Apple Watch Clock teaser 001

Yesterday I did something I haven’t done before. I forgot to put my Apple Watch on when I left the house for work. That meant being about 14 hours without my watch. over half a day with no wearable notifications, or fitness tracking, or quick replies to messages. For the first time since April 24th, I was Apple Watchless.

And I was kind of pleased.

The reason was that I now had chance to see just how used to the Apple Watch I had become. My failing memory had given me the opportunity to spend a working day away from the Apple Watch to find out just how engrained it was in my daily life, and importantly, whether I would miss it or not.

At first, apart from my initial irritation that I managed to forget to pick it up, I didn’t miss the Apple Watch at all. Before it arrived a month ago, I hadn’t worn a watch in around 8 years so not having one strapped to my arm wasn’t as alien as it might be for some. I suppose that’s how I managed to forget it in the first place, because if I was more used to having a watch on, I might have noticed it was missing sooner. Whatever the ins and outs of the situation, I was facing a day without my Apple Watch, checking my iPhone for notifications like some sort of animal.

Oh the indignity!

Initially, I didn’t really notice that I didn’t have my Apple Watch with me. Sure, I was conscious of the fact that I was pressing the Home button of my iPhone to check the time or for notifications while it sat on the desk, but that was it. The sky didn’t fall in, my arm didn’t fall off, and the world kept on spinning even while my Apple Watch sat on the shelf at home.

But then I started receiving messages and Twitter replies as a couple of conversations sparked. My iPhone started bleeping with alarming regularity and I found myself checking it more often than I really needed to, but I felt compelled to because it was shouting at me. Like a baby crying, it’s impossibly difficult to ignore an iPhone which is so desperate for your attention.

And then I realized that the Apple Watch would have stopped all that. Instead of all the distracting noises and perceived requirement to check notifications, the Apple Watch would have tapped me on the wrist and then gone away, keen to let me finish what I was doing. The Apple Watch is so much better at letting you know that sure, there’s something for you to look at, but you can do it on your own terms. No need to stop everything to find out that someone has sent you a message on Twitter.

There are offshoots of this too. When I was checking notifications on my iPhone, I found myself replying to tweets or messages when I didn’t need to because they could have waited. What’s worse is I then ended up browsing Twitter or tapping a link that took me further away from what I was meant to be doing. People talk about the Apple Watch reducing distractions but it’s true, it really does.

At the end of the day I went home with my initial beliefs confirmed. The Apple Watch is not something any of us need, and not having one isn’t going to ruin your life by any stretch of the imagination. If you do have one though, I’m willing to bet that you’ll feel a little off should you not wear it for a day. You might not be able to quite put your finger on what’s wrong at first, but it will dawn on you soon enough. The Apple Watch has found a little hole in my world and while it’s not going to change lives, just plugging that hole can make a difference.

I’m still not convinced that apps are the Apple Watch’s forte, and that may never change even when “real apps” arrive after WWDC, but if receiving notifications of things happening and then triaging the resulting information sounds like something you do a lot of, then the Apple Watch may just fill a hole for you as well.

If you own an Apple Watch and have worn it every day for a couple of weeks at least, I challenge you to go a day without it and see how you get on. I’m not going to say that people don’t know what they’ve got until it’s gone, but I have a sneaky suspicion most will want to make sure they put their Apple Watch on the next day.

I know I did.

  • TheWaveable

    Feeling the same, have been without mine for a week now. :/

    • Andrew Root

      I did not think I would get attached to a watch, but I truly am as it helps tons throughout the day.

  • M L

    I think you put it perfectly. When people ask me about it, I tell them that it actually helps me prioritize what I respond to and when. It is a great accessory, not a necessity. Although when you start using one every day, and then try to go without it, you wonder how you ever went without it before.

    • Andrew Root

      I agree with you, but I do know how I went without it before, I just checked my phone and wasted more time. I don’t even think the price point is too bad, due to all that it does and how well it does it. (well for the sport model, haha)

  • mahe

    hmmm, this article somehow confirms my thoughts that I don’t need the Apple watch.

    If you really have to look at your phone everytime it shouts/beeps/vibrate then you have a bigger problem than just not having your Apple Watch with you.

    Don’t get me wrong, I know that online communication (including the social networks and so on) is a big deal these days …
    My phones often vibrate/beep/shout more than once in a minute, but those notifications don’t run away … they stay there!

