Guest appearance on WatchAware podcast & expanded shownotes!

I am honored to have been the first guest on the podcast of WatchAware, co-hosted by Abdel Ibrahim and Julia Mayhugh. In it, we discussed a wide variety of subjects, including how China is the most important market for Apple Watch, how Apple approaches its products in a more human way than other tech companies, and how we see great potential in the form factor of Apple Watch. I’m biased, of course, but I thought it was a stimulating discussion and I highly recommend you check it out. If you like this site, you will like the podcast.

Listen to it on iTunes or in Overcast — and if you like it, be sure to rate it in iTunes or recommend it in Overcast!

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Watchscreen: Dean Sherwood, cinematographer and photographer

Each week, I ask someone to share their watchscreen, examining how they’re using Apple Watch, what apps are useful, and tips or tricks they have. This week, I’ve asked Dean Sherwood (Twitter, Instagram, Web) to share his screen.

Dean has worked in the music industry for 9 years as a photographer and cinematographer. He currently photographs and films the UK band The Vamps. So, Dean, show us your watchscreen! Continue reading

The Irreducible Reality of Form

In the second to fourth centuries, the philosophy of Gnosticism became popular. Though it had many variants, a key tenet was that matter was a lesser emanation of a kind of divine spirit. Human spirits were thus spiritual and good, but human bodies and matter were physical and evil, a limitation that had to be escaped in order to achieve true gnosis or enlightenment.

Why on earth do I start an article about technology–and this is an article about technology–with an ancient philosophy?1 Because good design of technology has to be based on an anti-gnostic notion that humans, fundamentally and irreducibly, are physical creatures and use physical products in a physical world. Those physical products, just as fundamentally and irreducibly, have a specific physical form that can be well or poorly suited to a human’s physical body or to the physical world.2 These forms both limit and enable functionality that is unique to that form. This interplay between a form’s function, it’s suitability to the human body and it’s appropriateness for the physical world is what design considers–and it is the interaction of these elements that has led to the success and failure of many technological products.3

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Watchscreen: Ariel Adams, worldwide watch expert at aBlogtoWatch

Each week, I ask someone to share their watchscreen, examining how they’re using Apple Watch, what apps are useful, and tips or tricks they have. This week, I’ve asked Ariel Adams (Twitter, Web) to share his screen. Adams-headAriel is a watch lover, widely considered an expert in the field, deeply involved in the watch industry, and the founder of the website aBlogtoWatch in 2007 (one of, if not the, most popular watch blogs in existence). He has written a series of insightful articles and reviews on Apple Watch, and so I’m really excited to share his watchscreen as he  brings to the discussion a depth of knowledge about traditional watches.

So, Ariel, show us your watchscreen! Continue reading

Watchscreen: Julia Mayhugh, co-host of WatchAware podcast

Each week, I ask someone to share their watchscreen, examining how they’re using Apple Watch, what apps are useful, and tips or tricks they have. Mayhugh-headThis week, I’m excited to feature Julia Mayhugh (Twitter). Julia has developed and designed software for twenty years, contributes to WatchAware, runs a meetup for women coders in Denver, and is a co-host of the WatchAware podcast (which I would recommend for dedicated analysis of all things Apple Watch).

So, Julia, show us your watchscreen! Continue reading

Two Months with Apple Watch

I’ve had my Apple Watch now for a few days shy of two months and I’m not giving it up. Back in March, I had thought,going to graduate school and working full-time, that the value proposition of Apple Watch was not worth the expense. Then, as an incredible surprise, my awesome wife contacted my family and friends and had them go together to get me an Apple Watch for my birthday. It has been life-changing.

Others have panned Apple Watch and “broken up” with it.1 In my assessment, most of those bad experiences were caused by wrong expectations. What are the right expectations? The ones that Apple told us at the very start: time-keeping, communication, and fitness. Though I’ve written about Apple Watch each week for the last two months, I purposefully haven’t written about those tentpoles as they’re not things you can assess in a week. Now that it’s been two months, it’s time. Continue reading

Watchscreen: Andy Faust, blogger at WatchAware

Faust-headEach week, I feature someone’s watchscreen, highlighting how they’re using it, apps they like, how they view the product, and tips and tricks they’ve discovered. This week, I’m excited to feature Andy Faust (Twitter), a tech enthusiast and blogger at (a site you really ought to follow). Andy has written well-considered pieces on Apple Watch; I don’t always agree with them, but they’re always insightful and stimulating! So, Andy, show us your watchscreen! Continue reading

Watchscreen: Kane Cheshire, developer of MacID

The next contributor to the weekly Watchscreen series on how people are using their Apple Watches is Kane Cheshire (Twitter, Web), developer of one of my favorite apps for Apple Watch, MacID. Kane is a terrific designer and his app demonstrates brilliantly how apps can leverage the unique form of Apple Watch. So, Kane, show us your watchscreen! Continue reading

Watchscreen: Craig McClellan, teacher and blogger

Watchscreens is a weekly series exploring how different people are using Apple Watch in their lives. Like sharing iPhone home screens, there’s a lot to learn and discover from others in this brand-new category. McClellan-headThis week I’m glad to share the watchscreen of Craig McClellan (Twitter). Craig is an elementary school teacher and a self-described nerd. He’s combined both those passions in his excellent blog,, which has a ton of productivity ideas applicable well beyond the classroom. So, Craig, show us your watchscreen! Continue reading

The Future of Apple Watch (WWDC and beyond)

This is part 4 in ongoing series of reflections based on my experience with Apple Watch. Previous pieces are: Week 1: You Can’t Put Delight In a SpreadsheetWeeks 2-3: Its Form Is Its Function, Week 4: A Foundation for the Future.

It’s that time of year again, when Apple critics, analysts, and skeptics release their expectations, analysis, and wish lists for WWDC. In this piece, I hope to approach the pre-WWDC ramp-up somewhat differently. These other approaches are based, typically, off of rumors or personal frustrations with the software. I hope to present a more timeless list of strategic wrist-centric ways where Apple Watch should mature in order for its long-term potential to be reached. Continue reading