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Apple Watch bashing – the new cool amongst Apple tech writers?

The Apple Watch turned one last week. In the run up to its first birthday I noticed a build up of technology blog sites understandably using this opportunity to re-cap on the original launch, to speculate about a second generation device and reflect on the first year of ownership.

Initially, most sites seemed to re-visit posts that collated favourite apps / stuff the author can’t live without; however the tide swiftly turned from what were mostly positive comments into what I can only describe as the jumping on the bandwagon of “Apple Watch bashing”.

I’ve had my Apple Watch for a couple of months now. I was going to wait for the second generation before indulging, but I got a few weeks old watch for a bargain after a friend decided they didn’t want theirs. Why was I waiting for the second generation? Simply put, because nearly every new device Apple has launched in the last ten years has been seen as ground breaking or revolutionary.

Photo credit: Hiné Mizushima (Flickr) Creative Commons
Photo credit: Hiné Mizushima (Flickr) Creative Commons

Apple’s products have often been the first to market, or where they’ve been a later player, they’ve knocked the competition’s offering firmly into second place. Apple have achieved this by staying relatively close to Jobs’ mantra of only releasing products that are ready and fit for use by the non-techie.

In my opinion, every first generation Apple device has been great to see and very desirable (marketing works!). I’m also astutely aware though, that all of these first generation devices have been leapfrogged in terms of capability, functionality and desirability once the second generation was born.

Look at iPads – the first generation was chunky, thick and with flat edges. A lot was packed into the device and what you got on-screen was awesome, however on reflection, it was hideous compared to its younger brethren.

MacBooks have come a long way atheistically and capabilities wise too. I remember the old units and then, my first foray into MacBook ownership, the 2010 Pro with its fantastic screen, power and capability, but conversely its rough front edge (rubs the wrists) and limited memory upgrades. The wedge shape of newer models really appeals, memory wise we’ve still got issues with caps on maximum upgrades (and don’t get me started with soldering RAM to the boards!).

I could go on, but I digress from my point – the bandwagon of Apple Watch bashing. Why all the negativity compatriots in the writing world? Is the Watch really that bad? Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fanboy – I have plenty of Apple products but I recognise they are not the be-all and end-all of technology.

I have my list of gripes:

  • I find some non-native applications slow to open and unresponsive.
  • Glances don’t always work in the way I’d expect them to.
  • I’d like to customise my watch faces beyond the limited complications currently available.
  • I’d like to be able to get more out of the battery – two days would be fine rather than a day and a bit.
  • Developers haven’t been as swift as I’d like to expand their iOS apps to WatchOS additions

Despite these, I still enjoy wearing my watch. For sure, I probably don’t use as many of the non-native apps as much as I thought I would, but it’s still sat on my wrist on a daily basis.

Will I join the band of writers bashing the first generation Apple Watch? No, sorry – I recognise it’s not perfect, show me a first generation product that is. Do I think there’s a trend of copycat writing in order to tempt readers – absolutely and I’m sure that we will see the same thing happen on the anniversary of the iPad Pro launch too. If this lack of bashing means I don’t get to be part of the “new cool” I’m okay with that, I’m not sure I was part of the “old cool” either!

Featured Image Credit: Bill Alldredge (Flickr) Creative Commons