Well the Apple Watch was released in September 2014 and since then I have read about it as well as listening to many podcasts and recordings about it. Not all have been good or even recommended it as a purchase. To date I have resisted the urge of a serial fiddler to buy one. That resistance in part has been price, quite expensive in Australia with prices from $429 (38mm Sport model) upward. The model that grabbed my attention was the 42mm Stainless Steel model with the Milanese Loop. It comes with a staggering RRP of $1029. Way too much.
My other concerns with the watch is – what would I use it for. Does it have a purpose for a person who is retired? Was it designed for the working person to keep track of their life? Does it have any relevance to a person in a country location? Wow, is it just a yuppy toy – a status symbol of the new age? Are the feature sets built into the watch, especially Apple Pay, just American centric options making the watch less than valuable or even useless in regional Australia. Heck I own a number of watches that I wear and they all tell me the time.
So when the option to buy a watch second hand (2 weeks old), the exact model that I liked, at half price – I have been forced to think about it a lot. The watch has been out for almost two years and whilst the software has been upgraded to WatchOS 2, is it about to be upgraded? Will we see a new watch released in the later part of 2016? Will we see the emergence of WatchOS 3 this year? These are always questions that you ask yourself about what is an expensive purchase, even at half price. A software update should not be an issue but will new hardware change this into a killer product. Actually, I do not believe that a smart watch will be a killer product for some time. Not until they have figured out seamless voice interaction.
Decision time. From a financial perspective as I have been offered such a good deal on this watch (comparatively to a new item) I should be able to sell it with minimal loss even if a new model watch is released. Software upgrades should be seamless and not an issue. So the financial risk is not that great.
So what do I imagine I could use it for? Even for a serial fiddler at half price it is a very expensive toy. So what can I use it for – the question I keep asking myself?
Well, this is the list of software/applications that I think I could try out on it:
Golfshot Plus, a golf GPS application that takes information from my iPhone and provides it to me on the watch. This is simply a convenience thing as I still have to have the phone with me. A new model Apple Watch with GPS integrated might change this though. There are more accurate and cheaper options available.
Downcast, a podcast application that will allow me to listen to my various podcasts. The problem is that the Apple Watch has limited space – unlike my iPhone. I also have to use bluetooth headphones but as I use them now I am thinking this shouldn’t be a problem either. This will let me listen to podcasts without having my iPhone with me. An advantage at times.
Activity Tracking. Is this really a reason as I plan what I am going to do most days and know what I do. I have been thinking of buying a FitBit so the Apple Watch should do this task, a lot more expensive than a FitBit though. The only issue here is swimming – at this time I am unaware of any activity tracker that is waterproof so there is nothing that fills the bill here for me anyway. The heart rate monitor might be a good feature for us older folks so that is something I will be interested in.
Travel Applications. Though not sure if there are any specific ones that are best for the watch I could try a few out. I have read about how people use the watch to assist them navigate new locations and it seemed interesting to me. A trip to the USA & Canada coming up, so interested to try that aspect of it though I have been using my iPhone for that purpose for years. Similarly the ability to have tickets, boarding passes and other electronic travel information stored on the watch may be an advantage. Whether it is a big enough advantage over pulling out my iPhone is another matter.
Messages and Lists. I have not investigated this option very much but I am sure it will be useful to have a reminder with me all the time.
Well I am sure there are many other uses, including being able to tell the time.
I have not been able to speak to anyone else who has actually bought one of these watches so it has been impossible to get firsthand responses as to the its use. That means I am not sure if I am looking at this potential purchase through the rose coloured glasses of a serial technology fiddler.
I have been typing this as I think about whether I should buy this watch or not. The decision is still not an easy one, far harder than it ever was to buy my first smartphone and then later various model iPhones. Do I need it? That is an easy question to answer. N0, my iPhone does everything I need for daily life – I think. Heck I could even live without it in my retirement. I have far fewer appointments, contacts, lists etc than I ever did in my working life.
Do I desire it? Yes, I would like to see how it impacts on my life. If it does at all.
So in this case it is desire that has overcome need but, at least I will have more data to back to up my next decision on whether to upgrade, sell or keep an Apple Watch. The positive in this process is that it has again made me think about how much easier life would be if simplified. Whether an Apple Watch helps in achieving that or simply complicates it is another issue.