Nick's Notes

Watching Brief

I have now had my Apple Watch for a month. This is not a review of it – there are plenty of those across the web, although some do make me wonder if the author had ever seen the Watch, never mind used one. I have two points to make about Apple’s “most personal device”.

Firstly something I didn’t expect – it’s a little bit fiddly to put on and take off. I have the Milanese Band, with a magnetic catch and the whole band is metal. Unusually for Apple, it doesn’t quite ‘just work’ as I have to make sure that magnet and metal don’t touch otherwise they connect and it won’t slide over my wrist. At least I know I won’t accidentally lose it!

Secondly, it ‘cuts through the crap’ to quote Greg Dyke from his BBC days. There is a massive advantage to a small screen – you quickly cut down unnecessary notifications until you have the essentials. The screens aren’t called ‘glances’ for nothing. This is a big advantage. Instead of spending time looking at my phone to see if the incoming message is important, a fraction of a second glance at my Watch and I know if it is or not. Text messages can be quickly read, longer messages still need the phone. But this is a productivity gain I hadn’t expected. Less really is more.

The small screen, plus the personal nature of the device brings an intense focus to my use of the Watch. I like that – others may think differently. Walking to meeting in London is a lot safer – rather than staring at my phone to see where I should turn next, the Watch discreetly taps my wrist. A short tap for left and a long one for right. I can watch where I’m going instead. Raise the watch up and you see the map for visual confirmation.

Without knowing it, the Apple Watch is what I’ve been waiting for. Not an additional screen, but a smaller one. There must be a principle in there somewhere which we can apply to help our overloaded execs. Use the technology to its full and you never miss anything that is important to you, and you don’t waste time on things that aren’t. Which Watch apps are you planning to develop in order to liberate your execs?

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