Drinking Apple Flavored Kool-Aid

… or how I learned to stop winging and like the Apple Watch

When Apple first released their Apple Watch in 2015, I looked at it with some suspicion, perhaps even a bit of derision.

“Here is a solution in search of a problem”, I thought.

“Do people even wear watches anymore?”, I pondered.

Other hardware manufacturers quickly started making “smart watch” models and such, but those same questions were what ran through my mind. I thought I have my phone with me right here, and it’s easy enough to hold it up and see the time or interact with stuff.

However, when I started dating someone who happened to be an avid user of iPhone and Apple Watch, I saw her using the watch in ways that actually seemed useful.

Using the watch to quickly add items to the grocery list, using it to ping her phone (whee did I leave that darn thing), using it to track the calories burned/steps taken on a walk around the block (more accurately than my Android phone did and without yet another device like a FitBit), even seeing her say “oh crap, forgot my phone but be able to use the watch to get directions and make calls/respond to messages/texts due to it being cellular enabled: it generally felt to me like I was seeing more than just a ‘solution in search of a problem’ I was seeing novel ways to interact. Yes, I could do most of these things with the voice assistant on my phone, but dragging it in an out of my purse (or wearing earbuds, etc) just did not fit as easily as the wearable nature of the watch.

So, when she upgraded her iPhone to the latest model, she gave me her old unlocked iPhone 7 and her old series 1 Apple watch (She had been using a series 4 for some time) so I could play with them. I started out fiddling just with the iPhone without cell service; just using them at home to see how I liked it.

I quickly got used to the convenience that I would leave my phone on the charger upstairs and could quickly add items to my ToDo list or respond to a quick IM, or direct music to play to one of our speakers (yeah she brought some AirPlay stuff into the house and I quickly got used to having options to use various speakers etc..) and to tall it to turn our smart bulbs on and off.

Again, the things I was doing were not things you can’t do with Android, they were not things you had to do with a smartwatdh. I have Google Home set up and could use my phone to control lights, but it was just little design things that really set the Apple Watch / iPhone apart: like the fact that “OK Google turn on bedroom light” would often be replied to with “you’ll need to unlock your phone” whereas “Hey Siri, turn on bedroom light” just worked.. even with the phone locked.

The other thing was simply a better experience since we no longer had to have me living in Google world and her in Apple.. (shared Google Keep lists, calendars, contacts all could work but required extra steps from her or me to get to sync to each other)

So, using that setup for a bit, I became convinced that it was maybe time to consider going “all in” back to Apple for my mobile needs.

I’m still using her iPhone 7… and am going to wait for the new “iPhone SE2 / iPhone 9” or whatever they decide to call it… which should come out end of March 2020. I’ve gotten my Series 5 Apple Watch and switched carriers (a remarkably good experience with Verizon Wireless which surprised the heck out of me)

The other big thing for me has been this: Apple is a hardware company.. their product is their phones, their watches, their tablets, and thir computers. Yes they have worked to build a very nice walled garden and integrate their thigns, but most importantly, you are buying their hardware, and thus you are not the product.

Google is first and foremost an advertising company, and even with paying for their cell service and buying a phone through them, their dedication to customer data privacy can not compete with Apple.

Yes, I’ve had a good long drink from the Apple Kool-Aid, and I feel fine.