Why the Apple Watch Isn’t So Great for Runners

Apple Watch Health & Fitness

Apple Watch still frame taken from Health & Fitness video

You’ve all seen the hype, this thing is going to be big. It’s the most revolutionary device ever, period. It’s Apple’s next iPod, something that’s going to catapult them into new markets and result in total domination of the watch industry.

Or not…

Don’t get me wrong. I am a HUGE Apple fanboy, as I sit here typing this post on my MacBook Pro attached to my 27″ LED Apple Display, and keep getting distracted by my iPhone 6 Plus sitting next to me. I’ve owned Apple products since I was in high school, and have been exclusively Apple ever since.

I REALLY want to be excited about the Apple Watch, I really really want to be excited about it. However, I just can’t be. Here’s why…

Apples’ new Watch is nothing more than a slave device.

It is only as good as the iPhone you have alongside it.

The watch lacks built in GPS, which for me, is a deal breaker.

I consider myself a purist when it comes to running. I like nothing more than the least amount of clothes possible, my shoes, and a watch. I’ve only recently started using headphones and an iPod mini on my long runs, once I realized I could be maximizing my time by listening to Podcasts and audible books. Multitasking on my runs by adding a layer of education.

Much to my wife’s dismay, I HATE running with my phone.

I have my RoadID, that’s my peace of mind.

Phones are big, heavy, and there’s no convenient place to put them. I’ve tried those armbands, but they are never comfortable for runs longer than 10 minutes. Plus, who wants their $600 phone to be covered in sweat and spit.

So for me, the Apple Watch is just not that cool. I’d prefer my Garmin Forerunner 220, which operates alone. It might not have all the fancy apps that the Apple Watch has, but it does the job, and it does it well, and by god it does it independent of any other device.

Apples advertising is also frustrating to me, and it’s another huge turnoff. If you watch their Apple Watch Health & Fitness video, you’d think this was a stand alone device. Those fit female runners, wearing almost no clothing, running through the scenic coastal cliffs, no iPhone to be seen. Yet, they’ve apparently traversed 10 miles…

Come on Apple, at least be transparent, most people don’t even know what a slave device is, and it’s not like GPS watches are anything new or extraordinary.

If people view that video, their impression could easily be that the Apple Watch is a smart watch, which should include on board GPS.

I’ll wait and see what the Apple Watch 2 brings with it. I wouldn’t be surprised if freedom from the iPhone is the first change.


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