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Apple Watch convenience is a 'superpower'

Those who use the Apple Watch every day and can't imagine going back to a time without it typically fall into one of three camps: those who value the convenience, those that value the health motivation, and both. Benedict Evans sums up the convenience angle well on ben-evans.com:

In all this, the watch reminds me a little of Google Now. It's not essential - you don't NEED it. There's nothing you couldn't do with a smartphone, not even telling the time. But, like Now, if you let go, flow into it and just let it work, it removes a lot of small tiny daily moments of friction (this was also a common theme at IO and WWDC this year). You wouldn't make a phone call on it, but if you're walking up the stairs with a bag in one hand, a child in the other and a dog on your wrist, and the phone rings, seeing who it is, tapping 'Answer' with your nose (an under-hyped interface innovation) and saying a few words without stopping or putting anything down is, well, a superpower. It's as though you're Elastigirl, doing the laundry.

Convenience was my killer feature for Apple Watch—and, turns out, my family's—and a benefit Liz Plosser discovered as well.

(For more on the health angle, check out Serenity Caldwell, Jim Dalrymple, and Peter Cohen.)

Ben also offers some great insight into why the Watch is proving so challenging for the tech and financial press alike, and how that's really not so different that then first months of iPod or iPhone.

Meanwhile, in our recently completed Apple Watch usage survey, iMore learned the following:

  • 93% of respondents wore their Apple Watch 5 days a week or more, and 95% wore it for 8 hours a day or more.

That's a lot of super-powered potential.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

