A Woman’s Perspective: 15 Thoughts on the AppleWatch

I’ve been surprised by the number of people to say I’m the only person they know with the AppleWatch. More interestingly, a couple of people have commented that I’m the only woman they’ve seen with it. Since I got my watch in the first shipment (at least for those of us who aren’t journalists or celebrities) on April 24, I have a month’s worth of observations I thought I’d share:

  1. Guys always have their phone in a pocket. They know when they’re getting a call or text. If I’m wearing a dress or slim fit pants, my phone’s in my handbag where I don’t feel it vibrate. And on the streets of NY, I won’t hear it ring. The watch liberates me from constantly pulling out my phone. I know I’ll feel an alert on my wrist.
  2. Not pulling out my phone to check for a text or missed call means I’m less frequently sucked into the digital spiral of Email-Twitter-Instagram-Facebook-LinkedIn-News (repeat). Usually not a bad thing.
  3. The notifications also mean I can subtly review and silence a phone call at the first sign of a vibration on my wrist, rather than hear a ring and start digging around in my coat pockets or handbag for my phone
  4. Professional, mostly male reviewers have commented on how little functionality the watch has when it’s out of Bluetooth range of the iPhone. For the reason mentioned in #1, I’m up against this limitation even more often. Down the hallway at the office printer? No headlines from the New York Times app for me.
  5. But I could theoretically go out sans phone and credit card and shop, at least at Whole Foods or other places that take ApplePay. This is especially relevant when I go running since the fitness tracker will log my activity and show it to me when I reconnect with Bluetooth. Too bad I still need a pocket for my keys.
  6. When my phone is offline, I can see my inbox, Twitter feed and the weather from the last time my phone was connected to the Internet. But the watch doesn’t store the latest data from my last Bluetooth connection. So I see none of this.
  7. I’d be more likely to try new watch apps if I could discover them on the watch. But that search can only be done through the phone’s watch app, which brings up results for apps that aren’t even made for the watch.
  8. I went for the white rubber watch band and I like how it looks. I thought I’d swap it out for one of my old-school watches if I were dressing up, but I no longer see the need. The watch is a little sporty, but nicely balanced by the slick face and overall minimalist style.
  9. The hardware itself is a style statement. And the clock face itself is rarely seen. So I’m not sure why there’s so much UX real estate devoted to customizing it. Colors, shapes, Mickey Mouse… I don’t need it and I’d rather not be shown the options when I’m trying to do something else.
  10. One of the reasons the clock face is rarely seen is because the screen’s always off. Cool look, but this makes it hard to politely glance down at the time during a conversation. If I don’t want to lower my other hand to press the dial, I need to bring my wrist to eye level for a mock hair or glasses adjustment.
  11. While getting my hair cut, I felt (a little) less rude checking e-mail and Twitter on my watch than I would’ve on my phone. Bonus: I was able to do this while leaving my phone to charge a few feet away.
  12. My watch has no idea when I’m sitting or standing. But the calorie burn estimates come close to those of MapRunner, for whatever that’s worth.
  13. Norms change fast: Shopping from a watch sounded unnecessarily silly to me at first. I haven’t done it yet, but now I can imagine it.
  14. Since the Swatch I acquired in elementary school, I’ve worn a watch daily for more than 25 years. The AppleWatch is a solid replacement, and with a few bells and whistles I like. The novelty is fun if not completely life-changing.
  15. The predictions that the watch is Apple’s foray into luxury fashion don’t leave me convinced. While stylish, the device is all about the technology. Which is more than fine with me.