Reviewing something as new and different as the Apple Watch is tough.
I think that’s why many of the early reviews, especially from the tech press felt awkward. Apple also provided test devices to some industry analysts, and these have proven both interesting and insightful. The latest to land if from Horace Dediu at Asymco:
Cynics may say [Apple Watch] does too little. Philistines may say it does too much. But for me it does just what I want it to do when I want it done. The things which are not done stay out of the way. This discretion is just as important as the effectiveness of action.
Even more remarkably, this tasteful minder is offered not to a fortunate few but to millions of people of average means. In the true sense of technological democratization, Apple Watch is a phenomenon for mass consumption.
Needless to say, Horace is impressed. Some might dismiss it as overly impressed, but I really think there’s a moment that comes, when using an Apple Watch, when everything just “clicks”. Most of us didn’t have to transition from a Mac to iPhone because we already had phones or smartphones and already understood the contextual differences. Not as many people have had smartwatches, especially smartwatches as functional as the Apple Watch, and so the transition is from iPhone to Apple Watch. And that’s harder.
When you get it, though, you get it. You can see it in anyone who’s been really using an Apple Watch for any length of time.