40 Comments
  • To be honest, the convenience factor is probably the best. That and the general health aspects. I left my phone in my briefcase following a meeting the other day (accidentally) and had put the briefcase in the back of my car. Driving 20 minutes, I didn't NEED my phone, but I wanted to call my wife and have a brief chat on my way. "Hey Siri, call my wife." was all it took. Was it necessary? No. Did it make things a whole lot more convenient to cover up for my ineptitude? Yep!
  • Sounds like you'd be better off with Android Wear then, if you get Google Now plus the convenience of a smartwatch.
  • But... Watch has bigger market share.
    And market share is everything.
    Right?
  • Android Wear watches don't work with iOS devices, but the Apple Watch does (and extremely well I might add ;-).
  • I agree .This is my primary reason why I can't switch to Android any time soon.
  • Sorry but it is a convenience and nothing more. Saving two seconds using a (minimum) $350 watch instead of pulling a phone out of a pocket is in no way a super power. Was not a "super power" with Pebble, Android Wear, or smart watches even before them. It isn't now just because the product has "Apple" in the name.
  • My price point for a wrist wearable is $199. Considering I was ready to get a $100 fitbit and a $100 cardio monitor for my training sessions. I was able to get all three in one device and save money. What's the superpower my Apple Watch gave me - free apps and a beverage out with friends. That and a device that now allows me to use my iPhone all day with enough power for tomorrow so I do not have to be concerned about charging it every night as I travel the globe on vacation. Did I mention the tactile alerts so that I can use GPS while walking in another timezone? I am very happy. I hope you can find a wearable that fits your needs.
  • "Superpower"??? Isn't it a little early to have started drinking, Rene? Sent from the iMore App
  • There's never a wrong time to drink Apple Kool-Aid
  • It was a quote from a highly respected industry analyst; how about we stick to attacking arguments and not people?
  • Attack? Really? Sent from the iMore App
  • Mostly this is Post-purchase rationalization. Hard to find many people who have shelled out that price for the Apple Watch who are going to say it was a waste of money. I'd say 98% of people's device activity is based on the narcissistic need to have others validate their existence. The more I see people sucked into their phones, the less faith I have in human-kind.
  • I feel like I wasted my money. I wear mine 2-3 times a week when I remember to and then I don't bother with it on my days off. I will say this though, the Apple Watch has sparked my interest in other watches and now I want to wear different analog watches. Also, I equate the whole convenience factor with it being a First World laziness issue.
  • I use mine 7 days a week, all my waking hours. What version do you have? My wife wants one. I'll consider buying it from you.
  • Me too. I put mine on when I get out of bed and take it off when I lay down at night, 7 days a week. Some people just get it, others don't — and that's fine. It's not a post purchase rationalization. I truly feel like it adds to my life and makes the internet and all of its services a no friction part of me. It doesn't feel like I'm using a device, the internet is just there when I need it.
  • If by waste of money you mean $400 that could have gone to a nobler cause, then I can't really argue that. I bought the 42mm Space Gray Sport, and even I know I spent a ton of money for what it is. I do really enjoy using it, though. I can't say I absolutely needed what it provides, but I've come to appreciate everything it does and allows me to do. This is probably a trite comparison but a Chevy Aveo will get you from point A to B just as well as a Ferrari, but is the customer not getting anything from their extra $200K? I see a lot of room for improvement in terms of device function but the overwhelming majority of it lies with the software. With the next iteration of the OS coming out soon, I'm hoping my concerns will be resolved. And hopefully a portion of what I spent will go into R&D to make the next generation even better!
  • I wear mine all day every day because I bought it and I'm giving it a chance. Maybe 2.0 will make it better with native apps but as of right now, once it breaks it isn't getting replaced. Sent from the iMore App
  • I think your spot on. The number one answer I find myself saying when folks ask me what I think so far..... Is that it's convenient.....!
  • I feel the same...it's a nice convenience to have. Sent from the iMore App
  • I wear mine everyday and love it. Sent from the iMore App
  • I've had my Apple Watch for about 2 weeks and so far I am really enjoying it. I tried a Martian watch last year, it was neat, but limited. I like the look and software of the android wear, but I am heavily invested in iOS and have waited until this August to take the dive. I ultimately made the decision to buy an older iphone 5 to use at work, I had to take the cameras out of it..due to the nature of my work. Once I got the iphone 5 with the cameras removed, I got the Apple Watch to compliment it. I couldn't think of buying an iPhone 6 or 6 plus and removing the cameras, it's too nice of a device. ..back to the Apple Watch for me I am starting to use it more at work, to reply to emails, texts, keep up on calendar events/reminders, track deliveries, and of course sport scores ;-) It's not life changing for me yet, but I am getting used to it.
  • I agree with the superpower idea. I have always been bad with directions and on a recent road trip of 20 hours+ each way I felt as tough I had a new sense or ability. The taps on the wrist to turn left or right were amazing. I have used my phone for navigation for years but something about the Apple Watch made me feel like I had overcome a long term disability, as minor as it was. BTW this watch was a gift, so the post purchase justification argument is not a valid one for me.
  • I agree with the flood of rosy assessments the tech press is showering us with in regards Apple Watch with one exception ... price. The Apple Watch is vastly, ridiculously, and shamefully over-priced for what it is and for what it does and the bigger shame is the fact that no-one in the tech press has the courage to even mention it. The cheapest Apple Watch is more expensive than the cheapest iPhone. It's DOUBLE the price of almost any equivalent smartwatch you want to name while doing nothing more than those watches. It's four or five times the price of the average non-smartwatch. And even if you pay all that, all you have is the "cheap" version of the product, not the mainstream version of the product. If the Apple Watch Sport was $150, then no one could argue about the benefits of Apple's Watch and the consumer would be satisfied. Instead Apple has made the Watch a status symbol, and desperately try to position themselves as a "luxury brand." i.e. - the exact opposite of what the company used to be.
  • Yes, Apple has always been known for their cheaply priced products....especially first generation. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm sorry but the cheapest iPhone costs $650. That you pay $199 because of your carrier is another story. And either way you end up paying the actual price wether people understand it or not. Bothers me people think the iPhone "cost" $199. Sent from the iMore App
  • Right. A friend of mine freaked out when he heard how much I spent on a phone back in the day, and I was simply like "add up the price of your contract" Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • Remember what the original Motorola RAZR cost? Likely more than an iPhone in 2015 dollars.
  • Nope. I was 7 when the Razer dropped in '04. Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • You would have been the most fly kid in the second grade!
  • 3rd. I started school early. Also, I collected rocks for fun and read books. Smart, but the only thing I did that was close to "fly" was when people threw me off the stuff on the playground :'D Yeah, I was small and the mouth wasn't any cleaner than then it is now. Granted, what we considered profanity was different then. But I called people meanies all the time. I was a lil thug. Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • Those things were popular but man the old Moto RAZR phones were built like crap
  • I've had my AW for 11 days. I wasn't interested initially but the idea grew on me. Surprisingly, I had not seen an AW in person. Plus we don't have an Apple store in the state. So I ordered one to see what I thought. I love it. For starters it is a very nice watch. I bought the stainless with sport band. Good fit, great looks. I am active and enjoy using workouts and health tracking. How much I like this aspect has surprised me. I work at a university science institute and need to stay connected with a diverse and distributed group of researchers, students, administrators, and partners. The iPhone transformed my work life, unchaining me from the desk. The AW enhances the iPhone with quiet notifications. It doesn't do anything I can't do other ways, but it enhances how I use tech for personal and work needs. It also is so convenient for little things like setting alarms when grilling out or sending my wife a quick voice text. I am surprisingly pleased. I honestly expected to return it. Instead I wear it every waking hour. As much as the AW works for me, I don't think it is quite ready for more widespread use. I wouldn't recommend it to most of my family, friends, or work team, yet. It has huge potential and will get better and better as apple updates hardware and improves the OS. But for someone like me who enjoys exploring technology, it is a winner out of the gate.
  • This is a very accurate statement. Smartwatch enhance more than they change. The fact that I search off my watch instead of pulling out my phone has shaved about 20 minutes off my screen on time. And looking at the watch for time has shaved another 20-25 minutes off that time. Music controls, quick replies, etc. I definitely pull out my phone a lot less. Almost makes me want to get one of those waist holsters. Since I'd be pulling it out less freeing up my pocket would be a benefit. Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • APPLE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A LUXURY BRAND! Stop coming on here (gazeboo) saying that they were not! There products always cost more than the rest! I am tired of people beating that same old dead horse! Apple will not sell there products for less because of what a few people think. I think let's say, a Nissan Maxima is a better car than a Cadillac but that won't Make GM sell its cadillac for less than a maxima! However I would still buy a Cadillac, why? Because it's a Cadillac and it is expected to be a better car. That's just the way we are. Sent from the iMore App
  • Apple is an aspirational brand, not luxury.
  • But it's not a luxury brand. It's an expensive brand. It's a popular brand. Not luxury. Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • I just got a Cadillac Escalade ESV Platinum...holy shinikies! BTW..goes good with an Apple product Sent from the iMore App
  • The feeling of a "super power" speaks to the way the Apple Watch doesn't feel like using a device. It's having the power of the internet and all of its apps and services always there, almost as if it were a part of you, like a super power.
  • Still not interested in buying a smart watch of any kind.
  • Amazed at all the soul searching about the need for an apple watch . People have used watches to tell the time and in some cases as a fashion accessory for centuries . My apple watch was a lot cheaper than most of the watches in my local up market jeweller and allows me to vary the style when I feel like a change . Oh yes.. It also has great fitness and health tracking and greatly enhances my iPhone apps. I don't miss calls when my iPhone is in another room or in my bag and someone prodding my wrist when it's time to do something works great for me