By Casey Liss
Poor Apple Watch
Current Watch face. Four complications: activity rings, sunset, Fantastical, Carrot Weather.

Increasingly, I feel like I’m the only one.

I still really like my Apple Watch.

Many of my friends and peers seem to be getting rid of their Apple Watches. They’re either no longer wearing watches at all, or are switching to mechanical watches instead. I can’t help but feel like it’s trendy to be smug about the Apple Watch.

I last discussed my thoughts about the Apple Watch in December. I wrote then:

Insignificant as [receiving notifications on your wrist] may seem to be, it actually isn’t. The Apple Watch has allowed my iPhone to transition from being a personal device to being a private one. That’s a really profound change. More so than I expected.

I feel that exact same way today.

Thinking of the Apple Watch as a standalone device that replaces the functionality of your phone is a fool’s errand. The Apple Watch improves your visibility into what is happening in your phone, like a satellite giving you a bird’s eye view of the earth. Neither will give you great detail about what is happening, but either can give you a lot of general information very quickly.

The Watch does its best work when it is showing notifications, allowing hyper-terse replies to messages, or showing you little snippets of data by way of complications. It does not do well as a standalone platform for applications.

And you know what? That’s okay.

Perhaps it’s because I have a job where I leave the house, but I can’t imagine looking down at my wrist and not seeing when my next appointment is. I can’t imagine looking down and not seeing what the temperature is outside.

I find it very convenient to see the weather forecast on my watch, even if my phone is on my desk upstairs. If my phone is across the house, I can decide by my wrist whether the call I’m receiving is worth sprinting to my phone for. I can glance at a text message while I’m driving, and see if it’s worth pulling over to take a closer look at; or I can reply easily and quickly with my voice.

I understand why one would give up on the Apple Watch. The apps are, by and large, useless. The glances are nearly as bad. But custom complications have changed how I think of my Apple Watch. Complications have turned my Watch into an information appliance.

For others, that may not be the case. And you know what? That’s okay too.

So many are lamenting the slow speed of the Apple Watch. I can’t argue; it annoys me as well. While I’d love to have increased performance in the next version of watchOS, and I’d love to see the next version of the Apple Watch get a little faster and thinner, I don’t feel like I need either of those things.

I could sure use custom third-party watch faces though.

I’ve found another reason to keep my Apple Watch around just in the last few weeks. I had heard many people telling me that Amazon has a ton of third-party watch bands, but was too scared to try them. The prices on these bands are unfathomably low as compared to the Apple equivalents, but wasting $20 is still wasting $20.

That in mind, I really wanted to try a Milanese Loop once Apple’s Space Black loop debuted. I didn’t want to spend $200 to do so. I found this knockoff on Amazon for around $20. I’ve been wearing it for a couple of weeks now and I quite like it. The color doesn’t perfectly match, and there are a couple of spots where silver peeks through. But for one tenth the cost, I’m a happy camper.

I’ve been eyeing this link bracelet for a while now, but ~$100 is too much for me to try on a lark. Whether I pull the trigger or not, it’s awesome to feel like I have so many options.

The beauty of the Apple Watch is that changing bands is super easy, and just when I was getting bored of my black Sport Band, I discovered a whole new world of bands, ripe for the picking. My Apple Watch may not look any different, but I can already tell the bands will be ever-changing.