Today is my 37th birthday. If that’s personally interesting to you, you can check out the new podcast series I’ve launched today telling stories of my life, right here.
This is special for lots of reasons, but the one we’re focusing on in this post is the gift I’m giving myself today (along with some cash and gift cards from my family this year). I’m finally becoming an Apple Watch owner with the Series 3, now reduced in price after the launch of the Series 4 watch. But it’s not just the lower price point that has pushed me over the edge, it’s primarily the combination of hardware and software features now available at the entry price point that has me excited to finally jump into the smartwatch lifestyle.
Here are the big three:
GPS - The Series 2 Watch was SOOO tempting. The combination of waterproof casing with a big speed bump in the processor had me excited for the watch in my own life. BUT, with the release of Series 3 it was the Series 1 that remained for a lower price point while the 2 was officially retired. In the end, it was a blessing in disguise as the Series 3’s GPS addition is what I really wanted as it would allow for phone-free workout tracking with more accuracy and reliability.
Water resistance - Again, the Series 1 (and 0) were always no-go’s for me as more than desirable objects because (while I don’t own a swimming pool) I am a water-baby and love swimming more than any other physical exercise imaginable. If I want a device to track my workouts and activity, it’s got to be able to do so in the pool too. The Apple Watch Series 2 offered this for the first time, but was retired before it drifted down to my preferred price point. Now, the Series 3 brings me water resistance rating of 50 meters under ISO standard 22810:2010. I’m no scuba-diver and I don’t do submarines, so I’m all covered.
Podcast Playback, independent of the phone - Finally, the real deal-breaker. I make the vast majority of my income producing podcasts. I am subscribed to more than a 100 podcasts and stay up to date on dozens of shows each week. The only way I’m able to do that is through the Overcast app, my AirPods and my iPhone and iPad Pro. BUT now with Watch OS 5, available last week alongside iOS 12, not only is the official Apple Podcasts app now available there but 3rd party apps have been allowed background audio playback which means that Overcast’s developer Marco Arment had a very busy summer bringing us this:
So, now I’m an Apple Watch owner, excited to get serious about tracking my movement and using Siri Shortcuts to automate a ton of paperwork and processes in my daily job. As a day one iPhone 3G owner, an iPad owner since generation one and someone who runs his entire business from an iPad Pro today, Apple had to earn my business in this market, but eventually they’ve gotten there.