Tom Insam

[]WATCH predictions

I read some reviews of the watch. I haven't used one, but I can tell you most of the same things the reviews do:

For the first week or so you'll be playing with it constantly and there will be lots of people saying "the battery life isn't good enough", because it's not designed to be used constantly.

You'll get lots of notifications and you'll realize that they're really annoying and intrusive. Then you'll put the effort in to manage those notifications and the problem will go away, you'll only be told about important things.

Then the novelty will wear off and it'll just be a thing you glance at but you'll forget about it a lot but it's useful and you'll be happy you have it.

Then you'll get to the actual useful phase where it really does fulfill that "I don't look at my phone" thing and you'll find that not only does the battery last long enough* but your phone battery lasts a lot longer now as well, because you're not looking at it as much - calendar notifications no longer mean that you're holding an inherently distracting device that you're inclined to keep fiddling with.

Then you'll stop using it, and think "this is actually annoying to wear", and take it off.

Then you'll realize that actually you use it all the time and had stopped noticing and now it's incredibly irritating to have to pick the phone up all the time, and you'll miss messages because your phone is face-down on the desk or something, so you put it back on.


Forgive me while I'm That Android Guy for a moment here. But I know all this because we did this last year. I'm genuinely interested to see if the extra capabilities of []WATCH are really meaningful, but it'll be hard - ecosystem lock-in means that almost no-one will be able to have worn both. Maybe the touch-drawing or the Haptic Wossname or whatever will be a meaningful improvement over Android Wear. Maybe not. I don't know anyone who'll be able to tell me, and I'm bored of reading reviews that tell me all the same things I learned last year about smart watches.

Oh. And it's really annoying in restaurants and cinemas because YOU HAVE A LIGHTBULB STRAPPED TO YOUR WRIST. Google solved that one pretty fast - there's a 'theatre mode' now that locks the backlight off unless you explicitly tap to wake, but wow that was annoying while it lasted.

* battery life of >20 hours and <1 week is not interesting because everything in that range means "charge nightly". I have a Pebble Time coming. I'm wondering if the slightly >1 week battery it promises will make a meaningful difference.