I want an Apple Watch for four main reasons: Because of the nature of my work, the fact that I own two dogs, the fact that I live in a noisy city and because I hate Bluetooth earpieces. Now I realize that there's no way Jony Ive and Apple's design group has a profile fitting that description in their design briefs, there is no picture of me on their corkboard with a red circle around my face...
...but what they excel at is figuring out universal needs and designing solutions to those. Which is why it feels like the Apple Watch was designed precisely for me and for what I need to do on a daily basis.
I'll start with the two dogs. They require a lot of exercise, which I'm happy to give them to counterbalance the effect of IPAs on my waistline, and I am outside with them a lot—up to two hours per day, every day, rain or shine. This is possible because my work enables me to set my own schedule and work from home.
Which brings me to the nature of that work. In addition to my Core77 duties, I run a rental photography studio in a highly competitive market, and if I miss a single phone call or text message, which may come in at any hour, there are hundreds or potentially thousands of dollars at stake for each message I miss. Clients want answers right away, and if you don't pick up, they go down their list and contact the next studio.
Which raises the problem of me living in a noisy city. When outside with the dogs, my phone lives in a pants pocket. Thus if I'm walking or running I cannot always feel the vibration of an incoming message, nor hear the ring over jackhammers and bypassing ambulances. I've lost a three-day booking before because I couldn't hear the phone and called back five minutes too late.
I dislike Bluetooth earpieces so have compensated by constantly walking around with earbuds in, the wire trailing down to the phone pocket, whether or not I'm listening to music or podcasts. So now I can hear if a call or text comes in, but this doesn't solve all problems. When a text message comes in I must wrangle two dogs with one hand, then fish the phone out to manipulate it. Because I am kind of clumsy, this always brings a chance I'll drop my phone. I estimate I've dropped my iPhone 4s over 100 times, on concrete, on pavement, you name it. I have been astonished to see that this cheap silicone case I got for free has been adequate to protect it for all these years:
However, three months ago I dropped the phone—on freaking grass, at a park—and that was the day it decided to land on a rock. The screen cracked.
Worst of all is when you've gone to the trouble, outside in the middle of a thunderstorm when you've sought the shelter of a tree to keep the phone dry under and then fished it out of the safe dryness of your waterproof head-to-toe get-up, then discovered it was a text message from one of your degenerate friends trying to talk you into daytime drinks.
So what I need is:
1. Notification that there's a message or call, independent of ambient noise
2. A way to see who is trying to contact me, before I fish the phone out, and
3. A quick means of responding if the contacter is important.
The Apple Watch is the perfect answer for me. When a message comes in, it "taps" you on the wrist with its "Taptic" engine, providing an impossible-to-miss notification.
To check that message or call all I have to do is lift my wrist and the gyro kicks in, turning the display on. Then I can simply glance at my wrist, rather than stopping the dogs to fish out the phone, to see if the message is important enough to drop what I'm doing. And I can then respond through the Watch rather than having to dig for the phone.
If it did only those things, I'd be happy to buy one. But as it happens, the Apple Watch also does what seems like another several hundred things: