by Jim Lynch

The Apple Watch addiction

May 22, 20156 mins
Consumer ElectronicsMobileOperating Systems

My Apple Watch has displaced my iPhone and that's a good thing!

The Apple Watch is off to a roaring start among iPhone users. Since its release the only real constraint on its success has been Apple’s ability to produce enough watches fast enough to get them into the hands of its customers.

But what happens when someone finally gets their Apple Watch? In most cases it’s quite simple:

They become addicted to it.

Yes, the Apple Watch is an addictive device but only in the best sense. Over the course of a day it can be a hugely helpful tool in saving you a little time here and a little time there until by the end of the day you’ve shaved off a lot of time you would have otherwise spent reaching for your iPhone to find quick bits of information, send or receive text messages, and even make phone calls.

At a glance information is extremely addictive on the Apple Watch

One of the things that took me by surprise after getting my Apple Watch was how quickly I got used to having information at a glance on my wrist. This is something that I didn’t understand or expect before I actually had an Apple Watch. Once you get used to being able to see certain kinds of information with a flick of your wrist, it changes your expectations and your perception of what is acceptable in terms of the time spent to access that information.

Take, for example, something like the weather. When I want to see what the temperature is I can simply look at the weather Glance on my Apple Watch. The same thing applies to other quick information like stocks and my calendar. The Apple Watch makes seeing that stuff immediate and much faster than looking it up on my iPhone or computer.

But it’s not just passively glancing at information that has me glued to my Apple Watch. Other functions like controlling the music on my iPhone and entering in calories consumed via the Lose It app are also immediate and more easily accessible on the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch makes managing my weight a lot simpler since I can enter calories right from my watch.

And, of course, sending and receiving text messages is much faster on the Apple Watch then it ever was on the iPhone. I was leaving an appointment with my podiatrist a few days ago and got a text from a friend. I was able to text back and forth with him as I was walking by dictating my responses via my Apple Watch. I never even had to reach for my iPhone to know he’d sent me a message or to send my responses.

Even phone calls on the Apple watch can be more immediate and convenient than using a smartphone. If somebody calls you, you have the option of taking the call on the Apple Watch or handing it off to your iPhone. I’ve found that I can comfortably talk via my Apple Watch as long as I’m not in a very noisy or crowded place. In those situations I will consider handing off the call to my iPhone, but for the most part that hasn’t been necessary. Calls on the Apple watch sound great and I don’t even need to hold my watch up to my face to talk, I can type and do other things during the call.

And the thing to remember is that the more you use the Apple Watch, the more you expect to have immediate access to such things. It is no longer acceptable to me to have to spend the extra seconds it used to take to get that information via a desktop or laptop computer, or via a smartphone. Thus the Apple Watch saves me significant amounts of time over the course of each day because I get the information I want right away on my wrist.

I have seen some really dumb commentary by so-called analysts and journalists claiming that there is no “killer feature” on the Apple Watch. These dingbats have completely missed the point that at a glance information is the killer feature of the Apple Watch! But you have to use the watch for a while to begin to understand this, and I suspect that the folks who have bad-mouthed the Apple Watch probably spent very little or no time at all actually using one.

My Apple Watch has displaced my iPhone for at a glance information

All of this means that I’m using my iPhone less and less. Oh sure, I still love my iPhone. But I don’t need to constantly pick it up to see the information I listed above. So the iPhone now occupies a different place in my life than it did before I got the Apple Watch. I don’t use it the same way I did before I got the Apple Watch.

These days I tend to use my iPhone when I need to do something that really requires the larger screen or other capabilities of the iPhone. For example, I’ll use the iPhone for reading Kindle books or listening to books on Audible. And obviously if I need to read anything on the web, I’ll grab my iPhone. And I also still enjoy gaming on the large screen of my iphone 6 Plus.

But overall I have become so addicted to my Apple Watch that it has displaced my iPhone for quick information. Why spend the time to pick up the iPhone, use Touch ID to unlock it, and then pull up an app to see such things? By the time I’ve done that I could have looked at it on my Apple Watch and moved onto something else.

Don’t get me wrong here, the Apple Watch could never replace my iPhone for everything. Each of them has its place in my life, and I wouldn’t want to go without either device. But the iPhone’s days of ruling the roost in terms of being my immediate “go-to” device are officially over, thanks to the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch is truly addictive but in a good way

I used the word “addiction” in the title of this post. Unfortunately some people will probably perceive that in a negative way, and they certainly shouldn’t because the Apple Watch addiction is a good one. It means that people can save significant amounts of time by not having to reach for their iPhones. And – more importantly – it means that they eliminate the risk of being sucked into their iPhone and wasting time when they only needed to find a quick bit of information.

I expect that there are some folks out there who haven’t yet gotten an Apple Watch and thus won’t truly understand where I’m coming from here. That’s okay though, their time will come after they finally get one and it begins to work its way into their life. They’ll make the same adjustment that I and many others have made.

The Apple Watch is truly addictive, and that’s a good thing!

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