    And for the really important stuff ppl will call, otherwise they may not get a confirmation that *whatever* is delivered in time.

    • Valinor

      I agree. Guess i dont need one also.
      The first thing i do after setting up the phone is turn of all notifications And background processes etc.
      The only apps that have their notifications on are the phone, message, whatsapp (group notifications turned off) and snapchat (only a notifications message, without sound and vibrate). And offcourse the calendar app when i have a meeting.
      I dont need notifications for facebook, twitter, instagram and all other news/sport apps.
      I’ll check those when I have the time or am bored.

    • M L

      Well from seeing your profile avatar…not surprised by your comments.

    • KP

      For myself, I have notifications for social networks like FB and Twitter disabled to begin with. Life is too busy to be annoyed by every comment made on one of your posts. However, I do use my calendar and reminders extensively, and missing one of those notifications can be detrimental to my job. Just earlier today I ended up in a meeting late because I had left my phone at my desk. If I had the Apple Watch on, perhaps I would have gotten that notification. I can see how it will help minimize distractions and help prioritize the things you respond to. Still debating whether to purchase one or not, though…

  • Andrew Root

    I have had the watch for 1 week and I feel I check my phone 50% less (if not more) and I really enjoy it. I can get home and not touch my phone until my son goes to bed and not miss anything that is sent my way. It truly is fantastic, I could not be more pleased with it. No it is not “required” but I do spend far less time on my phone with the watch, as stated in the article, once on my phone I find I am looking at things to take me further off task. I get that some people don’t have this issue, but I think too many people do have this issue. Also at parties or walking around town, removed the need to keep checking your phone if you think you felt it ring / vibrate. I never wore a watch before this, but now I will wear one every day. Seeing a demo at the Apple store is nothing, you need to use it for a day to be completely sold, very fast actually.

    • So now you just need another new gadget that keeps you from checking your watch all the time. Maybe Apple Vision?

      • Andrew Root

        Not really, I can check that quick and decide if I want to respond or deal with it later. I know you are being sarcastic, but if you dont feel the need for it cause you don’t have this problem of checking your phone, that is great.

  • Moltakfire

    I feel naked without it, I truly do.

    Sure, I can go without it. But something feels wrong with my day, when it’s not on my wrist.

  • I just can’t see how any user who cried for a bigger iPhone screen can be happy about a watch. Bragging about what they can do on that tiny ass screen.

    • Andrew Root

      You want both, it just depends on the appropriate time. Not saying you would want one, but you need to use it for the day to truly understand what it can do for you.

      • It doesn’t sound like ppl care for an appropriate time. People seem glad that they just aren’t tethered to their phone. Almost like ppl hate to use their phones now and will prefer to use the lower quality apple watch apps instead.

      • Andrew Root

        This is not true. I dont only use the watch, just there are times that unlocking your phone or checking your phone are not necessary, but you still want to see the notification that you just got. I see the message and decide if I should get the phone out to do something or if the info was enough for me, which most of the time it is.

  • Justin de Vreugd

    Good post man its not here in the netherlands yet but cant wait i want it even more alter this post thx man

  • dudeimmexican

    Haven’t had mine since released. I’m hanging in there

  • immovableobject

    I’m distracted by the unnecessary capitalizations of the words: Lower, Even, Will, My, Every, and IT? Is this a Swedish thing?

    • Kominimatchen

      Its a swedish thing … Autocorrect on iOS

  • Stephen Hryncewicz

    “but if receiving notifications of things happening and then triaging the resulting information sounds like something you do a lot of, then the Apple Watch may just fill a hole for you as well.”

    Sounds like my Pebble will suffice, after all.

  • Mark S

    Gee can I write an article “How I survived my entire life without an Apple watch.”?

    • Andrew Root

      I think this is a decent idea for an article. You get used to the things you have and then 1 day without them, you see how dependent you are using it. An article of a “day without…..” only makes sense when you had something and then don’t for a day or more. I know you are trying to poke fun at the article, but no one said you had to read it.

  • ThinkActive

    All these comments like “I don’t need one” etc. are all a repeat of the “what is iPad for” discussions at it’s launch. I find it funny that people are bothered to go discussing something they clearly don’t want…

  • @sexyhamthing

    Wow. This site is going downhill.

    Still, at least this is real… unlike the “day with apple watch” thing that was published before release…. that was pathetic