At this point, I’ve tried just about every smartwatch that I’ve wanted to try. From devices that cost a bit of money, to those that you’d probably think, “You get what you pay for” before actually slapping any hard-earned cash on it.In the end, I haven’t kept a single one. Some of them I haven’t kept because I just didn’t like the way they looked, or they didn’t offer me any kind of customization for the watch bands. Some, the battery life just wasn’t worth the effort to plug it in all the time. The most common element of me abandoning a smart wearable, though, is the constant doldrums of notifications.
Over the years I’ve just grown accustomed to keeping my phone on me, and always checking it when I need to. Specifically, I can remember when I don’t need to check it, too. When I’m working, my phone is always right there next to me, display up, ready to get messed with if a notification comes in. Having a watch on that just notifies me of something that I’ve already seen doesn’t make any sense, and since I’m someone that likes to put my watch on first thing in the morning (and have it on all day), a smartwatch tends to get more annoying faster than just about any other device.
With that being said, I’ve stuck it out with the Pebble smartwatch longer than any others, simply because it offered up the customization that I wanted, and it didn’t look terrible, either. I didn’t start out a fan of square watches, but eventually they grew on me. When I stopped wearing it, several months after originally picking it up, I did so because of the same reason as above, I just didn’t need another device sending me notifications.
However, I’m willing to continue to give it a shot. The smartwatch industry has a lot of room to grow, and I think it’s simply waiting for one company to step in and start putting a lot more focus on it. With focus from other companies now jumping into the fray, because Apple is, then we’ll start to see more features, more usability, and, hopefully, less redundancy between the wearable and the smartphone.
Everything that I’ve heard regarding the Apple Watch has made me excited to try it out this year. Yeah, notifications are still probably going to annoy me at some level, but with a wearable that looks as good as the Watch, and has as much functionality built into it, I’m certainly interested in giving it a shot. But there’s one huge caveat to that statement:
Keep advertisements away from my watch.
There’s been a lot of talk recently regarding ads on the Apple Watch. A lot of companies, ad agencies, and even some developers have stated that they’ve come up with ways to make sure that ads, while connected directly to apps, get served up accordingly on the Watch. The main idea seems to be ads that function with, say, an electronics store’s application. When you walk into that store, the Watch, the app, and everything in between will work together to populate an advertisement that’s relevant to the wearer and to the store.
I’ll just say this flat-out: I don’t want that. At all. There’s not even a little part of me that wants advertisements making me have to look at my watch. More than that, making me have to look at my watch and remove something from it, too. I’ve grown accustomed to ads on my smartphone and within my apps over the years, as they’ve been slipped into the experience. But, I just can’t see that going well for a watch. Any watch, for that matter. But since I have such high hopes for the Watch in general, I don’t want to see it already cut off at the knees in my eyes because I’ll have to fend off ads.
As it stands right now, while there are a lot of people trying to come up with ways to get ads on the Watch, it doesn’t seem that Apple has made any commitments towards it yet. On the other side of the coin, of course, it doesn’t seem that they’ve made any commitments to the opposite effect, either. I just know that if I have to deal with notifications and advertisements, the Watch is going to be a nonstarter for me. And I really hope that isn’t the case.