digital experiences that people love
Jon Waring
9th Sep 2015

Should I buy an Apple Watch?

The Apple watch is an example of exquisite product design from one of the most successful tech businesses of all time. Considering how much we all like Apple, have you been wondering ‘should I buy one?’Apple_watch_transparent

I’ve resisted – so far. Maybe because it feels like a product that solves a problem that doesn’t exist.

Apple appear to have embarked on an indulgent exercise with some aspects of the watch. Flashing or beeping notifications that aren’t timely or relevant could get annoying. Imagine during a conversation with someone, they keep looking away to check notifications. Would most people do that if their phone was bleeping? Hopefully not. Perhaps it’s the absence of Steve Jobs to say, ‘that’s a $h1#y idea!’  

There is a lot of stuff the Apple watch does that is great, but why cram so much of the interaction into such a small space? Couldn’t they rely on the iPhone to display the more complex stuff?

On the other hand, an example of a wearable that takes a different approach is the Withings Activité.


It’s Swiss made, looks like a classic watch, but has sensors that track steps, sleep and even swimming. All the data is then transmitted via bluetooth to the phone, where you can see the details.  It works on iOS and Android, plus it only needs a new battery every 8 months. In fairness, it does a lot less. No notifications, heart rate monitor and a bunch of other stuff, but to quote a friend regarding the Apple watch:

I forgot to take it on holiday and didn’t miss it at all. That might change when we start to see some really useful applications, but it isn't quite there right now.

Stuart Church – Pure Usability

In a recent conversation with Giles Colborne at CX partners – while conceding some things weren’t quite there yet, he made a typically insightful remark about the Apple Watch and it’s general direction:

The Apple watch is about your identity in terms of a wireless digital fingerprint.

Giles Colborne – CX Partners

As always, things will become clearer in time.

  • Lee Tracey

    Totally agree Mr Waring. Have worn mine for 2 months and now not to complete the test. So far I do not miss it.

    • 3sixtyDesign

      Hi Lee, I’m curious to see how it evolves. Will they move more functionality to the phone or persist with keeping it in the watch and rely on components getting smaller and battery life improving?

  • RogerPhilby

    Jon, think it’s about expectations…I posted a blog on the very subject, having had an Apple Watch since launch day. Link to the post is here:

    • 3sixtyDesign

      Hi Roger, great post and really interesting to read how it fits into your life. I’m sure I’ll get one once the 3rd party apps start flowing. Amazed it’s replaced the Rolex though. The Seamaster and DateJust are right at the top of my list…along with a IWC Mark XII Pilot!

  • Stephen Wynne-Jones

    For me a watch is a piece of jewellery that tells the time. It’s a statement about me and is as central a part of my identity as the suit or shoes that I wear. The Apple is of course stylish, but (and call me old fashioned if you like), I wouldn’t ditch my Omega Seamaster for anything – especially not to get some alerts that I already get from the phone. I know it does much more than this, but I do tend to agree that it ‘currently’ feels like a solution looking for a problem.

    A gadget mate of mine has already ditched his…