My complaint after using the Apple Watch for 6 months.

I got a Nike+ Apple Watch 3 with LTE for my birthday last year.  As a very longtime Fitbit user, I was skeptical of losing access to the social component of Fitbit.  I have always said that the back end of Fitbit is their greatest resource, and still believe this.  I liked my various Fitbits so much, that I wrote a paper on their accuracy and reliability.  If you are interested, please check the following:

“Adam Noah, J., Spierer, D. K., Gu, J., & Bronner, S. (2013). Comparison of steps and energy expenditure assessment in adults of Fitbit Tracker and Ultra to the Actical and indirect calorimetry. Journal of medical engineering & technology, 37(7), 456-462.”

Anyway, last Summer I completely destroyed 2 Fitbit Surges because I did not take them off prior to swimming.  I was super disappointed in the lack of water resistance in the Surge (and how easily it was damaged — it’s barely splash resistant!!), so I made a decision to try something that was more swimming friendly and purchased an Apple Watch.

I have been using the Apple Watch 3 now for 6 months and am generally very happy with it.  The notifications are useful, the screen is very nice, and the battery lasts almost 3 days.  I can not complain about these things.  It does seem reliable day to day as well.  However, there is one thing that really rubs me the wrong way about how Apple does things.  These circles.  They are not meaningful.  It is something they decided were more representative than numbers, but I disagree.  I want my step count to be displayed front facing, not some circle that represents movement.

If you take the time to read the paper I wrote above, you will see why this is important, ESPECIALLY with the fact that I can not find anywhere how Apple calculates this movement value.  The watch does tell you steps taken, but its hidden at the bottom of several menus and you have to click multiple times to see this.  It is ANNOYING.  Why can I not just see a value of steps taken on the face of the watch?  This seems like something people want.  I do not want a proprietary, algorithm telling me how many calories I burned when that algorithm is not available for me to gauge the accuracy of.  This is something Apple got wrong.  Apple says the watch is focused on health and exercise, but this metric is hidden.  This is not focused.

Aside from this, the Apple Watch 3 is a good device and handles swimming pretty well.  There is NO way I am paying $10 for LTE on this device when LTE on my iPad gets me way more for the same price, so I have no comment on that function.  Overall, I am happy, but I miss being able to easily compete for the Championship of the Universe in steps taken with a simple flick of the wrist.  Apple should think about this in the next update.


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