when I am volunteering, but feel it is rude always to pull out my phone. This same uncomfortable situation arises in other social situations, such as dinner dates or meetings, where using your phone removes you from the conversation.
With a Watch, I expect that I will be able to glance at an incoming email to see if it needs further response. I do admit that looking at a watch is a form of distraction, but this quick glance at your wrist is less rude than pulling out a phone, unlocking it and checking notifications. Glancing at Apple Watch can be done quickly and discretely without taking your entire focus away from your social situation.
I also hope the Watch can make my notifications a bit more silent. More than once, I've been on a beautiful vista, and my phone starts chiming with incoming messages from my excited teens who are hiking ahead of me and have seen a herd of deer. Embarrassed that I've tarnished the moment for those around me, I get my phone from my backpack and turn off the ringer, knowing that I have closed down the communication line between myself and my kids. I realize I will still get vibrating alerts, but those can be difficult to detect when a phone is stored in a backpack pocket.
With the Watch, I expect to be able to turn off my iPhone ringer and receive vibrating alerts on my wrist. Though I haven't experienced it, I assume the buzz-buzz on your wrist will be much more discrete and less noticeable to me than the buzzing of my iPhone 6 Plus. Thankfully, we have yet to have an incident in the woods that required my immediate attention, but I will hike at ease with the Watch on my wrist.
iPhone Protection Plan
Lastly, the Watch will protect my phone from imminent danger. I spend a lot of time kayaking during the warmer months here in Maine. Most of the time, I hit a local pond with my children and search for turtles, sunfish, and loons. It's become an enjoyable afternoon activity of learning about nature and getting some fresh air exercise.
While I would love to forget about my phone when on the water, I can't as I am often kayaking around the time my daughter finishes her lessons at a local horse farm. I hit the pond and paddle for an hour while I wait for her to text me that she is ready. More than once, I have fumbled with my phone, dropping it while I responded to her messages. On one occasion, that fall landed the iPhone in the water where it sunk to the murky bottom. Thankfully, it was a shallow part of the pond, and I was able to retrieve the phone safely due to glow of its screen.
With the Watch, I expect to keep my phone in a floatable, watertight box. It will be near to me, but safely stowed in a waterproof environment. When my daughter texts me, I will be able to receive the notification and respond without touching my phone. That convenience, along with the protection it provides to my phone, is well worth the $349 price tag for the Sports Edition Watch. For the record, I do plan on getting AppleCare+ for the Watch in the rare event I tip the kayak and take an unexpected swim.
Do you plan on purchasing an Apple Watch when it launches? What reasons are driving you to buy the device? Share your plans in the comments below.